Austrian and SAS to resume Shanghai routes

Austrian Airlines and SAS Scandinavian Airlines will fly to Shanghai again following an eight-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

After several postponements of the resumption date, Austrian plans to operate a 1X-weekly service between Vienna (VIE) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG) from Oct. 2.

The outbound flight from Austria’s capital will depart every Friday, with the return leg on Sundays. Austrian will operate the route using Boeing 767 aircraft.

“We are very pleased to be able to return to China with regular passenger flights,” Austrian board member Andreas Otto said. “A second weekly flight to Shanghai is on our wish list.”

Austrian has served VIE-PVG regularly since April 2016 and operated a 4X-weekly service using Boeing 777-200 aircraft prior to the coronavirus crisis. The Lufthansa subsidiary also previously provided 5X-weekly flights to Beijing Capital (PEK) on board Boeing 767-300s.

Meanwhile, SAS has obtained approval from the Chinese authorities to reopen its route from Copenhagen (CPH) to PVG with a weekly frequency.

With the resumption of the route, the airline said it was aiming to meet demand for business travel and air freight services between Scandinavia and China. Flights will resume on Sept. 29 using Airbus A350s.

In addition, SAS hopes to restart operations to PEK at the end of October provided that it obtains the necessary approvals.

“SAS is monitoring market developments on a weekly basis and is ready to step up its services when travel restrictions are eased and demand for travel increases again,” the carrier said in a statement.

SAS is currently flying to 75 destinations and operates up to 380 flights a day.

Photo credit: Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week Network

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.