BRA provides support to Sweden’s regional airlines

A new domestic airline brand has been established in Sweden from March 1, 2016 as Braathens Regional Airlines has brought together its eight regional businesses under a common branding to maximise synergies and allow it to better compete with the likes of SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian.

BRA, an acronym for the operator and also the Swedish word for ‘good’, will bring together the operations of Malmö Aviation, Golden Air and the six airlines of Sverigeflyg (Gotlandsflyg, Kullaflyg, Blekingeflyg, Kalmarflyg, Flysmåland and Sundsvallsflyg. Together they will form Sweden’s largest domestic carrier by destinations served with an approximate market share of 30 per cent.

With a stronger brand offering and the co-ordination of the flight schedules of the eight regional carriers will provide a leaner and lower cost organisation and will also free resources to expand into new markets – the new new direct route between Umeå and Gothenburg is a good example of this.

Further growth is anticipated with BRA planning to leverage upon its Stockholm Bromma headquarters to boost its offering across both Scandinavia and into other European markets. The downtown Stockholm airport is much more conveniently located than the city’s largest gateway, Arlanda International Airport, a major differentiating factor for the carrier, especially in pulling higher yield business traffic.

BRA is understood to be monitoring a range of growth opportunities from Stockholm Bromma, including both Kiruna and Skellefteå: markets that national carrier SAS holds a current monopoly from Arlanda.

Braathens Regional chief executive, Anders Ehrling also highlights London City as a destination “high up on the wish list”, but such a route would require the addition of non-Schengen border controls and facilities at Bromma before it could be introduced.

The merger will certainly allow BRA to look forward with renewed encouragement as it prepares to welcome its first Bombardier CSeries into its fleet in 2018. There arrival and improved operational economics will coincide with a further expansion of the airline’s network, according to Ehrling. BRA’s sister company Braathens Leasing holds orders for five CS100s and five CS300s and options for ten further aircraft. These have been slated to replace the Avro RJs currently operated by Malmö Aviation.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…