ROUTES EUROPE: SAS Celebrates 50 Years of Chicago Link with US Network Growth

As SAS Scandinavian Airlines celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first scheduled flight to Chicago, host city of this year’s World Routes forum in September 2014, the carrier has revealed it is to boost its flights to the Windy City, while also adding frequencies to other markets in the US. This is in addition to last week’s announcement that it had agreed with Privat Air for the niche provider to operate a six times weekly Stavanger – Houston link on its behalf from August this year.

SAS was the first airline to fly over the North Pole to the US West Coast in 1954 and ten years later also began flying to the US Midwest with the introduction of a link between Copenhagen and Chicago. It will now add five additional frequencies between Scandinavia and the US with additional flights on the Stockholm – Chicago, Copenhagen – San Francisco, Stockholm – New York and Oslo – New York routes.

The airline arrived in Chicago on April 2, 1964, with a maiden flight from Copenhagen. The route was initially served using a Douglas DC-8-33, via Montreal, Canada and has since been flown by aircraft including the DC-10, Boeing 767 and Airbus 330/340. More than three million people have flown this route with SAS, and today the airline flies directly from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Chicago.

"SAS is seeing a steady growth in demand for travel to the USA - and the reverse route from the US to Scandinavia, not least from Chicago, is also proving a success. That's no real surprise either, as SAS is the airline with the most destinations and flights to the US from Scandinavia. Now we are adding even more departures," said Rickard Gustafson, president and chief executive officer, SAS.

From June 10, 2014 until October 25, 2014 the Copenhagen - San Francisco route will be served daily with a new Tuesday rotation; Stockholm – Chicago will be served daily in the summer and six times weekly in winter 2014/2015 as will the Stockholm-New York and Oslo – New York routes, the latter seeing two additional rotations.

"It is exactly one year since we launched the San Francisco route, and we have never before seen a route be so successful right from the off. We now have the opportunity to use our aircraft to add another departure, which we are sure will please our customers," added Gustafson.

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…