Vueling eyes Scandinavian opportunities
Nine new routes to destinations in Scandinavia will be added to Vueling’s network this summer as the Spanish carrier targets leisure demand and seeks to capitalize on Norwegian Air Shuttle’s struggles.
Vueling, owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), plans to launch four services from Barcelona El Prat (BCN) in June, connecting the capital of Catalonia with Bergen (BGO) and Stavenger (SVG) in Norway, alongside flights to Billund (BLL) in Denmark and Gothenburg (GOT) in Sweden.
Denmark’s capital Copenhagen (CPH) and Billund, known for being the birthplace of Lego, will each receive routes from Malaga (AGP) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI), while the LCC will also start flying between Alicante (ALC) and CPH.
Vueling said the network additions would reinforce connectivity between Spain and Scandinavia, which it described as “two key markets in the tourism sector.” The expansion will also pile further pressure on Norwegian, which has historically provided service on all nine routes.
BLL CEO Jan Hessellund welcomed the planned arrival of Vueling, saying the airline has long been a target for the airport. The routes to AGP, BCN and PMI will become the first that the LCC has operated to BLL and will each be served 2X-weekly.
“Not only are they some extremely popular holiday destinations, but we are proud to be working with Vueling now. It is a collaboration that has long been high on our priority list,” Hessellund said.
He added that Mallorca and Malaga are popular charter destinations for Danes, while the BCN route in particular is expected to attract two-way leisure traffic, with Spanish tourists drawn to Billund's Legoland theme park.
While Vueling will become a new airline partner for BLL, the new routes mark a resumption of service to BGO, GOT and SVG. The carrier last served BGO in October 2019, GOT in October 2019, and SVG in October 2016.
According to tentative schedules filed with OAG, Vueling will face direct competition on all nine Scandinavian routes this summer. On the services from BCN, the airline will compete with Norwegian on all four and Ryanair on BCN-GOT.
Norwegian and Ryanair are also listed as serving AGP-BLL and AGP-CPH, with SAS also providing AGP-CPH flights. The same three carriers will also operate ACL-CPH. From PMI, Vueling looks set to compete with Ryanair to BLL, and Norwegian, SAS and TUIfly Nordic to CPH.
Given the ongoing travel uncertainty caused by the pandemic, all scheduled routes remain subject to change.
During the summer 2021 season, Vueling’s Scandinavian flying program also includes existing routes from BCN to Aalborg (AAL), CPH, Oslo (OSL) and Stockholm (ARN).
Photo credit: Joe Pries