WORLD ROUTES: New Norwegian Long-Haul Routes to Boost Danish Economy

According to official forecasts from Wonderful Copenhagen, the development agency for the Danish capital city, the introduction of two new long-haul routes by low-cost carrier Norwegian from the city’s international airport in spring 2014 could generate DKK 61 million in additional tourism revenues every year.

The agency, and in particular represents in its route development programme Copenhagen Connected, have been working closely with officials at Copenhagen Airport and Norwegian to secure the new routes, which were formally announced by Norwegian last month. As well as expanding its offering from Oslo and Stockholm, the carrier confirmed the launch of flights from Copenhagen to New York and Los Angeles.

The Danish capital will join Oslo and Stockholm in being linked to New York with a twice weekly offering from February 28, 2014, increasing to four times weekly from April 30, 2014. This will be added to with a twice weekly service to Los Angeles from March 1, 2014, with a third rotation following from May 1, 2014. The Copenhagen – New York route is already served by Delta Air Lines but there is currently no commercial service between Copenhagen and Los Angeles.

"According to our estimates, Norwegian's new routes to Los Angeles and New York will attract some 33,000 additional inbound tourists from the United States and thereby generate additional tourism revenues in Denmark of DKK 61 million per year,” said Lars Bernhard Jørgensen, chief executive officer, Wonderful Copenhagen. “This shows how important it is to support the development of routes to and from Denmark.”

According to Wonderful Copenhagen, subsidies subsidies for the routes will be used for destination marketing to promote Denmark and Copenhagen as travel destinations in New York and Los Angeles. Norwegian has already secured load factors of 96 per cent on its existing long-haul flights to the US and Asia, so there is a great potential for attracting more tourists to Denmark, according to its chief executive, Bjørn Kjos.

"The routes have been well received, not only by our Scandinavian passengers travelling to the United States and Asia, but also by Asians and Americans travelling to Scandinavia and onward to other destinations. The greatest traffic flows today are between Europe and the United States, and there is strong demand for a quality product at competitive, low fares between the two continents," he said.

Copenhagen Airport’s chief executive officer, Thomas Woldbye, believes that Copenhagen's position as a key northern European hub has clearly been strengthened by Norwegian's decision to launch these new services, adding to its Fort Lauderdale link which will commence from November this year.

Analysis from Copenhagen Airport show that more than 160,000 passengers travelled from Copenhagen to Los Angeles and New York JFK via other airports last year. "Los Angeles and New York JFK are in fact the two largest unserved destinations out of Copenhagen, and they are consequently also the routes with the greatest earnings potential. So Norwegian has made a good choice,” Woldbye added.

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…