LONDON – Scandinavian Airlines (SK) has announced it has obtained regulatory approval to return back to China and will launch services to Shanghai (PVG).
The service will commence on a once-weekly basis on September 29, which would have marked nearly nine months of no flights to the country by the airline. By the end of October, the airline is planning to resume services to Beijing (PEK) but again is dependent on acquiring such regulatory approval from the Chinese Government.
SK will operate the Shanghai service using its flagship Airbus A350-900 aircraft, which offers 300 seats in a three-class configuration. 40 seats will be on offer in Business in a 1-2-1 configuration followed by 32 seats in SAS Plus (Premium Economy) using a 2-4-2 configuration as well as 228 seats in SAS Go (Economy) in a 3-3-3 configuration.
It is unclear what the flight times are at the moment. The airline is currently servicing 75 destinations across 380 daily flights, even in the midst of the global pandemic. Its main focus is currently in Europe, with the airline gradually expanding further afield globally.
With the pandemic still in full-play, growth strategies at SAS and even other carriers around the world has had to change due to the hindered growth. Due to production issues at Airbus, the carrier had to delay the delivery of its Airbus A321neo Long Range aircraft by one year.
Steps have been taken since then, with the Swedish and Danish Governments supporting the recapitalization of the airline following financial turmoil. Older aircraft such as the Boeing 737 fleet have now begun to make way for the more fuel-efficient Airbus A320neo aircraft, with SE-RUA being the first delivery based at Oslo (OSL).
A Relaunch is Good News
It remains clear that in the perspective of SK, the launch of Chinese routes is definitely good news, especially with China being the origin of the Coronavirus.
With competition against the likes of Finnair (AY), it will come as no surprise that such price wars will begin once again, especially with Chinese tourism being a popular element for Scandinavia and the rest of Europe.
Looking ahead, it now means that SAS can slowly continue to launch routes that are more further afield in order to boost revenues. The hopeful launch of PVG at the end of October will no doubt take SK in the direction that is much needed in what is a very volatile moment for the industry.
Featured Image: Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900. Photo Credit: SAS