Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is now connecting Houston, Texas with Stavanger, Norway through six days a week nonstop air service, a move that’s expected to significantly strengthen the economic and cultural ties that already exist between two leading players within the oil and gas industry.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker celebrated the arrival of SAS by utilizing the new air service herself, flying to the Scandinavian region on August 22, 2014, in order to take part in a major oil exhibition. Her departure comes just two days after the airline’s inaugural flight.
“Scandinavian Airlines is establishing a key route for the Houston market and they’re doing so in a unique manner,” Mayor Parker says. “This aircraft is specifically designed to accommodate the needs of the business traveler, a concept that should resonate well with passengers located throughout the Houston region.”
The route will be operated by a business version of the Boeing 737-700 aircraft and will have an SAS Long Haul Business Class concept on board, with just 44 comfortable business seats, in-flight entertainment and full-service meals. (The standard 737-700 aircraft is typically configured to accommodate 125 seats).
“The route we have established is a tailored product for a defined market with particular travel needs,” says Stefan Larsson General Manager Americas. “The favorable timetable provides excellent connections throughout Scandinavia in both directions, while Houston is a hub for connections to the south and west such as Mexico, Los Angeles, Dallas and Phoenix with the Star Alliance.”
Houston, which is the fourth largest city in the United States, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of passengers traveling aboard international flights over the last 10 years. During that time, the international passenger totals have increased more than 60 percent, rising to a record total of 9 million in 2013.
SAS will depart from Houston to Stavanger daily except Saturday at 9:35 pm arriving the next day in Stavanger at 2.20 pm. Departures from Stavanger will be daily, except Saturday, at 4:00 pm arriving Houston at 7:40 pm same day. SAS will be the only airline with nonstop service between Scandinavia and Houston.
SAS has entered into a “wet lease” agreement with the company PrivatAir, which has this special version of the Boeing 737-700. The aircraft will carry SAS’s distinctive colors and logo.
In addition to the Houston-Stavanger route, SAS also operates nonstop service from New York (Newark) to Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, from Chicago to Copenhagen and Stockholm, and from Washington, D.C. and San Francisco to Copenhagen.
(Source: Scandinavian Airlines)