Aviation News

Scandinavian Airlines to return to New York JFK after more than 30 years

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has announced that it will be returning to New York JFK Airport for the first time in more than 30 years.

Returning to New York JFK

As of 9th February 2023, SAS will operate 5-flights-a-week between Copenhagen Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. These flights will be operated with the following schedule:

  • Copenhagen-New York JFK
  • Departure time: 18:25
  • Arrival time: 21:30
  • Flight time: 9 hours and 05 minutes
  • Flight number: SK919
  • Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • New York JFK-Copenhagen
  • Departure time: 23:00
  • Arrival time: 12:55 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 7 hours and 55 minutes
  • Flight number: SK920
  • Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

These flights will be operated by the airline’s Airbus A321LR (Long Range) aircraft featuring 22 lie-flat Business Class seats alternating between a 2-2 and 1-1 configuration, 12 Premium Economy seats in a 2-2 configuration and 123 Economy Class seats in a standard 3-3 configuration.

In summer 2023, the service will operate daily with the Airbus A330 aircraft featuring 32 lie-flat Business Class seats, 32 Premium Economy seats and 132 standard Economy Class seats.

We are very pleased to launch our new route to JFK. SAS offers a solid product to Newark Airport from Scandinavia, and we believe that this addition to JFK from Copenhagen will strengthen the New York offer to our customers. The US is a strategic market for SAS, and we will continue to develop new routes and destinations whenever the right opportunity presents itself.

said Erik Westman, EVP & CCO – Network and Revenue Management, Scandinavian Airlines.

SAS will operate out of Terminal 7 at New York JFK. SAS will offer about 130 departures-a-week on a total of 12 U.S. routes this winter.

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But why?

SAS’ move to launch flights to New York JFK comes as a surprise and seems a bit odd. The airline already operates flights to Newark Liberty International Airport from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. The airline states that it will offer its passengers “frequent departures to this convenient and efficient airport with easy access to and from New York as well as many connecting flights to choose from”.

Newark Liberty is majorly a Star Alliance hub while New York JFK is a majorly a oneworld hub. SAS is a Star Alliance member and it’s natural that it has flights to Newark Liberty in the New York area as it will have more connectivity out of Newark Liberty than it will have out of JFK.

As aforementioned, SAS will operate out of Terminal 7 at New York JFK, which is the same terminal from which British Airways is moving out to co-locate with its partner American Airlines at Terminal 8.

SAS is currently in Bankruptcy Protection and is trying to reduce the operations costs. Add to that the airline is starting just a single nonstop service to a airport where it has not served for the last 30+ years. The economics of operating a once-daily service can be quite challenging at this point of time for the airline.

It may be the case that SAS is just testing the waters and is trying to split operations between both the New York area airports but at this point of time, it just seems odd.

Featured image by SAS

What do you think of SAS returning to New York JFK? Let me know in the comments section below.

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