SAS Scandinavian Airlines will close its Stavanger-Houston, aka oil route, on Oct. 23 due to decreased demand and passenger loads resulting from reduced activity in the oil industry.
“The oil route came out of creative and constructive product development between SAS and our core clients in the oil industry; however, we have had to accept that the downturn in the industry unfortunately is also impacting us. Hence our decision to switch the aircraft to Copenhagen-New York Newark, where the market offers far more potential right now,” EVP-commercial Eivind Roald said in a statement.
The oil route is operated by PrivatAir on behalf of SAS with a Boeing 737 business jet that, up until the end of the year, will be configured with only 44 business seats. The aircraft will then be reconfigured with 20 business seats and 66 economy class seats.
The Star Alliance member will increase capacity 20% on Stavanger-Copenhagen (Kastrup) service by switching aircraft type from Bombardier CRJ900s to Airbus 320s and 321s on several departures.
Separately, SAS announced it will launch three North-Atlantic routes in 2016, adding 330,000 seats to its international network. The new routes are Stockholm-Los Angeles, Oslo-Miami and Copenhagen-Miami. SAS is also increasing the number of departures from Stockholm to New York Newark and Chicago.