Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) halted its flights to Bangkok yesterday, ending 64 years of service linking the Nordic countries and Thailand. SAS started to fly to Bangkok back to 1949, one of the first European carriers to serve the Thai capital.
In its heydays, in the middle of the 2000s, SAS was operating up to two daily flights during the winter season, linking Bangkok to both Copenhagen and Stockholm.
Despite excellent load factors, the route has been at constant losses due to the airline’s high cost structures. The SAS management made then the decision to stop serving Southeast Asia.
Effective as of yesterday, Scandinavian Airlines and Thai Airways International are expanding their present code-share agreement to also cover Stockholm – Bangkok vv, Oslo – Bangkok vv and Copenhagen – Bangkok and return. This comes in addition to the present code-share destinations on Thai’s regional destinations in Asia and SAS’ Scandinavian and European destinations.
“We are very pleased that we are now able to take the next step in our cooperation together with Thai Airways. Bangkok and Thailand is a very important destination both for Scandinavian business and leisure travelers. We now look forward to offer our customers more and better options to reach Bangkok from all of Scandinavia,” declared Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO, SAS.
Thai Airways International offers daily services to Copenhagen and Stockholm as well as five weekly flights to Oslo. From July 1 to Aug 18, the Thai carrier will add two additional flights per week on Bangkok-Copenhagen.
The reduction in service between Thailand and Scandinavia will not last for too long. Scandinavian budget carrier Norwegian indeed moving into the seat left vacant by SAS Oslo – Bangkok three times a week.
From June 20, Norwegian will fly three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, between Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) and Bangkok . Starting June 23, Norwegian will fly thrice a week, on Monday, Wednesdays and Saturdays, between Oslo International Airport in Gardermoen (OSL) to Bangkok (BKK).