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photo: Nordic Seaplanes

Nordic Seaplanes flies on – for now

Until it can secure a longer-lasting approval for its popular Aarhus-Copenhagen route, a temporary fix is in place.

In mid-September it was being reported that the airline Nordic Seaplanes, which was founded in 2015 and operates a speedy connection between the ports of Aarhus and Copenhagen with an aircraft that can land on water, could be forced to close.

The company’s authorisation to fly the route had not yet been approved for a further temporary period by Copenhagen’s municipality.

However, 22 jobs have been rescued, for now, as the City of Copenhagen’s Technology and Environment Administration has extended its approval for the watercraft for another year, reports.

Operating the route has been a challenging task for Lasse Rungholm, chief executive of Nordic Seaplanes, who must seek a wide range of permits including one in the Danish capital for environmental approval.

With a time limit on the approval valid until March 31, 2019, Nordic Seaplanes has been seeking permanent approval for more than a year.

Proceedings for this are currently underway, but the company applied for a six-month extension on the temporary license, and this was finally issued on October 5 to take it up until the end of next September.

More uncertainty
However, as long as there is no permanent approval, it is not economically justifiable for Nordic Seaplanes to buy an extra plane and establish a more comprehensive timetable.

“The decision means that we can fly at the same level in 2019 as we have now,” Rungholm confirms.

“The workplaces have been saved for now, and that’s great, but of course we cannot yet defend going out and investing in extra flights that we otherwise need to better serve our many passengers.”

He adds: “Occupancy on today’s first and last departures is usually between 90% and 100%, and we have now flown more than 29,000 passengers on the route. Of course we are proud of this, but it also shows there is a need for an extra plane and more departures.”

For now, at least, Rungholm and his colleagues will have to live with frustration and uncertainty about the future of the popular route. But “hopefully everything will be in place by Christmas, so we can start expanding and flying on,” he concludes.

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