Oslo seeks more Asian flights

New management at Gardermoen aims to regain initiative
New management at Oslo Gardermoen Airport wants to regain the initiative in the recent boom in incoming travel from Asia, CAPA reports.
Of the region’s four main hubs, Helsinki has maintained the biggest number of Asian destinations over the last decade, together with expansion at Finnair. Norway, on the other hand, is the largest western European country without a flight to China, and its only destination in Asia is Bangkok from Thai Airways and Norwegian.
Yet Norway has strong businesses, a wealthy population for outbound travel and untapped year-round tourism potential, from the fjords in summer to the Northern Lights in winter.
Oslo airport’s new management is considering foreign airlines, due to SAS’s low growth and bias towards Copenhagen, as well as Norwegian’s focus on the USA and failure to access Russian overflight rights.
CAPA speculates which long-haul airlines in Asia could launch flights to Oslo. But the outlook for OSL could be to balance medium-term Asian airline growth while preserving long-term opportunities for Norwegian.
“With only one Asian destination, and not a Chinese one at that, Oslo Airport and broader Norwegian tourism have clearly missed opportunities over the years. New management is right to regain the initiative, although they do so in a more crowded space than previously,” CAPA writes.
“With SAS largely absent from Oslo and Norwegian unable to grow to Asia, Oslo may appear to have the straightforward task of seeking foreign airlines. Inevitably Norwegian will one day be able to grow to Asia, and Oslo will want to ensure there are opportunities for it.”

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