SAS pilots demand non-stop flights

Pilots agree with passengers to fight Norwegian

In what appears to be a first for SAS, its own pilots are asking their management to increase the number of non-stop intercontinental flights to and from Oslo.

Passengers from Norway have long complained at having to change planes in Copenhagen or elsewhere. Now SAS’s own pilots are agreeing with them. They have told the newspaper Aftenposten that SAS risks abandoning more intercontinental market share to low-cost rival Norwegian.

SAS currently offers only one intercontinental non-stop flight from Oslo, to New York’s Newark airport. Norwegian has three, to Bangkok, New York JFK and Fort Lauderdale in Florida, with new routes due to launch in spring to Orlando, Los Angeles and Oakland.

“It’s clearly wrong that Norwegian SAS passengers have to first travel south (to Copenhagen, for example, or Frankfurt, Amsterdam or London on other carriers), the wrong way, only to fly over Norway again three to four hours later to get to the US,” Jens Lippestad, chairman of the Norske SAS-Flyveres Forening union, told Aftenposten.

[photo courtesy SAS]