ROUTES: Copenhagen airport highlights health of Northern Europe economy

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“Europe is not dying” is the message that Copenhagen airport wants to shout the loudest at Routes.

“We have to do something about the perception that all of Europe is in trouble,” says Ole Christensen, the airport’s director of airline sales and route development. He stresses that the economies of many Northern European countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway are performing well.

“We’re trying to give this message to airlines in Asia and North America,” he says. Carriers from those continents are targets for Copenhagen at the show, with South Korea and India at the top of the list.

“India is a black spot in our route network and is certainly a target market,” says Christensen. He adds that “traffic to South Korea has exploded” and that many South Koreans are travelling to Scandinavia for business purposes.

Another hot topic for Copenhagen is what Norwegian Air Shuttle will do with the seven Boeing 787-8s it has on order. The airport’s head of media relations, Soren Nielsen, says the airport is hoping for an answer about the airline’s intentions soon, although he believes the first aircraft delivered will be used to develop long-haul destinations from Oslo in Norway.

“We have 24 intercontinental routes out of Copenhagen, Oslo has five,” he says, but hopes that with Copenhagen enjoying the most transfer traffic out of any of the airports in the Scandinavian region, Norwegian will decide to use some of the new aircraft to develop routes from the airport.

Copenhagen is also looking for more short-haul routes to feed into its long-haul destinations. Christensen says northern Germany is a market where it would be looking to open another short-haul service.