Stockholm Arlanda airport is set to add up to a dozen more long- haul routes as Asian airlines take advantage of more direct routeings to North American destinations, as well as Sweden’s liberal fifth-freedom regime.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) started services via the Swedish capital to New York Newark airport in November, replacing its previous stop-over of Dubai, with a saving of almost 1,000km (540nm). The Swedish government granted the carrier full fifth-freedom rights and around one-third of the traffic is Swedes visiting the USA.

The airport attended last week’s Routes scheduling forum in Copenhagen to convince other Asian carriers to route via the city, with the opening of Russian northern airspace making direct routeings possible for the first time, says Mats Rodgerson, route development manager for Stockholm Arlanda. “We are perfectly positioned for flights from South-East Asia to the East Coast of the USA,” he says. The airport says it is in talks with airlines for around 30 new routes, with around 12 considered likely. Many carriers want to add a second US city to their networks and to use a smaller aircraft, says Rodgerson. The combination of a reduced flying time and picking up additional passengers makes the proposal economically feasible, he adds.

The airport is hoping to attract Emirates with a route to San Francisco via the city and similarly Japan Airlines to Paris, also in a virtually direct routing over the North Pole. MAS is also considering services to Miami, it says.

The airport is also offering an incentive package with a 96% reduction in passenger fees and half-price landing fees in the first year of any route in a bid to rival Copenhagen as Scandinavia’s intercontinental hub.


Source: Flight International