Two Swedish regional airlines, Skyways Express and Värmlandsflyg, are expanding their services in response to cuts by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).

Stockholm-based Skyways Express, part of Saab 340 leasing specialist Skyways Aviation, is increasing its Fokker 50 fleet from nine to 16 as it introduces four new Scandinavian destinations this week.

Skyways' chief financial officer Lars Ingman says that as SAS pulls off thin regional routes, there will be more opportunities for regional carriers. The airline also operates two Embraer ERJ-145s, but Ingman says that its first experiences of deploying the jet to major destinations from Gothenburg "did not leave the board with a very positive feeling towards further jet acquisition". The ERJs will eventually be deployed to northern Germany, he adds.

Skyways' 340 fleet will increase to 12 next year, when it adds three that are out on lease.

Fellow Swedish regional Värmlandsflyg is also expanding, with the lease of four Saab 340s (including two from Skyways Aviation) to launch five new routes - four in northern Sweden and its first international route to Palanga in Lithuania. Until now, Värmlandsflyg flew one Beech 1900D on a government-subsidised service in Arctic Sweden.

Source: Flight International