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SAS Suspends Hong Kong Route Indefinitely

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According to the Norwegian media E24, SAS is closing its route to Hong Kong due to continuous lower than expected demand & ticketing revenue, and this lack of financial viability has been worsened by Covid-19. With the current situation around the global corona pandemic in which the demand for air travel become non-existent, SAS has decided to suspend the route to Hong Kong. The route was relocated to Copenhagen Airport from Stockholm before due to low profitability.
SAS A330 @ HKG
SAS A330 @ HKG George Lau

With the spread of the pandemic, it has a huge impact on the tourism industry, and it has a fatal blow on the aviation industry. Faced with a large deficit every day, airlines have to take some extreme cost reduction measures to maintain continued operations. Now it seems that SAS’s Hong Kong route may be one of the routes that will not return after the crisis. The demand for the route was already lower than expected earlier this year and this was reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the current situation, […] ‘where demand for flights is non-existent’ […], SAS has decided to suspend the route to Hong Kong indefinitely.

SAS Business Cabin A350 Press Image
SAS A350 Business Cabin

On January 30, SAS announced the first cancellations of its long-haul operations to mainland China (Beijing and Shanghai) until March 29, but flights to Hong Kong was operating as normal. The outlook for the Hong Kong route for the rest of the year was be affected by the continuous evolution of the Covid-19 virus, which resulted in 90% of SAS’s workforce being furloughed.

SAS Fleet Grounded Picture From Nettavisen
SAS Fleet Grounded Picture From Nettavisen

The SAS route to Hong Kong was initially launched in September 2015 after the heavy restructuring in 2012 pressured by its owners and banks. At that time the route was operated between Stockholm and Hong Kong at an unattractive slots pair which makes it difficult to attract business passengers.

In April 2018, with the introduction of the new Swedish aviation tax, it became clear that SAS would have to move the Hong Kong route to Copenhagen in an attempt to optimise expenditure and profitability. The move from Stockholm took place from the winter program 2018 and changes were also made to the slot times to better prepare the route for better earnings as SAS was planning to fly the route with their newly received A350s later.

SAS New Livery, Courtesy Of SAS
SAS New Livery

The social unrest in Hong Kong last year put a financial strain on the route and the outbreak of the corona virus quickly put further pressure on the route before all SAS long-distance routes were canceled, as of now the industry is expecting demand not to come back to pre-covid-19 levels for at least two years, and SAS would use this route cut to clear out capacity to phase out their A340s fleet earlier than expected.

For passengers already booked on flights with SAS to Hong Kong, they have been notified via email that they will be rerouted via their remaining destinations from Shanghai and Beijing onward through its partners Air China and China Eastern.


SAS B767-300s

All of SAS’s long-haul flights were flown by B763s for a brief period of time in history. From 1993 until late 2001, when SAS received their first A340, B763s were the only long-haul aircraft in their fleet, SAS’s intercontinental route network had shrunk significantly from the era between 1970s-1980s. By the early 1990s, all service to South America and Africa had been discontinued, leaving a relative handful of intercontinental destinations on their route map, serving only North America and Asia. 

SAS B767-300 LN-RCD @ HKG In 1995 by Andrew Hunt

Albert K. Field Albert is my name, and travel the world is my game. I began my passion for travel at a very young age, I started this website as a strong means to further explore the world of frequent flyers programs (FFP). The relationship between customers and service providers in the aviation and hospitality industry always seems to be in opposition, however, since the introduction of United Airlines’ Frequent Flyers Programm since 1972*. This has significantly eased the middle spectrum between 2 parties. While the aim of airlines is still to generate more revenue; but for us,as consumers, are also given the opportunity to participate in the bargaining and exploiting from service providers. Living in a world of globalization where big data becomes vital for simulating successful economical activities, most of us will have to travel to other locations whether willingly or unwillingly, while you hearing all this fascinating stories about others, In fact, you too, can blend into the trend. It may not sound like how media illustrates, but indeed there are possibilities for us to have more spontaneous travel without getting held back by financial situation. My website consists of reviews of airline premium cabin products,airport lounges and stay reports of 5-star hotels and their executive lounges across the globe. In addition to all of that, I care the most about their frequent flyers program and loyalty program, which also includes banking partners. Plus, I spontaneously put up reviews and news update regarding premium water brands and restaurants. The purpose of this website is to share all of this information with my audience as well as inviting you to be part of my journey.

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Route Network

Emirates Restores Passenger Services To 7 More Cities, Allow Transit Between 48 Cities

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Emirates Boeing 777-300er
According to a statement from the Dubai Tourism Board, from July 7, Dubai will allow foreign tourists to enter, and foreign residents holding a Dubai residence visa will be able to enter the country today.
Emirates will be offering scheduled flights for passengers from seven additional cities in the month of July. This will add the total number of destinations that Emirates is offering to 48.

According to Emirates, from July 15, the Emirates A380 will return to the sky and fly to London Heathrow Airport and Paris. No airline in the world is as closely linked to the A380 as Emirates. Before the outbreak, Emirates operated 8 A380 flights daily on the Dubai-London Heathrow route alone.

Other airlines only operate a few A380s, but Emirates’ A380 fleet exceeds 100. In January of this year, Emirates was operating a total of 123 A380s.


Added DestinationDate Of Resumption
Khartoum
from 03 July
Amman
from 05 July
Osakafrom 07 July
Naritafrom 08 July
Athensfrom 15 July
Larnaca
from 15 July
Romefrom 15 July

Emirates will be offering scheduled flights for passengers from the above seven additional cities in the month of July.

Passengers can now transit from Emirates’ network of 48 destinations through Dubai airport following the announcement that the city will be open for business and leisure visitors from 07 July, with new air travel protocols that facilitate travel for UAE citizens, residents and tourists while safeguarding the health and safety of visitors and communities.

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Delta Air Lines Returns To Shanghai On June 25, First U.S. Airline Resume Flights To China

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Delta A350 Take Off In Toulouse
Delta Air Lines announced today that it will resume the Seattle-Shanghai Pudong route on June 25, the route will have a stopover at Seoul Incheon Airport and the route is operated twice a week.
From July onwards, Delta Air Lines will resume the Seattle-Shanghai Pudong and Detroit-Shanghai Pudong routes, which will also have a stopover at Incheon Airport and each route is to be operated once a week.
Since the suspension of Sino-US routes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in February this year, Delta Air Lines is the first American airline to resume Sino-US routes.
At present, several Chinese airlines have announced flight schedules to the United States for July, including Air China’s route between Beijing and Los Angeles, China Southern Airlines’ route between Guangzhou and Los Angeles, and China Eastern Airlines’ Shanghai-New York route etc.

Shanghai neon city
Shanghai neon city, Nanjing Road

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in China at the end of January, Delta Air Lines announced on January 31 that it will suspend all scheduled passenger flights to China. The flight suspension was extended at the end of April and it has continued till this day. However, as China’s domestic pandemic situation is controlled, the market demand for flights from the United States to China has increased significantly. The situation coincided with the China Civil Aviation Administration’s targeted strict restrictions imposed on the Sino-US routes as an effort to cooperate with the overall national pandemic prevention strategy.


Delta Cargo Flights To Asia
Delta Cargo Flights To Asia, Image by James Jones

After several rounds of “confrontation” between the relevant departments of the two countries, the current weekly flight volume is set at the scale of four flights each week between China and the United States, and American airlines have finally been approved to reopen Chinese routes.

According to the press statement released by Delta Air Lines, the Shanghai-Seattle route will be operated by the Airbus A350-900 aircraft, and Delta Air Lines is committed to providing clean and safe travel services for passengers.


“We are excited to resume our services between the U.S. and China, as economic and social activities start to recover, with a mission to connect the world, Delta is committed to getting our customers to their destinations safely and confidently, especially at this critical time. We are implementing unprecedented health and safety measures and practices, so customers are assured of ease and safety at all points of their journey.”

Wong Hong, Delta’s President – Greater China and Singapore

Delta Air Lines schedule for June, July and beyond:
RouteFlightDepartureArrivalOperating DaysFleet
SEA-ICN-PVG28723:304:45June 25-26 A350
PVG-ICN-SEA2889:157:15June 27-28 A350

Passenger service (June 25 – 30)
RouteFlightDepartureArrivalOperating DaysFleet*
SEA-ICN-PVG28723:304:45ThursdaysA350
PVG-ICN-SEA2889:157:15SaturdaysA350

Passenger service (July 1 – Oct. 24)
*Note: Transitions to A330-900 starting August 1.

RouteFlightDepartureArrivalOperating DaysFleet
DTW-ICN-PVG28319:0000:15FridaysA350
PVG-ICN-DTW2844:458:20SundaysA350

Passenger service (July 1 – Oct. 24)

In addition to Delta Air Lines, another U.S. carrier, United Airlines, has also been approved to resume scheduled passenger flights in China, and it should soon announce its latest related flight plans.

On June 19, the US Department of Transportation rejected China’s application for further increase in the number of weekly flights and insisted on maintaining the current plan for 4 flights each.

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