SAS Launching 737 Flights Between Boston And Copenhagen

SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) has announced some impressive international expansion lately. In 2016 they’ll be growing their US route network by adding flights from Stockholm to Los Angeles and from Oslo and Copenhagen to Miami. This nicely complements their existing flights to Chicago, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington.

Since 2014, SAS has also operated an all business class flight between Houston and Stavanger, Norway. The flight has been operated by a 737, though is being discontinued this month due to “reduced activity in the oil industry.”

PrivatAir-737

Instead SAS will be using that plane to add a second daily flight between Newark and Copenhagen, which will be operated by that same all business class 737. That new flight launches on October 25, 2015, though it looks like it will only last through the winter season.

SAS has other plans for that plane, apparently. SAS will be launching daily flights between Boston and Copenhagen as of March 29, 2016. The flight will be operated by a Privatair 737 with the following schedule:

SK927 Copenhagen to Boston departing 12:50PM arriving 3:20PM
SK928 Boston to Copenhagen departing 5:30PM arriving 7:00AM (+1 day)

SAS-Plus-Europe-01

At ~3,700 miles, the flight is blocked at 7hr30min eastbound, and 8hr30min westbound.

BOSCPH

Rather than having just 44 seats, the 737-700 will be see a reduced business class cabin and the addition of an economy cabin, for a total of 86 seats. The plane will consist of 20 business class seats and 66 economy class seats.

SAS-737

That seems like a smart idea, given that presumably there’s not demand for that many business class seats every day, so the economy seats will be easier to fill and decrease the downside potential of the flight.

Do keep in mind that this 737-700 features angled flat seats in business class, which aren’t anywhere close to as good as SAS’ new business class product. Furthermore, I couldn’t imagine voluntarily flying a 737 in economy on a transatlantic flight.

Bottom line

Kudos to SAS on what I think is a really smart use of a PrivatAir 737. While the Stavanger to Houston route was unique, there was simply no way that was going to be sustainable long term. Boston to Copenhagen seems like a much more appropriate market for a 737, and by reconfiguring the plane with an economy cabin, there’s a good chance they can actually make the route profitable.

What do you make of SAS’ new route between Boston and Copenhagen? Would you take it if convenient, or avoid it because it’s a 737?

(Tip of the hat to Peter)

Comments

  1. I do not like this trend of narrowbodies over the Atlantic. We have charters doing YHZ-CDG, YYZ-KEF, etc. Scheduled low cost carriers going YYT-DUB, etc. Now legacy carriers? Plus, Norwegian is going to do Caribbean-US. At this rate, the only business reward seats in a few years will be on narrowbodies to get across the Atlantic.

  2. @Paul When Norwegian get their hands on the 737MAX they will start even more narrowbody flights to the US using those.

    Personally I was close to trying the SAS B737 across the Atlantic (IAH-SVG) but decided to cancel the award ticket and go for LH F instead. I am sad that I did not get to try it. If you are in Norway now, there is an incredible sale on the route, going for as low as 800 USD on certain dates for a roundtrip SVG-IAH-SVG (for example next weekend).

  3. Shouldn’t there be loads of J availability on the EWR run with that many seats? I see no space during the Christmas holidays.

  4. With almost 25% of the seats being in C (albeit C-), do you anticipate decent award availability?

    And as far as the number of narrowbodies increasing, at least is may tend to make some markets, e.g. BOS-CPH more viable.

  5. Well, do you want the service, or none at all? That’s really the choice whether to fly the narrowbody route or connect somewhere else to board a widebody. Given a choice, I’ll always opt for the most direct routing, unless the most direct routing is on a ULCC. Being Maine-based, I’ll take additional BOS international service in any form – it’s really been cool to see that growth happen over the last few years.

  6. While I’d rather have a widebody on a longer flight, it’s not a major difference, especially in economy, and I’d rather have a direct flight over a connection. I was a huge fan of Continental’s old EWR-BRS service, since I renting a car and going to the Devon coast. I’d have a shorter drive once I got to England, and (even better) avoid Heathrow.

  7. How is SAS retrofit going? I am closely looking into an award from Europe to USA and the SAS schedule would be perfect.

  8. Hey @Lucky, do you know the pitch in Eco? Is it standard 31/32″ (would be killer for that flight), or can we expect more space/legroom? I fly a lot to SFO on 737, and it is painful 🙁

  9. Furthermore, I couldn’t imagine voluntarily flying a 737 in economy on a transatlantic flight.

    FTFY.

    😀

    Also… I don’t see a lot of difference between a 6 across 737 in economy, a 6 across 757 in economy, a 9 across 787 in economy, and a 10 across 77W in economy (all of which are ways you can get across the ditch today as we speak). They’re all going to be cramped for a lot of people.

  10. @No Name

    What is the likelihood getting the new biz on the CPH – EWR on July/August 2016? Deciding between SAS on an excellent route (time wise) or Turkish on a messy route…

  11. @PH

    I would say very good, most flights CPH-EWR is A330 already unless a plane goes tech. Flightaware has 1 A343 rotation since Sep27.

    The SK A343’s is mostly used on longer flights like to the US West Coast. 4 of 8 A343 should have new J by end of Jan 2016, and it looks like 3 more might be update also. But no time frame on that.

    Plus SK is getting 2 new A330 by May 2016.

    By time you are flying SK should have 16 wide bodies in their fleet. With a minimum of 12 of them having new J, and a bit of luck possibly 15 out of 16.

    The last A343 LN-RKP is a ex-Lan bird that mostly does CPH-ORD and will probably soldier on until the first A350 shows up. And the J seats on this bird are much better than on the other A343.

  12. I will be doing my third MR and last, on this flight on next Saturday, October 17th.
    I have done this three times this year, only based on milage accrual.
    I am, on behalf on SAS very sorry that this did not work out.
    However putting this aircraft on the CPH-BOS with a configuration of 20/66 – our main target is business travelers
    OMG.

  13. Once BOS – CPH starts, will it be the longest 737 flight in operation (since Houston – Stavanger will have been discontinued)?

  14. @Michael C

    No, the new SK flight will end up in 3.

    NH 829 Tokyo Narita to Mumbai on the ANA 737-700ER will be the longest at 4,223 miles and 09 hr 35 min

    Number 2 would be a Privateair flight on a 738 based BBJ2 FRA-Pune at 4,159 miles and 08 hr 15 min

    What all 3 top flights have in common is that they are not normal 737’s, but Boeing Business Jets or with the same mods.

    Longest normal 737 is still Copa Montevideo to Panama City at 3,385 miles and 07 hr 30 min.

    There is a good number of 3000 miles plus and around 7 hours flights around the world.

    Norwegian for one runs a number these long flights from northern Scandinavian cities to the Canaries islands and OSL-DXB in winter with their standard 738 with 186 seats.

    Same with various charter operators in Europe.

  15. @BOS_Flyer

    Have seen a claim online that SK said it would be a pitch of 34 in Y during a press briefing, but no guaranties on that.

    Personally I would considered the seat width just as much a problem on flight of this length.

  16. @No Name

    Thank you so much, will probably pull the trigger tomorrow on the SAS flight, will have half a day more in my destination and with a superb route and good connection time. I love TK and its lounge and that’s why it is difficult for me, but it is a day flight and I should also focus one the destination itself.

  17. The SAS press release says this is targeted at business travel so here’s hoping for a little more legroom in the back. The economy seat is the same width as a 777 in 10 abreast, but SAS’s other flights are 330/340 with wider seats so you lose out there. Window seats will be less comfortable due to the curvature of the cabin, especially at the feet. Unfortunately the PrivateAir interior seems a bit dated with angle lie flat in business and older style overhead bins (likely with extensions.) The BBJ version of the 737 is supposed to be more highly pressurized. If modern tilt out bins, new sidewalls and updated seats were added the product would be competitive – but I don’t see that happening. Hopefully the economy seats are comfortably padded, no clue what PrivateAir has in the back of their warehouse.

    The 737-700ER has been out there a while and could have taken over a lot of long and thin routes, but the economics must not be there (or the risk not worth taking.) PrivateAir at least offers the opportunity to test the waters, just a shame the onboard product is middling. I think to really test the concept there would be a need to have a true-lay flat option for business, the option for an international grade premium economy, an IFE system and maybe pivot bins similar to what Delta is retrofitting onto it’s A319/320 (there is a 737 version) just to up the sense of space. Then it would be a more 1-to-1 comparison and a true test of the model for legacy, full service operators. As for the LCC’s time will tell, Norwegian has already said they are considering it when he MAX’s come, we will have to see if the BOS-Cork route works out next year as they test the concept.

  18. Flying this later in June. Could anyone tell me whether there are plugs and/or wifi in economy? When you say bad, how bad 🙂

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