Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced Monday it would drop Tel Aviv from its available destinations, alongside Moscow and Ankara.
Airline representatives said Israel was left out of its route map because the company wanted to focus on opening new lines to new destinations in Europe and farther - like Copenhagen-Boston, an American destination to which El Al recently opened a direct route.
SAS has been operating direct, weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Copenhagen since June 2012 and will close the routs at the end of March 2016.
An airline spokesperson in Israel said that despite the success of the route - and its growth by 41% in 2014 and some 25% in July 2015 - the company was forced to cancel the route during the summer schedule due to technical difficulties, relating to the availability of medium-range planes during the upcoming summer and the high expenses of flight crews for the evening flights as scheduled for Tel Aviv.
The flights departed at 10:45 pm from Copenhagen, landed in Tel Aviv in the early morning hours, and then returned to their base. “That is why,” said a company spokesperson, “as of summer 2015 - despite the growth in demand - the company was forced to reduce the frequency of the red-eye flights from Tel Aviv to Copenhagen. The matter was solved for winter 2015-2016, as the route’s hours were changed to daytime. But that same move will not work for the schedule of summer 2016.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 20, 2015
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015