Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

Despite a turbulent winter season in the air with multiple carriers canceling many routes, airlines are beginning to announce new routes for 2023 and beyond.

One of the most eye-catching of these is a new route from Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) between Copenhagen in Denmark and New York JFK. It will be the first time SAS aircraft have landed regularly at JFK for more than 30 years.

Launching on February 9, 2023, SAS will serve the route five times weekly, increasing the frequency to daily during the summer season. SAS will use JFK’s Terminal 7.

A surprising return to JFK

New SAS transatlantic routes had been expected given the airline’s purchase of Airbus A321LR aircraft that enable lower capacity routes—such as Copenhagen to Boston and Washington—to be operated profitably. But this specific route was something of a surprise.

That’s because SAS already operates regular flights to Newark from Copenhagen but also from the other Scandinavian capitals Stockholm and Oslo. Upon the launch of the Copenhagen-JFK route, SAS will continue to fly to Newark from all three of the major Scandinavian airports.

Yet despite this, there is some sense in the new route. It will give Scandinavian travelers more choice and flexibility. More importantly, it will improve the connections available throughout the U.S. to Star Alliance carriers Alaska Airlines and United.

While United recently moved out of Terminal 7, it called the move “temporary” which suggests a return to create a mini Star Alliance hub with SAS and Alaska could be in the works. Several other international Star Alliance members fly into other terminals at JFK.

Should easy connections with United and Alaska be possible, Star Alliance travelers who prefer JFK will have an alternative to Sky Team’s JFK-Copenhagen route operated by Delta.

The Copenhagen-JFK schedule

The new SAS route will depart from Copenhagen on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 6.25pm, arriving at JFK at 9.30pm. From JFK, the return service will depart after a quick turnaround at 11pm, arriving in Copenhagen at 12.55pm the following day. Times will be slightly adjusted once the service becomes daily during the summer season.

SAS has not announced which aircraft will be used on the new route. However, the airline’s investment in the Airbus A321LR means more U.S. routes are surely on the horizon.

“The U.S. is a strategic market for SAS, and we will continue to develop new routes and destinations whenever the right opportunity presents itself,” confirmed Erik Westman, EVP & CCO, Network and Revenue management at SAS.

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