SAS’s Irish subsidiary will be operational by November this year. New routes will fly between the UK, Spain and Norway, reported the Irish Times newspaper.
‘The first route will go from London Heathrow to Scandinavia. We are also looking at holiday trips to Spain’, said Mikael Wångdahl to the Irish Times.
A new Irish Aviation Certificate (AOC) should make it possible for SAS to establish two bases, one in London and the other in Spain. SAS aims to have the Irish company in operation from the 1st of November, 2017.
The company stated in early February that only a minority of departures that will be moved to the new bases. The new operations will mainly revolve around routes to holiday destinations where SAS faces stiff competition from budget airlines.
The creation of the bases will make it possible to employ staff on terms that incur lower costs for the company. Also, in connection with the submission of financial statements in December, SAS aired the possibility of flying out parts of their fleets to other countries.
SAS has already begun the hiring process, and around 40 employees will have their workplace in Ireland from the new operation’s inception. Later this year, the company will hire pilots and cabin crew.
Other airlines already operate 37 routes for SAS under a lease. The plan has been that the new bases will be in place by next winter season, a goal it now appears the company is able to achieve.
Competitor airline, Norwegian, already created an Irish subsidiary three years ago for long-haul flights.
Recently the company announced that it will start 24 new transatlantic routes from Irish airports. Wångdahl stressed that the decision to establish operations in Ireland does not have anything to do with Norwegian Airlines’ routes or activities.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today