It seems that pressure from multiple angles has forced SAS to suspend its Copenhagen to Bangkok route.
The route which has been running for over 63 years (and was SAS’s first destination in Asia) will be suspended from 7th April 2013 due to an airline it mentored – Thai Airways International and “Gulf Airlines” – and SAS cannot compete.
Thai Airways International offers direct links from Oslo and Stockholm and Copenhagen as opposed to SAS who ask that you change at Copenhagen for the long haul leg – a convenience to the customer.
Meanwhile, attacking from the other side are the “Gulf Carriers”, who have begun moving into Scandinavian cities, providing much cheaper fares for cost-conscious customers compared to SAS – even with the one-stops in Doha or Dubai.
SAS currently operates it Copenhagen to Bangkok with an Airbus A340-300. SAS will try and make some more money with this aircraft as it expands its USA flying programme when the plane commences a new service from Copenhagen to San Francisco service which is due to commence on 8th April 2013.
Other airlines are looking at the Bangkok route, with Air France downgrading its service from Paris-CDG to Bangkok, Air Berlin discontinuing its service and handing the route partially over to Etihad (Shuttling passengers to Abu Dhabi and Etihad shuttling to BKK), and even Lufthansa looking at its route to the area.
Certainly, it’s a challenging time in the industry – something that some airlines don’t want as they want to focus on trying to make money….