Air traffic is an important means of transportation in all the Nordic countries. Long distances, not a lot of road connections to the rest of continental Europe and the world, as the Nordics are surrounded mainly by sea, predestinated the vast Scandinavian region (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland) for air travel.
The leading airlines are Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Icelandair, which belongs to the Icelandair Group. All the companies are based in Scandinavia. Other minor airlines are the Norwegian airline Widerøe, the Icelandic airline WOW Air, as well as Sweden’s Novair and TUIfly Nordic and the Denmark-based Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia. Atlantic Airways, which are based on the Faroe Islands, and Air Greenland also operate in Scandinavia.
The perhaps best-known airline in Scandinavia is Scandinavian Airlines, widely referred to as SAS. The Swedish, Danish and Norwegian governments each hold major shares in the company, which has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. The main hubs of Scandinavian Airlines are the airports of Stockholm-Arlanda, Copenhagen-Kastrup and Oslo-Gardermoen. The airline operates domestic flights within Sweden, Denmark and Norway, as well as international flights within Europe, to North America, the Middle East and Asia.
Scandinavian Airlines is a member of Star Alliance, one of the world's largest global airline alliances. With its nearly 800 daily departures, SAS served more than 115 destinations around the globe in 2015/2016. In that period, a fleet of 156 aircrafts transported more than 29 million passengers. And with a market share of 31 percent, SAS is one of the leading airlines operating flights to, from and within Scandinavia.
Passenger transportation accounted for the greatest share of SAS’s revenue, which amounted to approximately 39.5 billion Swedish kronor in 2016.
Norwegian Air Shuttle
Norwegian, as the name shows, is a Norway-based low-cost airline and one of the most profitable airlines in Scandinavia. The headquarters are located in Fornebu, Norway. In addition to Norway, the airline has several bases for its operations in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, the United States, Italy and the French Caribbean.
Around 130 destinations are served by Norwegian on 472 routes around the globe. Most of the company’s revenue is generated by international flights to destinations in Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East, Thailand, the Caribbean and the United States. Those destinations are reached with the airlines’ 118 aircrafts.
Most of the 29 million passengers taking advantage of the low-cost transportation service of Norwegian are Norwegians themselves, but Swedish and Spanish travelers also book flights with the airline. More than 70 percent of them purchase their tickets online.
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