SAS undercut by two local LCCs

This week’s exclusive anna.aero farewatch examines fares for day return travel for the next two weeks between two of the three largest airports in Scandinavia, Stockholm Arlanda and Copenhagen. Flights were looked at with departures around 07:30 and returning home at around 19:30. Fares were examined for passengers at both ends of the route.

SAS operates 15 daily flights on weekdays whereas FlyNordic (now part of Norwegian) and Sterling each operate only two daily weekday flights. To compete more effectively FlyNordic and Sterling allow passengers to book with either airline. For a Stockholm-originating passenger FlyNordic offered the preferred schedule while for a Copenhagen-originating passenger Sterling offered the best schedule.

Logo: StirlingDespite Sterling and FlyNordic fares being in effect for the same flights, Sterling was consistently cheaper than its Stockholm-based rival in both directions regardless of who was actually operating the aircraft.

SAS was consistently two to three times more expensive than its low-cost competitors. Fares only fell significantly for SAS once bookings were made more than a week in advance.

By selecting mid-day off-peak departures a return trip with SAS requiring an overnight stay might work out cheaper than a day return flight with one of the LCCs. The value of time and cost of accommodation would then need to be factored into a traveller’s decision-making process. However, Sterling and FlyNordic also operated off-peak flights that were cheaper.

Chart: Day return fares
Source: Airline websites on Wednesday 12th September
Fares quoted in Euros converted from local Swedish Krona and Danish Krone
Green shaded period is Saturday/Sunday

SAS was consistently two to three times more expensive than its low-cost competitors – fares only fell significantly when bookings were made more than a week in advance.


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