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SAS increases services to the US on the 50th anniversary of the Chicago route

April 2, 2014 08:00

SAS was the first airline to fly over the North Pole to the US West Coast in 1954. Ten years later, SAS also began flying to the US Midwest and is now celebrating 50 years of service between Copenhagen and Chicago. In 2014, SAS is continuing to increase its traffic, adding five weekly departures and a new route to the USA. In doing so SAS is cementing its position as Scandinavia’s biggest and most capable airline for travel to the United States.On April 2, 1964, SAS launched the route to Chicago with the maiden flight from Copenhagen. Captain Jens Mueller flew passengers and crew in a DC-8-33 to Chicago via Montreal, sowing the seeds for a successful route, which has since been operated by aircraft including the DC-10, Boeing 767 and Airbus 330/340. More than 3 million people have flown this route with SAS, and today the airline flies directly from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Chicago.

“SAS is seeing a steady growth in demand for travel to the USA – and the reverse route from the US to Scandinavia, not least from Chicago, is also proving a success. That’s no real surprise either, as SAS is the airline with the most destinations and flights to the US from Scandinavia. Now we are adding even more departures, to the delight of customers throughout Scandinavia, who use SAS and our services to make traveling easy and comfortable,” says Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS.

Increasing US flights
SAS offers a direct route between Copenhagen and Chicago with one flight a day every day of the week. This will now also apply to the route to San Francisco, which is getting an extra departure on Tuesday, making it a daily service as of June 10.

“It is exactly one year since we launched the San Francisco route, and we have never before seen a route be so successful right from the off. We now have the opportunity to use our aircraft to add another departure, which we are sure will please our customers,” says Rickard Gustafson.

SAS currently flies from Stockholm to Chicago every day in the summer and five times a week in winter. SAS is adding another winter departure to Chicago from Stockholm, which will also be getting an extra flight to New York. SAS is also adding two more departures a week on the Oslo-New York route in winter. Oslo-New York operates daily in the summer.

SAS has also just announced the opening of a new route between Stavanger and Houston.

Details of the expansion of US services

· Copenhagen-San Francisco: From June 10 to October 25, 7 departures per week (Tuesday has been added)
· Stockholm Chicago: Daily departures in the summer. On the winter timetable (from end of October) 6 departures per week (Thursday has been added)
· Stockholm-New York: Daily departures in the summer. On the winter timetable (from end of October) 6 departures per week (Friday has been added)
· Oslo-New York: Daily departures in the summer. On the winter timetable (from end of October) 6 departures per week (Tuesday and Wednesday have been added)
· Stavanger-Houston: From 20 August with 6 departures per week (except Saturday)

Facts about Chicago

· Maiden flight: April 2, 1964 at 12.30pm
· Aircraft: DC-8-33, the plane was called Rurik Viking
· In the launch year of 1964, a first-class ticket cost NOK 6,207 and a tourist class ticket cost NOK 2,047.
· Today, a ticket in Business class costs from DKK 21,749, in Plus costs DKK 15,249 and in Go DKK 4,499.
· SAS has flown more than 3 million passengers between Copenhagen and Chicago.
· Top 5 onward connections from Chicago: San Francisco, LA, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego

For more information, please contact:
Henrik Edström, SAS Press Office
Tel: +46 70 997 25 42
E-mail: henrik.edstrom@sas.seSAS is Scandinavia’s leading airline with daily flights to destinations in Europe, USA and Asia. SAS is a member of Star Alliance™ ( and, together with 27 partners, we offer 1300 destinations worldwide in 193 countries. For more information, visit

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