Energy executives on business travel to and from Houston, Texas, and Norway can use Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) beginning August 20. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the carrier recently announced it will offer nonstop service between Houston and Stavanger, Norway, on a 44-seat Boeing 737 aircraft.
The flight was developed with oil and gas executives – who have business interests in coastal Norway and Houston – in mind. Houston is often though of as the “energy capital of the world,” the source reported.
“The route we have established is a tailored product for a defined market with particular travel needs,” Rickard Gustafson, president and chief executive officer of SAS, said in a statement. “The favorable timetable provides excellent connections throughout Scandinavia in both directions, while Houston is a hub for connections to the south and west such as Mexico, Los Angeles, Dallas and Phoenix with the Star Alliance.”
Round-trip fares are expected to cost approximately $4,991 for the 10 to 11 hour flights. Trips will also be offered daily through charter carrier PrivatAir on every day except Saturday and travelers will ride in standard business class seats. Bloomberg Businessweek reported there are only 11 rows on the plane.
Passengers will enjoy in-flight amenities including iPads loaded with movies, three-course meals, champagne and warm bread.
SAS transports 70,000 people per year between Houston and Scandinavia. The carrier surveyed 424 companies in or near Stavanger and results showed that Houston was the top request for new service. According to Bloomberg, 44 percent of companies wanted to send employees there.
According to the source, the first carrier to offer such all-business services was Lufthansa when it began trans-Atlantic flights between Dusseldorf and Newark, New Jersey, 12 years ago. Currently, British Airways also offers an all-business class service on an Airbus A318 with 32 seats between New York – JFK and London City Airport. On the return flight for this trip the plane stops in Ireland to refuel and clear U.S. customs so passengers are not subject to waiting in immigration queues upon landing in New York.