Scandinavian Airlines Ireland Ltd.
IATA ICAO Callsign
SL SZS SPINNAKER
Founded2017
Commenced operations20 September 2017
Operating basesLondon–Heathrow
Frequent-flyer programEuroBonus
AllianceStar Alliance (affiliate)
Fleet size6
Destinations5
Parent companySAS Group
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland

Scandinavian Airlines Connect Ltd, also known as SAS Ireland or SAIL, is an Irish subsidiary of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), and by extension SAS Group. The airline exclusively operates flights on behalf of SAS with a fleet of Airbus A320neo aircraft, which operate between Scandinavia and its base at London Heathrow.

History

SAS set up its Ireland-based subsidiary in early 2017 and expected it to be operational by 1 November 2017. Initially, the airline was expected to be equipped with nine brand new Airbus A320neo; five aircraft to commence flights out of London Heathrow, and later from Málaga in spring 2018, with the remaining four aircraft on behalf of its parent company.[1]

SAS' intention was to replace its own aircraft with cheaper ones crewed and based outside Scandinavia to compete better with other airlines.[2] The airline did not intend to employ its own staff, which was instead carried out by CAE, an aviation recruitment firm. CAE subsequently began the employment of the back end personnel in 2017.[3]

The Swedish Pilots Union expressed its dissatisfaction with the operational structure of the new airline, suggesting it violates the current labour-agreements. The union also lamented the lack of coverage in Scandinavian media.[4] The Swedish Cabin Crew Union also condemned the new venture and stated that SAS established the airline to "not pay decent salaries" to cabin crew.[5] Jonas Sjöstedt, the leader of the Swedish Left Party told a newspaper that the government of Sweden would have to stop the establishment of the new airline, but the Swedish minister for enterprise, Mikael Damberg told the same paper that "it is not an issue for the owner if the company decides to open bases abroad".[6]

Citing delivery delays, SAS Ireland had to delay its launch until December 2017.[7] The first revenue flight took place on 20 December 2017 from Copenhagen to London Heathrow.[8]

In the summer of 2018, many flights intended to be operated by SAS Ireland were either cancelled or operated by the parent. At the same time, 26 pilots at SAS Ireland sent a letter to the corporate governance at SAS Group criticizing working conditions and safety levels. The chief instructor at SAS Ireland resigned after being criticized for having safety standards which were too high. During the brief period that the airline had been operating, they experienced the leave of a number of pilots with most of the ones that were still employed were actively looking for new employment.[9]

In April 2020, SAS Ireland announced the closure of its Málaga base.[10]

In May 2021, it was announced that SAS Ireland would set up a base in Copenhagen, initially operating a fleet of 3-5 A320neo aircraft. SAS and the Danish union FPU (a part of the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions or FH) have signed a new collective bargaining agreement for pilots and cabin crew.[11]

In September 2021, SAS announced that SAS Ireland will change name to SAS Connect.

Destinations

Main article: List of Scandinavian Airlines destinations

SAS Ireland operates or has previously operated to the following destinations as of May 2021:

Country City Airport Notes Ref
Denmark Copenhagen Copenhagen Airport
Norway Oslo Oslo Airport, Gardermoen
Spain Málaga Málaga Airport Base
Terminated
[10]
Sweden Sälen Scandinavian Mountains Airport Seasonal
Stockholm Stockholm Arlanda Airport
United Kingdom London Heathrow Airport Base

Fleet

SAS Ireland Airbus A320neo
SAS Ireland Airbus A320neo

The SAS Ireland fleet consists of the following aircraft as of February 2021:[12]

Scandinavian Airlines Ireland fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y M Total
Airbus A320neo 9 11 180 180 Operating for Scandinavian Airlines.
Total 9 11

References

  1. ^ O'Halloran, Barry (28 February 2017). "SAS Irish subsidiary to begin flights in November". The Irish Times. Dublin. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  2. ^ Sumers, Brian (14 June 2017). "Why Scandinavia's SAS Is Creating a New Airline With the Same Name in Ireland". Skift. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  3. ^ Burke-Kennedy, Eoin (7 May 2017). "Aviation recruitment firm creates 80 new jobs as part of Irish expansion". The Irish Times. Dublin. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Facket om nya SAS-bolaget". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Stockholm: Schibsted Media Group. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  5. ^ "SAS ger personalen usla villkor". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Stockholm: Schibsted Media Group. 23 November 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Kräver stopp för SAS planer" [Halt called for SAS plans]. Helsingborgs Dagblad (in Swedish). Bonnier Group. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  7. ^ Dwyer, Mark (19 October 2017). "Scandinavian Airlines Ireland Delays Launch". flyinginireland.com. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  8. ^ Dron, Alan (21 December 2017). "SAS starts operations under Irish AOC". Air Transport World. Rosslyn, Virginia: Penton Media. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  9. ^ Tuv, Nina (26 July 2018). "Kanselleringskaos i SAS: Piloter tviler på Irland-prosjekt (Norwegian)". E24. Oslo. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b O'Halloran, Barry (28 April 2020). "Scandinavian airline's Irish subsidiary to lay off 80 crew in Spain". The Irish Times.
  11. ^ "Q2 2021 - A QUARTER DOMINATED BY THE ONGOING PANDEMIC - SAS". www.sasgroup.net. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  12. ^ "Latest Register and Monthly Changes". www.iaa.ie.

Media related to Scandinavian Airlines Ireland at Wikimedia Commons