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SAS Adds Atlanta Route, Beginning Inroads with Delta

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Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is beefing up its schedule for U.S.-based travelers looking to get to Europe for less this summer with a brand-new route from Atlanta (ATL) – the first major move as the airline inches toward joining the SkyTeam alliance and a closer bond with Delta.

The European carrier announced Tuesday its plans to begin daily nonstop flights between Atlanta (ATL) and its Copenhagen (CPH) hub starting June 17. With a partnership in the works, Delta flyers across the U.S. should be able to easily fly to Copenhagen with one quick stop. And from there, travelers will be able to connect onward to dozens of destinations throughout Scandinavia and all of Europe.
 

Map of route from Atlanta (ATL) to Copenhagen (CPH)  

The seasonal route will be operated on one of SAS's Airbus A330 jets. Outside of the summer months, SAS will fly the route just five days per week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – on an Airbus A350.
 

SAS economy cabin A350
SAS economy cabin on the Airbus A350

Read our review of SAS Economy! 

Flights are now bookable directly through FlySAS.com, though you won't find fares though sites like Google Flights just yet. Regardless, it's good news for travelers looking to get to Europe for cheap next summer. SAS stands out for its cheaper fares crossing the Atlantic, so your best bet will almost always be to book using cash instead of points – especially when they routinely slash fares like this…
 

Thrifty Traveler Premium Europe flight deal  

SAS's Atlanta-to-Cophenhagen route will be the only nonstop flight between those two cities. And it's no coincidence that the Scandinavian airline is targeting Delta's biggest and most important hub.

After filing for bankruptcy in 2022, the Copenhagen-based airline found some new owners last year, including Air France-KLM. That will eventually pull Scandinavian out of the Star Alliance and a partnership with United Airlines and into Delta's SkyTeam network – a transition expected to take place sometime later this year, pending some regulatory sign offs. 

While it may seem trivial, airline alliances have major major implications for how travelers can connect seamlessly from one partner airline to another and how they can redeem miles – like eventually using Delta SkyMiles, Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles, or even through Virgin Atlantic to fly SAS overseas.

But it's also clearly pulling SAS into Delta hubs starting with Atlanta, where Delta flyers can easily connect from dozens of U.S. airports before making their way over to Scandinavia, or vice versa. Over time, we could see the airline strengthen that relationship by targeting more and more major Delta hubs … at the expense of United's marquee airports like Chicago-O'Hare (ORD), Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD), and San Francisco (SFO).

At the same time, SAS is also doubling down on some existing routes to other airports where Delta has a big presence, including:

  • New York City (JFK) to Copenhagen (CPH) will increase to two daily flights
  • Boston (BOS) to Copenhagen (CPH) will begin operating daily over the summer – up from the six flights a week it previously scheduled

The airline is also adding a fourth weekly flight between Toronto (YYZ) and Copenhagen (CPH). 

With the addition of Atlanta, SAS will fly to 10 North American airports, mostly on the East Coast: New York (EWR & JFK), Chicago-O'Hare (ORD), Boston (BOS), Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Miami (MIA), and Toronto (YYZ).

 

Bottom Line

SAS is adding a new route to the U.S. from its Copenhagen (CPH) hub, this time to Atlanta (ATL). The new nonstop route between Atlanta and Scandinavia will operate daily throughout the summer starting in mid-June, and five days a week the rest of the year.

That new route could open up another way for travelers to get to Europe for less this summer, whether they live in Atlanta or connect from another Delta hub. And it's the first sign of what's to come as SAS moves toward joining the SkyTeam alliance, building a closer relationship with Delta.

 

Lead photo courtesy of SAS

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2 Responses

  • There is a recent doubling down by SAS on Copenhagen at the expense of its other major home airport, Arlanda. Thinking about other major US delta hubs, MSP and Seattle come to mind for expansion, but can SAS benefit more with an ARN connection rather than CPH given the far higher percent of Swedes residing in those two delta markets than Danes?

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