The frequency of flights between Aberdeen and Oslo is to be increased due to demand from the oil and gas industry, according to operator bmi regional.
The airline’s scheduled service providing direct access from Europe’s oil and gas capital to the Norwegian capital launched on 28 October as a single daily flight Sunday to Friday. bmi regional has now confirmed that it will move to two flights a day Monday to Thursday with effect from 3 February 2014. On Sundays and Fridays the service will continue to operate with a single daily flight.
The increase in frequency to morning and evening flights four days a week will enable business users to travel to either city for a day and is also expected to boost inbound leisure traffic to the North-east of Scotland.
The oil and gas industry and Scandinavia are key markets for the airline, rated as the UK’s most punctual, which launched a direct service from Aberdeen to Kristiansund in August and will start flights between Stavanger and Harstad/Evenes and Tromsø in the north of Norway from 23 January next year.
Award-winning bmi regional – which operates 450 flights a week to 21 destinations across the UK and Europe – also flies from Aberdeen to Bristol, Manchester, Norwich and Esbjerg in Denmark. In October this year, bmi regional received the prestigious Airline of the Year award at the annual European Regions Airline Association (ERAA) conference in Austria. The accolade came just 18 months after the airline was established as an independent carrier.
Cathal O’Connell, chief executive of bmi regional said: “When we launched our Aberdeen to Oslo service last month we committed to increasing the frequency if demand required it and we are now delivering on that promise. The support of businesses at both ends of the route has exceeded our expectations and we are now responding to feedback from our customers in adding these additional frequencies. Increasing the number of flights to two a day further demonstrates our commitment to providing connections that support the strong economy in the North-east of Scotland and the oil and gas industry in Scotland and Norway.
“Aberdeen is now firmly established as an important hub in our network and we will be developing our Norwegian operations further in January when our services from Stavanger to the far north of the country start flying, again driven by demand from the oil and gas industry.”
Aberdeen International Airport and North-east business leaders welcomed the decision to increase frequency between Aberdeen and Oslo.
Carol Benzie, managing director of Aberdeen International Airport, said: “For bmi regional to be making this announcement, just weeks after the Oslo route took off, is a fantastic signal of the strength in this market. It demonstrates that the airline is really listening to its customers and doing all they can to match demand. The extra flights means that Oslo will now be even better served for customers travelling on either business or leisure and long may this growth continue.”
Robert Collier, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “Norway is a key trading partner for our region. bmi regional’s Oslo service has already proved itself to be a valuable addition to the connectivity we enjoy from Aberdeen and the increase in frequency in the New Year will undoubtedly be welcomed by businesses, especially those in the oil and gas sector. The airline’s further investment in its Aberdeen operations also reflects the strong performance that our economy continues to achieve.”
Steve Harris, chief executive of VisitAberdeen, said: “Tourism businesses will welcome this news. Norway is an important market for Aberdeen for business and leisure tourism. The launch of bmi regional’s new Oslo service at the end of October created new opportunities for us to develop this traffic. The additional frequency now confirmed for February will further support our efforts to attract Norwegian visitors to the city and surrounding region.”
Joachim Westher Andersen, spokesman for Oslo Airport, said: “We are pleased that bmi regional is announcing an increase in the service between Oslo and Aberdeen. This will improve the product for the business and leisure traveller, and especially for the oil and gas industry. This will strengthen Oslo Airport’s development as a major hub in Norway and the Nordics.”
The Oslo service currently operates as a single daily flight Sunday to Friday. Flights depart Aberdeen at 1605, arriving in Oslo at 1845 and depart Oslo at 1915, arriving in Aberdeen at 2000 (all times local). From 3 February 2014 it will operate an additional morning flight departing Aberdeen at 0620 and arriving Oslo 0900, then departing Oslo at 0930 and arriving in Aberdeen at 1015 (all times local). Booking is available via the airline’s www.bmiregional.com website and travel agents.
Press Release, November 13, 2013