USAsuomeksi got a privilege to interview Jasmin Utter, who is on the helm of Scandinavian Airlines American Region. We wanted to know if there are any plans for SAS to fly to Palm Beach International or have direct flight from Helsinki to Miami.

Jasmin Utter, photo from Facebook page

Here is, what we had answers:

Q: What are the SAS destinations in USA? Are there any intentions to expand the network?

Jasmin: We currently fly to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (Newark), San Francisco and Washington DC directly from Scandinavia. Most of these have daily or several daily departures. We will start daily services between Scandinavia and Toronto in June. We are continuously evaluating our network depending on customer needs and commercial benefits. Coming out of the pandemic, our first priority has been to rebuild back to where we were before the pandemic.

Q: What is the competitive edge for SAS? Who are your worst competitors in this area?

Jasmin: SAS has a comprehensive offer between Scandinavia and North America with 150 weekly flights starting this summer. From our hubs in Scandinavia, we offer an extensive program to many destinations in the Nordic countries but also across Europe and to Asia. As one of the members of the Star Alliance, we can offer access to a far-reaching global network and smooth connections.

Our technological improvements of our fleet renewal and our new Airbus A350 give SAS a long-haul fleet that is top of class in the industry with regards to comfort, service and efficiency. We have worked with our customers to develop new products and have found a simplified and harmonized Scandinavian concept that meets the increasing demand for smoother and more time-efficient journeys for both business and leisure travelers. The ultra-modern cabin offers great comfort with new comfortable seats in all classes. To make time fly on board, a new entertainment system with large HD screens and access to WiFi access is available at every seat. The seats in SAS Go and SAS Plus are designed with smart storage to create extra space. All seats in SAS Business can be folded flat for maximum comfort and sweet dreams. The bedding comes from Hästens, the oldest premium bed manufacturer in Sweden, to ensure passengers a high-class sleeping experience.

Furthermore, SAS is committed to be the industry leader regarding sustainable aviation and reduce our emissions by 25 percent by 2025 (in comparison to levels in 2005). The new fleet will significantly bring down fuel consumption which will support these goals and also lower our cost.

Q: There is a large group of Finns, Swedes, Danes and Norwegians in Southern Florida. They all are very keen on their respective home countries and want keep connections live. Have you ever estimated the buying power of these some 30.000 – 40.000 immigrants?

Jasmin: When we evaluate potential routes to service, customer demand and buying power are always part of the evaluation.

Q: SAS has chosen to participate Star Alliance. The Finnish national airline Finnair is participating One World Alliance and offering the connection flights by American Airlines. American is mainly using Miami airport and the connections for south Floridians are not so favorable especially when arriving to Miami. How good are your connections to Scandinavia with companies like United Airlines?

Jasmin: United Airlines is, together with SAS, Lufthansa, Thai International Airways, and Air Canada, one of the five founding members of Star Alliance. All member airlines offer easy connections to almost any destination in the world. For customers traveling from Scandinavia to interior points in the US, connecting at one of the major hubs in the US is seamless, and the same is valid for customers traveling from interior points in the US to Scandinavia. We always look to improve the connections with our partners so enhance the customer offer.

Q: SAS is currently flying from capital Scandinavian cities to Miami, mostly thru EWR -airport. The other capitals have some direct flights to Miami, except when traveling from Finland to Miami you need to stop either in Stockholm or Copenhagen in worst case for 5 hours. Have you considered a direct flight from Helsinki to Miami?  

Jasmin: We offer direct flights to Copenhagen from Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington DC, direct flights from Chicago to both Copenhagen and Stockholm, and daily flights between Miami as well as New York and all three Scandinavian capitals. During December and early January, we will be flying twice daily between Miami and the Scandinavian capitals, which is a significant increase in our offering to/from Florida. We offer seamless connections via our Scandinavian hubs to Finland, Germany, the UK and other European countries. We are always looking for opportunities to expand our network further.

The best commercial opportunities would be Miami.

Jasmin Utter, SAS General Manager Region Americas

Q: Miami is a really crowded and uncomfortable airport, especially considering some 15.000 Finns and same number of other Scandinavians closer to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Fort Lauderdale is growing fast but West Palm Beach International is quainter and easier to access.  Have you any plans to use FLL or PBI in any time? There are a lot of interest to get SAS flights to PBI . These wishes have been expressed by the various Chamber of Commerce associations and governmental offices in the area. Do you have any connections to these organizations?

Jasmin: Our assessment of Florida indicated that the best commercial opportunities would be Miami. That includes both point-to-point traffic but also for transfers to South America. / Timo Vainionpaa


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