Last month Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced new service to Miami that will begin in October 2016. Nonstop service will be offered to Copenhagen and Oslo. SAS is the state carrier for Norway, Denmark and Sweden. This continues a growing trend of flights to/from Florida to Scandinavia as Visit Florida’s efforts appear to be paying off in the Nordic Countries.
From a handful of on-again/off-again seasonal flights to a massive year-round presence on multiple airlines the amount of nonstop flights between Scandinavia and Florida have grown almost immeasurably in recent years.
In 1983, Northwest Orient Airlines was days away from launching a route from Miami to Copenhagen and actually published the flight in the October timetable. However at the last minute they decided to reroute the flight as a one-stopper via either Boston or New York (depending on the day of the week). Air Florida had flown same-plane service from Miami to Stockholm in 1982 but quickly pulled the plug on the flight.
In the 1990’s flights became more regular as Icelandair has consistently flown to Orlando since 1997, though for a few years they switched service from Orlando International to Sanford Airport. For a short while they flew to Fort Lauderdale as well. Now it appears that Icelandair might return to south Florida either servicing Fort Lauderdale again or Miami.
Norwegian Air Shuttle began service to Fort Lauderdale in 2013 and Orlando in 2014. The controversial, low cost carrier which is one of the largest airlines in Europe serves Copenhagen and Oslo nonstop.from both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. They also fly from Stockholm nonstop to Fort Lauderdale.
The most successful Scandinavian Airline in terms of international market penetration is Finnair. The airline previously served Fort Lauderdale but shifted to Miami when they became a member of One World to coordinate with American. Service to Florida on the airline has been intermittent in the past but appears to be a permanent winter fixture from here on out.
Florida continues to do a great job of attracting tourists to the sunshine state from different corners of the globe. Scandinavia appears to be one of the fastest growing markets of all.