Norwegian Airlines

There are 3 major Norwegian airlines, and these are SAS, Widerøe and Norwegian, which together has a wide range of destinations, domestic and international.

We will now give a brief presentation of the actual companies for help when planning your travel to Norway.


Scandinavian Airlines

SAS aircraft in Molde  Photo: Geir Løvbugt

SAS, previously Scandinavian Airlines System, is the largest airline company in Scandinavia. Unlike the two other Norwegian airlines we have presented, SAS is not Norwegian only, but literally spoken; Scandinavian.

The head office is situated in Stockholm, Sweden. The company was founded in 1946, first as a cooperation between the national airline administrations in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, but in 1951 the airlines merged into a united SAS.

During the years since then, SAS has aquired control over the domestic markets in all three countries, including control over the smaller airline companies ”Braathens” and ”Widerøe” in Norway, the

Swedish companies ”Linjeflyg” and ”Skyways Express”, and the Danish ”Cimber Air”. In 1997, SAS formed ”Star Alliance”, a global network in cooperation with United Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Canada and Thai Airways International.

In the cockpit of a SAS aircraft

Today the company operates about 200 aircrafts, to more than 170 destinations in 30 countries.

SAS has a slogan. ”It’s Scandinavian”, which tells that it carries a Scandinavian design all through.
SAS international passengers are flying to and from the 3 Scandinavian capital cities, Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, and from these 3 hub airports the company serves nearly 60 million passengers per year.

The main hub is Copenhagen Airport Kastrup in Denmark.

The home market of SAS is the Nordic regions, and totally SAS transported more than 25 mill. Passengers to 127 destinations in 2010.As one of the first companies in the world, SAS started the use of self-service-check-in, and now also the online-check-in.

One main goal for SAS is to be the most environment friendly airline company in the world.


Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA

Aircraft from Norwegian

Commercially, the company name is branded ”Norwegian”, and most people only know that name.

Norwegian is the second largest airline company in Scandinavia, and the third largest low-cost airline in Europe.

In 2010, Norwegian had more than 13 million passengers, served by the company’s 2.500 employees and 60 aircrafts.

The flights covers 260 routes to more than 100 destinations in the whole of Europe, to North-Africa and the Middle East.

foliaged images on tail of aircraft from Norwegian

The airline currently operates 261 routes to 100 destinations. Within the period 2008 – 2014, will buy 73 brand new Boeing 737-900 aircrafts, which means the company holds one of the most modern and environmentally friendly aircraft-fleets in commercial operation.

The company was established in 1993, when it started operating flights in the coastal West Norway, in cooperation with another Norwegian airline company, the Braathens S.A.F.E.

In 2002, SAS took over the Braathens company, and it’s coastal fllights. Norwegian then launched domestic routes in Norway with Boeing 737-300.

Several of the Nowegian aircarfts has tails foliaged with images, showing portraits of famous and popular Norwegian celebrities, like Erik Bye, Roald Amundsen, Sonia Henie, Edvard Munch, Fridtjof Nansen and many others.


Wideroe Flyveselskap AS

Widerøe aircraft at Molde Airport  Photo: Geir Løvbugt

Widerøe, or Widerøe Flyveselskap AS, is the smallest of the three Norwegian airlines, but also the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, with 1.300 employees, and carries about 2 million passengers a year.

The company, called just Widerøe in daily speaking, are flying to 6 international destinations and more than 40 domestic airports in Norway. Every day, Widerøe operates twice as many Norwegian airports as any other airline, and has close to 400 take-off’s and landings every day.

In addition to the airline employees, Widerøe also has Airport Handling Services, with more than 600 employees. 240 of these are in Technical Services. Widerøe Handling is a leading supplier of ground handling services at the regional airports in Norway.

Since 2002, Widerøe has been part of the SAS Group, the leading airline group in Northern Europe.

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