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SAS made headlines last year when it announced nonstop service from Houston (IAH) to Stavanger, Norway, two key destinations for oil executives. The flight is operated by an all-business-class 737, and at a whopping 4,844 miles each way, it’s the longest scheduled 737 route in the world. Although the drop in oil prices has otherwise been enormously helpful to airlines, this particular route has suffered, and SAS is officially pulling the plug on October 23.
That move is freeing up the airline’s leased 737-700, which is operated by PrivatAir. Beginning late next month, that aircraft will begin flying nonstop from Newark (EWR) to Copenhagen (CPH), adding 44 business-class seats between the two cities in each direction every day but Tuesday. Then, in 2016, it will be reconfigured with 20 business-class seats and 66 economy seats.
“The oil route came out of creative and constructive product development between SAS and our core clients in the oil industry. We have done all we can to make it viable, however, we have had to accept that the downturn in the industry unfortunately is also impacting us, hence our decision to switch the aircraft to Copenhagen-New York, where the market offers far more potential right now,” an SAS executive said in this week’s press release.
Although availability isn’t wide open on the new flight, this is ultimately good news for East Coast award travelers, adding capacity on a fairly busy route. There are some dates with four business-class award seats available over the next few months, making this a decent option for families, with better availability for two passengers. Note that this aircraft doesn’t have SAS’ latest business-class product, offering angle-flat seats, instead.
You can book the flight for 70,000 United MileagePlus miles each way, while paid fares start at $4,017 round-trip. The easiest way to earn United miles is by transferring instantly from Chase Ultimate Rewards — you can currently earn 40,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, plus 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase. You can also buy United miles for as little as 2.15 cents apiece through the airline’s latest promo.
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