FlyMe to begin daily London service

Swedish low cost airline FlyMe is to introduce a new service from Stockholm's Arlanda to London Gatwick in the autumn.

The target market is business travellers, with one weekday early morning flight to London and one evening flight back to Stockholm. The service is due to start on October 3rd, with booking available from May 30th.

“Partly through flying to Gatwick and partly through having an ideal timetable we’re counting on offering an alternative to those customers who have so far been forced to pay for overpriced flights to London Heathrow,” said FlyMe’s chief executive Anders Holst.

The company has focused on the domestic market and connections with Finland since it began in March 2004. Traffic figures for April out on Monday showed a 105% increase in passenger numbers on the same time last year. During the same period the market for domestic air travel increased by 8% according to figures from Luftfartsverket, the Swedish Airports and Air Navigation Group.

In April FlyMe carried 50,778 passengers.

“This strong increase is in line with our plans and expectations,” said Anders Holst. But he noted that recent efforts by SAS were turning up the heat in the Swedish market.

“Throughout April the competition has increased with a dominant Scandinavian airline running a campaign where a large number of cheap tickets were released, In the light of that, FlyMe’s traffic figures for April are a strong response.”


‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.