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Gothenburg launches 'scientist' air link to UK

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Gothenburg launches 'scientist' air link to UK
What AstraZeneca's new UK headquarters will look like. Picture: Herzog & de Meuron
12:16 CET+01:00
Flights between Sweden's second city and Cambridge in the UK take off next Monday, with the move designed to improve travel for staff working for Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in both locations.
The route will be operated by Scandinavian airline Sun Air on behalf of British Airways, with the first services travelling between the two scientific research hubs on Monday, March 2nd.
 
Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will be booking up seats on each flight to connect staff from its new global headquarters in Cambridge with those based in its other key European hub of Gothenburg. 
 
“We’ve worked closely with Cambridge – its major businesses and the airport – to bring this niche but valuable market opportunity to life”, said Kristian Tvergaard, commercial director at Sun Air in a statement.
 
“We very much look forward to establishing ourselves in Cambridge, the East of England and servicing valuable business customers in both Sweden and the UK with our excellent in-flight hospitality”.
 
The firm currently has around 1000 staff based in the British city, with a further 1500 people expected to be based at the headquarters once work is completed on the site in 2016.
 
Cambridge City Airport said last week it was "delighted" to be part of the project, noting that in addition to AstraZeneca's link to Gothenburg, the two cities shared similarities as economic hubs, popular tourist destinations and wider research centres for work in the fields of science, technology and education.
 
“Scandinavia is a most compelling origin and destination market for Cambridge, with strong demand for both tourism and business travel," said David Surley, Head of Business & Route Development at Cambridge International Airport.
 
"Many companies in this region enjoy excellent trade relations with the Swedish. In fact, this new service by Sun Air will connect our region with, statistically, one of the most important international economies.  We are delighted to see Gothenburg become our first Scandinavian destination, it will certainly support major business operations here and continue to stimulate important inbound tourism,” he added.
 
Since 2010, Swedish overnight visits to the east of England have increased by 30 percent. According to the Institute of Directors in Cambridgeshire, 55 percent of travellers from Sweden to Cambridge are business travellers, with the Nordic nation accounting for more inbound business visits than Denmark, Norway and Finland combined.
 
The new service will depart from Cambridge at 7am each morning, arriving at Gothenburg's Landvetter International Airport at 10am, with a return flight available from Gothenburg at 6pm, Monday to Thursday.
 
The move comes as other Scandinavian airlines also look to boost links with regional UK cities, including SAS which launched a new twice-weekly summer route between Stockholm and Bristol in south west England last year.
 
In 2012, Norwegian started operating flights between Manchester in northern England and the Swedish capital.
 
Ryanair already offers routes from Stockholm and Gothenburg to London Stansted, which is about 40 kilometres from Cambridge.
 
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