UK airline announces new Norwegian direct services connecting hubs for the Norwegian oil and gas industry.bmi regional will launch the first scheduled services connecting Stavanger with Harstad and Tromsø in northern Norway in January 2014. These services will be the first direct air link between the two fastest growing regions in Norway, and are important hubs for the Norwegian oil and gas industry.
The announcement that the UK’s most punctual airline is to fly direct services within Norway has been widely welcomed by Norwegian city municipalities and the business community, as it represents the culmination of extensive work by industry and the public sector to achieve enhanced air connectivity between these key regional locations.
The news comes just days after bmi regional launched a direct, scheduled service between Kristiansund in Norway and Aberdeen in the UK. Both cities are key locations for oil and gas activity in the North Sea.
At the recent ONS conference in Stavanger, the municipalities of Hammerfest, Tromsø, Harstad, Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen, Stavanger Airport Sola and Greater Stavanger presented a detailed route development report on the opportunities between Stavanger and Northern Norway.
“A comprehensive survey of the market carried out by regional municipal partners revealed that Norwegian businesses could save significant time and money with the creation of a direct route between Stavanger-Harstad and Stavanger-Tromso and that there was significant demand for shorter travel times, says Commercial director, Stavanger Airport, Ina Eldøy. “When the regions with the strongest growth in Norway require close co-operation and faster connections to enable shorter travel times, it's our job at the airport to facilitate this. We are delighted that bmi regional have responded almost immediately to deliver on this opportunity”.
Ian Woodley, Chairman, bmi regional, said: “The launch of these domestic Norwegian routes is part of bmi regional's strategy of expanding into markets with compelling growth possibilities for our business model. We identified the Nordic region and, in particular, the oil and gas industry as one of the best opportunities. The solid data and documentation of the two region’s requirements delivered at ONS, combined with the support of local government, businesses and the airports convinced the management at bmi regional to launch domestic flights in Norway. These routes not only meet our strategic goals, but are a perfect example of the flexibility of our airline to move fast when opportunities arrive. We look forward to bringing the fantastic bmi regional product to Norwegian fliers”.
Tromsø and Harstad also have incredible scenery and experiences to offer the leisure tourist:
• Tromsø is the capital of the arctic and is surrounded by mountains, fjords and islands. It has 24 hours of daylight in the summer - you can even play a round of golf on the most northerly course in the world - at midnight. The polar nights from November to January offer stunning light conditions during the short dawn. Tromsø is one of the best places on earth to observe the northern lights. And, of course, you can go skiing - even as late as May!
• Harstad is on Norway’s biggest island, and offers fantastic hiking options and nature based experiences. You can catch the ships sailing the Hurtigruten route (‘the fast way’) through the Arctic Norway coast.
"The news that bmi regional is are starting direct routes between Stavanger, Harstad and Tromsø is very progressive. It is very good for the companies and for co-operation between the two regions. The oil and gas industry is moving to the north of Norway, and it will be of vital importance to have better route connections in the future, says Christine Sagen Helgø, Mayor of Stavanger.
Jan Soppeland, Managing director, Greater Stavanger Economic Development said: "We at Greater Stavanger know how much connectivity means to the energy industry. For several years, we have coordinated efforts to optimise the routes to and from Stavanger Airport. Now we have partnered with the northern regions of Norway to map the air transport needs of this new oil and gas region. The industry gave us clear answers which we presented at ONS Norway two weeks ago. Bmi regional is entering the Norwegian market, showing incredible speed of execution, to give our industry exactly what it asked for: a direct route from the energy capital Stavanger to the the two main hubs in northern Norway.
“For Stavanger Sola Airport, it is important to show the regions that there is tremendous potential from our airport”, continues Ina Eldøy. ”We are proud and excited about the possibilities that bmi regional offers us in Sola, says the commercial director at Stavanger Airport, Sola, Ina Eldøy, she continues: “Our calculations show the industry can make huge savings on travel budgets, so we know that bmi regional will be well received and adopted by industry”.
The news came just days after bmi regional launched a direct, scheduled service between Kristiansund in Norway and Aberdeen in the UK. Flights between Stavanger and Harstad and Tromsø commence on January 23 2014.