Isambard Kingdom Brunel and a Georgian housekeeper posed for photos with delighted Swedes, representing two of the area’s most popular tourist attractions – Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol and No.1 Royal Crescent in Bath.
Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport, explained the unusual welcome:
“We wanted to give passengers on the first flight a flavour of the rich heritage the West of England has to offer. The combination of Bristol and Bath makes a fantastic break, combining history with contemporary culture and some fantastic visitor attractions, all within easy reach of Bristol Airport.”
The SAS service – the first direct link from the South West to the Swedish capital for five years - will operate twice a week (on Monday and Friday) until 15 August, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The schedule has been designed with long weekend leisure breaks in mind, and is expected to prove equally popular with UK and Swedish travellers alike. Bringing the stylish Swedish capital just a 1hr 40 minute flight away, prices start from just £75 one way, or from £126 return, including all taxes and charges.
Convenient flight times mean west country residents need only take a half day’s holiday to enjoy a Swedish weekend break this summer, with flights departing at 14.35 on Friday afternoons and returning in time to impress workmates with Swedish tales on Monday morning, arriving into Bristol at 08.40.
Summer’s the perfect time to visit Stockholm, one of the world’s most beautiful capital cities. Built on 14 islands around one of Europe’s largest and best-preserved mediaeval city centres, Stockholm offers trend-setting restaurants and vibrant nightclubs, or step back to the seventies at ABBA The Museum, only opened in 2013. For culture vultures, there are masses of sights such as the Royal Palace and City Hall, or do as the locals do in summer and take an easy trip to Stockholm’s idyllic archipelago.
The route has been supported by a marketing campaign in Sweden funded by Bristol Airport, Destination Bristol, Bath Tourism Plus and VistEngland. With the potential to bring thousands of visitors to the West of England, it is estimated that the new flight could generate over £1 million for the local visitor economy.
The new flight will offer Scandinavian Airlines’ two class system that operates on all its flights within Europe. SAS Go offers great rates including a checked bag at no extra charge, newspapers, tea and coffee on board and several services to save time, including mobile check-in and seat selection. SAS Plus offers additional premium benefits including complimentary lounges, FastTrack check-in, complimentary food and drink, an additional piece of 23kg checked luggage and fully flexible tickets.
Bristol Airport is the fifth largest UK airport outside London, and the only airport in the UK’s top ten to see growth every year since 2009. The number of foreign residents using Bristol Airport has almost trebled in the last decade, with over one million journeys made by overseas visitors in 2012.