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bmi regional to launch new Aberdeen – Oslo service

18/03/2013

bmi regional, the UK’s most punctual airline, today announced a new scheduled service between Aberdeen and the Norwegian capital Oslo, which will start operating on 28 October this year.
The new route announcement is the latest in a series of positive moves by the airline in the Scottish and Norwegian markets.
Today’s confirmation comes just weeks after bmi regional launched direct, scheduled flights between Aberdeen and Kristiansund in Norway. Earlier this month the airline also announced that it will operate scheduled services between Stavanger and northern Norway from January 2014.
There are currently no direct flights between Aberdeen and Oslo. Demand from the oil and gas industry and dialogue with key operators have been fundamental to the decision to launch the service, while leisure travellers will be able to take advantage of direct access between two key city destinations.
Visitors to Oslo will find a range of cultural and natural attractions. The city is ranked number one in terms of quality of life amongst European cities. The Oslo Opera House is the city’s newest landmark and the largest cultural building in Norway, matching the artistic heritage found elsewhere in the city which was home to the playwright Henrik Ibsen and artist Edvard Munch.
The Oslo service will start from Aberdeen International Airport on 28 October as a single daily flight Monday to Friday and on Sundays and will be operated with a 37-seat Embraer 135 jet aircraft. Flights will depart Aberdeen at 1605, arriving in Oslo at 1845 and depart Oslo at 1915, arriving in Aberdeen at 2000 (all times local). Booking is now available via the airline’s www.bmiregional.com website and travel agents. Fares start from £99 one way and £175 return. From Oslo, fares start from NOK 999 one way or NOK 1999 return.
bmi regional launched direct flights between Aberdeen and Kristiansund in Norway at the end of August and earlier this month confirmed that it would operate direct flights between Stavanger and Harstad and Tromsø in the far north of Norway from the end of January 2014 – becoming the first non-Scandinavian airline to launch scheduled domestic flights in Norway and directly linking the country’s two fastest growing regions for the first time.
In addition to its recently launched Kristiansund service, bmi regional operates flights from Aberdeen to Bristol, Manchester, Norwich and Esbjerg in Denmark.
Cathal O’Connell, chief executive of bmi regional said: “We are delighted to be launching a direct scheduled service between the cities of Aberdeen and Oslo. Both locations are strategic hubs for oil and gas activity and we believe our flights will offer significant time and efficiency savings for businesses in the North-east of Scotland and Norway.
“bmi regional’s Oslo route is further affirmation of our commitment to work with the energy industry here to deliver the connectivity that supports business growth. We have just successfully launched Aberdeen to Kristiansund and we will commence domestic flights in Norway in 2014. The support and engagement we have received from the oil and gas industry in both Scotland and Norway is very encouraging and we are committed to developing a long term, strategic presence in these markets,” said Mr O’Connell.
Carol Benzie, commercial director at Aberdeen International Airport, said: “We are delighted to see bmi regional growing strongly at Aberdeen and really reflecting the demand in the market. Oslo is a key location for the North-east business community as well as being a great leisure route for both inbound and outbound travellers. It will be great to see Aberdeen linked again with the Norwegian capital. Coming hot on the heels of the bmi regional launch to Kristinasund, this region is pushing ahead as the best place to connect to the Scandinavian market.”
Scotland’s minister for energy, enterprise and tourism, Fergus Ewing said: “This new service is great news for Aberdeen, the North-east and Scotland. This new air route with Norway will help build business links between oil services companies in both countries and it also provides a boost for tourism in the north-east. It further underlines the importance of Aberdeen Airport to the economy of the North East and the strong performance of the Airport in recent years. I congratulate everyone involved in securing this important new service.”
Tom Smith, chairman of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future, said: "bmi regional's new Oslo service is a significant development for the region's strategic air transport network. It will provide direct access to the Norwegian capital and the oil and gas businesses based there whilst offering considerable time savings to North-east businesses compared to the current indirect routings available to us."
Robert Collier, chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce said: "Norway is an important trading partner for the North-east business community and especially those in the oil and gas sector. A direct air link into the Norwegian capital will facilitate business development on both sides of the North Sea. I am sure that the North-east will seek to capitalise upon the enhanced connectivity that bmi regional is delivering for us."
Steve Harris, chief executive of VisitAberdeen, said: “We are delighted that the opportunities to attract tourists to Aberdeen through Aberdeen International Airport continue to grow and that bmi regional, in particular, continues to expand into Scandinavia at a real pace.  Aberdeen is fast becoming recognised as Scotland’s weekend city, where great value exists in hotels and elsewhere.  The timings of this service will help us to develop that market.”
David Rennie, head of oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise said: “New air routes such as this are key to increasing Scotland’s global connectivity and developing business opportunities for our companies. In particular, we know that there is significant potential in Norway for our oil and gas supply chain to export their world-leading products and services. Similarly the new route will also support Norwegian companies looking to develop investment opportunities in Scotland.”

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