SAS Scandinavian Airlines will launch a new route to Manchester in November, prompted by growing interest in English football amid national hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stewardship of Manchester United.
The carrier’s new Stavanger-Manchester route will get under way on 8 November flying twice a week, year-round, on Mondays and Fridays. Flights will be operated by Boeing 737 aircraft.
SAS said it had steadily increased its direct service to Manchester in line with an increase in football trips to the UK, with many British clubs commanding significant fanbases in Norway.
Solskjaer, who hails from Kristiansund, joined Manchester United as a player in 1996 and went on to make more than 350 appearances for the Red Devils scoring more than 120 goals, most notably a last-ditch winning goal versus Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.
He took over as Manchester United caretaker manager in December last year and was appointed permanent manager in March.
“There is tremendous interest in English football and now SAS is creating additional opportunities for even more Norwegians to be able travel to see their favourite teams in action in the famous stadiums, in a way that is fast and convenient,” said Torbjorn Wist, SAS financial director.
“We have been fascinated by Liverpool’s sporting success and the popular arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United and this has obviously inspired many Norwegians to travel to the matches. We are delighted to be able to respond to this by introducing so many direct flights with SAS,” Wist added.
SAS flies direct to Manchester from Oslo and Bergen, and operates several daily flights between Oslo and London. Its winter schedule features 49 flights a week to Manchester from across Scandinavia.