For many, taking a ride on the 737 is nothing to write home about. How about flying on a 737-700 with only 44 seats in it? That spark your interest? Typically you will see the 700 with 128-140 seats, so that is a big change.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has announced that they plan to start operating a business class-only 737-700 from Houston (IAH) to Stavanger (SVG) starting on August 20th of this year. The 737 will be wet-leased from PrivatAir and it will wear the SAS livery. According to their press release, the inside of the plane will offer, “SAS Long Haul Business Class concept on board… along with modern in-flight entertainment system and full-service meals and service.”
“The route we have established is a tailored product for a defined market with particular travel needs,” says Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS. What does that mean? Oil!
Even in their press release, SAS makes it quite clear the demographic they are trying to sway. “The route will launch on August 20, just ahead of the major oil exhibition in Stavanger, Offshore Northern Seas.”
Of course they are not just limiting the option to oil folks. They also sell the flight for its ability to connect to other destinations. “The favorable timetable provides excellent connections throughout Scandinavia in both directions, while Houston is a hub for places to the south and west such as Mexico, Los Angeles, Dallas and Phoenix with the Star Alliance,” says Rickard Gustafson.
The flight is over 4,200 nm, which is quite impressive since the 737-700 normally will fly a maximum distance of 3,200 nm. Do not worry, the plane will make it (PrivatAir lists the max range at 5,000 nm). Having fewer seats means less weight and increased flight distance capability.
If you are interested in taking a flight, tickets will go on sale on April 29th. What a thrill right? The only thing better might be flying a Boeing 737-700 business jet!