United, Delta raise the US stakes at Stockholm Arlanda

View of New York from airliner cabin window
Photo Credit: Swedavia Airports

Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden’s largest airport, is set to experience a significant boost in connectivity to North America starting in mid-April 2024.

Two major US airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, are making a welcome return, offering new non-stop routes to key destinations.

This exciting development adds to the existing flight options and, combined with upcoming routes from Air Canada, will see Stockholm Arlanda offering:

  • Up to 30 weekly departures to North America, translating to approximately five flights per day.
  • Direct connections to major hubs like Newark, JFK (New York), Toronto, and Montreal.
  • Enhanced accessibility for both business and leisure travelers.

Benefits Beyond Tourism

The return of United and Delta Airlines goes beyond simply offering more travel options for leisure travelers. This improved connectivity plays a crucial role in:

  • Strengthening trade and export: North America is one of Sweden’s most critical markets, and this improved accessibility will significantly benefit Swedish businesses invested there. Faster and more frequent flights will facilitate the swift movement of essential goods like technology and pharmaceuticals.
  • Boosting the regional economy: The aviation sector plays a vital role in the Swedish economy, and increased passenger and cargo traffic will contribute to its growth and development.
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Bene Riobó, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Industry Experts Applaud the Move

Industry professionals like Elizabeth Axtelius, Director of Aviation Business at Swedavia, recognize the significance of this development.

She highlights the role of Stockholm Arlanda as a regional hub, catering to both business and leisure travelers as well as cargo transportation.

She further emphasizes Swedavia’s commitment to facilitating faster delivery of essential goods and enhancing passenger connectivity.

A Summer of Stateside Travel

The summer of 2024 promises a season of seamless travel between Stockholm and North America.

The addition of United and Delta Airlines, along with existing and upcoming routes from other carriers, hold promise. Passengers will benefit from a wider range of options, greater convenience, and potentially more competitive fares.

This improved connectivity is expected to benefit not only travelers but also the Swedish economy as a whole. The move fosters stronger trade ties and facilitates the movement of goods and people.

A KLM aircraft parked at Stockholm Arlanda Airport at night.

There haven’t been traditionally strong travel ties in the sense of regular, mass tourism between Sweden and the USA. Notwithstanding this, there are significant historical and contemporary connections that contribute to the growing travel ties:

Historical factors:

  • Swedish emigration to the USA: Between the 19th and early 20th centuries, a significant number of Swedes (estimated around 1.5 million) emigrated to the USA, particularly the Midwest. This created a lasting connection and established communities with Swedish heritage in the US.
  • Cultural exchange: Despite geographical distance, cultural exchange has existed for centuries. Literature, music, and film from both countries have found mutual audiences on the other side of the Atlantic.

Contemporary factors:

  • Growing business ties: The US remains an important trade partner for Sweden. Increased business interactions lead to more travel between the two countries.
  • Improved air travel: Advancements in technology and affordability have made transatlantic travel easier and more accessible.
  • Shared values: Both Sweden and the USA are democracies known for innovation and entrepreneurship. This fosters a sense of shared identity and potential for collaboration.

While historical factors laid the foundation for some connection, the current increase in travel ties is primarily driven by economic factors and improved travel options.

The current travel dynamic with Stockholm Arlanda US flights is perhaps indicative of a growing trend with potential for further development.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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