Following in the footsteps of Avianca and Air France, the Scandinavia-based airline SAS has announced a series of new Canadian routes, connecting Toronto to Copenhagen and Stockholm with all-new Airbus A321LRs starting in June 2022.
Since SAS is a Star Alliance carrier that’s bookable on Aeroplan points, the airline’s new Toronto routes offer another convenient way for Canadian travellers to fly to Europe in the comfort of lie-flat seats.
SAS’s New Toronto Routes
Starting in June 2022, SAS will serve Toronto with thrice-weekly flights to Copenhagen and four-times-weekly flights to Stockholm. These will be the airline’s first direct flights to a Canadian destination.
The planned schedule is as follows:
- Flights to Copenhagen will depart from Toronto on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, landing in Europe and making the return journey on the following day.
- Flights to Stockholm will depart from Toronto on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, landing in Europe and making the return journey on the following day.
Altogether, Toronto will see daily service to and from Northern Europe, with the aircraft turning around to one of two possible destinations upon arriving in Toronto.
SAS indicates that flight times will depart in the afternoons from Toronto and at midday from Europe, aligning with the standard transatlantic flight schedule. The full schedule should be available shortly, and I’ll be sure to update this section when we learn more.
Booking SAS’s New Toronto Flights
SAS launching new direct flights to Toronto is great news for Aeroplan members, as there’s now two new possibilities for booking flights to Europe at a reasonable cost.
From Toronto, both Copenhagen and Stockholm fall within the first distance band of 4,000 miles on Aeroplan’s North America–Atlantic reward chart.
Thus, a direct flight would cost 60,000 Aeroplan points in business class.
Both destinations nudge very close to the 4,000-mile threshold, so adding any other connection would probably land you in the next distance band, at 70,000 Aeroplan points in business class one-way.
However, you’d be able to add a stopover in one of the Scandinavian capitals for only an additional 5,000 points before continuing on to your final destination.
As tickets are not yet on sale, we aren’t able to search for these flights on Aeroplan and get a sense of award availability just yet. I’d expect availability to be relatively plentiful given SAS’s historical release patterns, and I’ll be updating this section once we know for sure.
How Is SAS Business Class?
SAS has recently added three Airbus A321LR aircraft to their fleet, and one of them will be deployed on the Toronto route.
The Airbus A321LR is a new-generation narrowbody plane that has proven popular on transatlantic routes in recent years. Its fuel efficiency allows airlines to grow into new markets more economically, as SAS is doing with their Canadian expansion.
The SAS A321LR will feature 22 business class seats across seven rows, in an alternating 2-2 and 1-1 configuration.
This means that there will be “throne” seats in the even-numbered rows that can offer added privacy and surface space for solo travellers, while couples will have the option of picking two neighbouring seats in the odd-numbered rows.
The cabin may not be quite as spacious as a widebody aircraft, but otherwise, I’d say the SAS A321LR would make for a decently comfortable transatlantic crossing, especially on these shorter flights of 6–7 hours in duration.
In terms of the onboard service, I was very satisfied with SAS when I flew their A330 business class product a few years ago. I liked the onboard food and drink, while I thought the crew were professional, well-trained, and quite friendly and conversational by Scandinavian standards.
If I were to compare SAS against other Star Alliance airline that one can conveniently fly to Western Europe (thus excluding Turkish Airlines, for example), I’d place the Scandinavian carrier at the front of the pack.
As a point of comparison, Air Canada has historically served Copenhagen out of Toronto using widebody aircraft, which is a route that I’d expect to resume as we emerge out of the pandemic.
If both products were available at the same price point, I’d choose Air Canada for the overall comfort level or SAS for the novelty factor.
However, since Air Canada business class flights are often dynamically priced at very high levels, SAS’s new Copenhagen and Stockholm services offer a very welcome new option for Europe-bound travellers looking for a lie-flat seat across the Atlantic.
With a strong onboard product, brand-new Airbus A321LR planes, and a robust route network for onward connections throughout Northern and Western Europe, Scandinavia-based SAS is set to bring Canadians yet another convenient way to redeem Aeroplan points to Europe in business class.
Set to launch in June 2022, the new routes will connect Canada’s largest city with the capitals of Denmark and Sweden on a thrice-weekly and four-times-weekly schedule, respectively.
Having enjoyed my last SAS business class flight a while back, I look forward to trying and reviewing the airline’s new narrowbody business class experience once the new routes debut.