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New non-stop flight to US set for take-off next spring  Oct 23, 2008

An American carrier plans to launch what will be Norway's second non-stop airline connection to the US. The new route is scheduled to take off in May.

US Airways, which is part of the same frequent flyer program as dominant local carrier Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), said it will start service between Philadelphia and Oslo on May 21.

The airline describes the service as "seasonal flights," indicating they will only run during the summer season. The new route is US Airways' 23rd trans-Atlantic destination.

The airline, which reported a huge fuel-cost-related loss on Thursday but did better than analysts had expected, will use the economical, single-aisle Boeing 757 on the route between Philadelphia and Oslo, with 12 business class seats and 164 economy class seats available.

US-bound passengers from Norway currently have only one non-stop option, the daily Continental flight from Oslo to Newark. That route was operated by SAS for years, but dropped after the terrorist attacks in the US in 2001. SAS has considered reinstating non-stop service to the US, but hasn't so far, and all travelers from Norway must go through other European hubs like London, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Reykjavik or Copenhagen.

US Airways, which merged with America West Airlines in 2005, bills itself as the US' fifth largest domestic airline with more than 35,000 employees. Its roots go back to 1939 when it delivered air mail to western Pennsylvania and Ohio Valley.

It evolved into Allegheny Airlines, US Air and then US Airways after a string of buyouts and mergers involving Mohawk Airlines and, after US airline deregulation in the late 1970s, such carriers as Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA), Piedmont Airlines and the Trump Shuttle. It went through two major reorganizations under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, in 2002 and 2004, leading to the merger with America West in 2005.

US Airways, which also flies to Stockholm, is a member of the Star Alliance network that includes United Airlines, Lufthansa and SAS along with several other major carriers. It operates 3,800 flights a day throughout the US and also to Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

New non-stop flight to US set for take-off next spring
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