FLIGHTS connecting Aberdeen, Europe’s oil capital, with the Norwegian oil city of Kristiansund for the first time were launched today by bmi regional.
The new service between the two oil centres will operate five times a week, Monday to Friday, with a 49-seat Embraer 145 jet.
Both Shell and Statoil have offices in Kristiansund on Norway’s North western coast. There are currently around a dozen offshore installations being serviced from Kristiansund and this will increase to over 30 by 2020.
Ian Woodley, chairman of bmi regional, said: “bmi regional has a longstanding relationship with the oil and gas industry based upon our scheduled services out of Aberdeen and the bespoke charter solutions we provide in the UK, Scandinavia and across Europe.
“Our newest route out of Aberdeen links two important energy industry locations and will support business activity on both sides of the North Sea. In addition to business travel there are established tourism and cultural connections between the North-east of Scotland and Norway, which we anticipate will result in additional leisure traffic.”
Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, said: “This new air route with Norway will help build business links between oil services companies in both countries. It also provides a boost for tourism in the North east.”
He added “Aberdeen Airport is an essential business and tourism gateway to the north east, which is why this new route will open the door to people and businesses travelling to Scotland.”
Carol Benzie, commercial director at Aberdeen International Airport, said: “This is an exciting route launch for the airport team and marks the first time that these two cities have been directly connected. Of course the benefits for the energy industries at each end of this route are clear, but we also hope that it will provide an opportunity for North-east tourism – attracting new visitors from Norway to our region.”
Tom Smith, chairman of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future , the ,local economic forum, said: “bmi regional’s Kristiansund service should create new opportunities for even closer working between the oil and gas industries in the UK and Norway. The airline’s decision to launch this route is another endorsement of the strength of our region’s economy as the North Sea continues to be a focus for significant investment.”