SUN-AIR of Scandinavia is to launch scheduled services to Gothenburg in Sweden from Cambridge on 2 March.
Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which has its global headquarters in Cambridge, helped set up the Monday to Thursday daily air service to Gothenburg.
The pharmaceutical giant will be a main user of the service designed to connect its staff from its global HQ with those based in its other key European hub of Gothenburg.
SUN-AIR has operated regional routes for British Airways since 1996 and will be flying under the British Airways brand.
As well as being tourism destinations both Cambridge and Gothenburg are home to substantial businesses in the life science and medical research, bio-pharmaceutical, IT, automotive and technology sectors, as well as fashion and further education.
“We’ve worked closely with Cambridge – its major businesses and the airport – to bring this niche but valuable market opportunity to life,” said Kristian Tvergaard, commercial director at SUN-AIR.
“We look forward to establishing ourselves in Cambridge, the East of England and servicing valuable business customers in both Sweden and the UK”.
David Surley, head of business and route development at Cambridge International Airport, added he was “delighted with the news” and said there was strong demand for business travel. “Many companies in this region enjoy excellent trade relations with the Swedish,” he said. “In fact, this new service by SUN-AIR will connect our region with, statistically, one of the most important international economies.”
Since 2010, according to international data published by Visit Britain, for international business travellers Cambridge demonstrates the third highest volume of Swedish inbound visitors.
“Sweden is an important new economic link for East England,” said Taus Nohrlind, chairman at the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Cambridgeshire. “As the most important Scandinavian market to the region, it accounts for more inbound business visits than Denmark, Norway and Finland combined.
Fifty-five per cent of travellers from Sweden to Cambridge are business travellers, the highest percentage of any major international market and twice the average business share of international visitors to Cambridge.
Kelly Vickers, director of the Conference Cambridge venue-finding service and bureau, said: “We are delighted to hear about the new service from Cambridge to Gothenburg, which we are sure will be attractive to businesses in Sweden looking to hold events in Cambridge. The two cities share international clusters of businesses and academic excellence in life sciences and medical research, bio-pharma and technology so creating easier access for visitors is an excellent move.”
Flight BA8235 will depart Cambridge at 07:00 each morning and arrive 10:00 at Gothenburg’s Landvetter International Airport. Flight BA8236 from Gothenburg will depart at 18:00 each evening, arriving in Cambridge at 19:00, Monday to Thursday. It will be serviced by 32-seat Dornier 328 regional jets.
The airport is located three miles from Cambridge city centre and offers on-airport car parking and good public transport access. The airport offers a VIP JETability Lounge for applicable British Airways Gold and Silver card holders or Oneworld frequent flyers.
Cambridge City Hotel, meanwhile, is the latest venue to become Accredited In Meetings (AIM) and join the Meeting Industry Association (mia) as a venue member.
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