At first glance, the idea of taking a 10-hour trans-Atlantic flight on a narrow bodied plane sounds downright horrific. But this isn't just any Boeing 737 we're talking about. It's a Scandinavian Airlines jet, modified to an all business-class configuration.
Beginning August 20th, Scandinavian Airlines will launch nonstop service from Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport to Stavanger, Norway using a Boeing 737-700 leased from PrivatAir and fit with 44 lie-flat seats inside along with modern in-flight entertainment and full service meals.
British Airways offers a similar concept between London and New York, using an Airbus A318, but that route is a much shorter flying time.
737-700 Business Class, screen shot from privatair.com
In a press release, SAS President and CEO Rickard Gustafson said,
"The route we have established is a tailored product for a defined market with particular travel needs. The favorable timetable provides excellent connections throughout Scandinavia in both directions, while Houston is a hub for connections to the south and west such as Mexico, Los Angeles, Dallas and Phoenix with the Star Alliance."
Flights will operate daily except Saturdays, leaving Houston at 9:35PM and landing in Norway at 2:25 the following afternoon. The return flight will leave Stavanger at 4:00PM and land in Houston at 7:40PM the same day. Houston Bush Intercontinental has seen a lot of recent international growth with new Korean Air daily service to Seoul, South Korea as well as Air China nonstop service to Beijing. The airport saw record 8.9 million international passengers last year.
Top image: Scandinavian Airlines 737-700 by Thomas Becker on Flickr, licensed for Creative Commons commercial use.