SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK, Copenhagen Kastrup) and Apollo, one of the biggest tour operators in the Nordic region, have extended their longstanding charter flight collaboration for a further three summer and winter seasons until 2024, with an option for an additional extension to 2026.

This latest deal represents the Scandinavian carrier’s largest-ever contract with a charter operator, worth around SEK3.4 billion kronor (USD408 million) over the first three years, SAS said in a statement on January 28.

In a normal summer, REWE Group-owned Apollo typically carries about 650,000 people mainly to southern European destinations. Under this contract, SAS will connect Apollo customers from 24 locations across Sweden, Denmark, and Norway to 51 destinations around Europe. The airline and tour operator remain each other’s main partner for charter flights.

However, in addition, Apollo will use its own airline, Novair (N9, Stockholm Arlanda), and there may also be flights operated by Danish carriers Great Dane Airlines (DW, Aalborg) and Sunclass Airlines (DK, Copenhagen Kastrup) as well as Jettime (JTD, Copenhagen Kastrup), a start-up rising from the ashes of Jet Time (2006), the Danish-language travel news site StandBy reported.

SAS said it would deploy “brand new Airbus A320 aircraft” for “many” of the flights it operates for Apollo. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, SAS currently operates forty-three A320-200N, which have an average age of 2.5 years, and has 35 more of the type to be delivered.

Its Airbus narrowbody fleet also includes eleven A320-200s, four A319-100s, and eight A321-200s, and SAS recent took delivery of its first A321-200NX, but all of the Airbus narrowbodies besides the A320neo are currently inactive.

“The charter partnership is a key part of our strategy to seasonally adapt our capacity, and the new contract with Apollo is an acknowledgement that SAS is a highly valued business partner. As vaccinations increase in numbers, we look forward to being able to travel more freely yet again,” Markus Ek, vice president for global sales at SAS, commented in the statement.