SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK, Copenhagen Kastrup) expects to have its SAS Scandinavian Airlines Ireland (SL, London Heathrow) unit up and running by November 1 the Scandinavian carrier’s Vice President (External Production), Mikael Wangdahl, has told The Irish Times newspaper.

Earlier this month, SAS confirmed it would be pursuing an Irish Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) as part of plans to improve competitiveness by reducing its unit costs.

As such, in an interview, Wangdahl said SAS Ireland was currently pursuing an AOC with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). Once certified, SAS Ireland will operate a fleet of nine A320neo, sourced from its Scandinavian parent, for and on behalf of SAS under a wet-lease agreement.

“The first destination will come out of the UK, from London Heathrow to Scandinavia,” he said. “We are also looking into leisure flights from Spain.”

The Irish unit will employ roughly forty staff initially, he added.