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For the fifth season already Pro Sky has been flying to Arvidsjaur. In addition to Stuttgart, travellers are now able to fly non-stop from Cologne to Swedish Lapland. "Our new Cologne-Arvidsjaur connection offers completely new possibilities," reports Key Account Manager Michael Rölle. In our interview, he reveals how the new flight connection came about and what makes Arvidsjaur so special as a travel destination.
Pro Sky has been offering flights to Arvidsjaur for some time now. Why?
It all started with one of our regular customers. About four years ago, he was looking for flights to Swedish Lapland. He wanted to change providers and the new business area was of interest to us. This was quite a large project involving a high number of passengers. So we seized the opportunity and the first planes took off for Arvidsjaur that same season.
Pro Sky's consultants regularly purchase flights for their customers. What was different here?
We offer our customers charter flights and airline tickets for groups. We make these purchases on request. For our Swedish Lapland flights, we book the aircraft in advance and then offer the seats. This model is very well received by our customers.
Arvidsjaur is a rather unusual destination, many have never heard of it before. What is it that makes it so attractive?
Swedish Lapland is not only Europe's last wilderness, but also offers optimal climatic conditions for driving tests under cold conditions. Arvidsjaur is therefore interesting for three target groups: the automotive industry which, for example, tests braking and steering behaviour in sub-zero temperatures, suppliers of dynamic driving experiences and, thirdly, of course, tour operators and MICE planners who make it possible for groups to experience unforgettable moments in the icy landscape.
Michael Rölle is Key Account Manager at Pro Sky and responsible for the Swedish Lapland project.
That sounds like a lot of passengers. How is it possible to organise all these flights?
Organising air travel for large groups is our core competence. Our Swedish Lapland flights are not even among the largest projects in terms of number of flights and passengers. Especially in the automotive sector we have far more complex flight projects. It is therefore not a problem for us to meet the requirements – it’s our daily business. Of course it’s exhausting, but when a season comes to an end, it's great to see what you've put together.
And why choose Pro Sky if you want to fly to Swedish Lapland?
There is one main argument for us: we are the only ones who fly non-stop from Stuttgart and Cologne. Both cities are ideal departure airports and in great demand. From Stuttgart, we are also the only ones to offer Wednesday flights and thus more flexibility.
Non-stop flights from Cologne have only been in the programme since this season. How did this come about?
Previously there was no airport of departure in Western Germany for a non-stop or direct connection to Arvidsjaur, even though there was demand. We knew that a flight connection from here would be of interest for the entire area. Cologne is well connected, easy to reach and therefore also exciting for our customers from Holland. With our new Cologne-Arvidsjaur connection, we can now offer completely new possibilities.
To what extent new possibilities?
Three hours to get to Europe's last wilderness is not a long time. But compared to other intra-European flights, it is not exactly short. A non-stop connection simply saves time. And in winter there is another point to add: the probability of operational challenges due to ice and snow increases. This applies to both Stuttgart and Cologne. With only one take-off and only one landing, the probability of a smooth procedure without delay increases. But the most important argument is simply the shorter journey. Customers from the Western German region have already mentioned that they would like to fly from Cologne in the future. And the connection also attracts new customers.
And what if I can't fly from Stuttgart or Cologne?
For this purpose we offer selected feeder flights. These are available from six major European cities. We also fly from Berlin Tegel, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Bremen, Zurich and Vienna. We make sure that the flight times are right, so that guests arrive in the morning. No long waiting times, but also enough room for manoeuvre in the event of delays – this is the prerequisite for a feeder flight.
Passengers could also travel to Stuttgart or Cologne by train or car. Why by feeder flight?
Of course, our feeder flights are an optional offer. Some guests arrive by train or car because they do not live far away. It makes sense in this case. If it is a longer distance, feeder flights are not only more comfortable, but also more effective. Once checked in, guests can change flights in a relaxed manner without having to worry about their luggage or another check-in. This service is very popular.
What do you offer for guests from France, Italy etc.?
Of course, we are also happy to arrange a suitable connection from other European cities – be it by plane or train. Stuttgart as well as Cologne are easy to reach, so we are always able to find a solution quickly.
What feedback have you received on the non-stop flights from Stuttgart and Cologne?
It’s very good. In Stuttgart we now serve all relevant major customers and tour operators in the region. We have received a lot of positive feedback, especially regarding communication and our stable flight program. And we also received very, very good feedback on the start of the flight connection from Cologne. This has been very well received. The tour operators are pleased to be able to take up a new location, many of them, as I said, now have shorter distances. We already know that the route will be a success.
Will more non-stop connections be added in the future?
We keep our eyes open, are open to new routes. If the demand is high enough, we will offer additional connections.
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