According to a press release from the Houston Airport System, the introduction of the new route "is in direct response to request from leading players in the oil and gas industry asking for better connections between Norway, the rest of Scandinavia, and Houston, Texas."
The nonstop flights are slated to begin on Aug. 20, just ahead of Offshore Northern Seas 2014, a major biennial oil and gas industry exhibition in Stavanger.
The introduction of the new route "is in direct response to request from leading players in the oil and gas industry asking for better connections between Norway, the rest of Scandinavia, and Houston, Texas."
The flights between Houston and Norway will depart daily (except on Saturdays) at 9:35 p.m. and will arrive the next day in Stavanger at 2:20 p.m. local time. Departures from Stavanger will leave at 4 p.m. and arrive in Houston at 7:40 p.m. the same day.
Although the flight is long (over 10 hours), Scandinavian Airlines hopes to ameliorate the problems that come with lengthy flights by using a Boeing 737-700 with 44 roomy business seats, as well as updated in-flight entertainment systems and full-service meals.
In the past decade, Houston has seen a dramatic increase in passengers traveling on international flights, with passenger totals rising more than 60 percent to a record total of 9 million in 2013.
"The City of Houston is currently enjoying an unprecedented level of global connectivity," says Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. "This strong international route network is important to both Houston's economy as well as the quality of life enjoyed by its residents and the arrival of Scandinavian Airlines will have a positive impact on both of those fronts."
Scandinavian Airlines currently offers nonstop service from Newark, Chicago, Washington D.C. and San Francisco to its hubs in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Scandinavian Airlines is only the latest airline to introduce new nonstop international flights. Earlier this week, United Airlines began daily nonstop flights to Tokyo's Narita International Airport, and on April 24, the airline adds daily nonstop service to Munich. Additionally, Turkish Airlines introduced daily nonstop flights from Houston to Istanbul on Tuesday, and Air China expanded its route to include daily nonstop service to Beijing on March 28.