Aarhus-Copenhagen seaplane threatened by authorisation issue

The Nordic Seaplanes airline, which operates a fast air connection between harbours in Aarhus and Copenhagen, could be forced to close just a few years after commencing operations.

Aarhus-Copenhagen seaplane threatened by authorisation issue
The seaplane lands in Copenhagen Harbour in 2016. Photo: Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Ritzau Scanpix

The company faces losing its authorisation to operate the route, which is currently approved on a temporary basis and will expire in March, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports.

An application to renew the authorisation has been rejected, according to the report.

“If we are not allowed to fly, we risk insolvency,” the company’s director Lasse Rungholm said.

“It’s a shame, because we have enthusiastic support, make a profit and have created 20 jobs. But this would require us to close down,” Rungsted said.’

Although the current authorisation will be valid until March, employees could face redundancy in the near future should the issue not be resolved, since the service does not operate during the winter and several weeks’ notice must be given in the event of job losses.

“This is a bad situation because some people will find other jobs, whilst others will keep faith in us getting the permit. But nobody wants to leave because they can see the business is doing well,” Rungsted told Jyllands-Posten.

The company’s application to renew the flight permit was submitted last year but has been rejected by Copenhagen Municipality.

In a response provided to the municipality’s resident representation committee (Borgerrepræsentation) in March this year, the urban technical department (Byens Anvendelse) deputy director Anne-Sofie Degn wrote that the application lacked “complete information”.

According to that documentation, the company applied for an increase in daily landings to 15 and for the accepted noise level to be raised. The municipality has meanwhile received complaints from the Langelinie Pavilion, close to the landing area of the seaplane, over the noise.

Nordic Seaplanes has appealed the decision with the Ministry of the Environment and Food’s appeals board.

“The appeals board has been required to move to Viborg [from Copenhagen, ed.]. 80 percent of their employees have resigned because they didn’t want to move with them, so they are well behind schedule. The case is not currently progressing,” Rungsted said, adding that he hopes the matter can still be resolved during the autumn.

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Denmark signals billion-kroner spending on new electric trains

Danish state-owned rail operator DSB is to purchase 100 electric trains at a cost of around 20 billion kroner, including maintenance costs.

Denmark signals billion-kroner spending on new electric trains
File photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

French company Alstom has won the contract to supply the trains to Denmark, DSB and transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said at a briefing on Monday.

The contract includes the option to purchase over the initial agreement for 100 trains. DSB said it expected to eventually receive 150 locomotives.

The electric trains are expected to begin operating on Denmark’s railways from 2024.

The deal comes as a result of a 2018 political which secured the replacement of the older IC4 trains, which have been the cause of a number of technical challenges during their time in service for DSB.

Ole Birk Olesen, the former transport minister who was in the post when the 2018 deal was agreed, said he does not expect such challenges with the new trains.

“Two things will make sure we avoid problems. The people who are supplying the trains are also responsible for maintenance,” Olesen said.

“That bill will not end up in the hands of Danish taxpayers. The other thing is that these are trains which already run in Europe and which have proved to be stable,” he added.

DSB has confirmed that two new maintenance centres will be built for servicing and repairing the new trains. The two workshops will be located in Copenhagen and Aarhus.

Engelbrecht noted at the briefing that the trains, which are of the type Coradia Stream, accelerate faster and have a higher top speed than the IC4 machines.

The top speed of the Coradia Stream is 200 kilometres per hour.

READ ALSO: Danish rail company reintroduces seat reservation rule