Not only is Marcus Naslund a friend and fellow Ornskoldsvik native, but he is also a partner in this airline company which took place over the summer.
Naslund, Forsberg flying high together in Sweden
Tony Gallagher, The Province
Published: Friday, October 12, 2007
It would certainly be nice to think of Markus Naslund and Peter Forsberg getting into the hockey business together in Vancouver as players, but for the moment their partnership is going to be limited to owning an airline.
The Canucks captain's and his childhood friend's extensive business arm, Forspro, are joining together with a number of other Swedish companies to form Hoga Kusten Flyg AB
, a rough translation of which is "High Coast Airlines," to provide much more regular commuter service from their home town of Ornskoldsvik to Stockholm, something which SAS had been reducing on a fairly regular basis.
Repeat, that's High Coast, not high cost, which is part of the reason why this endeavor is coming about.
We're doing it because SAS has been cutting the flights down and down making it hard to get in and out," said Naslund of his new airline, which is slated to begin flying in January with leased planes making somewhere between six and eight flights a day -- a service that will greatly improve life in the community the two stars and the Sedin twins call home.
"I'm obviously not going to be involved on any kind of day-to-day basis and I shouldn't be talking about the operations much because I should leave it to those who are running it, but it will be a good feeling to try to help with the connections," Naslund said. "I'm involved personally with Peter and some other companies and it's something we're trying to do to help. We're not in it to make money. We're just hoping we're gonna break even."
Naslund has been involved in a lot of business and charity efforts to help his Swedish community known internationally for its great hockey players. And Forsberg, who is becoming quite the business tycoon through his company which includes his father Kent, is right there along with him.
The need for this service is partly because of the limited number of flights and partly because of the policy of the dominant airline.
"The way it was explained to me is that they cater to the volume flyer on that route," said Forsberg's North American agent, Winnipeg's Don Baizley. "The way I understand it, you have to commit to make a certain number of trips in a year or in a given period of time in order to get a good rate otherwise the price goes up, so I'm not surprised there's some competition going in.
"But I haven't really heard anything about it. I don't have much to do with Peter's business dealings, but I know he's involved in quite a number of them."
Forsberg's reach in the community is rising given his ownership of a world-class golf course and his seat on the board of the new rink in Ovik, which sits right on the water's edge with a view of the sea from the concourse.
"I don't know what percentage of the building is his, but I know he's involved with the city there and he has acquired the Scandinavian rights to distribute Croc shoes," said Baizley. "And while they don't talk about it much, I know he and Markus and a lot of other players were involved in a couple of exhibition games this summer against IFK to benefit children's charities. They do a lot of good things nobody hears about."