Denmark scraps first-class postal deliveries

A Danish postal worker delivering in Copenhagen Image copyright iStock
Image caption Danes will soon be waving goodbye to their six-day service

Anyone posting a last-minute birthday card in Denmark will soon be out of luck, after MPs voted to scrap first-class deliveries to save money.

Customers using the national postal service, Post Danmark, currently choose between sending a priority "A letter" or an economy "B letter". Priority mail arrives the next working day, while economy gets there within three working days, according to the company's website.

That system will now been replaced by a single, standard class of post which will take up to five days to arrive, the TV2 website reports. The existing Monday to Saturday service is also being cut to five days a week.

It's part of a major cost-saving initiative prompted by the company's plummeting revenues. Demand for letter deliveries fell by 16% last year, and to plug the gap Post Danmark almost doubled the price of sending an A letter, from 10 kroner to 19 kroner ($3; £2).

Spokesman Morten Nielsen says most customers already choose the cheaper B letter delivery, so won't notice much difference. He tells the Ekstra Bladet website a new faster option is likely to be brought in, but will no longer be universal.

TV2 seems less than impressed with the new arrangement, noting that a five-day wait for a letter is similar to the service Danes enjoyed back in the 17th Century, when the postal service was founded.

But Denmark isn't the only country where post is no longer profitable. In Finland, postmen and -women will also be offering to mow lawns this summer, in a new scheme aimed at boosting income for the state-owned Posti company.

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