Scandinavian Airlines has officially welcomed its first Airbus A350 aircraft to its fleet. Despite the aircraft being delivered from Toulouse back on the 29th November, SAS has only today officially unveiled it.
The new delivery will feature 300 seats. Business Class will consist of 40 seats. Where as SAS Plus (premium economy) will feature 32, followed by 228 SAS Go (economy) seats.
Business Class seats on the A350 will feature 18’5″ IFE screens, both USB and mains power, a personal device holder integrated into the table and, in a first that I’ve heard of, a foot massage facility.
On offer to SAS Business passengers will be a refreshment bar featuring inlaid lights and “other stylish features”. Quite what that means, I don’t know…
The SAS Plus seats look suspiciously like the Premium Economy seats fitted to the American Airlines fleet going by the image below. Featured in this separate cabin are seats in the now standard 2x4x2 layout. The seats themselves offer both USB and mains power, leg rests and a 13.3″ IFE screen.
Finally, the SAS Go cabin will feature the standard 3x3x3 layout. Each seat will offer USB power and a 11.6″ IFE screen.
On offer to both SAS Plus and SAS Go passengers is a snack shop, designed to encourage taking a walk onboard and therefore boosting onboard health.
As the feature is named a shop, it’s safe to assume that anything on offer here will be a paid option, as opposed to any complimentary snacks or drinks.
The A350 is a milestone in the extensive renewal of the SAS fleet which will consist of the market’s most advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft. With this aircraft we reduce the fuel consumption compared with the aircraft it replaces, which means reduced carbon emissions by up to 30 percent. Also, the external noise foot print will be reduced by 40 percent. Along with the new livery, the A350 is a symbol of a more sustainable and competitive future for SAS.Rickard Gustafson, President & CEO, SAS.
The SAS Airbus A350 will enter commercial service on 28th January between Copenhagen and Chicago. During the first year of operations, the aircraft will fly from Copenhagen to:
- New York
- Hong Kong
- San Francisco
With just the one aircraft currently, it’s safe to assume that not all of the above routes will be served on a daily basis by the A350. No delivery schedule was immediately available online, other than the entire fleet of 8 will be delivered to SAS by 2021.
It would appear that the A350 will replace the older Airbus A340 in the fleet. There are 8 A350’s on order and the airline has 8 A340’s, all of which were delivered between 2001-2002.
Scandinavian Airlines Fleet Renewal
The Airbus A350 joining the fleet is part of the wider fleet renewal program taking place at the airline. By the end of 2023, it plans to be an all Airbus operator. SAS has recently retired the final Boeing 737-600. It plans to replace their entire Boeing 737 fleet with 80 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order. Also on order are 5 Airbus A330 enhanced and 3 Airbus A321LR. The A321LR will commence flights between Copenhagen and Boston from September 2020.
In Other SAS News…
Also announced was that Scandinavian will drop their route to Tokyo Narita and instead fly to Haneda airport in Tokyo.
Japan is already a very popular destination, and this will provide a positive boost for our travelers, both in relation to business travel and tourism. The new service offers an attractive timetable to Haneda and we hope it will be well received and appreciated by our travelers throughout Scandinavia and JapanRickard Gustafson, President and CEO, SAS.
Scandinavian have become the latest airline to drop the inconvenient Tokyo Narita Airport in favour of Haneda.
American Airlines have announced they will quit Narita in favour of Haneda in 2020.
Until recently, any international flights into/out of Haneda airport were limited to operating between 11pm-7am. This meant that using the airport was considered undesirable for most airlines.
However, with the easing of restrictions and a number of new slots being made available, more airlines are starting to move operations to Haneda.
This is being further encouraged by the Japanese government intending for Haneda to be used for premium business traffic and Narita for low cost and leisure airlines.
All Images © Scandinavian Airlines