Scandinavian carrier SAS has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for eight A350 XWBs and four A330s, as part of its strategy to modernize its fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft. The agreement was signed in the Nowegian capital, Oslo. The new A350-900s and A330-300s will join the airline’s existing fleet of 30 Airbus aircraft. Engine selection for the A330s will be announced by the airline at a later date.
Currently, SAS operates a fleet of 19 A320 Family aircraft, four A330s and seven A340s. The new wide-body aircraft will fit seamlessly into the airline’s fleet and deliver operational efficiencies and cost savings due to the commonality across the fleet, a feature unique to Airbus.
“The great technological improvements of this extensive fleet renewal plan give SAS a long haul fleet that will be top of class in the industry. It will truly increase our competitiveness and strengthen our customer offering – both with regard to comfort, service and efficiency. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board these fuel efficient aircraft with extremely comfortable and quiet cabins,” said Rickard Gustafson, SAS Group President & CEO.
“We are delighted that SAS has underscored their confidence in Airbus by selecting our A330, which offers unbeatable economics and the highest level of operational reliability alongside the A350 XWB, the world’s most technologically advanced and efficient aircraft,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.’’
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is an all-new, mid-size long-range aircraft product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. The A350 XWB Family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in its size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions.
The A330 Family, which spans 250 to 300 seats, and includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants, has now attracted more than 1,200 orders, with around 900 aircraft flying with more than 100 operators worldwide. Ever since the original version of the A330-300 entered service, the hallmark has been its very efficient operating economics. Thanks to the introduction of numerous product improvements, it still remains the most cost-efficient and capable aircraft in its class operating today, and the family achieves average dispatch reliability above 99 percent.