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SAS Goes All-Airbus

Photo: SAS has placed a new order for 50 Airbus A320neos. (Photo SAS)

 

SAS Scandinavian Airlines has placed an order for 50 Airbus A320neos, scheduled for delivery between spring 2019 and 2023.  The jets will be used to replace the carrier’s Boeing 737 and A320ceo aircraft as SAS transitions to a single-type short- and medium-haul fleet – its long-haul fleet is already all-Airbus.  The airline says the neos provide 15-20% lower fuel consumption per seat kilometre than the aircraft they are replacing.

“Just over one year ago, we started to phase into service brand new Airbus A320neos, and since then we have received a very positive response from our customers,” remarked Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS.  “I’m therefore delighted that, through this order, we can continue improving and investing in our customer offering, and thereby SAS’s future.  We are also creating a single-type and more efficient fleet for the first time.  Ordering 50 Airbus A320neos gives us access to the market’s most efficient aircraft thereby enabling us to further improve our operational efficiency and to continue to reduce our climate-impacting emissions.”

The Star Alliance carrier says recent investments in its product, coupled with efficiency enhancements, have led to improved profitability, which has enabled SAS to place this order.  All the aircraft will have SAS’s high-speed Wi-Fi on board but the carrier has yet to select an engine supplier.

SAS has 17 A320neos in service already, which come from its original order for 30.  The new deal is split into two parts with the first 15 aircraft, due for delivery between 2019 and 2021, secured through declarations of intent with lessors.  The remaining balance is planned to be delivered directly by Airbus.  As part of the agreement SAS also has options for a further five aircraft, while the airline has the possibility to increase the number of airframes sourced from lessors.  As it stands, SAS will have at least 80 A320neos in operation by the end of 2023.

The deal is being financed through a combination of finance leases, sale and leaseback agreements and cash generated by the airline’s operations.  The list price of the 35 aircraft, including engines, being directly purchased from Airbus is $4bn prior to discounts agreed between the two parties.

Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said: “We are proud with this repeat commitment by SAS.  It is the perfect choice for SAS, for replacing its older generation aircraft.  This means more of SAS’s passengers will keep enjoying the best comfort in the skies.”

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