New Airbus fleet will bring SAS into a new long haul future.
SAS and Airbus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the order of eight new A350-900 XWB and four A330-300 Enhanced. The agreement marks the launch of SAS' long haul strategy of an extensive fleet renewal plan, options for more aircraft and a total upgrade of passenger cabins on existing fleet.
SAS recently launched a completely new service concept to create the most modern flight experience for our customers. The customer offer is backed by a comprehensive fleet renewal plan with 65 short haul aircraft already announced and initiated, now complemented with an extensive long haul fleet plan. Key deliverables within the strategy 4Excellence Next Generation have paved the way.
"I am very happy with today's announcement. Whilst continuing to deliver on our strategy and plan for a profitable SAS, we are succeeding in making fundamental changes that allows us to invest in our future as Scandinavia's leading airline - for the benefit of our customers, employees and shareholders," said Rickard Gustafson, SAS Group President & CEO.
With the announcement today, SAS initiates important measures to secure a modern and efficient long haul fleet with state of the art aircraft technology from Airbus.
"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.
A modern and efficient long haul fleet
The first A350-900 is due in 2018, and already in 2015, the fleet will be upgraded with the first couple of A330-300 Enhanced to replace A340 when the current leasing agreements expire. In the meantime, SAS will commence the cabin upgrade of seven aircraft in the existing fleet.
"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. Furthermore, we are able to significantly bring down fuel consumption which will lower our costs and support our goals to reduce emissions," said Rickard Gustafson.
The A350 is a completely new aircraft type incorporating advanced aerodynamics, the latest materials and system technology available. It offers up to 30% lower fuel consumption per passenger seat and reduced noise by half compared to e.g. A340.
"I look back at an extremely eventful year for SAS with tangible results. We have introduced, delivered and will continue to deliver on our important plan for a profitable SAS. We have launched more than 50 new routes and a completely new customer offer. And now we present a highly competitive long haul plan which will allow SAS to continue our proactive efforts," said Rickard Gustafson.
The fleet plan has the flexibility to include considerable growth and will be financed by export credit financing and sale & leaseback. The list price of the order is estimated at 3,3 BUSD.
About the long haul fleet renewal plan
SAS' current long haul fleet consists of seven A340-300 and four A330-300 as well as an additional leased A340 in autumn 2013.
Eight A350-900 XWB
· SAS will order eight A350-900 with options for another six aircraft.
· The A350-900 has approximately 20% higher passenger capacity than the existing A340/A330 fleet.
· The A350-900 is a completely new aircraft type incorporating advanced aerodynamics, the latest materials and system technology available.
· The Aircraft offers up to 30% lower fuel consumption per passenger seat.
· More comfort, larger windows and a quieter cabin resulting in reduced noise by half compared to e.g. A340.
· The A350 will be delivered to SAS starting 2018.
Four A330-300 Enhanced
· SAS will increase its efficient A330 fleet from four to eight aircraft by ordering four of the A330-300 Enhanced.
· The improvements include a new cabin interior, a 2% fuel burn reduction and a huge increase in range, making it a capable aircraft for all of SAS network.
· The A330-300 Enhanced will be delivered to SAS starting 2015
Upgrade of seven A330/A340
· SAS will upgrade the passenger cabins on up to seven selected A330/A340.
· The upgrade will consists of new seats throughout the cabin including fully flat seats in Business Class, and throughout the entire cabin a new high definition full video on demand in-flight entertainment system.
· The Cabin upgrade is expected to be completed 2015.
Press meeting in Oslo Airport Tuesday 25 June 11:00. Also on webcast: http://stream.l6.no/sas/.
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