How SAS' Fleet Is Changing

Updated: Oct 5, 2019

SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) was founded on the 1st of August 1946. It is the flag carrier for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden and it operates over 160 aircraft to over 120 destinations from its three main hubs of Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. Its fleet is composed of many different types of aircraft, with the majority of them being Airbus built. The airline also wet leases some ATR-72s (from FlyBe) and CRJ900s (from Air Nostrum, City Jet, and Nordica). These wet leases mostly cover inter Scandinavia flights and some European destinations.


SAS's long-haul fleet is mostly composed of older A340s and A330s. They fly to multiple cities in America as well as to a few select destinations in Asia. However, the problem with running a fleet of older aircraft is that these aren't very fuel-efficient and, as such, they aren’t great for the environment or the airline's finances. To counter these negatives SAS has tried to improve the efficiency of their short-haul operations, investing a lot into the A320Neo family, having a standing order for around 80 in total.

The Airbus A320Neo wasn’t the only efficient aircraft type to be ordered, however, as SAS is currently awaiting the delivery of 7 A350s, 3 A321LRs and 5 A330-Enhanced. The carrier is aiming to slash total carbon emissions by 25%, exceeding the ambition of the targets set by IATA. The A350 deliveries began in September, with the first commercial flight scheduled for late January 2020. The official press release by the airline states that CO2 emissions will be lowered by 30% and the noise footprint will be reduced by 40% when compared to older generation aircraft.


SAS took delivery of its first Airbus A350 last month after revealing it's brand new livery.


Recently, it was also announced that SAS was partnering with Airbus to research hybrid and fully electric propulsion plane and to find out how it would impact airline operations as a whole. This brings up an important question, do you think we will soon see big carriers like SAS using hybrid or even fully electric aircraft in the future?

Photo by Airbus.

SAS' fleet plans are extensive as the carrier is overhauling its entire operations in an attempt to lower fuel consumption thus reducing overall flight costs as well as the carrier's impact on the environment. As fuel prices worldwide continue to soar, SAS is already preparing for the future, by investing in modern, fuel-efficient and advanced aircraft.

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