SAS to Place new Aircraft Order

The Scandinavian airline SAS is modernizing their fleet. According to Chief Executive, Rickard Gustafson there is a gap to be filled. The current 120 to 150 seat airplanes such as the Boeing 737-700s are dated. The airline is not only renewing its fleet, but has recently revealed their new livery, which will be present on every new aircraft in 2024. It is important to note that the airline recently retired its Boeing 737-600s which operated within that market segment.

LN-RRO seen during takeoff from Stockholm earlier this year prior to its retirement. Photo by AeroNewsX/Adam Lanzen.

Compared to last year, SAS profits have dropped by 60%. This decrease in revenue was caused by a 7 day pilot strike in May this year with costs estimated to be around $52 million. High fuel costs and unfavourable currency movements are two other factors which determined the losses.

Rickard said: “Our older 120-150 seat aircraft serving this segment today need to be replaced in the next few years and currently there is no order in place to bridge the gap. Rightsizing of the fleet is crucial from a profitability perspective, but it is also an important part of our journey towards a more sustainable future”.

To cope with competitors and secure their existence, the airline is investing in new short-haul Airbus A320neo aircraft. The goal here is 80 aircraft in service by 2023. On long-haul routes SAS is going to operate 8 new Airbus A350-900, of which the first one was just delivered.

The company is not only replacing their aircraft but they also revealed a new livery. This livery is a  “symbol of our future, a more sustainable and competitive future for SAS, but one that also embraces our heritage,” said Rickard. By replacing the old aircraft and introducing a new livery the company is trying to further improve efficiency, flexibility and competitiveness over the coming years.

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