SAS has chosen Airbus as the supplier of new aircraft for SAS intercontinental flights. The order comprises four A330-300 and six A340-300 aircraft. SAS holds options on seven more aircraft. The order is valued at about SEK 10 billion. During 2001-2004, the aircraft will successively replace the Boeing 767 as SAS's long-haul airliner.
"The order secures and develops our position as an intercontinental airline," announced Jan Stenberg, President of SAS. "We will capture market shares in the Scandinavian market for intercontinental traffic and also strengthen our total position in the Scandinavian market. The order also creates potential for further expansion of SAS traffic," Jan Stenberg added.
Airbus models A330-300 and A340-300 represent the very latest in modern aviation technology. Both aircraft have gained widespread popularity among passengers on routes where they have been placed in traffic.
The A330-300 and A340-300 are part of the same product family. The aircraft were developed in parallel, but fulfill different requirements. The A340 is capable of flying non-stop on the longest routes in the world, while the A330 is particularly well suited for transatlantic flights. The affiliation of both aircraft to the same product family provides several coordination advantages; crews can easily switch between the two models and maintenance can be coordinated.
In the SAS version, the A340 aircraft will offer seating capacity for 275 passengers, with 56 seats in business class and 219 in economy class. The A330 carries 278 passengers, 56 in business class and 222 in economy class. The seats in business class are arranged in the 2-2-2 configuration, with a 2-4-2 configuration in economy class. The aircraft's comfortable cabin seating has received the highest possible ratings in passenger opinion polls. The A340 is equipped with four engines, and the A330 has two.
The purchase continues SAS's renewal of its fleet of aircraft. When the new planes are placed in traffic, the number of seats available on SAS flights will increase by nearly 50 percent and freight capacity by 40 percent. Concurrently, cost per seat will be reduced by 20 percent. The order also reflects the expansion of SAS's intercontinental traffic. The expansion meets customer requirements and expectations on fast and direct flights between Scandinavia and intercontinental destinations, and will enable SAS to stay abreast of market growth.
SAS places considerable importance on environmental considerations. Low fuel consumption, low noise levels and environmentally compatible production were some of the requirements stipulated by SAS when the planes were ordered. Airbus meets all the requirements and conducts long-term programs to secure environmentally compatible production