SAS strives for all-Airbus fleet, orders 50 A320neos
SAS is creating a single type fleet for the first time. The Scandinavian airline ordered 50 A320neo aircraft as it is phasing out old Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft, expecting the change to be completed by 2023.
The new A320neo aircraft should be delivered to SAS from spring 2019 through 2023. The order is split into two parts, with the first 15 new aircraft, secured through declarations of intent with lessors, to be delivered from the spring of 2019 through 2021. The remaining 35 A320neos are planned to be delivered directly by Airbus up to 2023, the airline explains in a statement.
The aircraft order also includes options for an additional five A320neos and the possibility to increase the aircraft number that can be leased from lessors.
The order is to be financed through a combination of finance leases, sale and leaseback, and cash flow generated by the airline’s operations. The list price of the 35 A320neo aircraft directly purchased from Airbus alone amounts to just below $4 billion at list prices (including engines). However, the engines have not yet been selected.
SAS, who has been Airbus customer since 1980, currently has 17 Airbus A320neos in service. With the newest addition, it will have “at least” 80 Airbus A320neos in service during 2023.
“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. 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,” said Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS in a statement.
“We are proud with this repeat commitment by SAS. The A320neo will complement SAS’s existing Airbus fleet, with unbeatable fuel efficiency and the lowest operating costs and environmental footprint. 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,” said Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
According to the carrier, the A320 neos were selected as “market’s most efficient short- and medium-haul aircraft in terms of cost and environment.” SAS is in the process of implementing SEK 3 billion in efficiency gains by 2020. In this context, the airline views the renewal of the aircraft fleet and switching to the single type fleet as a significant efficiency enhancement.
Source – AeroTime