SAS today celebrates 75 years of flying

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS today made this announcement:

Today, August 1, 2021 marks the founding of SAS 75 years ago and we have been the proud carrier of travelers to, from and within Scandinavia during all these years. Scandinavia would not be the same today without a strong Scandinavian airline, and we will naturally continue to play and integral role in Scandinavian infrastructure also in the future. 

Innovation has been a natural part of SAS in all these years. From the world’s first flight over the North Pole, thereby shortening flying time between continents, to the current and future drive toward sustainable aviation.

The latest aircraft in our fleet offer more comfort, less noise and up to 30% lower carbon dioxide emission – and represents just one of many initiatives on the journey toward sustainable aviation. This journey is critical, and SAS will in cooperation with the entire ecosystem, maintain its leading position in this work.

SAS operates in an industry that by its nature connects the world – we have the opportunity to build bridges and contribute to knowledge and understanding when people meet.

A warm thank you to everyone who has been part of creating and cheering for SAS through 75 years. We look forward to the years to come!

History Milestones:



1918 Det Danske Luftfartselskab A/S (DDL), SAS’ Danish parent company, is founded

1920 DDL is listed on the Copenhagen Stock Market

1924 AB Aerotransport (ABA), SAS’ Swedish parent company, is founded

1927 Det Norske Luftfartselskap A/S (DNL), SAS’ Norwegian parent company is founded


1946 SAS is formed from Det Danske Luftfartselskab A/S (DDL), Det Norske Luftfartselskap A/S (DNL) and Svensk Interkontinetal Lufttrafik AB (SILA). The first intercontinental flight Stockholm – New York.

1951 DDL, DNL and ABA form the present SAS Consortium.

1954 SAS is the world’s first airline to fly the Copenhagen – Los Angeles polar route in scheduled services.

Photo: SAS DC-7C Halfdan Viking, SE-CCA on the ground at Bromma Airport BMA, Stockholm 1960s. ©SAS Museum, Norway

1955 SILA (which owned 50% of ABA) was quoted on the “Stockbrokers’ List” in Sweden.

1957 SAS is the first airline to offer “round the world service over the North Pole.” North Pole Shortcut Copenhagen – Anchorage – Tokyo.

1959 SAS enters the jet age. The first jet aircraft, Caravelle, in service.


1960 SAS opens its first hotel, the SAS Royal Hotel Copenhagen.

1965 SAS is first to introduce and electronic reservation system.

1967 DNL is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Photo: Fornebu International Airport, FBU, Oslo. SAS DC-9-32 Lodin Viking LN-RLS, Convair 440 Mertopolitan Tor Viking SE-BST, DC-8-33 Olav Viking LN-MOT and other aircrafts at Fornebu 1960s. ©SAS Museum, Norway


1971 SAS puts its first Boeing 747 jumbo jet into service.


1980 SAS opens its first hotel outside of Scandinavia, the SAS Kuwait Hotel. SILA is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

1981 SAS EuroClass is introduced on all European routes.

1982 SAS is the most punctual airline in Europe for the first time.

1984 SAS receives Air Transport World’s distinction “Airline of the Year” for 1983.

1986 Spanair is founded

1989 SAS International Hotels owns 40% of Intercontinental Hotels Group. This stake sold in 1992.


1994 Focus on airline operations in the SAS Group – sale of a number of subsidiaries.

1996 SAS celebrates its 50th anniversary on August 1. Harmonization and name change of SAS parent company to SAS Danmark A/S, SAS Norge ASA and SAS Sverige AB.

1997 SAS is one of the founders of Star Alliance.

1998 Air Botnia becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the SAS Group.

1999 The SAS Group becomes a majority owner of Widerøe.

"Stig Viking", later crashed with MAS on December  18, 1983

Above Copyright Photo: Scandinavian Airlines System-SAS Airbus A300B2-320 OY-KAA (msn 122) ATH (Richard Vandervord). Image: 954589.


2001 A single SAS share is established. On July 6, SAS is listed on the stock exchanges in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo. Braathens is acquired by the SAS Group in December.

2002 Rezidor SAS Hospitality signed a master franchise agreement with Carlson Hotels Worldwide.

2003 Acquisition of 49% of the shares in Estonian Air.

2004 Incorporation of Scandinavian Airlines Sverige, SAS Braathens and Scandinavian Airlines Danmark.

2005 The SAS Group sells European Aeronautical Group to Navtech Inc. The SAS Group sells Jetpak Group to Polaris Private Equity and 67 % of SAS Component to Singapore Technologies Engineering. Furthermore Carlson Hotels acquires a 25 % stake in Rezidor SAS.

2006 SAS celebrates 60 years. CEO Jørgen Lindegaard leaves SAS on August 1; replaced temporarily by CFO Gunnar Reitan. Rezidor Hotels introduced at the Stockholm Stock Exchange

2007 Mats Jansson becomes new CEO for SAS. SAS Strategy 2011 is introduced. Flight Academy was sold. SAS Group sold its remaining stake in Rezidor to Carlson Companies

2008 Datagraf acquires SAS Media. SAS Facility Management sold to Coor. SAS Group sells airBaltic to the management of the Company.

2009 To facilitate the implementation of Core SAS a rights issue of appr SEK 6 billion was carried out.


2010 To further strengthen the financial preparedness and complete Core SAS a rights issue of approximately SEK 5 billion was carried out.

2011 Rickard Gustafson became new CEO of SAS. The strategy plan 4Excellence was launched.

2012 SAS launched the restructuring program 4Excellence Next Generation.

2013 SAS sold 80% of its holding in Wideröe.

2014 SAS completed a SEK 3.5 bn issue of preference shares.

2016 SAS took delivery of its fourth Airbus A330E and thereby completed the expansion of its long-haul fleet to 16 aircraft.


SAS completed a private placement of MSEK 1,270.

SAS established SAS Ireland with a base in London.


SAS places order for an additional 50 Airbus A320neo aircraft to create a single-type fleet

SAS the first Nordic airline to launch high speed WiFi

The Norwegian government divested its 9.9% shareholding in SAS.

SAS Ireland opened a base in Malaga.

SAS and Preem signed a letter of intent to secure future production of biofuel. SAS’ ambition is to only us


The exhibits at the SAS Museum at Oslo Airport Gardermoen represent an important part of Scandinavian civil aviation history. The museum collections cover SAS as well as its parent companies: AB Aerotransport (ABA), Det Danske Luftfartselskab (DDL) and Det Norske Luftfartselskap (DNL).

museum was originally established in 1989 in the hangar area at Oslo Airport Fornebu at the same time as the formation of the DNL/SAS Historielag (the DNL/SAS Historic Society). It was built up through the efforts of a group of enthusiasts among retired and active SAS employees.

The establishment of the new museum in 2003/2004 is a result of SAS feeling a responsibility to document the history of Scandinavian civil aviation. For this purpose, the airline has entered a partnership with its three national historic societies and the latter undertake the day-to-day work on a volunteer basis. SAS absorbs the rental cost of the museum building and has also provided depots for museum exhibits in Denmark and Sweden.

The museum at Gardermoen is therefore more than just a continuation of the facility at Fornebu – it is a completely new and considerably expanded Scandinavian museum. It is run by a board that includes representatives of the SAS consortium and the historic societies.