Tag Archives: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS

SAS welcomes the first Airbus A350-900, will enter service on January 28

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS has made this announcement:

The first of eight Airbus A350-900s has officially entered SAS’ fleet and from January 28, 2020 travelers will be able to experience the world’s most modern and fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft. Showcasing innovative technologies and design, it offers a new and more sustainable way of traveling long haul, to and from Scandinavia.

Travelers can look forward to even more comfortable flights, including a cabin with new seat models and unique, customized SAS solutions. The new aircraft is composed of the latest aerodynamic design and technology meaning unrivaled levels of operational efficiency.

SAS designers and engineers have looked at all elements of the aircraft and designed an interior to match and enhance the high comfort level, while also minimizing weight and thereby reducing carbon emissions. Several of SAS’ features are based on important feedback from our customers.

On each flight, a total of 300 travelers and crew can look forward to a cabin environment with the quietest double-aisle cabin, an optimized cabin altitude, with more fresh air, and advanced control of temperature and humidity.

The first A350, named “Ingegerd Viking”, will enter long-haul service on January 28, 2020.

It will be based at the SAS hub at Copenhagen Airport and will operate on seven routes during the first year, including Chicago, Beijing, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and San Francisco.

In total, as a part the modernization of the short and long-haul fleet, SAS will take delivery of new Airbus A320neo (80), Airbus A330 Enhanced (5), Airbus A350 (8), and Airbus A321LR (3) aircraft before the end of 2023.

SAS A350 UNIQUE FEATURES

The cabin ceiling of the A350 is the highest in the industry, with vertical sidewalls for more shoulder room, and the overhead bins are the largest on the market. The aircraft has a high definition tail camera providing views of the aircraft during the flight at every seat-back screen.

SAS Business. 40 seats featuring an in-flight entertainment screen 18,5” with higher resolution, PC-power and high-power USB, better articulation of the seat, separate control for backrest recline, a new bi-fold tray table including a personal device holder and more durable seat padding. The business class beds measure a minimum of 196cm, with some even longer, and SAS has installed a durable threshold that also can give a light foot massage.

SAS has developed a new welcoming area at the entrance door where travelers are greeted in a stylish area, featuring inlaid lights and other unique design features. During the flight, this area will serve as a refreshment bar for SAS Business travelers.

SAS Plus. 32 seats of a brand-new type to SAS. They include a leg rest with a foot support feature, 13.3” high-resolution IFE screens, PC-power and high-power USB and a cabin divider distinctly separating the cabin from the rest of the plane. Travelers in SAS Plus and SAS Go can enjoy a special snack shop designed to encourage passengers to take a walk to boost health onboard.

SAS Go. 228 seats with 11.6” IFE screens with high resolution, high-power USB, a bi-fold meal table and a water bottle holder. The plane also features a “cross-aisle” passageway midway through SAS Go, for the benefit of passengers and crew.

The A350 features also a new work environment for crew. In addition to eight spacious beds for cabin crew and pilots, galleys have been redesigned to provide better, larger work surfaces for cabin crew. Furthermore, the A350 has iPads both to help with personalization of service and make it easier for crew to automatically report faults to maintenance, and more.

SAS aircraft photo gallery:

SAS reports an “unsatisfactory full year result”

SAS' first Airbus A350-900, in new livery

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS issued this financial report:

AUGUST 2019–OCTOBER 2019

  • Revenue: MSEK 13,463 (12,678)
  • Income before tax (EBT): MSEK 1,096 (789)
  • Income before tax and items affecting comparability: MSEK 1,226 (822)
  • Net income for the period: MSEK 861 (623)
  • Earnings per common share SEK 2.19 (1.56)

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS DURING THE QUARTER

  • SAS issued a new hybrid bond amounting to SEK 1.5 billion
  • New organizational structure implemented

OUTLOOK

  • SAS expects to deliver an EBIT margin before items affecting comparability of 3-5% for the fiscal year 2020

NOVEMBER 2018–OCTOBER 2019

  • Revenue: MSEK 46,736 (44,718)
  • Income before tax (EBT): MSEK 794 (2,050)
  • Income before tax and items affecting comparability: MSEK 786 (2,136)
  • Net income for the period: MSEK 621 (1,595)
  • Earnings per common share: SEK 1.54 (3.71)
  • Income before tax negatively impacted by strike MSEK -615
  • CO2 emissions reduced by 2.5%

COMMENTS BY THE CEO

SAS had an unsatisfactory full year result, significantly lower than last year, due to headwinds from higher jet-fuel costs, unfavorable currency movements and a strike. Despite these challenges, SAS’ attractive customer offering and operational efficiency improvements together with reduced market capacity, especially in the fourth quarter, led to a positive result for the full-year 2019.

During the fourth quarter, we noted strong momentum in the demand for our products and services. The total number of passengers grew 2.3%. In addition, sales of charter capacity and attached revenues also increased. Altogether, total revenues increased over 6% to MSEK 13,463.

Earnings before tax and items affecting comparability also developed favorably in the quarter and ended at MSEK 1,226, up MSEK 404 year-on-year. The improved earnings were mainly driven by increased revenues which were partially offset by higher operational expenditures from negative currency developments. Our ongoing work to improve operational robustness resulted in improved regularity and punctuality, as well as a significantly lower cost of claims.

During the quarter, we also strengthened our equity position by issuing a SEK 1.5 billion hybrid bond. The main objective of the issuance was to increase equity ahead of the new IFRS 16 accounting standard, which came into effect on 1 November 2019.

The full fiscal year 2019 was characterized by significant headwinds for SAS, including higher jet-fuel costs, unfavorable FX-rates and a seven-day strike. However, strong demand shown in passenger and attached revenues led to a total revenue increase of SEK 2 billion. The improved unit revenue and passenger yield show that our attractive value proposition for Scandinavian travelers generates strong revenues. Despite the increase, full-year earnings regrettably declined MSEK 1,350 due to the negative headwinds stated above.

FURTHER ENHANCEMENTS TO OUR CUSTOMER OFFERING

During the quarter we unveiled SAS’ new livery. This is part of our ongoing transformation to the most modern fleet in the market. The single-type fleet will, besides the financial advantages of streamlined maintenance and lower fuel consumption, also reduce our emissions significantly – a topic important for SAS, our customers and society at large.

Furthermore, we are pleased that the Norwegian Armed Forces selected SAS as their carrier of choice for the next four years. The contract strengthens our market position and presence in the important Norwegian domestic market. The Swedish Paralympic Committee also chose SAS as their partner ahead of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020. The agreement with Sweden’s Paralympic Committee means that SAS is now the Olympic and Paralympic partner for all of Scandinavia’s athletes in Tokyo.

Looking ahead to next year, we are continuing to adapt our network to make life easier for our customers. For the coming summer program, we are launching 14 new direct routes and 5 totally new destinations from Scandinavia, including Bari (Italy), Rhodes (Greece), Tivat (Montenegro), Zadar (Croatia) and Valencia (Spain).

CONTINUED EFFORTS TO REDUCE CLIMATE IMPACT

Besides the fleet renewal, which is our most important initiative to reduce carbon emissions, we also made progress on several activities supporting our journey toward more sustainable air travel and a reduced climate impact.

We continued our efforts to increase the supply and usage of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (i.e. biofuel) and made it easier for travelers to voluntarily buy biofuel, in addition to the amount SAS is already using. On 31 October, we were happy to announce that the Swedish cross-country team decided to invest in biofuel to reduce its emissions. The team will buy biofuel from SAS at an amount equivalent to their fuel consumption on flights between Stockholm and Östersund.

SAS’ COO, Simon Pauck Hansen, was recently appointed Chairman of the Aviation Group in the Climate Partnership initiated by the Danish Government. The partnership is one out of 13, where all industrial segments in Denmark are engaged to fulfill the ambitious climate goals set by the Danish government. SAS looks forward to playing a vital role in the partnership and demonstrate leadership toward a more sustainable aviation future.

For the CO2 emissions that we cannot eliminate with today’s technology, we continue to carbon offset through Natural Capital Partners, which invests in global emission reduction projects, such as wind power in India. At the end of the quarter, we had compensated for over 3.9 million journeys with SAS, representing 40% of the total passenger-related CO2 emissions in the fourth quarter.

IMPROVED OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY

Our efforts to improve operational quality continue. During the quarter, regularity increased 0.6 percentage points to 98.9% and punctuality increased 1.7 percentage points to 82.5%. In addition to supporting an improved customer experience, the improvements also resulted in lower claim costs.

We delivered on our efficiency target of SEK 0.9 billion set out for the year. The remaining SEK 0.6 billion of the total SEK 3 billion will be delivered in the next fiscal year, according to plan.

In the quarter, we implemented a new organizational structure to enhance accountability and to accelerate the next phase of transformation.

LOOKING AHEAD

SAS did not meet two of its’ three financial targets for the fiscal year 2019, despite a strong fourth quarter. Financial preparedness remains strong, but the return on invested capital came in at a disappointing 8% and our adjusted net debt to EBITDAR increased to 3.7x.

This outcome is not satisfactory and reinforces the need for additional efforts to improve our operational efficiency and competitiveness. We remain committed to our strategy which has resulted in substantial improvements since 2012. Under this framework we have started additional initiatives to further improve efficiency, flexibility and competitiveness in the coming years.

Some of these initiatives will yield results already in 2020, while others lay the foundation for increased efficiency in the years to come. As a part of our digitalization and Lean efforts, we have set aside MSEK 120 in restructuring costs to accelerate the automation of administrative tasks to reduce overhead costs.

Our investment in a single-type fleet in SAS Scandinavia will bring significant benefits to our operations, but due to the required training, productivity will be negatively impacted in the forthcoming years. However, we will see some of the benefits materialize in 2021 with reduced stand-by levels and maintenance costs, as Arlanda becomes our second all-Airbus base after Copenhagen.

We will also benefit from our initiative to improve asset and crew utilization. Here we aim to have a new system and planning processes fully up and running by 2022. Already in 2020, this will help us to further improve our strong operational robustness and drive further efficiencies, that will contribute with MSEK 75 in cost reductions as early as next year.

As a final point, we need to further enhance our operating model to increase productivity and flexibility. Approximately 20% of the destinations in SAS network are optimal to serve with an aircraft sized between an A320neo (180-seat) and a CRJ (90-seat). 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.

However, to place such an order we need to certify that the benefits of single-fleet operations on all platforms remain intact, and that the available aircraft types perform to the standard for which we are known. We also need to secure competitive duty agreements appropriate for mid-size operation.

In summary, all additional initiatives come with a substantial long-term potential and the additional gross efficiency improvements are estimated at SEK 1.5-2.0 billion by FY23 and beyond. In 2020, we expect these initiatives to contribute to the full-year target of SEK 0.6 billion in efficiency improvements.

OUTLOOK

The uncertain economic outlook and emerging slowdown in key economies will negatively impact customer demand. The continued weakness of the Swedish and Norwegian krona against the US dollar and the Euro also remains a challenge. For the forthcoming year, we therefore foresee significantly lower growth, both from a demand and a supply perspective.

Given these market conditions together with higher costs for new aircraft, increased training volumes as well as the implementation of IFRS 16, we expect to deliver an EBIT margin of 3-5% for fiscal year 2020. For the same reasons we expect an increased loss for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to last year.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all SAS ­employees and partners for their efforts during the year. Similarly, I want to thank our customers and look forward to welcoming you aboard one of our 800 daily flights in 2020!

Top Copyright Photo: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 F-WZHJ (SE-RSA) (msn 358) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948184.

SAS aircraft slide show:

SAS takes delivery of its first Airbus A350-900

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 F-WZHJ (SE-RSA) (msn 358) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948367.

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, becoming the newest operator of this latest generation, highly efficient wide body aircraft.

The airline has a total of eight A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 68 aircraft (51 A320 Family, 17 A330 and A340 Family aircraft).

In the coming years, as part of an extensive fleet modernization, SAS will take delivery of 54 additional A320neo Family aircraft and the remaining seven A350-900s through direct purchase and lease contracts.

SAS’s A350-900 features a modern and highly comfortable three-class cabin layout with 300 seats: 40 “SAS Business” class, 32 “SAS Plus” class and 228 “SAS Go” class seats. On 28 January 2020, the airline will start to operate the new aircraft on its Copenhagen-Chicago long-haul route, followed by other international destinations including North America and Asia.

At the end of October 2019, the A350 XWB Family had received 913 firm orders from 50 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Top Copyright Photo: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 F-WZHJ (SE-RSA) (msn 358) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948367.

SAS aircraft slide show:

SAS launches sustainable packaging onboard

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS is now launching a new packaging of the award-winning New Nordic by SAS food concept. The new design of the cube will save up to 51 tons of plastics per year. This is one of many important steps toward reaching SAS goal of having 100 percent sustainable materials in the customer offering no later than 2030.

With the emphasis on a contemporary in-air dining experience, using locally produced and seasonal ingredients, New Nordic by SAS has had a sustainability focus since it was launched in 2017. The packaging will now be re-launched as of November 21st with a new design and more sustainable materials.

Some form of plastic is often necessary due to food safety requirements. Therefore, the suppliers of SAS have come up with a solution that replaces the inside plastic container of the cube with a paper one. It is made of FSC* approved paper with a plastic coating, made from organic plant-based plastic instead of oil-based plastic.

“The New Nordic by SAS food concept served in the cube is an excellent example of how we align our onboard services with our sustainability goals. It is one of many steps toward a more sustainable aviation – the most significant actions being the renewal of our fleet, increasing biofuel use and supporting the development of electric aircraft,” says Karl Sandlund.

The cutlery kit in the cube has also been changed. The new kits are adapted to each meal in order to minimize use of resources, meaning that each piece of cutlery is offered only if needed. It will be launched gradually starting in December 2019 and by May 2020 the new cutlery will be found in every cube.

The plant-based plastic used in the cutlery is made from vegetable oil, which is processed by natural fermentation and micro-organisms into a raw material that is compostable. SAS is proud to be the first in presenting this innovative solution for single use cutlery, the only plastic solution compliant with the European SUP (Single Use Plastics) directive.

Instead of putting the wet wipe in each cube, it will now be offered upon request. Instead of a plastic wrap to contain the cutleries, paper napkins made from recycled material will be used for wrapping.

Replacing materials is an important part of SAS work as every step counts on the journey toward a more sustainable air travel. Other initiatives for example, include the removal off tax-free sales and increased availability of pre-order meals to reduce waste and weight.

*Forest Stewardship Council, a certification body that states that the paper used is produced from trees from forests that are sustainably managed.

All photos by SAS.

First new Airbus A321LR to enter SAS fleet

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS made this announcement:

The first of three new Airbus A321LRs, a narrow-bodied aircraft suited for longer distances, will enter service in the SAS fleet on September 18, 2020. The new aircraft is equipped with a service concept with three travel classes, like the rest of SAS’ long-haul fleet, and will increase SAS’ flexibility to meet Scandinavian travel patterns. The new aircraft, part of SAS’ ongoing fleet renewal will reduce climate-impacting emissions in comparison to previous generations of similar aircraft.

The Airbus A321LR is a narrow-body, single aisle aircraft, specially configured to fly longer distances than a standard A321neo. The smaller aircraft gives SAS the opportunity to fill the aircraft on new routes and will be a welcome addition to the SAS long haul fleet. The A321LR will increase the SAS’ flexibility to adjust to changes in the demand for new routes and destinations.

“This is an entirely new aircraft type for SAS, which is incredibly well suited to the Scandinavian market and emerging travel patterns to and from the region. It gives SAS an opportunity to offer travelers more intercontinental routes, fewer stopovers and shorter travel times to and from Scandinavia. The new aircraft is equipped with a service concept at par with the rest of SAS’ long-haul fleet, offering passengers all the benefits, level of comfort and choices of our traveling classes,” says Karl Sandlund, EVP & Chief Commercial Officer.

The A321LR is part of the latest generation of aircraft and is expected to reduce climate-impacting emissions by around the same amount as when SAS introduced the A320neo, whose carbon footprint is approximately 15-18 percent smaller than an equivalent size aircraft from the previous generation.

The aircraft has 22 Business, 12 Plus and 123 Go, meaning a total of 157 seats in a single aisle aircraft. The seats are especially chosen for the A321LR to optimize the comfort in all three travel classes to meet the expectations of frequent travelers. Seats in SAS Business are fully flat seat beds and there are different mood light scenarios in the cabins, as well as Hi-speed Wi-Fi. Every seat is equipped with IFE screens, PC-power and/or Hi-power USB. The reduced noise level inside the cabin will further enhance the travel experience onboard.

The first A321LR will enter service on September 18, 2020. The first route the A321LR will operate on be Copenhagen-Boston. This means that the route will become a year-round destination served on a high frequency basis and will further strengthen SAS’ offering to the North Americas. Sales will start on November 20, 2019.

New routes will gradually be communicated later in 2020. The aircraft has enough range to reach northeast US, but it can also reach destinations in Canada, the Middle East and India from Scandinavia.

National cross-country team buys biofuel from SAS

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS has made this announcement:

The Swedish cross-country team has decided to invest in biofuel to reduce its climate affecting emissions. The team is buying biofuel from SAS at an amount equivalent to the fuel consumption of the skiers’ and trainers’ flights between Stockholm and Östersund in 2019.

Since last summer, anyone flying with SAS can opt to buy biofuel, which reduces climate-affecting carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent.

“We are incredibly proud of the national cross-country team’s decision to buy biofuel. We are constantly developing more sustainable products and services, and one way of contributing to this is to offer the opportunity to buy biofuel. So it’s great that the Swedish skiers want to be part of the transition to a more sustainable way of traveling. Hopefully, more will be inspired to follow their example,” says Karl Sandlund EVP & Chief Commercial Officer, SAS.

SAS doesn’t make any profit on the fuel bought by customers like the Swedish cross-country team and it is added to the biofuel already bought by SAS.

“For the Swedish Ski Association, sustainability is a natural part of its activities. We aim to offer good sporting environments with a healthy financial situation and we want to use natural resources in a responsible and effective way so as not to put our climate and opportunities for future generations at risk. Together with our partners, we want to do our best to minimize our footprint and set an example in sustainable travel, which is why we’re delighted to be able to take steps together with SAS toward more sustainable travel,” says Ola Strömberg, Association Director and acting head of the cross-country team at the Swedish Ski Association.

The increased use of biofuel is a prerequisite for more sustainable flights and for SAS to be able to achieve its objective of cutting climate-affecting carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent by 2030.

SAS works in various ways to promote the large-scale production of sustainable biofuel in Scandinavia.

SAS to operate the last Boeing 737-600 revenue flight on November 30

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Boeing 737-683 LN-RPG (msn 28310) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 935825.

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS is planning to retire its last Boeing 737-600 on November 30.

The last revenue flight will be a one-way Stockholm (Arlanda) – Oslo service as flight SK 600 on November 30, 2019 per Airline Route.

The carrier introduced the type in 1998.

The last service is likely to be operated by the pictured LN-RPG.

Top Copyright Photo: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Boeing 737-683 LN-RPG (msn 28310) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 935825.

SAS aircraft slide show: