The first of SAS’s A350s has officially entered its fleet and starting in January, the carrier’s passengers will be able to take flight on one of the most advanced aircraft in the skies featuring the newest livery featuring super huge silver billboard titles across the fuselage. Inside, the carrier has opted for the same paired back minimalism as we’ve come to expect from this Nordic Viking of the skies.
“The A350 is a milestone in the extensive renewal of the SAS fleet which will consist of the market’s most advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft. With this aircraft we reduce the fuel consumption compared with the aircraft it replaces, which means reduced carbon emissions by up to 30 percent. Also, the external noise foot print will be reduced by 40 percent. Along with the new livery, the A350 is a symbol of a more sustainable and competitive future for SAS, “says Rickard Gustafson, President & CEO, SAS.
The aircraft is split in to three cabins, with 40 in business, 32 in premium economy (titled SAS Plus) and 228 economy class seats. Named Ingegerd Viking, the first of the 8 A350s to join SAS’s fleet will enter long-haul service on the 28th of January. 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 SAS Business it’s pretty much business as usual, creating consistency in the fleet, they opted for the Vantage XL seat again, but with a few modifications including 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 stretching out even longer, and SAS has installed a durable threshold that also can give a light foot massage (ooh!).
More noticeable will be SAS’s new welcoming area at the entrance door where travellers are greeted in a stylish zone, featuring inlaid lights and other unique design features brought to life by UK based agency Factorydesign, who also helped with the Business Class seat upgrades. During the flight, this welcome area will serve as a refreshment bar for SAS Business travellers. The uses of grey, light wood and dark finishes for the seats gives the entire space a masculine, utilitarian and weighted feel.
In SAS Plus, the carrier has opted for a brand-new seat type, similar to those found on Virgin Atlantic’s A350s. 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. Travellers in SAS Plus and SAS Go can also enjoy a special snack shop –also designed by Factorydesign – to encourage passengers to take a walk to boost health onboard.
In the rear of the plane SAS Go passengers will enjoy 11.6” IFE screens (with tail high-resolution tail camera), high-power USB, a bi-fold meal table and a water bottle holder. Thankfully, at the expense of a row of seats, the plane also features a “cross-aisle” passageway midway through SAS Go, for the benefit of passengers and crew.