SAS Planning for Summer A350 Routes, Replacing A330/A340

SAS' s first A350 at Airbus' manufacturing facility in Toulouse (Photo: SAS)

As more and more airlines release their schedules for the year to come, a clearer picture of what new services and changes are expected to be seen over the coming year and SAS Scandinavian Airlines has announced long-haul changes for its fleet’s summer 2020 schedule, according to Airlineroute. The carrier, based in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, has its long-haul changes based around its newest aircraft in the Airbus A350-900 XWB and its largest hub in Copenhagen.

The airline is going to use the next-generation aircraft on five new routes this upcoming summer with Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Los Angeles and San Francisco all seeing the plane in various capacities. For most, the aircraft will be the replacement to the currently operating Airbus A330s and will operate alongside the Airbus A340 on various days.

The A350 will begin its string of new routes on June 6 when the aircraft takes over the Copenhagen-Hong Kong route. Following the inaugural, the aircraft will then go on a four-day long debut tour until June 10 with the Copenhagen-Shanghai route being the last of the routes to receive the new plane.

SAS’s Copenhagen-New York route will also see a brief one-month appearance of the aircraft as the route will switch aircraft twice over the summer 2020 season. The airline has scheduled the A340 to start the summer season on June 7 to replace the A350 until Aug. 11, when the route will transition back to A350 until Sept. 1 and then finally back to the A340 through the fall.

For SAS, the new widebody jet offers an overall increase in seats offered from its previous models. The aircraft, due to start operations on Jan. 28, 2020, will seat 300 passengers combined in a three-class configuration featuring 40 SAS business seats, 32 SAS Plus premium economy seats and 228 standard economy seats.

The XWB beats out the airline’s current 262 or 266 seat Airbus A330-300s and 247 seat Airbus A340-300s to become the largest aircraft in the fleet by passenger count. However, this is a flatline in SAS business seats compared to the A340-300, which also has 40 of the lie-flat seats. In the end, the airline will operate eight of the new model as a way to increase aircraft size while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption.

Ian McMurtry

Although Ian McMurtry was never originally an avgeek, he did enjoy watching US Airways aircraft across western Pennsylvania in the early 2000s. He lived along the Pennsylvania Railroad and took a liking to trains but a change of scenery in the mid-2000s saw him shift more of an interest into aviation. He would eventually express this passion by taking flying lessons in mid-Missouri and joining AirlineGeeks in 2013. Now living in Wichita, Kansas, Ian is in college majoring in aerospace engineering and minoring in business administration at Wichita State University.
Ian McMurtry