SAS has signed a firm order for 30 A320neo Family aircraft, as part of its strategy to streamline its fleet with more fuel-efficient new aircraft. These new A320neos will join the airline’s existing fleet of eight A321s and four A319s, and enable SAS to transition to an all-Airbus fleet at its prime Copenhagen base. The engine decision will be announced by the airline at a later date.
The A320neo incorporates new more efficient engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. This will represent some 3,600 tonnes less CO2 per aircraft, per year. In addition, the A320neo will provide a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise, thus being a good neighbour at any airport where SAS is operating the aircraft.
“This aircraft order, on the newest Airbus A320, is a significant and important step in our renewal and harmonization of our aircraft fleet. Through this, we will operate with the market’s most efficient and environmental friendly short- and medium distance aircraft,” says Göran Jansson, SAS Deputy President & Chief Financial Officer.
“Airbus salutes SAS’ decision to streamline its fleet with our eco-efficient A320neo aircraft,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “As an evolution of the highly successful A320, the latest in fuel saving technologies, the A320neo is a natural choice for SAS. It will fit seamlessly into their existing A320 family fleet.”
SAS has been a customer of Airbus since 1980 and today operates 23 Airbus aircraft, including: 7 A340s; 4 A330s and 12 A320 Family aircraft.
Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saudi Arabia’s national airline, has placed a firm order for four additional A330-300 aircraft in addition to the eight ordered in July 2008, taking the total order for the type to 12.
Saudi Arabian Airlines placed its first order with Airbus in over 30 years in 2007 for 22 A320 Family aircraft and later placed an order for eight A330s. In 2009, Saudia upsized by converting 15 of the A320 orders into the larger A321. Airbus has so far delivered 17 aircraft (five A320s, four A321s and all eight A330s) from the order for 30 before today.
“We are reaping the benefits of operational efficiency and productivity with our new fleet of A330s, and our passengers love it too. The A330 is an important pillar upon which we are building our ambitious expansion plans by simultaneously meeting rising passenger demand and expectations,” said His Excellency Engineer Khalid Al Molhem, Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Including leased aircraft, and today’s four A330, in the years to come, Saudia’s Airbus fleet will grow to 62 aircraft.
“We embarked with Saudi Arabian Airlines on their ambitious fleet renewal plans three years ago, and we are delighted with the result. This follow on order from one of the Middle East’s longest established airlines is a fantastic endorsement of our products,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
The Airbus A330 remains the most economic means of flying some 300 passengers on medium range routes in true long haul comfort. The A330 aircraft offers unbeatable economics, and is the world’s most fuel efficient and productive aircraft on the market.
With a true wide-body fuselage allowing very high comfort standards, the A330-300 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit the diverse customer requirements. It has a range of up to 5,650 nm / 10,500 km with a full passenger load. Highly efficient and optimized for the medium – to extended range market, the A330-300 offers the best balance between range and cost. Orders for the A330 stand at more than 1100, including over 500 A330-300 aircraft.