Scandinavian Airlines is the first European airline to receive the new A330-300 242-tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant, Airbus reported on Monday 21 September. The aircraft was delivered to the airline during a ceremony held at Airbus in Toulouse, France. SAS has selected Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines to power its new A330-300.
Launched in 2012, the increased take-off weight A330-300 incorporates a new aerodynamic package, engine improvements and an optional centre fuel tank. These upgrades allow for an extended range of up to 6,100 nautical miles while offering up to 2 percent less fuel burn. Delta Airlines earlier in 2015 was the first airline to use the longer range aircraft.
“As first European operator of the 242-tonne A330-300, we look forward to seeing SAS enjoy the additional benefits delivered by this innovative aircraft’ said Christopher Buckley, Executive Vice President, Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific. “This longer-range A330 will fit seamlessly into SAS’s current fleet alongside their current A330s, and will pave the way for their A350s in the future. The A330s higher take-off weight allows the airline to fly new Asian routes, with an operational reliability of well over 99 percent. SAS’s passengers will be able to experience the best-in-class cabin comfort that only Airbus offers.”
Scandinavian Airlines currently operates 25 A320 family aircraft, plus four A330-300s and eight A340s. In addition, 30 A320neos are still to be delivered to SAS, along with another three A330-300s and eight A350-900 ordered in 2013.
SAS Scandinavian Airlines has decided to outsource ownership of its four new Airbus A330-300 Enhanced to China. The Swedish-Danish-Norwegian flag carrier signed a sale-and-leaseback agreement on Friday 22 August with the Hongkong based bank of Bocomm.
The newly ordered aircraft are planned to stream into the fleet in Q4 2015 and Q1/Q2 2016 and will upon delivery arrival be sold directly to Bocomm, after which SAS will rent the planes back for a 12 year period.
The ownership outsourcing is the first such a deal between SAS and Bocomm and is meant to spread the financial responsibilties for the Scandinavian airliner that is slowly getting onto more steady financial feet after years of struggling.
The list price for the 4 Airbus A330-300 Enhanced is approximately USD 1 billion.
Source: SAS, with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
The most beautiful and most comfortable flying aircraft type of SAS will make its final flight October 26, 2013. After 28 years of service Scandinavian Airlines will say goodbye to its McDonnell Douglas MD-series.
With engines on the tail the MD-82/-83/-87/-90s were a joy to be flown in, and especially quiet if one succeeded to book a seat in the front half of the aircraft. The sleek long body cut through the air like a knife through warm butter. A big difference with those relatively bulky Boeings and Airbuses with their engines on the wings.
The MDs were great to spot, with smoke trails announcing their arrival and departure and a thundering engine sound unmatched by today’s environmental more friendly and quieter thrust systems. That this great sound could be of some annoyance when seated on one of the last rows near the galley in the tail was something I always forgave the plane. Nobody is perfect, not even the great love in the skies. The rear seats did give one an excellent view on how long the MDs really are.
Scandinavian Airlines clearly choose flying comfort for crew and (most) passengers when it introduced the MD-series in 1985 to replace the aging DC-9s.
There are only a few days left for those who like to pay their proper respects to the splendid aircraft. MD-82s OI-KHE (c/n 49604/1456, delivered to SAS 1988), LN-RMM (c/n 53005/1855, delivered to SAS 1991 as MD-81, converted in 2001) and SE-DIR (c/n 53004/1846, delivered to SAS 1991 as MD-81, converted in 2005) are the only ones still cruising through the beautiful Nordic yonder. All fly from Copenhagen IAP (Kastrup).
Flight number 402 will depart from CPH and fly to Stockholm-Arlanda in the early morning of October 26. The aircraft returns as SK 403. At ETA 11:00 local time the era of the MD in SAS service will end.
On 25 June 2013, SAS and Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the order of 12 new long haul aircraft. On October 3, 2013, SAS and Airbus have signed the final agreement for the delivery of the long-haul dozen: four Airbus A330-300 Enhanced and eight A350-900, plus 6 options for A350-900.
The new Airbus A330-300 will be delivered 2015/16 and the Airbus A350 will be delivered from 2018. The list price of the order is estimated at 3.3 billion USD.
SAS pilots already fly four A330-300s plus seven A340-300s on long distances. The Swedish-Norwegian-Danish states company is slowly doing better financially as well. After years of struggling and a crisis change in organisation the company managed to make a profit last time. The restructuring meant the sale of the regional Norwegian daughter Widerøe, ground personnel and even the SAS maintenance facilities (which are now rented by SAS).
One of the more likely future scenarios for SAS is that it will be bought by German Lufthansa, once the SAS company has succeeded in maintaining order and profit.