Inside SAS’ Stunning New Airbus A350

The first A350 has officially joined the fleet of SAS as of today. Passengers who are keen to experience the shiny new aircraft for themselves will be able to do so from the 28th of January, 2020, as SAS places it in operation on long haul routes. For those eager to know what to expect from this stunning new aircraft before that, let’s take a look inside the SAS A350.

SAS A350
New look livery, but what’s new inside the SAS A350? Photo: SAS

What’s new on board the SAS A350?

A number of European carriers have received their first A350s this year, and most have used these new additions to showcase a new standard of inflight product for the airline. British Airways’ first A350 debuted its stunning new Club World Suite, while Virgin Atlantic brought us a gorgeous new Upper Class product and lots of improvements in other cabins too.

SAS is not missing out on this opportunity either. With its new A350, SAS is bringing its passengers a new cabin, new seats and new, unique features to make long haul flights even more comfortable. Speaking in a press release today, Rickard Gustafson, President & CEO of SAS, commented,

“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 footprint 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.”

SAS A350 twitter
Ingegerd Viking is the first of eight A350s destined for SAS. Photo: SAS

SAS has taken the design of the A350 into its own hands. Designers and engineers from the airline led the creation of the new cabins to both enhance comfort and minimize weight, as the airline strives to drive down its CO2 emissions. Gustafson continued,

“The aircraft is one of our biggest investments, enabling us to provide an outstanding travel experience. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this state-of-the-art aircraft.”

What can we expect from the SAS A350?

As with every A350, the straight sidewalls and high ceilings give the impression of space, light and airiness. Airlines taking delivery of the A350 have been able to get creative with boarding experience, as all A350s have a large space just inside the boarding doors which can serve a variety of uses.

On Virgin’s A350, this space has become ‘The Loft’, a social seating area complete with golden chandelier and giant TV screen. On British Airways, it’s a more modest bar area, where Club World passengers can help themselves to drinks and snacks during the flight.

SAS appears to have gone down the BA route, saying that the space will be used to greet passengers and for SAS Business travelers to use as a refreshment bar during the flight. No photos of the space have been released at this stage.

SAS A350 business
Business class on board the SAS A350. Photo: SAS

On to the hard products on board, and in SAS Business, passengers will find 40 seats laid out in a 1-2-1 arrangement and equipped with high resolution 18.5” IFE screens. The seats have been upgraded for better padding and more control over recline, and the airline has gone for a bi-fold tray table, which should avoid the problems Virgin had with its one-piece tray.

Interestingly, the airline says it has “installed a durable threshold that also can give a light foot massage.” We’re super keen to see what that involves (although it’s probably just a bumpy mat).

SAS A350 premium
Premium economy on the SAS A350. Photo: SAS

As expected, there have been improvements in the rear of the plane too. SAS Plus, the premium economy cabin, has a brand new seat type which includes a leg rest, 13.3” IFE screens and power outlets. Laid out in a 2-4-2 arrangement, this is similar to the Virgin approach to premium economy on the A350.

SAS A350 economy
Economy on the SAS A350. Photo: SAS

In economy, the 228 seats are equipped with 11.6” IFE screens complete with high power USB, a bi-folding meal table and a holder for water bottles. Layout is 3-3-3, in line with BA and Virgin’s economy cabins. Passengers in both SAS Plus and SAS Go are able to make use of a snack bar of their own, which SAS says is to encourage passengers to take a walkabout during the flight.

Something I, and probably many others, are totally pleased to see is that SAS has gone for the fabulous tailcam on board the A350. If you’ve not come across a tailcam before, you’re in for a treat. British Airways really missed a trick with this one.

Where can you fly the new SAS A350?

The first A350 to join the SAS fleet is Ingergerd Viking. It will enter long haul service on the 28th of January, operating services from the SAS hub at Copenhagen Airport. During its first year, this aircraft will operate seven routes, flying to Chicago, Beijing, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and San Francisco.

By the end of 2023, SAS will have received a further seven A350s. As well as this, it will take delivery of 80 new Airbus A320neos, five A330s and three A321s, for a comprehensive fleet overhaul which will see it becoming an all-Airbus airline.

Are you keen to fly on SAS’ new A350? Let us know what you think of the new cabins and features in the comments.