Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has announced that it will unveil the new livery on its first Airbus A350-900 on the 19th September. The carrier teased the arrival of this new aircraft on Twitter, giving expectant avgeeks some pieces of the puzzle, but not quite the whole picture.
SAS has invited media from all over the world to a presentation in Copenhagen on 19th September, where the colour scheme of the new long-haul aircraft will be revealed. This subject has caused considerable speculation among aircraft buffs, with SAS itself noting that its livery hasn’t been changed since 1998.
— SAS – Scandinavian Airlines (@SAS) September 9, 2019
While there has been considerable speculation among aircraft buffs about the colour of the aircraft, the teaser video does seem to indicate that blue colouring will be central to the new design. However, SAS has stated that the new design probably won’t go live across its fleet until 2024.
The rise and rise of the A350
The A350-900 entered service with its launch operator Qatar Airways back in January 2015, but has since been superseded by the A350-1000. This sequel to the 900-model was also debuted by Qatar in February 2018.
Since its launch over four years ago, the A350-900 has proved popular with numerous airlines. Several carriers already have orders in place for 900-models to add to their fleet, with Lufthansa, Starlux Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Air China all having confirmed multiple orders for the Airbus jetliner.
Other carriers linked with the A350-900 include Air France and KLM. Air France has been confirmed as having 28 of the Airbus aircraft on order, including a number switched over from the original KLM order.
Singapore Airlines has been another enthusiastic consumer of the A350-900 model, with the carrier having already confirmed that it will begin flying the Airbus aircraft into the capital of New Zealand, Wellington, in November. Singapore signalled its intention to replace the Boeing 777-200 with the Airbus A350-900 on its Singapore-Melbourne-Wellington route after extensive testing at Wellington Airport.
However, even though this is a highly advanced aircraft, there have been safety concerns noted with the A350-900 during its short lifespan. A report from Rolls Royce in August indicated that it may be necessary for additional inspections to be carried out on the Airbus A350-900, as high-stress conditions can reduce the service life of its engine mounts.
The 900-model is ideal for long-haul flights, possessing an approximate range of 8,100 nmi (15,001 km), seating around 325 passengers. The A350-900 has been designed to compete with the Boeing 777 and 787, and Airbus claims that the Boeing 777-200ER features a 30 percent higher block fuel consumption, and 25 percent higher cash operating costs than its airliner.
As SAS continues to update its fleet, the carrier has already announced the decision to retire its last remaining Boeing 737-600s by the end of 2019. The airline has been using this aircraft since 1995, but is now opting for more up-to-date Airbus releases.
The carrier has also announced several new routes recently, which will include a new route to the Scandinavian Mountains from London. The carrier has also signalled its intention to attempt to address climate change by removing onboard duty-free shopping.
What do you think SAS will change about the A350 livery? How would you like it to look? Let us know in the comments!