Entire SAS long-haul fleet is now upgraded
Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, Hong Kong, or Beijing – regardless of what overseas destination you are heading for, you can be sure your flight will be comfortable, stylish, and worthy of a Scandinavian traveler. As of June 30 2016, SAS has completed a total makeover of the entire long-haul fleet to ensure that its cabins meet the high demands of frequent travelers.
Both functionality and aesthetics are important for a top-class in-flight experience.
“We wanted to create an open, contemporary cabin that feels Scandinavian, with a modern interpretation of the classic design heritage,” says Johan Mägi, head of SAS Onboard Product and Services.
The designers’ task was to create the feeling of staying in a comfortable hotel while flying overseas, and the redesign is tailored to meet passengers’ needs for seat comfort, entertainment, eating, and sleeping onboard.
Every inch of the plane has been scrutinized to maximize personal space – and as a result all travel classes have new seats and extra storage. The new seats allow you to sit and sleep better in SAS Go and SAS Plus, since reclining your chair makes the whole chair tilt back. You also get more legroom, and the SAS Plus seats are wider to help you avoid touching your neighbor’s shoulder.
“We know that our customers truly value their personal space,” Mägi says. “We see an increasing demand among both business and leisure travelers to fly more comfortably.” So SAS has doubled its number of SAS Plus seats.
A flying restaurant
Still, the flagship product for every airline is business class.
“We now have the best business class product across the Atlantic,” Mägi says.
Not only did the cabin get a makeover but so did the service, in a bid to make a product tailored to customers’ individual needs and wishes.
One example is the new restaurant-style food service onboard.
“A traditional airline would prioritize efficiency and serve everyone the same food – on a tray, wrapped in plastic,” he says. “On our flights the customers decide what they want to eat. We serve a rolling buffet.”
And if you fly business class you no longer risk waking up with strangers climbing over you to get to the bathroom. After the upgrade all business customers have private access to the aisle.
To make long flights even more comfortable, the business seats can be fully reclined into full-lengths beds. And not just any beds: the bedding and mattresses are from the Swedish premium-brand bed manufacturer Hästens. Each bed can be adjusted in firmness by pressing a button.
“We now have one of the best business class chairs,” Mägi says. “In fact, it’s so great that we can start selling sleep!”
Just as at home, travelers can watch TV, surf on their laptops, and eat at the same time. All business seats have a personal side table that supports multitasking.
“We have also installed a top-of-the-line on-demand entertainment system and will invest more in a Scandinavian selection of films and TV series,” Mägi says.
You can watch new releases or old favorites on the large high-definition touch screen.
Wireless Internet access is also available, and each seat has PC power and USB outlets.
Even the lighting is designed to enhance the Scandinavian experience. SAS has designed a Scandinavian night mode that simulates the slow Scandinavian dusk and dawn. The lighting is also designed to calm and comfort travelers at takeoff and landing.
For a true Scandinavian experience, even details such as the seating fabric are crucial – in all classes.
“We worked hard to get the right breathable wool mix that you can sit on for eight hours to New York without feeling sweaty when you step off the plane,” Mägi says.
By June the entire long-haul fleet was upgraded – including the four brand new A330 planes.
“This fall we will do a complete redesign of the first short-distance Airbus A320 Neo,” Mägi says. “We want all of our travelers to fly in comfort and style.”
The SAS long-haul fleet currently consists of seven Airbus A340 and eight A330 aircraft. Eight more Airbus A350-900s will be delivered starting in 2018.
Text: Sofia Zetterman