SAS milestones 1946-2016

In seventy years, a lot has happened in the world of SAS. Here are some of the most important milestones!

1946: SAS founded
First official SAS flight from Stockholm to New York takes place on September 17

1954: First Polar route to Los Angeles
SAS is the world’s first airline to fly the Copenhagen – Los Angeles Polar route in regular scheduled services

1957: First North Pole shortcut
SAS is the first airline to offer around-the-world service over the North Pole Copenhagen – Anchorage – Tokyo

1959: SAS enters the jet age
The first jet aircraft, Caravelle, goes into service

1961: SAS establishes SAS Catering
Later rebranded as SAS Service Partner and sold to Swissair’s Gate Gourmet in 1994

1962: Christopher Columbus Prize
SAS wins the prestigious Christopher Columbus Prize, the Nobel Prize of communications

1965: First electronic reservation 
SAS is the world’s first airline to introduce an electronic reservation system

1969: First female pilot at a Western airlin
Norway’s Turi Widerøe becomes the first female pilot at a major western airline

1971: SAS’s first Boeing 747
Copenhagen – New York

1979: Business class launched
Business class is introduced on all intercontinental routes 

1981: First Class on European network changed to EuroClass

1982: On time
For the first time, SAS is named Europe’s most punctual airline

1983: Airline of the Year Award 

1983: New identity
SAS gets a new corporate identity – planes painted white with oblique flag stripes, combined with Swedish, Norwegian and Danish flags. The old dragon head disappears

1985: First MD81 joins the fleet

1987: Best Passenger Service Award

1991: Gottröra emergency landing
SAS flight 751 is forced to land after ice remove on the wings breaks off and is sucked into the engines. All 129 passengers and crew onboard survive the emergency landing

1992: EuroBonus launched
Today there are 4.5 million EuroBonus members

1996: SAS celebrates 50 years

1997: Star Alliance introduced
SAS becomes a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s largest global airline alliance

1999: Internet sales open
SAS introduces Internet bookings and traffic information via mobile phones

2001: Linate airport disaster
SAS flight 686 collides on takeoff with a Cessna Citation CJ due to poor safety procedures at the airport and heavy fog. 118 people are killed.

2002: Longest non-stop flight
12,560 km flight brings ­Scandinavians home after 2002 Bali attack

2004: Airline merger
Scandinavian Airlines in Norway and Braathens merge to become SAS Braathens

2005: Mobile booking and check-in introduced

2005: Relief services
SAS creates an “airbridge” between Scandinavia and Thailand to evacuate people from the tsunami catastrophe

2006: SAS hotels sold
SAS leaves the hotel industry and sells all SAS hotels to the Rezidor Hotel Group

2010: On time again
SAS is the most punctual airline in Europe and 3rd most punctual worldwide

2011: On time worldwide
SAS wins the prize for the most punctual airline in Europe and the world

2012: SAS’s financial crisis
Significant and successful restructuring took place.

2013: New service concept
SAS introduces new service concepts SAS Plus and SAS Go on European routes

2013 SAS introduces SAS App
The app is downloaded more than 2.3 million times and is awarded European best Airline app

2013: Order for 12 new Airbus long-haul aircraft

2015/2016: All long-haul aircraft upgraded

2016: New aircraft
SAS is one of the first carriers to receive Airbus 320-NEO aircrafts. SAS has bought 30 new 320-NEO aircrafts.

2016: First chip implant
Andreas Sjöström becomes first person in the world to travel with a chip implanted in his hand (Stockholm – Paris)

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