Scandinavian carrier SAS will take 50 more Airbus A320neos plus five options in a commitment split between Airbus and lessors, enabling the airline to transition to a single-type short-haul fleet by 2023.

SAS has an existing order for 30 A320neos, of which 17 are already in service. On April 10, SAS announced plans to take a further 35 A320neos plus five options from Airbus, as well as 15 additional aircraft through declarations of intent with lessors.

“Today’s order means that SAS will have at least 80 Airbus A320neos in service during 2023,” SAS said. “The aircraft order also includes options for an additional five A320neos. Moreover, SAS has the possibility to increase the number of aircraft that can be leased from lessors. Alongside existing aircraft, this also creates flexibility for growth under the right circumstances.”

The leased aircraft will be delivered between spring 2019 and 2021, while the aircraft ordered directly from Airbus will be in place by 2023.

SAS valued the 35-aircraft order, including engines, at just below $4 billion at list prices.

All the aircraft will be equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi and SAS’ new cabin interiors. 

SAS president and CEO Rickard Gustafson said the A320neo has received a positive response from passengers since it entered service with the airline just over a year ago.

Since the 2010s, SAS has been working to harmonize and simplify its fleet, cutting its number of short-haul European aircraft types from six in 2012 to just two today.

“In line with the deliveries of the new Airbus A320neos, SAS will begin phasing out its Boeing 737 and the existing Airbus A320 aircraft. At the same time, SAS will further simplify its aircraft fleet into a single-type fleet consisting of Airbus aircraft on both short-, medium- and long-haul routes. This will lead to increased flexibility, and enable further standardizations and enhancements to efficiency in the production,” SAS said.

“SAS is in the process of implementing SEK3 billion ($358 million) in efficiency gains by 2020. SAS will have to continue to improve efficiency even after 2020. The renewal of the aircraft fleet together with the implementation of the single type fleet means SAS can take efficiency enhancements of its operations to the next level,” the airline said.

SAS is yet to confirm an engine selection for the additional aircraft.

Victoria Moores, victoria.moores@informa.com