Monday, 4 May 2009

SAS Scandinavian Airlines

SAS was Europe's most punctual airline in 2009,  one of Europe’s enduring flag carrying airlines.

Scandinavian Airlines or SAS, previously Scandinavian Airlines System, is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and the largest airline in Scandinavia. Part of the SAS Group and headquartered in the Scandinavian Airlines head office in Solna, Sweden, the airline operates 198 aircraft to 176 destinations in more than 30 countries. The airline's main hubs are Copenhagen Airport, which is the main European and intercontinental hub, Stockholm-Arlanda Airport and Oslo Airport, Gardermoen.

Our Rating 4 stars.
Telephone numbers:

United Kingdom 0871 226 7760
United States 1 800 - 221 2350


We like the good schedules, the friendly crews and the clean aircraft, which are comfortable and favourable to most other airlines.
On Time, most of the time!  SAS has a great on time rating,  2009(see lower for more details)  saw it hailed as Europe’s most punctual airline, although that has slipped a little since then, it still remains one of the best airlines for time keeping.
Service in flight – Europe -

SAS is one of very few airlines in Europe to offer three service
classes: Business, Economy Extra and Economy - with the aim to
satisfy most customer needs, depending on their demand and
budget. As the customer is the main focus, and the airline has
specifically spent recent years in launching travel solutions that
offer customers travel efficient experiences when choosing SAS. 

SAS is amongst the leading airlines in the fields of cabin design
and comfort, which includes seats, lavatories, air quality, and
space for cabin baggage.  SAS’ short and medium-haul seats are considered to be amongst the best of European carriers, with a 30-32 inch pitch  in Economy/Economy Extra and 32 inches in Business class. In Business class, the middle seat is also always free to provide extra space and comfort.
For extra comfort, SAS always offers complimentary blanket
and pillows upon request.   Convenient check-in
SAS offers time-efficient travel, no matter what service class you  travel in, and with more choices than any of its competitors. It is possible to check in whenever and wherever via SMS or online.  SAS is amongst few airlines that allows seat selection, with the  possibility to change seat later on online.
Once checked in, it is possible to print your boarding pass at
home or opt for a mobile boarding pass. If travelling with
luggage, customers who are already checked in can go directly
to the SAS Baggage Tag Kiosk and print your luggage tag.
Our SAS Self Service kiosks at the airport are conveniently
located and offer a fast and efficient way to check in, and can be used with and without check-in luggage.
If you need or prefer personal service when checking in, SAS
will be pleased to assist you at one of the manned check-in
counters or with the help of the dedicated support staff.

Entertainment -  A wide selection of both international and local newspapers are offered by gate. In Business the passengers are also offered a selection of magazines.

Meals and drinks  Business Class
Meals in Business Class are served with a SAS Royal Scandinavia
set, comprising Georg Jensen cutlery, Royal Copenhagen
porcelain and Orrefors glasses, complemented by linnen napkin. Business class customers will be served a cocktail or non alcoholic  beverage prior to the meal. The three course meal is either hot or cold, depending on the flight time, served with warm bread and SAS’ unique rye bread. The meal is rounded out with a cheese plate, dessert, coffee or tea, and an after dinner drink.

Economy Extra
Economy Extra passengers within Scandinavia or on European
routes receive a two course meal, served with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, bread and cheese, and a chocolate
snack, followed by coffee or tea.
On short and medium routes in Economy, SAS Cloudshop offers
passengers a large selection of sandwiches, meals and salads,
as well as beverages, snacks and coffee and tea for purchase.

Long Haul Economy -

SAS’ Airbus aircraft provide one of the most comfortable Economy  cabins for passengers travelling to and from Europe, with a spacious 2-4-2 configuration. The Scandinavian touch can be experienced throughout the food, the design of the meal tray and the hospitable approach of our helpful flight attendants.
Scandinavian Airlines’ Economy seats are considered to be
among the most comfortable and widest in the sky, with a seat
pitch of 81cm/32” and width of 45cm/17”. SAS is also one of
the few airlines to allows advance seat reservation in Economy.
Convenient check-in Economy passengers can travel smarter by checking in online before they travel. Alternatively, for extra convenience, SAS Self Service check-in kiosks and baggage drop facilities are also available at most airports.
All seats are equipped with a 6.4” personal screen that offers
a wide range of entertainment, including movies, music and
video games. It is also possible to watch landing and take off live through our landscape cameras. SAS is also one of few airlines to offer Economy passengers a wide selection of magazines
Meals and drinks
SAS passengers in Economy are served a three-course meal,
with complimentary drink and a meal beverage. Depending on
local arrival time, breakfast or a light meal is served prior to
landing. Between meals passengers are invited to help themselves
to juice, water, snacks and sandwiches. Alcoholic drinks
between meals can be purchased.

“2009 on time!”
SAS Scandinavian Airlines was Europe's most punctual major airline during 2009, with an overall arrival punctuality of 89.11%. SAS was also the world's third most punctual major airline for 2009 after Japan Airlines and ANA (All Nippon Airways) and only one of two European carriers in the top 10.
"We are exceptionally proud to be Europe's most punctual airline, and amongst the top three in the world. This position really underlines our promises to minimize our customer's time related to travel and to maximize their value of the time spent with us. Our staff does a tremendous job to ensure our customers arrive at their destination in time, especially considering the sometime severe weather conditions we are faced with in Scandinavia during the winter months," says John Dueholm, CEO, Scandinavian Airlines.
All airlines within the SAS Group, which also includes Finland's Blue1 and Norwegian airline Widerøe, were amongst the most punctual in the world. Blue1's punctuality for 2009 was 86.4%, while Widerøe was Europe's most punctual airline in both November and December. In December, Widerøe's punctuality was 83.99% and SAS's 78.27%, compared to competitors such as British Airways (67.31%), Norwegian (61.11%), Easyjet (54.18%) and Finnair (48.01%).
The punctuality statistic derives from Flightstats, which track the performance of over 150,000 flights per day, and provide real time flight status to millions of travelers worldwide each day.

A Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A340 at Narita International Airport

The Scandinavian Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft (active aircraft as of April 28, 2011)
Scandinavian Airlines Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
C K Y Total
Airbus A319-100 4 0 0 141 141 OY-KBO painted in retro livery
Airbus A321-200 8 0 0 198 198
Airbus A330-300 4 34 35 195 264 SE-REF painted in Star Alliance livery
Airbus A340-300 6 46 28 171 245 1 Leased to Hi Fly
Boeing 737-400 3 0 0 150 150 To be phased out
Boeing 737-500 9 0 0 120 120 To be phased out
LN-BUD in hybrid livery
Boeing 737-600 28 0 0 123 123
Boeing 737-700 19 12[15] 0 0 141 141
Boeing 737-800 19 5[15] 0 0 150
LN-RRL painted in Star Alliance livery
LN-RPO in hybird livery
Bombardier CRJ200 4 0 0 50 50 Operated by Cimber Sterling
Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen 12 0 0 88 88
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 23 0 0 150 150 To be phased out
Three painted in
Star Alliance livery
McDonnell Douglas MD-87 3 0 0 125 125 To be phased out
SE-DIB painted in
Star Alliance livery
Total 142 17


SAS in history
Pioneering aviation
since 1946
Scandinavian Airlines’ reputation as an industry pioneer is well
deserved. But, not too surprisingly this hasn’t always sat very
well with competitors or even foreign governments. Over the
year, SAS has started “wars”, had passengers removed by
police and introduced the world’s most awarded frequent flyer
Some highlights from the history of SAS:
SAS’ first financial statement, which covered August 1, 1946, to
December 31, 1947, showed sales of $7.4 million and a gross
operating profit of $1.6 million. The result was quite remarkable
for the first financial year of a new enterprise, and received much
favorable media coverage both in Scandinavia and abroad.
By the end of 1947, Scandinavian Airlines had carried more than
18,000 passengers over the Atlantic. This figure was far beyond
the 3675 passengers SAS had forecasted for the time. The
airline had not predicted to reach 10,000 passengers until 1952,
and carry 16,200 passengers by 1955.
In 1954, SAS started the so-called ‘”sandwich war” on the North
Atlantic routes with Danish smørrebrød. As tourist class had
been introduced, economy passengers had to pay for their
meals on-board. So many of the lunchboxes SAS offered
passengers to buy remained unsold that SAS decided to serve
smørrebrød, giant, open-faced sandwiches, instead, free of
charge. In the US, this was considered to be a meal and not to
be included in the fare. The final drop for the US competitors
was when SAS put out an ad displaying its luxurious sandwiches
next to meager cellophane-wrapped varieties offered by the
American carriers. In response, the Americans threatened to
withdraw SAS’ traffic rights.
The media coverage, however, was so extensive, SAS paid a
$16,000 fine without complaint. It was also established that if
SAS was to continue serving the sandwiches, which they did,
one corner of the sandwich had to be clearly visible and not
covered by any spread. The “sandwich war” also introduced
open-faced sandwiches to the rest of the world, as prior to this
event, they had only been found in Scandinavia.
On February 24, 1957, an SAS flight, ‘Guttorm Viking’, departed
Copenhagen for Tokyo, via Anchorage. At the same time,
another SAS aircraft, ‘Reidar Viking’, took off from Tokyo, and the
two aircraft met over the North Pole at 9.10pm. With the new
route, flying time between Scandinavia and Tokyo had been
reduced from 52 hours to 32 hours. By linking the Tokyo via
Bangkok and Tokyo via Anchorage routes, SAS established the
world’s first commercial around-the-world route. The DC-7s
servicing the route had “First over the Pole and around the
World” marked on the aircraft.
Passengers on-board the first Scandinavian Airlines flight from
Copenhagen to Tokyo via Anchorage in 1957 were impressed
that one particular flight attendant remained impressively fresh
and alert all the way from Copenhagen to Tokyo. What SAS
didn’t publicize at the time was that it had employed two
identical twin sisters, and replaced one sister with the other
during the intermediate landing in Alaska!

In 1958, Birgitta Lindman, a 23-year-old Swedish stewardess,
landed the cover of LIFE magazine’s jet special issue about
airlines. She beat hostesses from 53 other airlines to make the
coveted cover.
In May 1969, 31-year-old Norwegian Turi Widerøe became the
first female pilot for a Western airline. She was the daughter of
aviation pioneer Viggo Widerøe and had previously flown
seaplanes for Widerøe Airlines (which SAS acquired in 1997).
Turi became a celebrity in the US, and in 1971 she was presented
with the prestigious Harman International Aviation Trophy at
the White House, along with the Apollo 11 astronauts who had
landed on the moon. A year later, some 200 million people saw
the documentary What Makes Turi Fly?
The first female SAS captain, Swedish Lena Lindeberg, was
appointed in 1995. And on April 20, 1998, the first SAS flight
with an all-female crew departed Stockholm for Dublin.
In 1977, SAS added the unique ‘Exercise in the Chair’ program to
its in-flight entertainment. The worldwide response and media
attention to the airborne physical fitness program was far
greater than SAS could possibly have expected, and created new
waves of goodwill for SAS worldwide.
In the early 1980s, under the helm of new president Jan Carlzon
(who was head of SAS for a record 12 years), the airline
embarked on a new mission: to become the businessman’s
airline. SAS was to become more customer-orientated, or as
Carlzon himself put it, the best airline in the world for the
frequent business traveler.
First Class was dropped on all European routes, and instead,
SAS introduced EuroClass on all European routes in 1981, which
gave the airline an edge over its European competitors. By
paying full-fare economy prices, EuroClass passengers received
separate counters and lounge access, more legroom, free drinks
and upgraded meals. The “legality” of SAS EuroClass was,
however, questioned by SAS’ competitors and reached its height
when police boarded an SAS plane in Madrid and started to
remove passengers who they had decided were getting too
much for too little money. The action rewarded SAS with
priceless media coverage all over the world.
Air France, in particular, objected to SAS’ new class and it even looked as if all air connections between France and Scandinavia would be shut down as the two airlines fought it out. In the end, the French and Scandinavian foreign ministers came to a resolution which favored SAS’ new class.
In 1983, SAS introduced special seminars, dubbed “charm
schools” for the 11,000 employees, with the aim to improve
customer service.
EuroBonus, the SAS frequent flyer program launched in 1992,
has become the world’s most awarded. In 1997, when the
prestigious Freddy Award was launched, EuroBonus took home
the coveted ‘Program of the Year’ award, and continued to win it for six consecutive years. To date, EuroBonus remains the most awarded frequent flyer program in the industry.

Accidents, incidents and crashes.
On 4 July 1948, a DC-6B, SE-BDA collided with a British military plane at Northwood, north of London, England. All 32 on board were killed. See Northwood Mid-Air Collision
On 19 January 1960, a Caravelle III, OY-KRB crashed near Ankara, Turkey. All 42 on board were killed.See Scandinavian Airlines Flight 871
On 13 January 1969, SAS flight 933 DC-8-62, LN-MOO, hit the water while approaching Los Angeles. 15 of the 45 on board were killed.
On 19 April 1970 a DC-8-62, SE-DBE, experienced an uncontained engine fire during takeoff from Rome. Aircraft burned out, but all on board managed to evacuate safely.

On 30 January 1973, a DC-9-21, LN-RLM SAS flight 370, Oslo-Alta via Tromsø, was cleared for takeoff from runway 24. The takeoff run was normal and the DC-9 rotated at VR (125 knots). At that moment the stall warning system activated. Although the speed had increased to 140 knots (259 km/h), the pilot aborted the takeoff. The remaining 1100 m was not enough to bring the aircraft to a halt, the reversers did not deploy completely and the aircraft overran the runway and onto the ice covered Oslofjord. All passengers and crew evacuated before the plane broke through the ice and sank 20 minutes later. The decision to abort the take-off in spite of the high speed was because the flight crew had received outdated (by several hours) runway data, giving much better braking coefficients than the actual ones.
On 28 February 1984, SAS Flight 901, DC-10, LN-RKB departed Oslo (GEN) for a flight to New York City JFK. The aircraft touched down 1440 m past the runway 4R threshold. The crew steered the plane to the right side off the runway to avoid approach lights. The DC-10 ended up in shallow water. All on board the plane were uninjured.
On 27 December 1991, SAS flight 751, an MD-81, OY-KHO "Dana Viking" crash landed at Gottröra (Sweden). During the initial climb, both engines ingested ice particles having broken loose from the wings, which had not been properly de-iced before departure. The ice damaged the compressor blades causing compressor stall. The stall caused repeated engine surges that destroyed both engines, leaving the aircraft with no propulsion. The aircraft landed in a field and broke in three parts. No fire broke out and all aboard the plane survived. Captain Stefan G. Rasmussen was later decorated by the Danish Queen for his performance. This incident was mentioned on The History Channel's True Action Adventures episode "Against All Odds" which first aired in the United States on 2 April 1997.
The Linate Airport disaster, involving the highest number of SAS passenger fatalities, occurred on 8 October 2001 in Milan, Italy, when an MD-87, SAS flight SK686, SE-DMA collided with a small Cessna jet during take-off. All 104 passengers and 6 crew aboard SK686 were killed, along with four people on the Cessna and another four people on the ground. Italian authorities established that the cause of the accident was a misunderstanding between air traffic controllers and the Cessna jet, and that the SAS crew had no role in causing the accident. Another factor was the inoperative ground movement radar at the time of the accident.
In the autumn of 2007, three separate incidents occurred, involving landing gear problems with the de Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 (Q400) airplane. These incidents (SAS flight SK1209, SAS flight SK2748 and SAS flight SK2867), while not resulting in hull loss or fatalities, were widely publicized in the media and eventually led to SAS permanently retiring its Dash 8 Q400 fleet.
On 23 August 2010, a female flight attendant sustained serious spinal injuries when the aircraft, a Boeing 737-600 encountered severe turbulence during approach to London Heathrow Airport. No injuries among the passengers were reported.