|Founded||1 August 1946|
|Company slogan||We are travelers (English)|
|Parent company||SAS Group|
Scandinavian Airlines or SAS, previously Scandinavian Airlines System, with the legal name Scandinavian Airlines System Denmark-Norway-Sweden, is the flag carrier of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and the largest airline in Scandinavia.
Part of the Scandinavian Airlines System Aktiebolag and headquartered at the SAS Frösundavik Office Building in Solna, Sweden, the airline operates 182 aircraft to 90 destinations. The airline's main hub is at Copenhagen-Kastrup Airport, with connections to over 50 cities in Europe. Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (with more than 30 European connections) and Oslo Airport, Gardermoen are the other major hubs. Minor hubs also exist at Bergen Airport, Flesland, Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport, Stavanger Airport, Sola and Trondheim Airport, Værnes.
In 2012, SAS carried 25.9 million passengers, achieving revenues of SEK 36 billion. This makes it the ninth-largest airline in Europe. The SAS fleet consists of Airbus A319, A320, A321, A330 and A340, Boeing 737 Next Generation, and Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. SAS also wetleases ATR 72 and Saab 2000.
The airline was founded in 1946 as a consortium to pool the transatlantic operations of Svensk Interkontinental Lufttrafik, Det Norske Luftfartselskap and Det Danske Luftfartselskab. The consortium was extended to cover European and domestic cooperation two years later. In 1951, all the airlines were merged to create SAS.
SAS is one of the founding members of Star Alliance.
- Founding 1.1
- Trans polar route 1.2
- Jet Era 1.3
- Acquisition of local airlines 1.4
- Star Alliance founding member 1.5
- Contemporary history (2004–present) 1.6
Corporate affairs 2
- Corporate offices 2.1
- Partners 2.2
- Business trends 2.3
- Codeshare agreements 3.1
- Interline agreements 3.2
- City statistics 3.3
- Current fleet 4.1
- Future fleet plans 4.2
- Removal of SAS Dash Q400 fleet 4.3
- Livery 4.4
- Service classes 5.1
- Lounges 5.2
- Fingerprint biometric identification 5.3
- EuroBonus 5.4
- Fly Home Club 5.5
- Awards 6
- Incidents and accidents 7
- See also 8
- References 9
- External links 10
The airline was founded on 1 August 1946, when Svensk Interkontinental Lufttrafik AB (an airline owned by the Swedish Wallenberg family), Det Danske Luftfartselskab A/S and Det Norske Luftfartselskap AS (the flag carriers of Denmark and Norway) formed a partnership to handle the intercontinental air traffic of these three Scandinavian countries. Operations started on 17 September 1946. In 1948 the Swedish flag carrier AB Aerotransport joined SAS and the companies coordinated European operations and finally merged to form the SAS Consortium in 1951. When established, the airline was divided between SAS Danmark (28.6%), SAS Norge (28.6%) and SAS Sverige (42.8%), all owned 50% by private investors and 50% by their governments.
Trans polar route
In 1954 SAS was the first airline to start scheduled flights on a polar route. The DC-6B flew from Copenhagen to Los Angeles, California, United States with stops in Søndre Strømfjord (now Kangerlussuaq), Greenland, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. By summer 1956 frequency had increased to three flights per week. It was popular with Hollywood celebrities and film industry people, and the route turned out to be a publicity coup for SAS. Thanks to a tariff structure that allowed free transit to other European destinations via Copenhagen, this trans-polar route gained increasing popularity with American tourists throughout the 1950s. In 1957 SAS started a second polar route when a DC-7C flew from Copenhagen to Tokyo, Japan, via the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The flight via Alaska was a compromise solution since the Soviet Union would not allow SAS - and other air carriers - to fly across Siberia between Europe and Japan, while the airspace of the PR China was also closed. SAS publicized this service as "round-the-world service over the North Pole".
Acquisition of local airlines
SAS gradually acquired control of the domestic markets in all three countries by acquiring full or partial control of local airlines, including Braathens and Widerøe in Norway, Linjeflyg and Skyways Express in Sweden and Cimber Air in Denmark. In 1989, SAS acquired 18.4% of Texas Air Corporation, parent company of Continental Airlines, in a bid to form a global alliance. This stake was later sold. During the 1990s, SAS also bought a 20% stake in British Midland. SAS bought 95% of Spanair, the second largest airline in Spain, as well as Air Greenland. There are plans to dispose of all of these holdings and an agreement to divest more than 80 percent of the holdings in Spanair was signed with a Catalonian group of investors led by Consorci de Turisme de Barcelona and Catalana d'Inciatives in January 2009.
Star Alliance founding member
In May 1997 SAS formed the global Star Alliance network with Air Canada, Lufthansa, Thai Airways International and United Airlines. Four years earlier SAS unsuccessfully tried to merge with KLM, Star Alliance partner Austrian Airlines, and the now defunct Swissair, in a project called Alcazar. This failure led to the departure the following year of CEO Jan Carlzon, who was credited for the financial turnaround of the company starting in 1981 and who envisioned SAS ownership of multiple airlines worldwide. The ownership structure of SAS was changed in June 2001, with a holding company being created in which the holdings of the governments changed to: Sweden (21.4%), Norway (14.3%) and Denmark (14.3%) and the remaining 50% publicly held and traded on the stock market.
Contemporary history (2004–present)
In 2004 Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) was divided into four companies; SAS Scandinavian Airlines Sverige AB, SAS Scandinavian Airlines Danmark A/S, SAS Braathens AS and SAS Scandinavian International AS. SAS Braathens was re-branded SAS Scandinavian Airlines Norge AS in 2007. In October 2009 the four companies were once again united into one company, SAS Scandinavian System AB.
With the coming of low-cost airlines and decreasing fares in Scandinavia the business turned into the red. To be profitable again, the airline had to cut costs. In a first step the airline sold its stakes in other companies, such as bmi, Spanair and AirBaltic, and began to restructure its operations. This was to save costs by about 23 percent between 2008 and 2011. The next big cost-cutting measure followed by the end of 2011. It should generate cost savings of another three to four percent until 2015. In June 2012 the airline announced that they will extend this measure. In November 2012 the company came under heavy pressure from its owners and banks to implement even heavier cost-cutting measures as a condition for continued financial support. Negotiations with the respective trade unions took place for more than a week and exceeded the original deadline, but in the end SAS and the trade unions reached an agreement that would increase the worktime, cutting salary between 12-20%, pension and retirement plans, and thus keep the airline flying. SAS drew some criticism for how they handled the negotiations, in denying facilities to the union delegations. As of November 2013, there was the expectation that the company would show 2013 as its first profitable year since 2007.
During its first decades, Scandinavian Airlines, SAS, build two large hotels in central Copenhagen, SAS Royal Hotel (5 stars) and the even larger SAS Hotel Scandinavia (4 stars and a Casino at 26th floor). After the deregulations of European commercial aviation, and the crisis which afterwards affected SAS, like many other national airline cooperations, Scandinavian Airlines sold their hotels to Radisson.
Scandinavian Airlines' head office is located in the SAS Frösundavik Office Building in Frösundavik, Solna Municipality, Sweden, near Stockholm. Between 2011 and 2013, the head office was located at Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) in Sigtuna Municipality, Sweden. The SAS Cargo Group A/S head office is in Kastrup, Tårnby Municipality, Denmark.
Just like nowadays, the SAS head office was located in the SAS Frösundavik Office Building until 2011. It was designed by Niels Torp Architects and built between 1985-1987. The move from Solna to Arlanda was completed in 2010. A previous SAS head office was located on the grounds of Bromma Airport in Stockholm.
Besides the agreements SAS has with its Star Alliance partners, SAS has strategic agreements with Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines and United Airlines. The agreement includes code sharing and schedule coordination to facilitate improved connections between SAS and its partner airlines. SAS also co-operates with the other airlines in the SAS Group.
The key trends for Scandinavian Airlines Group (which includes SAS Cargo, SAS Ground Handling and SAS Tech), are shown below:
|Profits (EBT) (SEKm)||−188||−1,522||−33||543||228||1,648||−918|
|Number of passengers (m)||30.9||27.0||27.1||29.0||25.9||30.4||29.4|
|Passenger load factor (%)||72.3||72.7||75.6||74.9||76.7||75.0||76.9|
|Total unit cost (CASK) (SEK)||0.94||1.01||0.95||0.86||0.81||0.80||0.75|
|Total unit revenue (RASK) (SEK)||0.91||0.92||0.86||0.82||0.82||0.78||0.70|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||181||172||159||147||145||139||138|
|Number of employees (average for year)||16,286||14,438||13,723||13,479||13,591||14,127||12,329|
|Figures for SAS Group. Notes/sources:|||||||||||||||
(In 2012 the company changed its financial year to 1 November–31 October, instead of the calendar year. The figures above are therefore for years ending 31 December until 2011, for the 10 months to 31 October 2012, and for years ending 31 October thereafter.)
Scandinavian Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
Scandinavian Airlines has interlining agreements with the following airlines:
- Air Greenland
These statistics about each of SAS hubs and busiest airports are current as of March 2014. (Ranked by daily departures).
Scandinavian Airlines (including subsidiaries) operates the following aircraft (as of October 2015):
Future fleet plans
On 20 June 2011, SAS announced an order for 30 new A320 next generation aircraft as part of its fleet harmonisation plan. SAS had earlier announced that the fleet will be harmonized. Its short-range aircraft will consist of two types from 2015: Airbus A320 family at the base in Copenhagen, and Boeing 737NG at the bases in Oslo and Stockholm. As of Dec 2014, the McDonnell Douglas MD-80s have been phased out. There were six leased A320s in the SAS fleet at the beginning of May 2013.
As part of the transition, all the MD80s in Copenhagen have been replaced by leased Airbus A320 by the end of 2014. The leased A320s, in turn, will be replaced by 30 new A320neos beginning in 2016. Airbus A320 is very attractive in the market and the SAS Group expects to finance the aircraft through a combination of leases and loans.
All the MD80s previously at the base in Stockholm have been replaced by leased Boeing 737NGs, completed during 2013. Finally all the Boeing 737 Classics at the base in Oslo will be replaced by Boeing 737NGs and this will be completed by the end of 2014. As of December 2013 all Boeing 737 Classics have been phased out and replaced by Boeing 737NG.
On 25 June 2013, SAS and Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating that SAS intends to buy twelve new-generation aircraft, including six options. The agreement consists of eight A350-900 with six options, and four A330-300E. The first new long haul aircraft to enter service will be the A330-300E, which will replace the aging A340-300 in 2015 as leasing agreements on these aircraft expire, SAS is though in plans for renewing some of the leasing agreements to be able to expand its long-haul fleet and add more long-haul destinations to its network. The A350-900 is planned to enter service beginning in 2018. SAS has dubbed this "A total renewal of long haul fleet", indicating that all former A340 and A330 will in fact be replaced.
Removal of SAS Dash Q400 fleet
In September 2007, two separate incidents of similar landing gear failures occurred within four days of each other on SAS Dash 8-Q400 aircraft. A third incident occurred in October 2007. On 28 October 2007, in a move that was described as unique by the Swedish press, the board of directors announced that all 27 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft were to be removed from service due to three landing gear failures.
A press release from SAS said that the company had reached a settlement with Bombardier and Goodrich, whereby the airline would receive SEK one billion as compensation, while SAS would purchase 27 new aircraft, with an option of 24 more. These aircraft will consist of 13 of the CRJ900 Nextgen (10 to SAS and 3 to Estonian Air) and 14 of the updated Q400 Nextgen units (8 to airBaltic and 6 to Widerøe), with 7 additional options.
SAS received the first CRJ-900 on 3 December 2008, with others soon to follow. The CRJ900 fleet now consists of 12 aircraft.
In November 2007, it was revealed that Swedish Civil Aviation Authority began an investigation and accused Scandinavian Airlines System of cutting corners for maintenance. The airline reportedly made 2,300 flights in which safety equipment was not up to standard.
SAS planes look predominantly white, however, they are a very light beige (Pantone Warm Gray 2) with "Scandinavian" above the windows and "Airlines" below the windows in white lettering. The vertical stabilizers are blue with the traditional "SAS" logo on it. The engine casing is painted in scarlet (Pantone Warm Red) with the word Scandinavian in white, the thrust reversers are white. The typeface used is Rotis Semi Serif.
SAS offers two service classes for intra-European flights, an economy class called "SAS Go" and a premium economy class called "SAS Plus". SAS Plus tickets are refundable, and include a meal, a double checked-in baggage allowance, and access to lounges and fast track immigration/security at the airport. The SAS Plus passengers are seated at the front of the aircraft but the seats there are otherwise the same as the SAS Go seats. The two-class system was introduced in June 2013, when business class was eliminated from intra-European flights.
For long-haul flights business class, called "SAS Business", is still offered and features wide sleeper seats. Further back the seats offered on SAS Plus are wider than those in the SAS Go section. Meals are served to all passengers on long-haul flights.
SAS offers free coffee & tea to GO passengers on short-haul services.
The following locations are SAS Scandinavian, Stockholm, and Business Lounge locations:
- Brussels Airport
- Charles de Gaulle Airport
- Chicago O'Hare International Airport
- Copenhagen Airport (2)
- Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport
- Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
- Newark Liberty International Airport
- Oslo Gardermoen Airport (3)
- Stavanger Airport, Sola Gate Lounge for flights to Houston only
- Stockholm Arlanda Airport (3)
- Trondheim Airport SAS Café Lounge
- Tromsø Airport SAS Café Lounge
Fingerprint biometric identification
In 2006, SAS Sweden launched a new biometric system for use throughout Sweden. Each passenger's fingerprints are, for security purposes, matched to their respective checked baggage. The new technology will be phased in at all the airports served by SAS, although use of the system is voluntary for passengers. The system has been introduced in Norway.
Fly Home Club
Fly Home Club was SAS's membership club for Scandinavians living in Spain. It has closed ever since economic conditions have worsened in Spain and as Scandinavians living in Spain have decided to return home or change locations.
- Flightstats: Worlds Most Punctual Airline
- Simpliflying: Best Use of Social Media in a Crisis Situation
- Edge Awards: Favourite Airline
- Grand Travel Award: Europe's Best Airline
- Webbie: Online Campaign of the Year
- Webbie Award: Online Campaign of the Year
- Freddie Awards: Best Customer Service in Europe/Africa
- Sustainable Brand Index: Most Sustainable Airline
- Grand Travel Award: Europe's Best Airline
- Grand Travel Award: Europe's Best Airline
- ServiceScore: Airline with highest service standards.
Incidents and accidents
- SAS Group
- Norwegian Aviation College
- List of airports in Denmark, Norway and Sweden
- List of the busiest airports in the Nordic countries
- Transport in Denmark, Norway and Sweden
- "Profile for SAS". Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 22 August 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Route map - SAS" (PDF). Flysas.com. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- Annual Report 2012 sasgroup.net Retrieved on 22 August 2013.
- "Historie". SAS.
- "SAS timeline More than 60 years in the sky" (PDF). https://www.flysas.com. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- SAS plans to sell Spanair and its stake in the British carrier bmi – International Herald Tribune
- "SAS – press release (in Swedish)". Cision Wire. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
- Talks Collapse On European Airline Merger – International Herald Tribune
- "Press Release: SAS Braathens to be renamed SAS Norge". Waymaker (via SAS Group Press Release Archive). Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- Nicholson, Chris V. (1 October 2009). "SAS Sells Remaining Stake in BMI to Lufthansa". New York Times. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Roberts, Martin; et al. (30 January 2009). "SAS sells Spanair for 1 euro, takes big charge". Reuters. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Company history". airBaltic.com. airBaltic. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- volaspheric: SAS cuts costs
- "Nightmare for trade unions in Copenhagen". Dagens Industri. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- Schultes, Renée (18 November 2013). "Cloudy Skies Remain for Carrier SAS". Money & Investing. The Wall Street Journal. p. C6.
- SAS Flyttar åter till Frösundavik Fastighetsvärlden
- "SAS Head Office in Sweden." Scandinavian Airlines. Retrieved on 27 January 2012. "SAS Head Office Stockholm-Arlanda Kabinvägen 5 SE-195 87 Stockholm"
- "Headquarters." SAS Cargo. Retrieved on 27 January 2012. "Visiting address Kystvejen 40 DK-2770 Kastrup Denmark"
- "SAS head office in Sweden." Scandinavian Airlines. Retrieved on 8 June 2009.
- "Cykelkarta 2007." Solna Municipality. Retrieved on 12 February 2010.
- "Interim Report January-June 2011." Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 29 March 1986. Scandinavian Airlines System" 122.
- "SAS Group Annual report 2009" (PDF). SAS Group. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- "Annual Report & Sustainability Report 2010" (PDF). SAS Group. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "Annual Report & Sustainability Report 2011" (PDF). SAS Group. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "SAS Group: Year-end report January – October 2012" (PDF). SAS Group. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- "SAS Group: Y4th Quarter 2012" (PDF). SAS Group. Retrieved 7 Sep 2013.
- "SAS Group Year‐end report November2012 – October2013" (PDF). SAS Group. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- "SAS Group Annual Report with Sustainability Review November 2013–October 2014" (PDF). SAS Group. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- "Resolutions approved by the 2012 Annual General Shareholders' Meeting of SAS AB". SAS Group. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "ANA SKY WEB - ANA Worldwide Sites". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- MENAFN. "Etihad Airways, SAS sign codeshare agreement". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- smh. "SAS and Icelandair Begin Codeshare". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "Boka biljett - NextJet" (in Svenska). Nextjet.se. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- "AIR GREENLAND AND SAS ENTERS A NEW AND ENHANCED COOPERATION". Airgreenland.com. 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- 31 July 2013. "The SAS Group's fleet in traffic". sasgroup.net. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
- 13 February 2014. "SAS Fleet in Planespotters.net". planespotters.net. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- "SAS Fleet In 2005 Vs. 2015 - MRO content from Aviation Week". aviationweek.com.
- "Photos: Airbus A319-132 Aircraft Pictures - Airliners.net". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "Photos: Airbus A340-313 Aircraft Pictures - Airliners.net". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- 25 June 2013. "SAS selects eight A350 XWBs and four A330s | Airbus News & Events". Airbus..com. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
- "SAS signs with Airbus: Total renewal of long haul fleet - SAS". News.cision.com. 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- "Photos: Boeing 737-883 Aircraft Pictures - Airliners.net". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "SAS Group - Press". Se.yhp.waymaker.net. 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- SAS removes Dash 8 Q400 from service permanently
- "News." Airliner World : 7.
- SAS får en milliard i krasj-erstatning ("SAS gets a billion in crash compensation") e24.no 10 March 2008 (Norwegian)
- "Plane crash disaster narrowly avoided." The Copenhagen Post, 10 September 2007. Retrieved: 6 December 2009.
- Elliott, Mark. "SAS revamps cabin classes". Travel Daily Media. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "SAS nominated as both the world’s and Europe’s most punctual airline". sasgroup.net. 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- . SAS Social Media. 2010-10-01 https://www.facebook.com/SAS/photos/a.281389815787.318771.140344030787/10150288373085788. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- . SAS Social Media. 2012-04-18 https://www.facebook.com/SAS/photos/a.281389815787.318771.140344030787/10151523016235788/. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- "Grand slam for SAS at Grand Travel Awards". sasgroup.net. 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- "SAS wins Online Campaign of the Year award". sasgroup.net. 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- "SAS wins social media award for second year in a row". sasgroup.net. 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- . SAS Social Media. 2013-05-07 https://www.facebook.com/SAS/photos/a.281389815787.318771.140344030787/10152787060540788/. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- . SAS Social Media. 2013-05-07 https://www.facebook.com/SAS/photos/a.281389815787.318771.140344030787/10152808409810788/. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- "Vinnarna i Grand Travel Award 2014". travelnews.se. 2014-02-14. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- "SAS kåret til Europas beste flyselskap". boarding.no. 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- "Sykes stor del i SAS-servicepris". tidningenharjedalen.se. 2015-04-30. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
- Company websites
- SAS website
- SAS Denmark website
- SAS Norway website
- SAS Sweden website
- SAS Group corporate website
- SAS Flight Operations
- Other websites
- Viking Tails, Scandinavian airline history blog
- Pictures of Scandinavian Airlines fleet