Airbus A350 offers even more benefits for passengers
The latest addition to the SAS fleet means both more sustainable travel and greater comfort.
The new SAS Airbus A350 is a flying showcase of a wide range of technologies and design know-how, all in service of a more pleasant flight. The plane itself brings benefits such as a reduced cabin pressure (altitude) and better humidity, bigger overhead bins and windows, and higher ceilings.
Beyond that is a range of custom features that SAS has implemented to further improve things. There’s an improved entrance for passengers at boarding, specially designed by SAS, so that instead of walking into a messy-looking galley they’re met with a nicely presented, neat area with inlaid lights and other attractive design features. During the flight, that area doubles as a self-service refreshment area for SAS Business travelers, with a renewed focus on offerings that enhance well-being, such as mocktails and other refreshing, healthy options. And don’t worry – the signature self-serve espresso machine much-loved on current aircraft will still be available.
All cabin classes, including Business, Plus and Go, have been improved with the passenger in mind, with each cabin getting high-power USB ports, bigger and higher-resolution personal screens and more.
Business class gets improved seat padding and also an increased range of adjustments to recline and so on. Plus gets a leg rest, including an adjustable foot support and a separate, dedicated cabin, while those in Go benefit from an improved seat, better storage and a bi-fold tray table.
Plus and Go also get a new self-service refreshment area, which not only offers convenient access to snacks and drinks, but also encourages passengers to take a short walk, another aspect of the designer’s focus on improving well-being. In an illuminating example of the attention to detail employed on the A350, SAS staff spent two days working with the company that does the wall laminate designs in order to get just the right shade of color and patterns to embody the SAS look and feel.
“The square meters inside this airframe are very expensive,” says Per Tidéus, Product Manager for Aircraft Interior & Equipment. “So we need to utilize it in the most effective way, both so that we get the best out of it for our passengers, and also for our cabin crew.”
Importantly for Scandinavia, which prides itself on providing a good working environment for staff, special attention has been paid so that cabin crew can work comfortably and efficiently during flights. Wider aisles in SAS Business allow for easier service delivery, the larger work surfaces in the galleys ease food preparation, while six cabin crew beds and two pilot beds mean they can get real rest on longer flights.
Then there’s the lighting. The advanced LED system can create millions of colors, and SAS has worked on creating calming lighting programs to help passengers feel better on longer flights. The sunrise program, for example, mimics the hues of an actual Scandinavian sunrise as they change over the course of several minutes. It’s even possible for the lighting to recreate the feeling of clouds passing in front of the sun and blue sky. For important national days, they can also be tuned to display the national colors of the Scandinavian countries.´
The A350 will operate it's first passenger flight in January 2020 on the Copenhagen-Chicago route. After that, look for more of the planes to debut gradually throughout the network, starting with Beijing and San Francisco later in the year. SAS will take delivery of eight A350s through 2021, and possibly more after that.
Facts about Airbus A350
The A350’s cabin pressure corresponds to an altitude of 1,800m, instead of the standard 2,400m, so passengers can be more comfortable during the flight.
SAS’ A350s will have 300 seats in total, across three classes of service.
The A350 is a connected aircraft, with Inmarsat WiFi – crew iPads to help with personalization of service, equipment that can automatically report faults to maintenance, and more.
The special LED lighting onboard can create 16.7million different colors, which means it’s versatile and can be programmed to create any kind of mood, or enhance sleep and waking.
The plane features six cabin crew beds and two beds for pilots for rest on long-haul flights. These beds are located above the forward and aft galley areas, up in the ceiling.
Business class seat improvements include a bigger inflight entertainment screen (18,5”) with higher resolution, PC-power and high-power USB ports, better articulation of the seat, a separate control for backrest recline, a new bi-fold tray table including a personal device holder and more durable seat padding.
Business class beds measure a minimum of 196cm, with some even longer than that, so taller passengers can sleep comfortably.
SAS Plus seats on the A350 are new to the airline. They include a leg rest with a foot support feature, 13.3” high-resolution IFE screens, PC-power and high-power USB ports and a cabin divider that distinctly separates the cabin from the rest of the plane.
SAS Go seats feature 11.6” IFE screens with high resolution, high-power USB ports, a bi-fold meal table and a water bottle holder.
The plane features a “cross-aisle” – a special passage between the aisles midway through economy, for the benefit of passengers and crew.
Plus and Go feature a special snack shop, designed to encourage passengers to take a walk.
Light, durable carpeting has been used to reduce weight and reduce maintenance – in one area particularly prone to wearing out, designers installed a durable threshold that can also give a light foot massage while the passengers relax in SAS Business seats.
Galleys have been redesigned to provide better, larger work surfaces for cabin crew.
The SAS A350 will lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by approximately 30% compared to previous generation aircraft like the A340.
The A350 has an external noise footprint that’s 40% lower versus previous generation aircraft. Onboard passengers benefit from a reduction of 5–9 decibels depending on position in the plane.
A high definition tail camera provides remarkable views of the aircraft in flight on every seat-back screen.
The plane offers 20% more fresh air than on its competitor, the Boeing 787. Cabin air is renewed every two to three minutes.
The cabin ceiling is the highest in the industry at 241cm, with vertical sidewalls for more shoulder room. Overhead bins are the largest on the market.
The A350 is faster than prior aircraft: (A340 = 875 km/h vs. A350 = 910 km/h).
With a range of 13,800km, the A350 can fly many global routes with ease.
SAS has developed a completely new welcoming area at the entrance door where passengers are met with a nicely presented, neat area with inlaid lights and other attractive design features. This area will also serve as a refreshment bar corner for SAS Business passengers during the flight.