Posted on: 20 February 2015 by Mark Howells
After announcing plans to invest in its long-haul fleet in June 2013, SAS has begun service on the first of multiple aircraft to be equipped with a brand new cabin – featuring new seats, a new in-flight entertainment (IFE) system and in-flight Wi-Fi – between Copenhagen and the USA.
“We are delighted to now be able to present our ultramodern cabin. It is a huge boost for SAS and will give our customers a totally new in flight experience,” commented Rickard Gustafson, president and CEO of SAS. “The new interior is designed to meet the needs of our frequent flyers and substantially strengthens our customer offer.”
The updated SAS Airbus A330 now offers eXConnect in-flight Wi-Fi from Panasonic Avionics in all classes. In-flight connectivity is free for SAS Plus and SAS Business travellers as well as the airline’s euroBonus gold and diamond members, but SAS Go passengers are required to pay a fee of US $19 in order to be connected for the entire flight.
The new on-demand IFE system is powered by Zodiac’s RAVE solution, which can be viewed on 9” HD screens in SAS Go, 12” HD screens in SAS Plus and 15” HD screens in SAS Business. The system already offers over 200 films and television shows as well as in-flight games, but in the future SAS also has plans to introduce its own dedicated channel which plays SAS commercial and shows airline promotions.
SAS Go passengers are offered one power point per pair of seats and an individual USB port, whilst SAS Plus and SAS Business travellers have access to both individual USB ports and power outlets.
The airline also states, “This fall, you will be able to make calls and use your mobile phone in-flight through a GSM connection – just like on the ground, you will be charged international roaming rates by your mobile operator.” This service will be supplied by AeroMobile.
This aircraft is the first of seven Airbus A330s and A340s to undergo an upgrade to the new long-haul cabin at the rate of one aircraft per month except from June-August.
SAS is also taking delivery of four new Airbus A330-300s throughout 2015 and 2016. Finally, the carrier has firm purchase orders for eight Airbus A350-900s, which are scheduled to be delivered from 2018 onwards with an option on an additional six of the type.
The previous long-haul cabin and IFE had been installed over a decade ago, between 2001 and 2002.