SAS looking at 130 seat aircraft to fill gap in fleet

SAS said yesterday that it’s looking to find an aircraft to sit in the gap between the 90 seat CRJ’s and the 180 seat A320neo’s.

The airline said that 20% of its destinations were not suited to either of its existing aircraft.

However it also laid down criteria that put only one or two types of aircraft in the mix. A single source fleet – and that’s Airbus is essential. So that leaves the A220 or the A319neo.

The A319 seats 120-150 and would be consistent with the A320 in terms of interoperability.

The A220-100 seats 100-130 and might prove to be more economical and better ranges on thinner routes are attractive.

The A220-300 is basically a direct competitor with the A319 but is more expensive, yet has attractive range and longevity as well as being more environmentally sound: that matters in Scandinavia, the home of the so called flight shaming movement.

It will depend on where the average seat demand sits for the 20% of routes affected. Sub 130 average suggests the A220-100 is the best fit, above that it’s probably the A319, as the airline seems a little reluctant to buy into another new type of aircraft.

SAS was also suggesting that it’s performance into 2020 will be less than optimal, with trade tariff wars affecting business travel, reduced flying domestically in Europe/Scandinavia, forecast fuel cost rises and poor exchange rates.