SAS leans towards A320neo but keeps close eye on Boeing

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SAS Group would prefer to see an all-new narrowbody from Boeing, but time constraints are leading the carrier to lean towards the re-engined Airbus A320neo as a more likely option for its fleet renewal programme.

Speaking to ATI during an interview in London on 1 June, SAS environmental director Lars Andersen Resare said the carrier is following Boeing's narrowbody replacement plans "very closely" and "would prefer to see an all-new aircraft from an environmental perspective".

However, he added that with Boeing yet to unveil its plans it is "getting late for us", therefore, "being realistic, the neo is taking us further".

SAS in April 2011 outlined plans to lease up to 17 Boeing 737-700/800 aircraft and take additional A320s to replace its fleet of Boeing MD-80s. There has been no final decision on the number of A320s to be acquired.

Resare described this move as a short- to medium-term solution, adding that for the longer term SAS is looking at the A320neo and has not ruled out the Bombardier CSeries.

"The leases are not that long and we need something better and newer," he said, adding that a decision will be made "during this year".