SAS prepares to look for A340 successor

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Scandinavian Airlines is shortly to start looking for a long-haul replacement for its Airbus A340 fleet.

SAS Group chief executive Rickard Gustafson told Flightglobal in Stockholm that some leases on the type will expire as early as 2015.

The carrier has seven A340-300s as part of a long-haul fleet of 11 aircraft, the remainder comprising A330-300s.

Gustafson says the A340s are "not fully effective", pointing out that the A330 suits the airline better.

"We need to think what to do with the long-haul fleet," he says.

He points out that even if the Boeing 787 resumes operations soon there is a long backlog of customers, while the Airbus A350 is yet to fly.

"We need to come up with [a plan] soon," adds Gustafson.

SAS Group's most recent quarterly financial statement says it owns five of its long-haul Airbuses and leases the other six.

Its only outstanding orders are for 30 Airbus A320neo twinjets.