Scandinavian operator SAS is seeking to re-introduce an Airbus A350-900, the lease of which it had previously rejected as part of its fleet restructuring plan.

SAS is progressing with a re-organisation initiative, known as ‘SAS Forward’, under US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Fleet restructuring is a central part of the initiative and SAS has been re-assessing its need for aircraft and renegotiating leases accordingly.

In September 2022 the US bankruptcy court overseeing the process authorised the carrier to reject a number of aircraft leases – including the A350 in question, MSN391.

But in a 7 February filing SAS’s representatives state that the carrier has “since experienced a business need for additional widebody aircraft”, and negotiated “improved economic terms” for their lease.

SAS A350-900-c-Dylan T Creative Commons

Source: Dylan T/Creative Commons

SAS has expressed to the court a need for additional widebody aircraft

According to the filing, the carrier has a “commercial need” to accept delivery of the aircraft on 15 February and place it into service “as soon as practicable”. It identifies the lessor as Cayman Islands entity AAA A350.

The A350 was originally delivered to SAS in March 2020, as SE-RSC, but has been stored under a Cayman Islands registration, VP-COC.

SAS has chosen to enter the agreement after considering alternatives and determining that the lessor provides the “best terms” for the aircraft, the filing adds.