Scandinavian Airlines is intending to order eight Airbus A350-900 as well as another four A330s, to renew its long-haul fleet.

The carrier has signed a memorandum of understanding covering the proposed acquisition, says Airbus.

Scandinavian Airlines, which has been undergoing a restructuring programme, says the A330s will be -300 Enhanced models. It has yet to disclose an engine selection, although the A350s will be fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent XWBs.

There are options for six more A350s

"The agreement marks the launch of SAS's long haul strategy of an extensive fleet renewal plan, options for more aircraft and a total upgrade of passenger cabins on existing fleet," it adds.

Scandinavian Airlines will take delivery of the first A350 in 2018 while the A330s will begin arriving in 2015. They will be used to replace the carrier's A340s as leases expire.

Its long-haul fleet includes seven A340-300s and four A330-300s and another leased A340 will be introduced in autumn this year.

Scandinavian Airlines will also upgrade passenger cabins on seven specific A330 and A340 aircraft. "The great technological improvements of this extensive fleet renewal plan give SAS a long haul fleet that will be top of class in the industry," says SAS Group chief Rickard Gustafson.

The upgrade will be completed in 2015.

SAS says the fleet plan has the flexibility to include "considerable growth" and will be financed by export credit financing as well as sales and leaseback arrangements.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news