New SAS Airbus A321LR Completes First Long Range Flight
SAS’ brand-new A321LR will complete its first-ever long-haul flight today, flying from Copenhagen to Washington. The journey comes ahead of the type’s rollout on US routes in March 2022. Here’s a look at the new aircraft.
Across the pond
Later today, SAS’ A321LR will make its first long-haul journey to the United States. The aircraft is scheduled to fly from Copenhagen to Washington Dulles later today, a test flight for an eventual rollout next March. On Monday, the plane made a rotation between Oslo and Copenhagen as well.
The A321LR, a derivative of the A321neo, brings a host of benefits to carriers like SAS. In addition to the extra range, the plane offers 15-18% lesser carbon emissions and will allow the carrier to fill the cabin. The LR will take over from the A330-300 on several routes, bringing huge efficiency gains.
In a statement about the addition of the A321LR to the fleet, SAS EVP and CCO Karl Sandlund said,
“This is an entirely new aircraft type for SAS, which is incredibly well suited to the Scandinavian market and emerging travel patterns to and from the region. It gives SAS an opportunity to offer travelers more intercontinental routes, fewer stopovers, and shorter travel times to and from Scandinavia.”
For those curious to know what the inside of the A321LR looks like, you won’t be disappointed. SAS has gone for a true three-class layout on the narrowbody jet, featuring business, premium economy, and economy class over 157 seats.
Economy comes in a standard 3-3 layout with 123 seats, featuring a large IFE screen and USB power outlets. While no details on pitch and width are available, expect to see just a little bit more than your standard A321s.
The most exciting part of SAS’ A321LR is the addition of a real premium economy class cabin. 12 seats are laid out in a 2-2 configuration, featuring a wide, recliner-style seat. This is similar to products seen in widebody aircraft flown by Virgin Atlantic or domestic first class in the US.
Lastly, SAS has added a lie-flat business class cabin with 22 seats. This cabin alternates between a 1-1 and 2-2 layout for seats, a layout which is quickly becoming a norm for A321LRs in Europe. The cabin offers SAS’ darker color palate and looks stunning in available photos.
Where is it going?
SAS plans to deploy the A321LR to three destinations in the US starting on 27th March 2022. These are Copenhagen to Washington, Boston, and New York. With flight times of 8+ hours, the aircraft has been optimized to be as comfortable as the A330, a staple on these routes, with Sandlund saying,
“The new aircraft [A321LR] is equipped with a service concept at par with the rest of SAS’ long-haul fleet, offering passengers all the benefits, level of comfort, and choices of our traveling classes.”
We will find out if this holds up next spring once the A321LR is in active service.
S: Simple Flying
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