Scandinavian airline SAS is refreshing its long-range fleet with both the Airbus A350 and Airbus A321LR, but business class passengers will find familiarity in the premium seats.
Rather than roll out an adventurous all-new design, the Stockholm-based Star Alliance member has chosen the popular Vantage line of seats developed by Thompson Aero and Factorydesign.
In the case of the Airbus A350, SAS says it is retaining the same Vantage XL as already featured on its A330 and A340 fleet.
"The seats are the same, although some of the detail and materials have been renewed," SAS media spokeswoman Freja Annamatz tells Executive Traveller.
Combining a fully-flat bed with direct aisle access, ample personal and working space for each passenger plus a large HD video screen, the Vantage XL was notably also chosen by Qantas for its latest-generation Business Suite of the Boeing 787 and, beginning next month, the upgraded Airbus A380.
SAS' Airbus A350s will have 40 business class seats, with 32 of the premium economy 'SAS Plus' seats and 228 standard economy class seats.
"Travellers crew can look forward to an unmatched cabin environment created by a combination of the quietest twin-aisle cabin, optimised cabin altitude, more fresh air, and advanced control of temperature and humidity," the airline promises.
The first of SAS' eight Airbus A350 will take wing in late January between Copenhagen to Chicago, although Annamatz tells Executive Traveller "the delivery takes place in December, (but) the date is not yet decided upon." Other cities to see the A350 across 2020 will include New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.
For the three Airbus A321LR aircraft which will tackle trans-Atlantic routes from Copenhagen to the Northeast US from early 2020, SAS president Rickard Gustafsson says the airline has chosen Thompson's Vantage business class seat.
According to Scandinavian website FinalCall.travel, Gustafsson says the A321LRs will use a modified layout in which each row has two business class seats one side of the aisle and the prized solo 'throne' seat on the other side.
Thompson Aero confirms that "the cabin configuration staggers the seats within the cabin, alternating rows of double and throne seats on each side of the aisle."
The A321LRs will also allow passengers to keep connected on the 8+ hour flights using a high-speed ViaSat WiFi connection capable of delivering streaming-grade broadband to laptops, tablets and smartphones.