SAS: the Douglas years


Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), previously known as Scandinavian Airlines System, was a loyal customer of Douglas Aircraft Company and its successor McDonnell Douglas, operating 290 of its aircraft and all major models. These images of SAS cabins from the 1940s to the 1960s show the airline’s great passenger experience over the years.

Drink in the details of fabulous SAS interiors over the decades, including the DC-3 Dakota, the DC-4 Skymaster, the DC-6 and 6B Cloudmasters and the DC-7C Seven Seas, to the DC-8-33 -55, -62, -63, the DC9-21, -32, -33F, -41, -51 and DC-10-30, as well as the MD-81, 82. 83, 87 and 90-30.


Service on board an SAS DC-8-33

Glamour, fun, and even an after-dinner cigarette onboard an SAS DC-8 in the early 1960s

SAS first class in 1967. This cabin is the long-range DC-8-62, a version of the aircraft stretched by 7ft (2.1m), which could seat up to 189 passengers over 5,200 nmi (9,600km). SAS was one of the first customers for the DC-8-62

SAS fitted luxury touches throughout its DC-4 cabins

The SAS DC-4 on its inaugural flight from Stockholm to New York

The interior of SAS’s Ubbe Viking (OY-KGD) DC-9-21 during its delivery flight from California to Scandinavia

The inaugural flight of SAS’s DC-4. Left: Norway’s minister of transportation, Nils Langhelle. Right: Thomas Scheen Falck Jr, chairman of SAS from 1946 to 1949

An SAS DC8-8-33 flying over Svalbard

Boxed inflight meals on an SAS DC-9-21

Palomar seats on an SAS DC-8-33. This photo was taken before delivery of the aircraft

An extravagant Scandinavian country-style buffet being served on an SAS DC-8-33

SAS guests on DC aircraft welcomed the Scandinavian country-style buffet

This image from 1969 shows SAS first class passengers on a DC-8-33 being served meals by a chef, aided by crew

The facing seats on this SAS DC-8-33 made for a convivial flight experience

An inflight movie being shown on an SAS DC-8-63

Glamorous and generous meal service on an SAS DC-8-33

SAS crew serving the Scandinavian country-style buffet on a DC-8-33

SAS crew giving attentive service on a DC-8-33

SAS passengers didn’t go hungry on the DC-8-33s

The SAS DC-8-33 interior, photographed before delivery

The SAS DC-8-33 interior, photographed before delivery

Fun times on board an SAS DC-8-33

SAS’s first class in the 1960s, on a DC-8-33

A soldier relaxing on an SAS DC-4 flight

Centre seats being put to good use on an SAS DC-8-33

The factory-fresh interior of an SAS DC-8-33

Cabin service onboard SAS’s DC-4s in the 1940-50s

SAS crew tending to a sick passenger on a DC-4

SAS passengers settling in on a DC-4 flight

Social seating made flights feel shorter on SAS’s DC-8-33s

Another inflight service photo from an SAS DC-8-33

Quad seating on the SAS DC-8-33

Coffee service on the SAS DC-4

Cabin service on the SAS DC-4

An SAS passenger enjoying a snack on a DC-4

Boxed meals being distributed on an SAS DC-9

Cabin cargo being loaded on an SAS DC-4 in the 1950s

Seat triples with a centre seat blocking option, as fitted to SAS’s DC-8-33 aircraft. This photo is from 1966

SAS crew working in the galley

Breakfast in bed! A treat for first-class passengers on SAS’s DC-6

Torkil Viking, one of SAS’s  DC-6Bs . The DC-6B was one of the most economical civil airliners ever built and used by charter operators many years after being phased out of SAS. 287 DC-6Bs were built


SAS DC-10-30, Sverker Viking SE-DFE, in the 1980s

SAS DC-10-30, Olav Viking LN-RKA, taking off at Juma Airport in 1976

SAS DC-9-41, The Viking King SE-DAS, pictured in April 1988. This photograph also shows the Swedish Royal Couple on tour in the USA

The SAS DC-4 cockpit

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About Author


Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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