Step onboard Erik Viking, an A330 that is the first of Scandinavian carrier SAS’s upgraded long-haul aircraft. Erik will be invading the business class market with a new cabin that represents a real leap in the SAS passenger experience. The cabin finishes are in a typically modern and understated Scandinavian style, with an understated gray palette lifted with a few splashes of color.
One source of color is the HelioJet RGBW LED cabin lighting system, for which SAS is the launch customer. A benefit of HelioJet, which was developed by Schott and Lufthansa Technik and certified in December 2014, is that its color doesn’t diminish over time.
SAS is not the first to select the Vantage XL business seat from Thompson Aero Seating – that was Qantas – but it is the second. Configured 1-2-1, the seats have a seat width of 23-24in between the armrests, a minimum bed length of 77in, and 15.4in HD RAVE IFE monitors from Zodiac Inflight Innovations with content provided by Spafax. Comfort is enhanced by a pneumatic cushion system and a massage function.
The SAS cabin interiors team worked with Thompson Aero’s engineers and Factorydesign to customize the seat styling, including metallic edging, gold accents and electric blue in-seat lighting. Passengers can enjoy Scandinavian comfort at bedtime, with the mattress, pillows and blankets all sourced from Hästens, the oldest bed manufacturer in Sweden. For a snack or beverage there is also a walk up ‘business buffet’ at the galley area to the rear of the cabin.
The fleet will be upgraded with the new interior at the rate of one aircraft per month except from June-August, and the first of four brand-new A330 Enhanceds will be ready in the fall. In the next stage, eight A350-900s will be delivered from 2018 onwards with an option on an additional six.