Revealed: Snazzy SAS Airbus A321LR Interiors

Revealed: Snazzy SAS Airbus A321LR Interiors

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While the airline isn’t making a big deal of it, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has today operated its first passenger flight with the Airbus A321LR, which is an exciting new plane for the airline.

Scandinavian Airlines getting three Airbus A321LRs

SAS is investing in its fleet to make it more fuel efficient. When it comes to long haul service, not only is the airline acquiring eight new Airbus A350-900s, but the airline is also acquiring three Airbus A321LRs.

SAS has already taken delivery of two of these A321LRs, but prior to today the planes hadn’t entered service, due to lack of demand resulting from the pandemic.

Scandinavian Airlines AirbusA 321LR

For those not familiar with the A321LR, it’s the longest range version of the Airbus A320-family aircraft that’s currently in service. The A321 has been around for years, mostly on regional flights, but Airbus has kept pushing the range on these planes. First we saw Airbus introduce the A321neo, then the A321LR, and in 2023 Airbus will introduce the A321XLR, which will be even longer range.

The A321LR has proven popular for transatlantic flights, as we’ve seen service with this plane on airlines like Aer Lingus, JetBlue, and TAP Air Portugal. SAS will soon be joining that group.

JetBlue’s Airbus A321LR Mint business class

Scandinavian Airlines A321LR cabin configuration & details

SAS’ Airbus A321LRs are in a premium-heavy configuration, with just 157 seats. This includes:

  • 22 business class seats (these seats alternate between a 2-2 and 1-1 configuration)
  • 12 premium economy seats (these seats are in a 2-2 configuration)
  • 123 economy seats (these seats are in a 3-3 configuration)

As a point of comparison, Aer Lingus’ A321LRs have 184 seats, while TAP Air Portugal’s A321LRs have 171 seats. JetBlue has the most premium configuration of the bunch, though, with just 138 seats on the entire A321LR.

Flemming from Final Call was on the first SAS A321LR flight this morning, and kindly shares some photos of the cabin (all photos credited to him). There aren’t really any surprises when it comes to the layout. SAS’ A321LR business class is exactly what we expected, virtually identical to what you’ll find on Aer Lingus and TAP Air Portugal. The only differences are the finishes, and that the cabin is larger.

Scandinavian Airlines A321LR business class
Scandinavian Airlines A321LR business class
Scandinavian Airlines A321LR business class

What I’d say is most interesting is the existence of a true premium economy cabin. As you can see, there are 12 seats that more or less look like domestic first class seats that you’d find in the United States. SAS is the only airline to have a three cabin layout on the A321LR, so that’s cool to see.

Scandinavian Airlines A321LR premium economy
Scandinavian Airlines A321LR premium economy

With airlines eventually taking delivery of the A321XLR, this is something we should see more of. For example, American’s A321XLRs are expected to feature premium economy, so I think this is probably similar to what we should expect.

Beyond the above, the A321LRs feature mood lighting, high speed Wi-Fi, and the typical quiet cabins you expect from this fuel efficient plane. The galleys are in the front and back of the aircraft, and there are a total of four lavatories — one in the front for business class passengers, and three in the back for premium economy and economy passengers (which isn’t great for premium economy passengers).

Where are Scandinavian Airlines A321LRs flying?

For the time being, SAS is just flying A321LRs regionally, due to lack of long haul demand. As of now SAS has scheduled the two A321LRs to operate the following two transatlantic routes:

  • Copenhagen (CPH) to Washington (IAD) as of March 27, 2022
  • Copenhagen (CPH) to Boston (BOS) as of March 27, 2022

While that’s the plan as of now, that remains highly subject to change. The Boston route was initially supposed to get the A321LR as of September 2020, so there has been quite a delay there. Hopefully the timeline sticks this time around.

Bottom line

Scandinavian Airlines has quietly operated its first A321LR flight with passengers. These planes will eventually be used for long haul flights, so it’s cool to see the cabins that will be available. SAS’ A321LRs feature just 157 seats, and are in a three cabin configuration, with a proper premium economy cabin.

The A321LRs are currently scheduled to fly between Copenhagen and both Boston and Washington as of late March 2022, so hopefully that timeline sticks.

What do you make of SAS’ A321LR?

Conversations (23)
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  1. Jerry Guest

    Considering what the United States of America airlines are offering on the A321 long range aircraft, Scandinavian hit it on the head with this one. They will do well and make some money on this airplane

  2. Brian Ross Guest

    Jayson, Iceland is not part of Scandinavia, at least how the Scandinavians use the term.

  3. Pascal Saunier Guest

    Both premium classes look great. Seats look confortable unlike airfrance's premium economy . Reminds me the 757 I flew on united between Hamburg and newark a few years back.

  4. Brianair 737 Guest

    I find it fascinating how you have this obsession with using the word “snazzy” to describe the A321LR. And not in a bad way at all. First you mentioned something about JetBlue having a snazzy ultraviolet cleaning system (and they operate the A321LR). Next, you described TAP’s new A321LR interiors as snazzy. And here you describe SAS in the same way. I feel like I might be missing something else. I’m curious to see which...

    I find it fascinating how you have this obsession with using the word “snazzy” to describe the A321LR. And not in a bad way at all. First you mentioned something about JetBlue having a snazzy ultraviolet cleaning system (and they operate the A321LR). Next, you described TAP’s new A321LR interiors as snazzy. And here you describe SAS in the same way. I feel like I might be missing something else. I’m curious to see which one you think is the most “snazzy” of them all!

  5. tipsyinmadras Guest

    Lack of a mid-cabin bathroom makes this decidedly less snazzy

  6. Victoria Guest

    I must be missing something. How is this “snazzy”?

    1. Dick Bupkiss Guest

      The "throne" seats are snazzy.

  7. Olav Guest

    SAS needs to put some of these long-legged planes on a nonstop to Seattle. There are currently NO nonstops from Seattle to anywhere in Scandinavia. SAS used to fly nonstop SEA to CPH but ended that back in 2009. That route was very popular back then, and the Seattle (and Vancouver and Portland) metro areas' populations have boomed since then...and yet there is zero competition to Scandinavia across this region (Norwegian was highly popular before...

    SAS needs to put some of these long-legged planes on a nonstop to Seattle. There are currently NO nonstops from Seattle to anywhere in Scandinavia. SAS used to fly nonstop SEA to CPH but ended that back in 2009. That route was very popular back then, and the Seattle (and Vancouver and Portland) metro areas' populations have boomed since then...and yet there is zero competition to Scandinavia across this region (Norwegian was highly popular before they fell apart). Plus, the US Northwest region has a huge Scandinavian population, so LOTS of family connections. Honestly, I'm shocked there are no nonstops between SEA and ANY Scandinavian capitols, it's a market gap that makes no sense. SAS really should step in and take advantage of the opportunity as they take more deliveries of these efficient long-range planes.

    1. Jayson Guest

      Icelandair provides nonstop service from Seattle to KEF with excellent connections to Scandinavian capitals. As an Icelandic American living in King County Washington, I take offense that you are so specific that there are NO nonstop flights from Seattle to ANY Scandinavian capitals. Iceland is a part of Scandinavia.

    2. Sebastian Guest

      Iceland is not part of Scandinavia. It is a Nordic country though. But Nordic does not equal Scandinavian.

  8. Gabriel Guest

    Hey Ben, we put out a video today with a tour of the SAS A321LR cabin, in case anyone's interested! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWdG3guG0eM

  9. Tim Dunn Gold

    This is a beautiful aircraft but the real issue for narrowbody transatlantic operations will come down to economics. The US requires a 3rd pilot when the flight is above 8 hours long. Other countries have slightly different flight lengths to begin the requirement for a 3rd pilot.
    Widebody aircraft have the same requirements for a 3rd pilot. Widebodies are more cost efficient because of the extra passengers they can carry; that is why widebodies...

    This is a beautiful aircraft but the real issue for narrowbody transatlantic operations will come down to economics. The US requires a 3rd pilot when the flight is above 8 hours long. Other countries have slightly different flight lengths to begin the requirement for a 3rd pilot.
    Widebody aircraft have the same requirements for a 3rd pilot. Widebodies are more cost efficient because of the extra passengers they can carry; that is why widebodies were created in the first place. There will be some long, thin routes where there are enough local passengers that the higher unit costs can be justified but most transatlantic routes are operated to/from a hub. If a competitor is using widebodies for connecting passengers (and cargo) via another hub, it will be hard for one airline to compete against an airline that has a larger, widebody-based hub. The A321XLR burns less fuel but you only need to look at the 757 compared to widebodies to see how it fared.

    1. Scudder Guest

      You seem to contradict yourself when mentioning the 757 for transatlantic ops. Airlines deployed those quite successfully on the thinner routes, and have been eager for the replacement the LR/XLR offers.

    2. Tim Dunn Gold

      There is no contradiction. The 757 amounted to a very low percentage of transatlantic flights even during the 757's prime. Most 757 transatlantic flights per operated either by US legacy carriers and Euro leisure carriers and even among them, the 757 was not a majority of flights.
      Not to go too far into the weeds but the reason the A321XLR exists and will sell is because there is no in-production small widebody , which...

      There is no contradiction. The 757 amounted to a very low percentage of transatlantic flights even during the 757's prime. Most 757 transatlantic flights per operated either by US legacy carriers and Euro leisure carriers and even among them, the 757 was not a majority of flights.
      Not to go too far into the weeds but the reason the A321XLR exists and will sell is because there is no in-production small widebody , which some call the Middle of the Market. Given that Airbus is cleaning Boeing's clock even in the non-transoceanic large narrowbody segment (A321NEO vs B737-MAX9 and 10), Boeing has no choice to kick it up in terms of their strategic plans for new models. The B787-8 and A338 are too heavy and are not cost competitive even with old 767s or new A321s. Delta and United are holding onto their 767s as long as they can with former saying it will use its 757s and 767s as flex capacity into the end of the decade.
      If Airbus stretches the A321 which would require a new wing or either Airbus or Boeing build a new true MoM aircraft, the A321 will probably fade in its transatlantic role. The good part of the A321XLR is that it can be economically placed on shorter routes and still function quite well operationally and economically.

  10. keesje Guest

    It seems to me SAS might have specified the 4 abreast Premium Economy class a bit too premium. Passengers might downgrade from Business Class because it's more than acceptable for a 6-7 hour flight. And much cheaper. A kind of 2+3 abreast seating might be a better idea long term.

    1. Willm Guest

      Or even an Inter Europe business class type setup, so they could vary the cabin size based on demand

    2. Jesper Guest

      These PY seats are more or less equivalent of what SK already offer on the A350. So just offering a reasonable similarity in the classes compared to what is already on offer on the widebodies.

  11. Aaron Guest

    British Airways did it first, having that type of Business Class on a narrow-body plane, no? Granted, they did inherit those planes from BMI, and they don't utilize them all that much, but still.

    1. Grey Member

      So wouldn't that mean BMI did it first?

    2. Aaron Guest

      I don’t think BMI ever really used since they introduced those planes at around the same time BA swallowed them up.

    3. Phillip Guest

      bmi did indeed do it first!

    4. MAD Guest

      bmi ordered them but never actually got to install them on any aircraft as they had gone bankrupt by the time the seats were delivered.
      BA installed them on those former bmi A321s

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Victoria Guest

I must be missing something. How is this “snazzy”?

2
Jerry Guest

Considering what the United States of America airlines are offering on the A321 long range aircraft, Scandinavian hit it on the head with this one. They will do well and make some money on this airplane

0
Brian Ross Guest

Jayson, Iceland is not part of Scandinavia, at least how the Scandinavians use the term.

0
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