Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) plans to debut its first Airbus A350 between Copenhagen and Chicago on Jan. 28, 2020, and will roll out the new aircraft type on seven routes throughout the year.

On June 13, SAS detailed its plans for the eight Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered A350s that it has on order.

The first A350—carrying the tail number SE-RSA—will be delivered before the end of 2019 and will perform training flights within Scandinavia during December and January.

SAS will base its first A350 at Copenhagen and its first long-haul commercial service will be to Chicago, which SAS describes as one of its most popular routes.

Throughout 2020, the A350 network will be extended to include Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai and Tokyo.

The aircraft, which is a new type for SAS, will be configured with 300 seats across three products: SAS Business (40 seats), SAS Plus (32 seats) and SAS Go (228 seats).

“To further enhance the experience on board, the A350 will be equipped with unique SAS features,” the Scandinavian carrier said. “SAS will announce these new features during 2019.”

SAS described the A350 as a key investment and said the type’s entry into service will be a milestone in its extensive fleet-renewal program, contributing to the airline’s plans to cut its emissions by at least 25% by 2030.

“In total, as a part the modernization of the short and long-haul fleet, SAS will take delivery of new Airbus A320neo (80), Airbus A330 Enhanced (five), Airbus A350 (eight) and Airbus A321LR (three) aircraft before the end of 2023. Combined with the upgrade of the cabin interiors, the SAS fleet is shaped for the future,” SAS said.

SAS signed an MOU for the eight Airbus A350-900s in June 2013, which was firmed in October 2013. The first delivery was originally scheduled for 2018, but in late 2016 the airline deferred the first aircraft to 2019, pushing back some of its prepayment commitments.

Victoria Moores