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Scandinavian Airlines System is an extensive flight network offering air travel in Scandinavian countries. Read on to explore its profile & history.

Scandinavian Airlines

A leading airline network in the Scandinavian countries, Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) is a multi-national service offering air travel. A founding member of Star Alliance (the world’s first and largest airline alliance), it has its headquarters based in Stockholm, Sweden. Its three main hubs are Copenhagen-Kastrup Airport, Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, and Oslo-Gardermoen Airport, with Copenhagen as the centre for European and intercontinental flights. SAS has also founded Air Greenland, airBaltic, Linjeflyg, Spanair, Thai Airways International, and the former charter airline Scanair. Apart from that, it owns 20% stake in bmi (British Midland Airways) and 49% stake in Estonian Air.

History
Scandinavian Airlines System was formed on 1st August 1946, by a partnership between the flag carriers of Scandinavian nations - Det Danske Luftfartselskab (Denmark) A/S, Svensk Interkontinental Lufttrafik AB (Sweden), and Det Norske Luftfartselskap (Norway). Basically, this partnership was reached with the aim of better handling of intercontinental air traffic to Scandinavia, in mind. The Airline stated its operations on 17th September 1946. two years later i.e. in 1948, its founding companies coordinated their European operations. Finally, in 1951, they merged together, form the SAS Consortium.

In 1954, Scandinavian Airlines became the first airline in the world to operate on a transpolar route, from Copenhagen to Los Angeles, with a halt in Greenland. It was turned out to be a publicity coupe for the airline, with a favorable result - making it popular among Hollywood celebrities and American tourists, for traveling to Europe. In 1957, it used the North Pole short cut route (Copenhagen-Anchorage-Tokyo) to offer the first “round the world service over the North pole”. The air service introduced its first jet aircraft in 1959. Twelve year later, SAS put its first Boeing 747 jumbo jet into service.

Scandinavian Airlines successfully networked with Air Canada, Lufthansa, Thai Airways International and United Airlines to form the global Star Alliance in 1997. In 2004, it got divided into four companies, namely Scandinavian Airlines Sverige AB - which handles the air traffic from Stockholm to other European countries, Scandinavian Airlines Danmark AS - which manages the air traffic from Copenhagen to other European countries, Scandinavian Airlines Norge AS - which controls for the air traffic within Norway and Scandinavian International AS - which handles the intercontinental air traffic.

Destinations Covered
Scandinavian Airline Network covers a large number of destinations throughout the world. Its routes include Chicago, Seattle, Washington and Newark in US, apart from London, Manchester and Birmingham in UK. It also caters to Asian destinations, like India, China, and Japan and European destinations, like France, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Germany, Croatia, Netherlands, Malta, Kosovo, Milan, Italy, Iceland, Lithuania, Poland, Romania Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Luxemburg, apart from serving the Scandinavian alliance Destinations - Belgium, Denmark and Norway.

Fleet & Programs
The fleet of Scandinavian Airlines consists of more than 160 aircrafts, including Airbus A319-132, Airbus A321-232, Airbus A330-300, Airbus A340-300, Boeing 737-400, Boeing 737-500, Boeing 737-600, Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-800, Bombardier CRJ-900, Fokker 50, McDonnell Douglas MD-81, McDonnell Douglas MD-82 and McDonnell Douglas MD-87. As of June 2009, the average age of the SAS fleet is 12.9 years. It offers fly home membership clubs for Scandinavians living abroad. It also owns the Euro Bonus program, a frequent flyer program of about 5 European airlines, launched in 1992.

Accolades
Scandinavian Airlines System has won various awards in categories ranging from Best Newsletter to Best Bonus Promotion to Best Website. Its first award was ATW Award for 'Airline of the Year - International', which it received in 1984. Since then, there has been no stopping the accolades. It has received Freddie Award for 'Best Customer Service - International' in 1996 and 1997. Apart from that, it has been awarded Freddie Award for 'Program of the Year - International', 'Best Elite Level - International' and 'Best Award - International' a number of times till date.

Last Updated on 1st August, 2009