The A320neo has a fuel consumption that is approximately 15% less than the A320CEO. When noting that the A320neo can carry more passengers (as the crew galley has been made smaller), it can deliver around 20% less fuel consumption per seat! This equals around 5,000 tons of fuel saved per aircraft and per year, this makes the A320neo the most efficient narrow isle short and mid-range aircraft in its market. Delivering huge savings potential.
NEO is short for New Engine Option, and the new engines are the CFM Leap 1A, the Neo also comes equipped with 2.4 meter-long Sharklets rising up from the wingtips, giving the NEO lower fuel consumption, and an almost 1000 kilometre longer range.
Inside the cabin, SAS have chosen overhead compartments that are significantly larger the the CEO A320s. Another new feature is the placement of the AFT toilets. ‘Two toilets are placed next to each other towards the aft bulkhead, the lateral one is designed to be more accessible for people with reduced mobility.’
SAS currently have 12 NEOs out of the 30 they had on order alongside 12 CEO A320s. SAS are the largest operator of the A320Neo in Europe and it was about time I got on-board to see what it offered.
I had just flown in from Warsaw Chopin with SAS (CityJet) to make my onward connection to London on the NEO. I have previously connected through Copenhagen and I absolutely love Kastrup – quick and super-efficient. I was at the gate for my flight only 20minutes after deboarding my previous aircraft (which parked on a remote stand). My flight was on time which didn’t surprise me as SAS are the world’s most on time airline!
I had messaged ahead about my flight with SAS and I had been granted special permission to board early to get some photos, see the empty cabin and witness the upgrades SAS had made on their NEO product. I have to say they gave done a sterling job. Seat pitch is now 30” with a recline of 3”. Seats are equipped with new comfort cushions, each seat has an easily accessible high power USB outlet (2.1A) and new mood lighting runs throughout the cabin. Another feature (not yet fully installed) will be high speed Wi-Fi.
The crew were extremely welcoming and engaging and I had a good opportunity to make conversation with the crew while still on the ground. When boarding commenced I took my seat (2F) and begun to set up my filming equipment. I was also offered a hot towel of which I accepted. I was also sitting in SAS Plus for today’s short flight to London. We pushed back on time and made our way to RWY 04R for departure to London. On take-off the engines of the NEO sounded incredible, kind of like a mini GE-90, yet after rotation and airborne they were super quiet. Take-off itself was very smooth and flying conditions were superb, it was a clear night over Copenhagen.
Shortly after take-off the crew started the meal service, unfortunately it was the same meal service as on my flight into Copenhagen from Warsaw. I was not a fan of it the first time either. No need to panic, it was only a 2hour flight to London, so I could get something to eat there.
The flight itself went by very fast and I felt completely relaxed up the front in SAS Plus, by the time the meal had been cleared away and a small snack had been offered, we started our descent into London Heathrow, with an added bonus of no holding! We made the straight approach into 27R passing all the sights as we flew in. The clear night sky made for some incredible views over London.
We landed into Heathrow and were parked at our gate at Terminal 2 five minutes ahead of schedule, that’s SAS for you! I had another great chat with the pilots in the cockpit before I headed off to passport control.
In conclusion SAS have done a fantastic job with their NEO and I had a great experience. The flight was one of the best short-haul offerings I have experienced. The punctuality and expertise of the crew created lovely conditions onboard and I will be sure to fly SAS again in the future. I would love to try their long haul A340 product and one day maybe their A350!