SAS skips MD-95, launches 737-600

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Date:         14 Mar 95 12:42:43 
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) has been preparing to order as many
as 55 new 100-seat airliners, including 35 firm orders.  It has been
widely expected that SAS, long a loyal McDonnell Douglas customer,
would become the launch customer for the MD-95.  MacDAC badly needs to
launch the MD-95 to help flesh out its product line, and according to
an article in today's Wall St. Journal has been offering the MD-95 to
SAS for $25 million, about 30% less than the $36 million of competing
Boeing and Airbus models.

Instead, SAS announced today an order for 35 Boeing 737-600s, with
options on another 35 aircraft, becoming launch customer for the third
and smallest member of Boeing's third-generation 737 lineup.  Reports
valued the firm orders at about $1.17 million, or about $33.4 million
per aircraft.

Some of the aircraft will be configured with 95-seat mixed seating (58
business, 37 economy) while others reportedly will have 128-seat all-
economy seating.  That seems awfully tight, though the 737-600 is the
same size as the 737-500, on which Boeing offers up to 132 seats with
a 30 inch seat pitch.  (For comparison, Southwest puts 122 seats on a
737-500 using a 32 inch pitch.)

As of about a year ago, SAS operated the following Fokker and McDonnell
Douglas aircraft, all of which presumably will be replaced by the new

    3	Fokker F-28-1000
   16	Fokker F-28-4000
    9	MacDAC DC-9-21
   26	MacDAC DC-9-41

They also had 12 737-500s at that time, with two more due in 1996,
though many of these were leased or sub-leased to other airlines.

SAS' fleet director also mentioned a need for around 10 new aircraft
in the 170- to 180-seat class within the next few years.  SAS now has
a sizable MD-80 fleet that's only a bit smaller (all of their MD-81s
and MD-87s seem to be mixed-class, with 133 and 110 seats, respect-
ively, but they also have single-class 156-seat MD-82s and 161-seat
MD-83s) with six MD-90-30s due in 1996 that are close in size to the
MD-81/82/83.  The 737-800 could be a contender, though -- a 737-400
can seat 168 with the 30 inch pitch, so the slightly longer 737-800,
which has room for two more rows, could presumably seat 180.  It would
certainly not be luxurious accommodations!

Karl Swartz	|INet
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