Retro celebrations including uniforms, gifts and a retro-painted Airbus A-319 as the airline celebrates returning to T2Scandinavian Airlines has today become the latest airline to operate from Heathrow Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, with 21 flights to Scandinavia departing on its first day.
To mark SAS being one of the original airlines at T2 in 1955 and to celebrate the airline’s first day at the new terminal, passengers on the first SAS flight to depart the new terminal at 06:40 flew onboard a retro-painted Airbus A-319 aircraft to Copenhagen. This was followed by early morning departures to Oslo and Stockholm, as departing passengers celebrated with both current and ex-cabin crew dressed in uniforms, both old and new, and were presented with souvenir photos and playing cards of iconic SAS images from 1955 up to the present.
In celebration of the new terminal, SAS also announced that until midnight on 15 September, it has released thousands of lowest fare seats for travel to Scandinavia from Heathrow T2: The Queen’s Terminal, for travel between 1 October and 31 March 2015. Sale prices start from just £102 return to Oslo, with all non-stop routes from Heathrow on offer, including Stockholm, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, and Stavanger.
The celebrations marked the airline’s history as just one of six airlines that flew when the original terminal building, called the Queen’s building, opened in 1955, and are operating today from the newly-built Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal.
On its first day operating from the new terminal, over 4,000 passengers departed and arrived with SAS across 42 flights, compared to just 24 flights daily from Heathrow back in 1955.
Other comparisons include:
• In 1955, the lead-in price for a one-way SAS ticket Heathrow to Copenhagen cost £46, equivalent to £1,096 in today’s money. Today, the lead-in price is just £69.
• In 1955, night flights from the original T2 were permitted, with SAS ‘Night Tourist’ departures including options to leave Heathrow throughout the night, at 1:45am, 2:30am, 2:50am and 3:10am to Scandinavia. Today, the ‘Night Quota Period’ in operation from 23.30 - 06.00 restricts aircraft movements, with the latest SAS flight departing at 21:05 to Stockholm.
• In 1955, SAS flew from Terminal 2 to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo & Stavanger non-stop, with only onward flights taking passengers eventually to Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. Today, SAS operates six flights a day to the Swedish capital, and non-stop to all five destinations from Heathrow, with options to connect onwards to hundreds of destinations in Scandinavia and beyond.
• In 1955, SAS’ fleet consisted of 50 aircraft. Today, the fleet is 132 aircraft.
• In 1955, load factors for SAS averaged 51.3%, rising to 76% today.
• In 1955, SAS from London was operating a propeller engine, Douglas DC-6 with between 43 to 63 seats, whereas today the largest SAS aircraft can accommodate 198 passengers (to Copenhagen).
• SAS uniforms through the ages have been designed by names including Christian Dior, Carven, and Calvin Klein.
• Since SAS was founded in 1946, all its aircraft have been named after Viking ships, with forenames dedicating planes to royalty, as well as long serving SAS staff. The first SAS flight, Airbus A-319-132, departing Terminal 2 today is named after Prince Christian of Denmark, whose name was given to the “Christian Valdemar Viking”.
Formally opening the first flight, Hans Dyhrfort, SAS Regional General Manager Western Europe, commented, “We’re delighted to welcome SAS passengers to fly with us from the impressive new Heathrow Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal; where SAS passengers will benefit from the spacious, light and airy surroundings, modern check-in options and numerous shops and restaurants. With over 270 flights per week direct to Scandinavia, and onwards to many other destinations in Scandinavia and beyond, we’re pleased to offer world class facilities for our London passengers both on-ground and in-flight, making life easier for travellers to Scandinavia”.
Short breaks and holidays to Scandinavia are enjoying a surge in popularity amongst UK residents. Offering 272 flights per week to and from the new terminal to all major destinations in Scandinavia, SAS prices start from just £69 one-way or £102 return to Oslo. Fares include all taxes and charges and are in SAS Go, the economy service from Scandinavian Airlines, which includes a checked bag at no extra cost, newspapers, coffee and tea on board and several services to save time, including mobile check-in and seat selection. Also, there are no hidden fees when booking with SAS.
SAS operates a two class system on all its flights within Europe, with SAS Plus offering additional premium benefits including complimentary lounges, Fast Track security, premium check-in, complimentary food and drink, an additional piece of 23kg checked luggage and fully flexible tickets. SAS Plus prices from Heathrow start from £147 one-way or £235 return to Copenhagen with the ability to change your flights for no extra charge.