Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced that its new Airbus A350 aircraft has entered long-haul service by taking off on its maiden flight from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Chicago, US.

Named Ingegerd Viking, the aircraft is the first of eight A350s that the airline is acquiring from Airbus.

Stationed at the SAS hub at Copenhagen Airport, the aircraft will be deployed on seven routes during the first year, including Chicago, Beijing, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and San Francisco.

It is capable of carrying a total of 300 passengers and features a cabin with new seat models and customised SAS solutions.

SAS president and CEO Rickard Gustafson said: “The aircraft is one of our biggest investments, enabling us to provide an outstanding travel experience. We look forward to welcoming travellers onboard this state-of-the-art aircraft. With this aircraft, we reduce the fuel consumption compared with the aircraft it replaces, which means reduced carbon emissions by up to 30%.”

As part of its short and long-haul fleet modernisation, the airline will receive a total of 96 new Airbus aircraft before the end of 2023.

In a separate development, Scandinavian Airlines Ireland has implemented OpenAirlines’ eco-flying solution.

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Named as SkyBreathe, the solution is designed to analyse billions of data points by leveraging Big Data algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify suitable fuel-saving opportunities and help reduce CO2 emissions.

SAS Ireland flight operations manager Eoin O’Malley said: “As part of SAS Group, SAS Ireland has many initiatives in motion to lower its CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts.

“To go further, we needed to have a better understanding of our fuel consumption, that’s why we selected SkyBreathe.

OpenAirlines’ software is implemented by more than 35 airlines worldwide. Some of the customers include Norwegian, Malaysia Airlines, Transavia and Atlas Air.

With this technology, OpenAirlines is planning to help airlines cut down their fuel consumption to 5%.

Serving more than 30 million passengers annually, SAS Ireland is one of the leading carriers in Scandinavia.

As part of its commitment to pursue sustainable development, SAS has planned to reduce total carbon emissions by 25% and aims to use biofuel by 2030.