SAS Signs Agreement With Norwegian Armed Forces For Strategic Evacuations

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  • New agreement between SAS and Norwegian Armed Forces secures air evacuation capacity with more efficient and eco-friendly A320neo aircraft.
  • Convertible A320neo can transform into an airborne hospital, providing essential medical equipment and comfortable environment for evacuees.
  • Partnership future-proofs evacuation operations, strengthening capacity for national and international missions with the Norwegian Armed Forces.

On March 4th, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norwegian Armed Forces signed a new agreement for strategic air evacuation operations. The new agreement will become active in 2025, following the phase-out of the current air evacuation aircraft. It ensures that the operation maintains the current capacity for years to come.

About the agreement

The agreement between the two entities comprises two parts: an agreement to design a solution based on the Airbus A320neo and an agreement covering the operational assignments.

Photo: Scandinavian Airlines

The A320neo in question will be a convertible model that can be reconfigured from typical passenger operations to an airborne hospital with essential medical equipment and hospital beds for the injured and wounded.

Paul Verhagen, Chief Commercial Officer at SAS, had this to say about the new partnership:

“We are honored that the Norwegian Armed Forces have selected SAS for future evacuation missions, building on several years of joint assignments across the world. While the currently used aircraft has served us well, it is now time for the next-generation, lower-emission A320neo to continue these proud assignments together with our highly skilled and dedicated staff. Contributing to the safe transport of citizens across the world when crisis strikes is a responsibility we do not take lightly, and we are grateful for the trust placed in us by the Norwegian Defense through this work.”

The A320neo is more fuel efficient and has a larger range than the outgoing model. It’s also more environmentally friendly and emits 18% less CO2 emissions. The aircraft cabin has more sound deadening and reduces noise by 30%, improving the environment for evacuees and staff onboard.

Agreement between SAS and the Armed Forces is unique.

Photo: Scandinavian Airlines

SAS has been involved in air rescue operations for a quarter of a century. It has taken part in major operations such as the tsunami in Thailand and evacuation missions in Afghanistan, Moira refugee camp, and, most recently, Ukrainian patients.

Future-proofing the operation

The Norwegian Logistics Organization is partnering with SAS on behalf of the Norwegian Armed Forces. Brigadier General Anders Jernberg, Commander of the Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization, had this to say about the new agreement:

“With this agreement, the capacity for evacuation and repatriation of sick or wounded civilians and military personnel, including intensive care patients, is strengthened for national and international operations, from and to airports in all parts of the world.”

Scandinavian Airlines A320neo airborne hospital interior

Photo: Scandinavian Airlines

The program will use two A320neo medical evacuation aircraft and the Armed Forces’ resources. The Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Services play a significant role in these evacuation operations. It offers its expertise in developing solutions for aircraft.

Brigadier General Petter Iversen, Commander of Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Services, spoke about the nature of the partnership between SAS and the Armed Forces:

“The collaboration is unique. Private business and the Armed Forces come together to form a total defense capacity. Ensuring the ability to carry out strategic air evacuation is important for the Norwegian Armed Forces, as well as from an international perspective and society at large.”

The Norwegian Joint Headquarters leads the Joint Medical Services, which is responsible for planning, preparedness, and executing air medical evacuation operations on behalf of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

  • SAS A350


    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Copenhagen Airport, Oslo Gardermoen Airport, Stockholm Arlanda Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Airline Group:
    SAS Group

    Anko van der Werff

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