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SAS Wins New Contract From Norwegian Armed Forces For Flying Hospital

The Norwegian Armed Forces have signed an agreement with SAS to maintain strategic air evacuation capabilities by converting A320s into flying hospitals.

On March 4, 2024, the Norwegian Armed Forces signed a new agreement with SAS regarding strategic air evacuation. The agreement ensures continued capacity for strategic air evacuation.

The agreement includes using SAS’ latest Airbus A320neo aircraft after 2025 as the airline phases out current Boeing 737 aircraft. The deal comprises a design cooperation for an A320neo-based solution and an operational assignments agreement.

“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,” says Paul Verhagen, Chief Commercial Officer at SAS.

Converting SAS A320neo to Flying Hospital

While primarily a passenger plane, the airline will redesign the A320neo to serve as a flying hospital with medical amenities and hospital beds.

This SAS aircraft model boasts 18% lower carbon dioxide emissions and a 30% reduction in noise compared to its predecessors.

SAS’ History Of Emergency Response

SAS has a 25-year history of participating in evacuation assignments. The airline’s critical air services include evacuation support during the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, missions from Afghanistan, the Moira refugee camp, and Ukrainian patients.

Consistently, SAS has reaffirmed its position as not only a carrier connecting destinations but as a crucial participant in international rescue operations, providing hope and aid to thousands of people in desperate situations worldwide. Their longstanding tradition in executing evacuation missions is a remarkable example of corporate responsibility and humanitarianism in the aviation industry.

Strategic Evacuation Capacity With Flying Hospitals for the Future

“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,” says the Commander of the Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization, Brigadier General Anders Jernberg.

The airline will make two medical evacuation aircraft available, supplementing the resources of 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,” says Commander of Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Services, Brigadier General Petter Iversen.

Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Services

The Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Services are integral in medical evacuation operations, offering their expertise in developing new aircraft solutions. They are also responsible for planning, preparing, and executing medical air evacuations under the guidance of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters.

Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization is the contract partner on behalf of the Norwegian Armed Forces.


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