🇳🇴 SAS and the Norwegian Armed Forces sign new agreement for strategic evacuation

March 13, 2024

The Norwegian Armed Forces have on March 4 signed a new agreement with SAS for strategic air evacuation. The agreement ensures continued capacity for strategic air evacuation using SAS’ latest Airbus A320neo aircraft. This will follow the phase-out of the current aircraft and transition to the new agreement will take place in 2025.

The agreement between Norwegian Armed Forces and SAS consists of two parts: a cooperation agreement to design a A320neo based solution and an agreement covering operational assignments.

“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.

The A320neo is a regular passenger plane and – once the new design is finalized – can be converted into a flying hospital, with medical equipment and hospital beds. SAS’ Airbus A320neo has around 18% lower CO2 emissions compared to the aircraft it replaces. Additionally, there is 30% less noise in these aircraft, creating a more favorable environment for evacuees and crew on board.

SAS has a 25-year history of taking part in evacuation assignments, with missions such as the tsunami in Thailand, and evacuation missions from Afghanistan, Moira refugee camp and Ukrainian patients.


“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.

Capacity will be established for use of two medical evacuation aircraft, in addition to the Armed Forces’ own resources.

“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.

The Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Services play a key role in the operation of medical evacuation, contributing with its professional expertise to develop solutions for the new aircraft. They also hold the main responsibility for planning, preparedness for and execution of medical air evacuation on behalf of the Norwegian Armed Forces, led by the Norwegian Joint Headquarter.

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

Originally published on 12 March by SAS.

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