Over-indebted national airline South African Airways(SAA) on Sunday announced that it acquired new generation aircraft to its long-haul fleet as part of its turn-around strategy meant to improve its profitability.
The airline said the new Airbus A350-900 aircraft would complement its ultra-long-haul service between Johannesburg and New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport. It replaced the A340-600 aircraft.
“The introduction of these state-of-the-art aircraft to our fleet is an important step-change as we continue to make progress to transform our business and return the airline to financial sustainability in the shortest time possible,” said SAA’s acting CEO Zukisa Ramasia.
“These aircraft present an immediate opportunity to offer an improved product between Johannesburg and New York which will be accompanied by unmatched and consistent customer experience for both Business and Economy Class customers,” she added.
The A350-900 has modern safety, maintenance, and technology capabilities which will boost the airline’s profits. SAA will lease the aircraft for up to three years.
“These aircraft present an opportunity for SAA to reduce fuel burn by approximately 20% compared to the aircraft currently operating on that route. This will translate into significant cost savings that will contribute towards improved operating costs and financial performance. In addition, the significance of this development is that it will add to a positive environmental impact, as SAA will also reduce its carbon emissions,” the airline said.