South African Airways first A330-300 arrives boosting growth plans

South African Airways’ first new A330-300 aircraft arrived today.

The aircraft forms part of five new A330-300 aircraft on order which will enable the airline to expand its current route network and improve its efficiencies.

“A new aircraft arrival in our fleet is a special occasion and does not happen often. We are therefore very excited about the potential for growth the new arrivals will offer.

“Customers will be pleased with the latest-generation on-board amenities and other cabin features on the A330-300s.  They certainly offer customers an improved travel experience,” says SAA Acting CEO Musa Zwane.

The A330-300s offer state-of-the-art technology, are environmentally friendly, and are super-comfortable. Interiors are striking in warm, neutral colours and finishes to provide a comfortable, elegant, hospitable and relaxed ambience, leaving customers feeling well rested after long flights.

Interior design is upmarket and resembles the elegant surroundings of SAA’s airport lounges, where warm neutrals invite customers to feel at home.

“Beyond product refresh which our customers will surely enjoy, this is an important milestone for us in the context of the implementation of our Long-Term Turnaround Strategy (LTTS) we unveiled three years ago. The new aircraft will bring much needed efficiencies and this is expected to impact positively on the company’s bottom line,” explained Zwane.

In SAA’s configuration, the aircraft has capacity for 249 passengers, with 46 in premium Business Class and 203 in Economy Class. Seating in Business Class cabins is in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, offering increased privacy and providing all Business Class passengers with direct access to the aisle. The A330-300s offer more Business Class seats than the largest aircraft in SAA’s current fleet.

“We remain committed to ensuring that the airline becomes financially self-reliant and the arrival of these aircraft mark a stepping stone in our move in that direction. Our projections indicate that we will break even by year 2021 before we start becoming profitable again,” concluded Zwane.

The A330s are wide-bodied aircraft and is a pleasure to fly, quieter than previous-generation airliners, equipped with advanced avionics and navigation systems and ultra fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent engines, resulting in lower fuel burn and, as a result, lower carbon emissions.

The remaining four aircraft are due to arrive later this month and early next year.

The latest model A330-300s feature an increased 242-tonne maximum take-off weight and have an extended range of 6 350 nautical miles (11 750km) – typically routes of up to 11 hours – compared with previous versions of the aircraft. This combination of superior payload and range will enable SAA to expand its route network in Africa and beyond.

The A330s complement SAA’s existing Airbus long-haul and domestic/regional fleet, which includes 10 A320s which were delivered last year.

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