South African Airways (SAA) is introducing the latest technology, available in ultra-long-haul aircraft, hailing exciting news for customers travelling nonstop between Johannesburg and New York JFK.
SAA will supplement its existing long-haul fleet with new Airbus A350-900 aircraft, which are modern, twin-engine, and wide-body aircraft. These new-generation aircraft boast fuel-efficiency and other benefits and advantages. The aircraft will operate on one of SAA’s ultra-long haul routes between Johannesburg and New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), replacing the A340-600 aircraft on this route and will still be operated on a nonstop basis.
South African Airways A350
“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.
“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,” says acting SAA CEO, Zukisa Ramasia.
The Airbus A350-900 is the world’s premier aircraft and offers the highest levels of customer and crew comfort combined with excellent economics for ultra-long-haul flights. The aircraft also offers a modern In-flight Entertainment (IFE) system throughout the cabin.
The A350 has the latest offering in safety, maintenance and efficiency (technology). 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.
SAA will lease the aircraft for up to three years.
The A350 configuration has 246 Economy Class seats with the first six rows offering extra legroom to provide a more comfortable experience, especially on longer flights. The Business Class cabin has lie flat beds.
SAA will take delivery of the aircraft in the second half of 2019. The aircraft will be operational in SAA’s branding as soon as SAA has met the regulatory authority requirements.
“We are proud to offer our customers the latest generation aircraft with a modern product, including a quieter cabin, a more relaxing environment during flight, and the latest in-flight entertainment,” concludes Ramasia.


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