Tuesday, 25 March 2014

South African Airways Takes Delivery of Fourth New A320 Aircraft

Africa’s leading airline South African Airways (SAA) has taken delivery of two new Airbus A320 aircraft, bringing to six the number of narrowbodied planes added to the SAA fleet in 2014.

Commenting on the development SAA’s Country Manager for Australasia Tim Clyde-Smith said the new aircraft would greatly boost the airline’s capabilities on shorter routes within Africa while adding significantly to the quality of its product and service. They will also be more energy-efficient aircraft, reducing impact on the environment.

“Our fleet renewal program forms a key plank of our new strategy, Gaining Altitude. Our fleet replacement program for SAA’s narrow-bodied fleet includes the acquisition of twenty A320 aircraft to replace our Boeing 737-800 aircraft and enhances our fleet to support SAA’s route expansion plans into Africa,” Tim said.

“These latest new arrivals will give our customers the added pleasure of flying on brand new aircraft. Besides the improved on-board offering, customers can enjoy their flying experience knowing they are travelling on a more fuelefficient aircraft, underscoring SAA’s commitment to being an environmentally responsible airline,” he said.

“The latest two A320s arrived earlier in March, with another A320 (number five) expected in June, aircraft six and seven are expected to arrive in the third quarter and aircraft eight in the fourth quarter.”

Tim said that in keeping with SAA’s initiatives towards weight reduction, products and material on the new A320’s are all made of lightweight materials adding to the airlines key strategy of being as environmentally-sustainable as possible.

“We have also put a lot of work into making both business class and economy cabins attractive and super comfortable for customers. These aircraft now offer a refreshed on-board experience through a number of special features.”

"This includes South Africanthemed interior designed-cabins, generous configuration and better in-flight entertainment and facilities that make using and charging laptop computers and tablets easier. The new aircraft configuration is 24 business class and 114 economy class seats with a pitch of 39 inches in business and 31 inches in economy. Our business class are 2X2 abreast with each seat having a leg rest, adjustable headrest and recline of 7 inches allowing the seat to fold out into a cradle position. This gives superb comfort on up to four hour long regional trips with plenty of storage on both sides providing extra width.”

“Our economy class seats have shared USB and PC power points and an adjustable headrest. With leather upholstery throughout the cabin. Colours used are dark beige and anthracite grey with touches of red and blue in our corporate colours.”

"All seats (except for the first row) have an innovative special feature: the back shell has space to stow a PC tablet, with a USB power point that keeps a tablet powered during the flight, and PC power points in the centre console for additional laptop computer power.

"In an environment where aircraft fuel has become our single biggest cost factor, the A320 has become the aircraft of choice for airlines looking to reduce their fuel bills. Newer aircraft embody the latest technologies, are more reliable, more productive and require less down-time for maintenance and repairs. Lower fuel burn means fewer carbon emissions and with the A320's low noise footprint, it's a good neighbour as well," Tim concluded.


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