SAA receives first A330-300

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

The aircraft represents one fifth of an order that will enable the airline to expand its current route network and improve its efficiencies. The remaining four aircraft are due to arrive later this month and early next year.

“This is an important milestone for us in the context of the implementation of our Long-Term Turnaround Strategy 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,” said SAA Acting CEO Musa Zwane.

In SAA’s configuration, the aircraft has capacity for 249 passengers, with 46 in 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 aisle access. The A330-300s offer more business class seats than the largest aircraft in SAA’s current fleet.

Economy is fitted with 203 newly designed slim-line seats, all with extra personal space and legroom. Each seat is fitted with a 10.1 inch screen, individual USB charging ports and access to shared PC power points.

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