South African Airways has taken delivery of two new A320 aircraft, bringing the total number of narrow-bodied aircraft to join the SAA fleet this year to six.
The latest two A320s arrived earlier this month, with another A320 (number five) expected in June this year. Aircrafts six and seven are expected to arrive in the third quarter, and aircraft eight in the fourth quarter. Two of the A320s entered service last year.
In keeping with SAA’s move towards weight reduction, products and material on the new A320s are made of lightweight materials.
The A320s are configured with 24 Business Class and 114 Economy Class seats. Seating in Economy offers a pitch of 31 inches, with shared USB and PC power points and an adjustable headrest. Business Class offers ample leg room with a pitch of 39 inches, and seats are arranged with two seats either side of the aisle, offering more seat width.
All seats in Business Class (except for the first row) have space to stow a tablet, with a USB powerpoint that keeps a tablet powered during the flight, and PC power points in the centre console for additional laptop computer power.
In the pipeline are Samsung tablets, with in-flight entertainment content already loaded, which will be offered to Business Class passengers on longer African flights.
Customers can watch the in-flight entertainment on the classic drop-down overhead screens and can look forward to an improved entertainment experience, as well as Airshow’s moving map experience, which is new on these narrow bodies. As a future innovation, SAA is testing new IFE technology where content will be streamed onboard to customers’ own devices.
In a market environment where jet fuel has become the single biggest cost factor for any airline, the A320 has become the aircraft of choice for airlines looking to reduce their fuel bills.