South African Airways takes delivery of first new Airbus A350s and announces leasing two additional A350s
South African Airways took delivery of the first of four new Airbus A350-900.The introduction of the A350s offers a new beginning for the airline and will contribute to the airline’s operational efficiencies. 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 Airbus A340-600 on this route and will still be operated on a nonstop basis. As additional aircraft are introduced, more routes will be operated by the Airbus A350-900s. Business and Economy Class customers will enjoy the quieter cabin, a more relaxing environment during flight. The Airbus A350-900 is configured with a maximum of 339 seats, of which 30 are Business Class seats and 309 are Economy Class seats, with the first six rows in Economy Class offering extra legroom to provide a more comfortable experience, especially on longer flights. The Business Class cabin has lie flat beds. The aircraft also offers a modern In-flight Entertainment (IFE) system throughout the cabin. The first two aircraft are nine months old and previously flew commercially with another carrier. Aircraft number two and three are scheduled for arrival during the first week of November and the fourth aircraft will arrive in early December. The last two aircraft are brand new and will be delivered to SAA directly from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France. These two aircraft are sub-leased from Air Mauritius ad will also fly with SAA for three years. The aircraft will be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Since entering service in 2015, the Trent XWB engines have flown more than five million hours and is regarded as the world’s most efficient large aero-engine.