South African Airways (SAA) has announced that it has been given the green light for a significant expansion of its fleet to pave the way for the national carrier to relaunch international routes and increase seat capacity for its regional and domestic destinations.
Interim CEO, Professor John Lamola, says the airline’s plan to lease six new aircraft has been approved by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Public Enterprises. “The aircraft will be delivered before the end of this calendar year, and the planes include a wide-body aircraft as well as five narrow-body aircraft - all of them Airbus equipment,” Lamola said.
“We are excited, as SAA, to lay the groundwork for the relaunch of our first international route since coming out of business rescue and since the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. We will announce the new route in the coming few weeks, and we will open commercial marketing and sales for it.”
Lamola says the terms and conditions attached to the deals for the new aircraft are along the same competitive, transparent, and cost-effective lines that have characterised the ‘new’ SAA since it emerged from Business Rescue in September 2021.
“Currently a Request for Proposals is out for four A320 narrow-body aircraft. The other two - an A330 and A320 have already been secured from the lessor community on the same terms as the ones issued in the RFP.”
“The four aircraft that we are ordering will all be deployed by September 2023. This is a significant boost for the domestic and regional markets and underscores our commitment to expanding our route network and increasing our frequency in the African market. It will also ensure that the equilibrium between the supply of seats and the flow of traffic will benefit our passengers,” Lamola added.