South African Airways (SAA) has announced plans to expand its fleet, paving the way for the national carrier to relaunch international routes and increase seat capacity for its regional and domestic destinations. The airline’s interim CEO, Professor John Lamola, revealed that SAA has been given the green light to lease six new aircraft, including a wide-body aircraft and five narrow-body aircraft – all of them Airbus equipment.
Lamola says the terms and conditions attached to the deals for the new aircraft are competitive, transparent, and cost-effective. “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.”
The new aircraft will be delivered before the end of this calendar year, and the four A320 narrow-body aircraft will be deployed by September 2023. This move is a significant boost for the domestic and regional markets and underscores SAA’s commitment to expanding its route network and increasing its frequency in the African market.
The expansion of SAA’s fleet is a significant development for the airline, which has faced significant challenges over the past few years, including financial difficulties and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. SAA was placed under business rescue in December 2019, and in September 2021, emerged from this process as a new airline with a new board and management team.
This latest development underscores SAA’s commitment to its customers and the industry as a whole, and its determination to provide safe, reliable, and affordable air travel to the people of South Africa and beyond. The expansion of the fleet will enable SAA to increase its capacity and offer new routes, while also contributing to the growth and development of the airline industry in the region.