SA airline maximises fleet commonality for efficiency gains

South African Airways has ordered five additional Airbus A320 aircraft, increasing an earlier commitment for the type from 15 to 20.

The aircraft, to be delivered from 2013, will be powered by IAE engines. This order, combined with the airlines recent lease agreement for six new A330s from Air Castle, will deliver a modern, comfortable, reliable and cost-efficient fleet for South African Airways’ domestic, regional and long-haul services. South African Airways already operates a fleet of 11 A319s, six A340-200s, six A340-300s and nine A340-600s.

“We are delighted that this transaction has the approval of our key stakeholders, the SAA Shareholder and Board. Because they offers a seamless fit with the other Airbus aircraft types which we operate, the A320s will assist in our efficiency drive and reduce maintenance costs,” said Siza Mzimela, CEO of South African Airways.

John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, said, “The A320 is the most modern and efficient single aisle aircraft available and with continuous improvements we are strengthening the aircraft’s leadership position. It will be a key enabler in South African Airways drive for greater efficiency.”

Airbus aircraft share a unique cockpit and operational commonality, allowing airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance engineers, bringing operational flexibility and resulting in significant cost savings.

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