South African Airways (SAA) has taken delivery of its first two A320s out of a total of 20 A320 Family aircraft ordered from Airbus in 2010, said an Airbus statement released yesterday.
The statement said the development is set to deliver cost efficiencies and allow SAA to expand its Sub-Sahara regional route network and boost revenue in the rapidly growing market.
The airline’s A320s, powered by IAE-V2500 engines, feature a two class cabin layout, seating 24 passengers in business class and 114 in economy. The A320s will replace its present fleet of 737-800s and will augment the A319s it already has in service and mark the latest phase of SAA’s fleet modernization plan.
“We are delighted to receive our first two A320 aircraft. Operating a modern and homogenous fleet plays a significant role in cost reduction and boosting revenue. The A320 will assist SAA to achieve this while providing our passengers with a more superior cabin product,” said Monwabisi Kalawe, SAA’s Chief Executive Officer.
“SAA has long been regarded as a bellwether for Africa on aircraft selection and we are looking forward to expanding our relationship. Our reliable, fuel efficient and comfortable A320s will give SAA a competitive edge and help the airline achieve sustainable profitability,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, over 9,600 aircraft have been ordered and more than 5,600 delivered to over 380 customers and operators worldwide. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft.