South African Airways will replace the Airbus A340-600 aircraft on its New York-Johannesburg route with the newer model Airbus 350-900. The new aircrafts will be delivered during the second half of 2019.
Flights from New York to Johannesburg can take nearly 15 hours. According to the SAA, the new aircraft will provide “enhanced passenger comfort and amenities,” for those imposing long-haul flights.
But perhaps more importantly, it will deliver a 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, and is therefore an important component in the airline’s turnaround plan as it struggles to regain profitability.
Fuel costs constitute nearly a quarter of the Airline’s expenditures, and the distance between New York JFK International Airport and O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg is nearly 8,000 miles.
In a statement, Todd Neuman, executive vice president, North America for South African Airways, said, “With this latest generation aircraft, SAA will offer a modern product, including a quieter cabin, a more relaxing environment during flight, and the latest in-flight entertainment, in addition to providing SAA’s legendary world-class service both in the air and on the ground.”