Johannesburg, South Africa - South African Airways leased two Airbus A350-900 as a replacement to its A340-600s operating on the Johannesburg - New York JFK route.
The airline did not reveal the leasing company. The contract term for the two leased A350-900 is up to three years.
South African Airways will take the delivery of its new widebodies in the second half of the year. The financially troubled airline aims to reduce its operating costs with the arrival of fuel-efficient A350-900s.
To improve the passenger experience, the planes will offer lie-flat beds in the Business Class and 63 seats in Premium Economy with extra legroom in the first six rows. 163 seats are reserved for Economy cabin. The airline did not yet reveal the number of seats in the Business Class.
SAA announced Zuks Ramasia as the new CEO of the South African Airways on June 7. The airline's outgoing Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana has warned the state-owned carrier about severe cash flow constraints unless government intervenes. In his resignation letter leaked to the public, Jarana blamed the South African government of avoiding to face financial problems of the country's flag carrier.
Mr. Vuyani Jarana will hand over its chair to Zuks Ramasia on August 31.
SAA's Chief Financial Officer Deon Fredericks told reporters that from June onwards, the airline would need an additional $272 million by the end of the 2021 fiscal year.