South African Airways introduces A330-300 on Johannesburg – London route

South African Airways (SAA) has said that it will introduce the new A330-300 on the London route from March 2018, and will also adjust frequencies on the route to a single daily service.

As part of its network optimisation plan, effective from April 20, 2018, SAA will operate a single daily flight from Johannesburg to London Heathrow replacing the double daily service operating on the route currently.

‘We have decided to focus on those areas of our business that will enhance our efficiencies, bring more value to our customers and produce improved overall performance of the airline. Network optimisation is one such area that can contribute towards containing our costs and we introduced some initiatives that must yield dividends to return the business to commercial sustainability in the shortest time possible,’ said SAA CEO, Vuyani Jarana. ‘We have also decided to upgrade the service operating between Johannesburg and London Heathrow to the new Airbus A330-300 with effect from Sunday, 25 March 2018. This will afford customers a significantly improved on-board Business and Economy product, with state-of-the-art technology, increased comfort and capacity,’ added Jarana.

The new Airbus A330-300 offers the latest technology, are eco-friendly , quieter, equipped with advanced avionics and navigation systems, and have Rolls-Royce Trent engines, resulting in lower fuel burn and in turn, lower carbon emissions. SAA took delivery of five new A330-300 aircraft last year.

The A330-300s offer more Business Class seats than any aircraft in the SAA fleet currently. In total, the aircraft has capacity for 249 passengers, with 46 in Business Class and 203 in Economy Class. Seating in Business Class cabins is in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, offering all customers a forward facing, lie-flat seat, increased privacy and direct access to the aisle. SAA has also introduced an app where customers can download additional entertainment before their flight.

Seating in the Economy cabin will be in the 2-4-2 configuration. Economy Class on the A330-300 feature a 10.1′ high-resolution screen, individual USB charging ports, and access to shared PC power points.

BA set to launch new A380 flight to Johannesburg

British Airways, the UK’s national airline, has announced its plans to fly an Airbus A380 to South Africa starting February next year.

BA’s new A380 route was announced with model Georgia May Jagger and rugby players Chris Robshaw, Jean de Villiers and Bryan Habana.

The BA superjumbo service from London Heathrow to Johannesburg will initially operate three times per week when it launches on February 12, 2014. Effective from March 10, this will increase to six flights per week. The A380 flights will be incorporated into BA’s normal schedule to the city.

Johannesburg is the third destination that the airline plans to serve with the A380. The first, a five-weekly service to Los Angeles, is scheduled to begin on September 24. This will increase to double-daily flights from April 10 next year. The superjumbo is due to begin flying daily to Hong Kong from October 22.

British Airways became the tenth carrier to take delivery of an Airbus A380 in July 2013, the first of 12 super-jumbos that it has on order. The airline has further deliveries due in August and October next year.

BA has configured its A380s to accommodate 469 customers across four cabins. The layout features 14 seats in First on the main deck, followed by 44 Club World seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, then 199 World Traveller economy seats in a 3-4-3 layout. The upper deck will have a further 53 Club World seats in a new 2-3-2 layout, followed by 55 World Traveller Plus seats also configured 2-3-2, and then 104 World Traveller seats in a 2-4-2 layout.

British Airways’ new A380 superjumbo was on display last Saturday, flying in formation with the Red Arrows. The unique flyover was part of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.