27 January, 2003, JOHANNESBURG: The first plane of the South African Airways (SAA) new airbus fleet landed in Johannesburg on Saturday morning.
The long-range A340-600 was flown from Toulouse in France after SAA chief executive Andre Viljoen took delivery of the aircraft on Friday. The US3,5 billion deal will see SAA acquire 41 airbus aircraft over the next 10-years.
A second A340-600 will arrive in South Africa at the end of January. Viljoen said he was delighted after seeing the inside of the new plane. “I am absolutely exhilarated and excited. It is a start of a long partnership with airbus and it is a new beginning with SAA and for the country,” he said. The airbus fleet represents the biggest aircraft purchase of last year as well as the biggest civil procurement in the history of South Africa.