South African Airways has become the latest operator of Airbus’ eco-efficient A330 family. The A330-200 is the first of six to be delivered to Aircastle Limited during 2011, all of which will be leased to South African Airways.
Seating 36 passengers in business class and 186 in economy, the aircraft will feature the latest in-flight entertainment and will be used primarily on long haul routes from the airline’s bases in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The new A330 will join South African Airlines existing Airbus fleet of 11 A319s, 14 A340-200/300s and 9 A340-600s enabling the airline to reap the benefits of Airbus’ unique cockpit and operational commonality. This allows airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance engineers, resulting in operational flexibility and significant cost savings.
“With the new A330s South African Airways continues to modernize its fleet, ensuring we meet our customers’ expectations. Simultaneously, the new A330s will provide savings and efficiencies to support our profitability and growth strategies,” explained South African Airways CEO, Siza Mzimela.
“The A330-200, with its superior economics and proven passenger appeal, will fit seamlessly into the South African Airways fleet,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “Airbus has a long history of partnership with South African Airways and the local industry, and we look forward to continuing to build this mutually beneficial relationship.”
With a typical range capability of 7,250 nautical miles (for a two-class configuration), the A330-200 has the versatility to cover all ranges from short-haul to true long haul – ideal for point-to-point operations. A330 cabins are widely recognized as among the best in the sky, offering a bright atmosphere with the quietest cabins in their class.
The reliable and efficient A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today, with one taking off each minute every day. To date, Airbus has won over 1,100 orders for the different models of the aircraft. Some 750 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is currently flying with 90 operators worldwide in 50 countries.