DALLAS — South African Airways (SA) is restarting its long-haul flights with the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft. Before the pandemic, SA used to fly the type to various destinations in four countries.
The A350 restart will roll out in two parts. In the first phase, SA will fly its leased Airbus A330-300 aircraft to São Paulo (GRU) and Perth (PER) until the end of March. In the second phase, the airline is going to start operating its A350-900 to Frankfurt (FRA), London (LHR), Washington (IAD), and New York (JFK).
The South African carrier previously operated four A350-900s between October 2019 and August 2020, including former Air Mauritius and two Hainan Airlines aircraft leased from Avolon.
Regional, Coastal Flights
In 2021, SA resumed operations with regional flights to Ghana, DRC, Zambia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. The airline has re-introduced flights to Namibia and Mauritius and is set to resume flights to Lilongwe, Malawi. Last month, SA’s National Treasury reported that SA was no longer technically insolvent.
With an improvement to its financial situation and the resumption of international routes, SA could be on its way to restoring its pride as one of the continent’s best airlines.
Outside of their new long-haul routes, they are opening new flights to more African coastal cities, like Durban, George, and Port Elizabeth.
According to Planespotters.net, the airline has only ten aircraft at the moment. SA has three Airbus A319s (two of them are active, third A319 is stored), five Airbus A320s (four active, one stored), a single Airbus A330-300, and a single Airbus A340-300 are active. The airline’s Airbus A350s replaced the Airbus A340-600.
Featured image: South African Airways Airbus A350-900, ZS-SDF taking off. Photo: Kochan Kleps/Airways