SAA launched Cape Town to Sao Paulo Brazil on 29th using A330 aircraftBack to Forum
October represented a watershed month for the new South African Airways. Not only did the airline launch its first intercontinental flight to Sao Paulo Brazil but it has also taken delivery of another two leased A320s to boost its domestic fleet with an additional A330 said to be arriving soon.
The airline will also add a Johannesburg – Sao Paulo route next Monday.
Cape Town will operate the route on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with Johannesburg flights operating on Mondays and Thursdays.
SAA is growing again and now flying 11 international routes and by March 2024 expects to fly to 15 international destinations with a fleet of 13 aircraft. I suspect that Johannesburg to Perth Australia is a likely route for early 2024.1 Nov 2023
Good news Cwoodward. I agree we will likely see JNB-PER back online soon. I know it used to be a profitable route for them and QANTAS was to launch the route late last year but pulled it at the last minute due to a spat over which terminal they would use.
What is the J product going to be like on their A330’s? Any idea where these are coming from?1 Nov 2023
Rf2, Both aircraft are leased.Reg ZS-SXJ and ZS-XSM and configured 46 Business and 203 economy. ZS-ZSM is 6.5 years old has been with the airline for some time possibly since new. ZS-ZSM is about the same age and was registered to SAA in September and still being painted but I suspect has been with the airline previously.
I still have a suspicion that the SA government’s 49% has a potential major airline buyer but I could well be wrong.2 Nov 2023
Rf2, re business class on SAA
SAA business cabin is defiantly new and with 1-2-1 flat bed seating. Image below
This from Airoflap
“The redesigned Business Class on SAA’s new A330-300 aircraft offers a new sleeper seat design, which is almost 2 meters long when fully extended. Each seat has individual aisle access and even more storage space. Passengers are welcomed on board with a refreshing drink and a special kit with travel essentials and premium cosmetics. The excellent à la carte menu includes a board with the best South African cheeses and wines selected by experts. Each seat has its own power outlet and reclines 180 degrees, made from the finest fabrics and leathers; the extra-large pillows and padded seat cover provide even more comfort. Noise-canceling headphones help block out cabin sounds and watch movies on the inflight entertainment service.”2 Nov 2023
The inaugural flight was several hours late in both directions. I will be taking this flight in December, I look forward to reviewing the journey. I was happy to see that the 330 is now operating exclusively, when I booked originally it had the 330 outbound and 340 inbound.3 Nov 2023
AndrewinHK – disappointing to hear the inaugeral was very late. Not a good start. I do wonder if having flights to GRU from both Joburg and Cape Town will have operational inefficiency and risk (and extra cost). Super to hear you are going to Sao Paulo – a spectacular city with great energy.
Yes sensibly SAA are putting their A340-300 on the Lagos, Accra & Abidjan routes, and so using their more fuel efficient A330 on the longer GRU routes.
An anecdote about the A340-300- they take ages to get to cruising altitude. The 2 engines on a A330 have a lot more welly in them than the 4 on the A340-300 and when on the latter you can wonder if the plane will actually get up there!
No issue with the A340 apart from that – although prefer the -600 which has far superior and more powerful engines.
1 user thanked author for this post.6 Nov 2023
The lateness of the inaugural long haul flights as ‘sparkyflyer’ points up I feel that the airline still has a long way to go before it is securely reestablished. This is pointed up by SAA this week missing filing its accounts on time with the SAA government. The consequence of this is that the government and major players will not finally sign-off the reestablishment until these accounts are filed which is essential in order for SAA to move forward and expand. I cannot find one skeric of news re the cause of the lateness or any further mention online at all re these flights.
Prior to the pandemic and the airlines collapse SAA operated seven long-haul routes from Johannesburg aside from GRU, the carrier flew from JNB to: Frankfurt; Hong Kong; London Heathrow; Munich; New York John F. Kennedy; and Perth, Australia and it is these routes that the airline is looking to reestablish with Perth likely to be the next to be established early in 2024 followed I suspect by LHR where they still have slots.
Domestically things are moving along well with the following routes already running again or announced. Accra, Ghana; Blantyre, Malawi; Harare, Zimbabwe; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Lagos, Nigeria; Lilongwe, Malawi; Lusaka, Zambia; Mauritius; Victoria Falls, and Windhoek, Namibia.
Just a bit of nonsense that I picked up when looking at SAA news is that Skytrax for 2021 voted SAA a the second best African Airline – when they were not even operating. I guess that they must have paid up-front prior to collapsing !7 Nov 2023
I also have domestic flights booked with SAA and I’ve been contacted saying the SAA aircraft assigned to the flight will be replaced with a leased Sun Express 737 without J seating. I had booked J on an SAA 320, I requested the fare difference be refunded, to be told that will take quite a long time. I have plenty of patience for the SAA staff as every interaction I’ve had with them, I’ve found them to be very nice, somewhat held back by muddled operations. I also note todays Cape Town to São Paulo flight is delayed by 10 hours….
1 user thanked author for this post.14 Nov 2023