South African Airways re-aligns its African network

Nov 13, 2013

SOUTH AFRICAN Airways (SAA) today announced that in keeping with the Strategic Objectives of its Long-term Turnaround Strategy, Gaining Altitude, the airline remains focused on maintaining a commercially sustainable African route network.

The airline will therefore re-align available aircraft thereby strengthening some of its key African destinations.

“These plans are captured in our African Expansion Strategy where we aim to increase frequencies on routes with higher passenger volumes with the achievement and maintenance of commercial sustainability our ultimate aim,” says Kendy Phohleli, SAA General Manager: Commercial (Acting).

Frequencies which will be increased are as follows:

  • Effective 10 December, 2013, flights between Johannesburg and Kinshasa (DRC) are to be increased from 4 to 6 per week
  • Effective 13 December, 2013, the flights between Johannesburg and Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) will be increased from 12 to 13 per week
  • Effective 12 January next year flights between Johannesburg and Windhoek (Namibia) will increase from 20 to 21 per week
  • Effective 13 January, 2014, flights between Johannesburg and Ndola (Zambia) will increase from 19 to 20 per week
  • Effective 14 January, 2014, flights between Johannesburg and Lusaka (Zambia) will increase from 19 to 20 per week

Further to these new developments, SAA customers travelling on some regional routes into Africa, such as Mauritius and Nairobi can experience the airline’s brand new Airbus A320 aircraft. SAA has taken delivery of two new A320s, which forms part of a 20 new-aircraft order. These aircraft are configured with 24 Business Class and 114 Economy Class seats.

The Business Class section is particularly attractive and offer super comfort with ample leg room with a pitch of 39 inches. Seats are arranged with two either side of the aisle (four abreast) offering more seat width. All the seats (except for the first row) have an innovative feature: the back shell has space to stow a PC tablet, with a USB power-point to keep the tablet powered during flight, and PC power points in the centre console.

Seating in Economy Class offers a pitch of 31 inches, with shared USB and PC power points and an adjustable headrest. Customers will enjoy a greater sense of ‘living space’ that the slim-line seats offer, which have been upholstered in easy to maintain leather.  Colours used are dark beige and anthracite grey with touches of red and blue from the SAA corporate colours.

Another change to the African route network is that SAA will effective from 7 December, 2013, no longer operate its own aircraft between Johannesburg to Bujumbura and Kigali, but will service this market through its recently announced code-share partner RwandAir.

Customers already holding ticketed reservations on SAA direct services between Johannesburg, Bujumbura and Kigali from the 8th of December, 2013, onwards, will be re-accommodated via SAA’s airline partners in line with the IATA conditions of carriage.

In its domestic market SAA has an extensive schedule operating 660 flights in total per week between Johannesburg – Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, from its Johannesburg hub, as well as code-shared flights between Lanseria – Cape Town and Durban. SAA offers more frequencies than any other airline in South Africa.

Regionally, SAA offers 26 destinations across the African continent including Abidjan, Accra, Blantyre, Brazzaville, Bujumbura, Cotonou, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Entebbe, Harare, Kigali, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lilongwe, Livingstone, Luanda, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Ndola, Pointe Noire, Victoria Falls and Windhoek.

SAA’s international network creates links to all major continents from South Africa through 11 direct routes and code-shares, with daily flights from Johannesburg to London (Heathrow), Frankfurt, Munich, Mumbai, Perth, Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, Washington, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. SAA has code-share agreements with 27 other airlines across the markets it serves. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC).

SAA is a Star Alliance member which offers more than 21,900 daily flights to 1,328 airports in 195 countries. SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for eleven consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on-time airlines.