10 February 2011
The first of South African Airways’ new Airbus A330-200 fleet arrived at Cape Town International Airport on Tuesday, with President Jacob Zuma on hand to mark the occasion.
South African Airways (SAA) is to revive its ageing fleet of A340-200 long-range jetliners with 20 new Airbus aircraft between 2013 and 2015. Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said the aircraft was the first of six that would be delivered this year.
He said that SAA planned to launch new regional and domestic routes, with long-haul routes to China also on the cards.
“The delivery of the new aircraft comes at a time when the airline is rolling out its network expansion plan, offering its passengers more convenient connections to local, regional and international destinations.”
Zuma said the new aircraft would help SAA operate more productively, and also help to boost intra-African trade on the continent.
“By renewing its fleet, the national carrier is in a better position to advance our objectives as a developmental state, as well as those of playing a more meaningful role on the continent,” Zuma said.
“I am also glad to note that the A330-200 uses less fuel than the model it replaces.”
Zuma added that more apprenticeship positions should be created in the country’s aviation industry to help with skills development and job creation.
The President said the aircraft was going to be named after Charlotte Maxeke, a heroine of the country’s struggle against apartheid.