South African Airways takes Airbus A350 with New York flights up first

Nov 1, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

South African Airways has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350 with plans to debut the wide-body on flights to New York in December.

The Star Alliance carrier’s first A350-900 will be joined by three more aircraft by early December, SAA said Thursday. The first two aircraft are used, coming from Hainan Airlines according to FlightGlobal, and the latter two are sub-leased new from Air Mauritius.

SAA plans to introduce the A350 on flights between its Johannesburg (JNB) base and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) by mid-December. The aircraft will fly the route nonstop and replace the Airbus A340-600 on the route, with SAA saying it expects an up to quarter reduction in fuel usage and emissions on the route.

SAA’s A350 seats 339 passengers, including 30 in business class and 309 in economy. In addition, the first six rows of economy seats feature extra legroom.

Related: South African Airways A340-600 Business Class from New York to Cape Town

This compares to SAA’s A340-600s that seat 317 passengers, including 42 in business and 275 in economy. The airline operates nine A340-600s, according to Airbus data.

SAA plans to expand its A350 network to other long-haul routes in addition to New York as more aircraft arrive, it said. However, Airbus’ data does not show any additional SAA commitments for the jet beyond the four due by December.

The A350s are the latest in SAA’s on-going fleet modernization program. The carrier has added five new Airbus A330-300s, which feature an updated interior and new business class product, to its fleet since 2016 as part of this effort.

SAA will operate the four A350s for a lease term of three years.

Related: South African’s New Business Class on the A330

Featured image courtesy of South African Airways.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.