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Long-haul Flights from JFK to Johannesburg Boosted by SAA

South African Airways bets on the A350 for tech-forward addition to the fleet

January 23, 2020

South African Airways (SAA) has introduced the most technology-advanced aircraft available for international ultra-long-haul travel with the launch of its new Airbus A350-900 on nonstop flights between New York John F. Kennedy International Airport to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport.

The flights started this week. The A350-900 aircraft will be featured on SAA’s service on the New York route operating six (6) days per week through March 31, 2020 and resuming daily service on April 1, 2020.

The airline expects the Airbus A350-900 to set a new standard on SAA’s route between New York and Johannesburg, combining an exceptional customer experience with strong operating economics and fuel efficiency. The aircraft seats up to 339 passengers, and redefines the international travel experience to accommodate customers across Premium Business Class and Economy Class cabins that are designed for maximum passenger comfort. The Premium Business Class Cabin features fully flat-bed seats equipped with PC power and USB ports, an enhanced on-demand entertainment system featuring an 18-inch 1080P HD touch screen with extensive programming and noise cancelling headphones, gourmet meals and award-winning South African wines.

Customers in Economy Class will find newly designed slim-line seats with adjustable headrests. Each seat in Economy Class is equipped with a USB port and access to PC power ports, an on-demand entertainment system with high definition 10” screens to enjoy movies, television shows, interactive games or audio programming with hundreds of selections from which to choose. The experience for Economy Class customers also includes a selection of freshly prepared meals, coupled with complimentary South African wines and bar service, and an amenity kit to freshen-up during flight.

The aircraft is fitted with larger windows, improved LED lighting, and optimized cabin pressure and temperature controls to allow passengers to feel more relaxed and refreshed upon arrival. Additionally, the A350-900 reduces fuel burn by approximately 20% when compared to the current aircraft operating on the route, thereby significantly reducing carbon emissions.

“The addition of the A350-900 aircraft on our flagship route between New York JFK and Johannesburg displays the high level of commitment that SAA has to our North American market,” said Todd Neuman, executive vice president, North America for South African Airways.

South African Airways offers nonstop service from New York-JFK Airport and direct service from Washington, DC-Dulles Airport to Johannesburg via Accra, Ghana. From the Johannesburg hub, SAA links the world to 75 destinations across the African continent and Africa’s Indian Ocean islands.