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South African Airways Expands Fleet and Gains Approval for Brazilian Operations

In line with their vision to enhance their operational capacity and routes, South African Airways (SAA) has welcomed an additional Airbus A330-300, the airline reports. The aircraft is registered as ZS-SXI, however, the airline did not mention where the plane came from.

The current fleet of South African Airways stands at a total of six active aircraft, which comprises five Airbus A320s and one A340-300. Additionally, the airline is leasing a Boeing 737-300. Two of their jets are presently undergoing maintenance, an A320 and an A330-300.

Plans are already in motion for the new Airbus A330-300, with scheduled flights set to commence. Starting from 31st October, the airline intends to operate flights from Cape Town to São Paulo, and from 6th November, flights will connect Johannesburg to this vital route. Both routes will be serviced by the Airbus A330-300, configured to accommodate up to 249 passengers across two classes: 46 seats in business class and 203 in economy class.

Furthermore, the Star Alliance carrier received the green light from the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) in Brazil to operate flights within the country. The airline will enjoy a competitive advantage on its São Paulo route, as it will be the sole carrier operating between Cape Town and São Paulo, a contrast to the Johannesburg-OR Tambo route, which recently saw LATAM relaunching services with a Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

With ANAC granting authorization for SAA to operate passenger flights in Brazil, the airline joins a league of 61 other carriers from 38 different nationalities serving passengers in the Brazilian market.

The resumption of flights to São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport signifies the return of the Star Alliance member to intercontinental flights after a restructuring process that began in December 2019, even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Notably, SAA exited this restructuring process in May 2021 and has been gradually rebuilding its network.