Tag Archives: South African Airways

New videos from Boeing

Powering an aircraft could soon be a sustainable endeavor. Fuel cell technologies being explored by Boeing use a fusion of hydrogen and oxygen to help power aircraft electricity, produce heat, and provide clean water.

The 777 Signature Interior continues to be preferred by passengers because of its spaciousness and ability to accommodate many unique configurations. Airlines continue to be creative in curating new experiences for their passenger. See a sampling of the unique configurations available on today’s 777.

Less than six months after Boeing and South African Airways (SAA) announced their plans to turn “energy tobacco” into sustainable aviation biofuel, farmers in South Africa’s Limpopo province are harvesting their first crop of a nicotine-free, energy-rich tobacco plant.

Thanks to our automated drilling system, the Flex Track, we can manufacture the 777 in a safer, more efficient and more flexible way.

South African Airways to resume nonstop Johannesburg-New York JFK flights

South African Airways-SAA (Johannesburg) will resume its daily nonstop flights between Johannesburg, South Africa, and New York-JFK International Airport, on March 7. The resumption of the nonstop service on the northbound flight from Johannesburg to New York-JFK will reduce the overall travel time on the route by nearly 90 minutes.

While SAA’s flight from New York-JFK to Johannesburg is operating daily on a nonstop year-round basis, the northbound flight has been temporarily making a one-hour refuelling stop in Dakar, Senegal, due in part to lower travel demand during the winter months. The nonstop flights in each direction are timed conveniently to connect in Johannesburg with SAA’s extensive route network in Southern Africa of over 55 destinations and in New York with flights to over 35 cities in the U.S. and Canada through our code share partners JetBlue Airways, United Airlines and Air Canada.

SAA’s flights between New York-JFK and Johannesburg are operated on Airbus A340-600 aircraft, featuring 42 full-flat 180-degree beds in Premium Business Class and 275 seats in Economy Class, ergonomically designed with adjustable headrests and industry-leading legroom of up to 34″ for long-haul travel. Customers traveling in both Premium Business Class and Economy Class enjoy an extensive menu of on-demand audio and visual entertainment options, freshly prepared meals and complimentary bar service featuring award-winning South African wines.

In other news, is the flag carrier technically bankrupt? According to the AFK Insider:

“The country’s state carrier, South African Airways (SAA), has been struggling to keep its fleet in the skies with a crippling debt of $1.5 billion and has had to receive a couple of state sponsored bailouts, including a recent 6.5 billion rands ($560 million) guarantee to keep liquidators off its back. This adds to a 5 billion rands guarantee already in place for the Treasury.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-642 ZS-SNF (msn 547) approaches the runway at the Johannesburg hub.

South African aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Bottom Ad Bar

South African Airways to add a new route to Etihad Airway’s Abu Dhabi home

South African Airways (Johannesburg) is moving closer to potential equity partner Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) with an expanded codeshare relationship as previously reported. SAA will launch a new daily route to Abu Dhabi from Johannesburg on March 29, 2015 with Airbus A330-200s.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 ZS-SXV (msn 1249) arrives at the Johannesburg base.

South African aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Acting CEO of South African Airways demands the company implement a 90-day turnaround plan

South African Airways (Johannesburg) continues to lose money and up until now has relied on state funding. However the SAA board recently appointed Mr. Nico Bezuidenhout as the new acting Chief Executive Officer of the struggling airline. Mr. Bezuidenhout has given the company a 90-day turnaround plan to turnaround the loss-making company by March according to EWN. The new CEO is warning the company is facing insolvency unless the plan is fully implemented. The airline has also reportedly reached out to Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) for a possible minority investment and guidance by the fast-growing Gulf carrier. Etihad has been investing in struggling carriers and helping to turn them around and also feed traffic to its Abu Dhabi hub.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, South African Airways announced on December 2 that it has commenced adding additional frequencies to its network which will substantially increase air services to some of its key African routes.

According to the airline, “The additional capacity injection answers the commercial mandate of the Long-Term Turnaround Strategy (LTTS), and is in response to positive market growth. As of yesterday, Harare (Zimbabwe) and Maputo (Mozambique), have included additional frequencies, with Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Mauritius to follow.”

“The strengthening of these routes comes in the wake of positive load factors and increased traffic between the countries,” says SAA Acting Chief Executive Officer Nico Bezuidenhout. Presently, GDP growth in Mozambique (7% – African Development Bank) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (8.1%- African Development Bank) exceed World Bank growth statistics for the continent (4.7%-2013) while South Africa’s trade and demand for leisure and business travel to Mauritius is growing at a steady pace. “Air lift services traditionally lead GDP in all markets and also track the rate of increased leisure travel, investment and business engagement between South Africa and its continental peers.”

Effective December 1, SAA increased frequencies between Johannesburg and Maputo by 24% from 17 to 21 weekly frequencies, effective 1 December Johannesburg and Harare from 18 to 19 every week (6%), effective 4 December Johannesburg and Kinshasa from 6 to 7 a week (17%) and effective 4 December Johannesburg and Mauritius from 9 to 10 weekly frequencies (11% increase).

Finally, Air China and South African Airways (SAA) have announced the further strengthening of their bilateral cooperation within the Star Alliance as part of the strengthened cooperation between the two countries.

The key element in this strengthened relationship will be some network reconfiguration for both airlines to provide better passenger and cargo services between South Africa and China and countries adjacent to both.

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. The company has already retired the Airbus A340-200s. The fuel-inefficient Airbus A340-300s are likely to be the next type to retired and replaced in any reorganization. Airbus A340-313 ZS-SXC (msn 590) taxies at New York’s JFK International Airport.

South African aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Boeing and South African Airways to use tobacco plants for biofuel

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) and South African Airways (SAA) (Johannesburg) has announced that South African farmers will soon harvest their first crop of energy-rich tobacco plants, an important step towards using the plants to make sustainable aviation biofuel.

Boeing and SAA, along with partners SkyNRG and Sunchem SA, also officially launched Project Solaris, their collaborative effort to develop an aviation biofuel supply chain with a nicotine-free tobacco plant called Solaris. In Limpopo province, company representatives and industry stakeholders visited commercial and community farms where 123 acres (50 hectares) of Solaris have been planted.

Oil from the plant’s seeds may be converted into bio-jet fuel as early as next year, with a test flight by SAA as soon as practicable.

“SAA continues to work towards becoming the most environmentally sustainable airline in the world and is committed to a better way of conducting business,” said Ian Cruickshank, Environmental Affairs Specialist, SAA Group. “The impact that the biofuel program will have on South Africans is astounding: thousands of jobs mostly in rural areas, new skills and technology, energy security and stability and macro-economic benefits to South Africa, and of course, a massive reduction in the amount of CO2 that is emitted into our atmosphere.”

“It is very exciting to see early progress in South Africa towards developing sustainable aviation biofuel from energy-producing tobacco plants,” said J. Miguel Santos, managing director for Africa, Boeing International. “Boeing strongly believes that our aviation biofuel collaboration with South African Airways will benefit the environment and public health while providing new economic opportunities for South Africa’s small farmers. This project also positions our valued airline customer to gain a long-term, viable domestic fuel supply and improve South Africa’s national balance of payments.”

The farm visits followed the announcement in August that Boeing, SAA and SkyNRG were collaborating to make aviation biofuel from the Solaris plant, which was developed and patented by Sunchem Holding. If the test farming in Limpopo is successful, the project will be expanded in South Africa and potentially to other countries. In coming years, emerging technologies are expected to increase aviation biofuel production from the plant’s leaves and stems.

Sustainable aviation biofuel made from Solaris plants can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by 50 to 75 percent, ensuring it meets the sustainability threshold set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). Airlines have conducted more than 1,600 passenger flights using aviation biofuel since the fuel was approved for commercial use in 2011.

Boeing is the industry leader in global efforts to develop and commercialize sustainable aviation biofuel. In addition to its collaboration in Southern Africa, Boeing has active biofuel development projects in the United States, Middle East, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Brazil and Australia.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. South African is a large Boeing 737 operator and the test is likely to be performed on a Boeing 737-800. Boeing 737-844 ZS-SJS (msn 32632) arrives back at the Johannesburg hub.

South African aircraft slide show:

Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines to expand the codeshare agreement to three new destinations

Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) and Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) have announced they will be expanding their partnership in North America, adding three new destinations as part of their codeshare agreement.

Customers of both airlines will now be able to fly from Australia to Nashville, Kansas City and Raleigh/Durham as part of the alliance’s continued commitment to strengthening its footprint in the US market.

The growing alliance between the two airlines, which was launched in 2011, now offers Australians access to over 245 destinations across North and Central America.

Flights between Los Angeles and Nashville will operate daily, Los Angeles to Kansas City services will operate twice a day and 10 flights per week will be available on the Los Angeles to Raleigh/Durham route.

Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines fly from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane into Los Angeles allowing customers to connect onto Delta Air Lines’ extensive North and Central American network.

In other news, Virgin Australia also announced that for the first time it is offering a codeshare flight with South Africa’s largest carrier, South African Airways.

Virgin Australia will commence codeshare on South African Airways’ daily nonstop services from Perth to Johannesburg. This follows the launch of South African Airways’ codeshare on Virgin Australia’s daily services from Perth to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney earlier this year.

South African Airways operates daily nonstop services between Johannesburg and Perth with Airbus A340-300s and Airbus A340-600s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3ZG ER VH-VOZ (msn 35302) arrives in  Los Angeles.

Virgin Australia: AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Boeing, South African and SkyNRG partner to produce biofuel from the tobacco plant

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle), South African Airways (SAA) (Johannesburg) and SkyNRG announced they are collaborating to make sustainable aviation biofuel from a new type of tobacco plant. This initiative broadens cooperation between Boeing and SAA to develop renewable jet fuel in ways that support South Africa’s goals for public health as well as economic and rural development.

“It’s an honor for Boeing to work with South African Airways on a pioneering project to make sustainable jet fuel from an energy-rich tobacco plant,” said J. Miguel Santos, managing director for Africa, Boeing International. “South Africa is leading efforts to commercialize a valuable new source of biofuel that can further reduce aviation’s environmental footprint and advance the region’s economy.”

SkyNRG is expanding production of the hybrid plant known as Solaris as an energy crop that farmers could grow instead of traditional tobacco. Test farming of the plants, which are effectively nicotine-free, is underway in South Africa with biofuel production expected from large and small farms in the next few years. Initially, oil from the plant’s seeds will be converted into jet fuel. In coming years, Boeing expects emerging technologies to increase South Africa’s aviation biofuel production from the rest of the plant.

“By using hybrid tobacco, we can leverage knowledge of tobacco growers in South Africa to grow a marketable biofuel crop without encouraging smoking,” said Ian Cruickshank, South African Airways Group Environmental Affairs Specialist. “This is another way that SAA and Boeing are driving development of sustainable biofuel while enhancing our region’s economic opportunity.”

“We strongly believe in the potential of successfully rolling out Solaris in the Southern African region to power sustainable fuels that are also affordable,” said Maarten van Dijk, Chief Technology Officer, SkyNRG.

In October 2013, Boeing and SAA said they would work together to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in Southern Africa. As part of that effort, they are working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials to position farmers with small plots of land to grow biofuel feedstocks that provide socioeconomic value to communities without harming food supplies, fresh water or land use.

Boeing is the aviation industry’s leader in the development of sustainable aviation biofuel, working with partners in the United States, Europe, China, Middle East, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Australia and other countries. When produced sustainably, aviation biofuel reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to petroleum jet fuel through its lifecycle. Airlines have conducted more than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel since the fuel was approved in 2011.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-844 ZS-SJU (msn 32644) of South African Airways arrives back at the Johannesburg hub.

South African Airways: AG Slide Show