South African Airways welcomes the third Airbus A350-900 to its fleet

south african airways a340-600 repatriation flight

South African Airways on Saturday took delivery of its first brand new and third Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

Flown in from Hamburg, Germany this weekend with flight number SA4273, the plane is the first totally new A350 sub-leased by the airline from Air Mauritius.

The plane, sporting tail number ZS-SDE, landed at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International around 10.45pm SAST.

South African Airways first announced that it would add four A350-900 planes to its fleet in July. Two have already been delivered, with the final A350-900 set to join its fleet before year-end.

The new twin-engine planes will be deployed on the Johannesburg OR Tambo to New York JFK route, replacing its much older and less efficient quad-engine A340-600s.

South African Airways will lease the A350s for three years.

ZS-SDE’s arrival comes days after a disruptive week-long strike by the airline’s staff came to an end. A number of flights resumed on Saturday, according to data from FlightRadar24.

Feature image: an SAA Airbus A340-600 in Johannesburg in 2010, by Andy Mitchell via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)

Andy Walker, former editor


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