Johannesburg - South African Airways has ordered five additional Airbus A320 aircraft, increasing an earlier commitment for the type from 15 to 20, Airbus Sub-Sahara Africa said on Thursday.
The aircraft manufacturer said the planes - to be powered by IAE engines - would be delivered from 2013.
"This order, combined with the airline's recent lease agreement for six new A330s from Air Castle, will deliver a modern, comfortable, reliable and cost-efficient fleet for SAA's domestic, regional and long-haul services," Airbus said in a statement.
SAA already operates a fleet of 11 A319s, six A340-200s, six A340-300s and nine A340-600s.
"Because they [the aircraft] offer a seamless fit with the other Airbus aircraft types which we operate, the A320s will assist in our efficiency drive and reduce maintenance costs," SAA CEO Siza Mzimela
John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer: customers, said the A320 was the most modern and efficient single aisle aircraft available.
"It will be a key enabler in SAA's drive for greater efficiency," Leahy said.
Airbus aircraft share a unique cockpit and operational commonality, allowing airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance engineers, bringing operational flexibility and resulting in significant cost savings, Leahy said.