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SAA 'not yet ready to buy new aircraft'

Jun 04 2013 07:44 Sapa

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Johannesburg - There is no deal yet for SA Airways (SAA) to purchase new long-distance aircraft, a spokesperson says.

"The procurement process has not been finalised," said Tlali Tlali on Monday.

"We cannot at this stage place it on record that the SAA, as a matter of fact, is going to acquire a certain number of aircraft for a wide-body fleet."

SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout was reported as saying earlier in the day that the airline planned to spend up to R70bn on 25 to 30 new long-haul aircraft.

The report said that the airline had been looking at the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

Bezuidenhout reportedly said deliveries of the aircraft were expected by 2017.

Tlali said Bezuidenhout was merely making reference to the need for "extra fleet acquisition" for the airline's wide-body fleet.

Wide-body aircraft are larger and used on longer flights.

Narrow-body aircraft can take fewer passengers and are typically used on short, national flights, or flights to neighbouring countries.

Tlali said fleet acquisition was important to SAA for it to become profitable.

He said a significant amount of money had been spent on fuel and SAA needed more fuel-efficient aircraft.

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saa  |  johannesburg  |  airline industry
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