South African Airways Chooses Boeing 737s For Fleet Renewal

The Boeing Company today confirmed that South African Airways (SAA) has announced its intent to acquire 21 Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 s. This deal includes a combination of purchased and leased airplanes. Deliveries will begin in May of this year.

"We selected the Next-Generation 737-800 with winglets to serve the regional and domestic needs of SAA," said Coleman Andrews, SAA chief executive and president. "The Next-Generation 737-800 has the performance and economics to serve our distant West African destinations while achieving our strategy for winning."

Boeing announced the availability of winglets as an option on the Next- Generation 737-800 earlier this month. With the new winglets, the Next-Generation 737-800 is more economical and flies farther than the A320, delivering more value and performance to the customer.

"Boeing is thrilled that SAA has decided to replace its Airbus A300 and A320 fleet with Boeing single-aisle airplanes," said Seddik Belyamani, president, Sales & Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. "We are confident that SAA would choose the 737 because it is a superior performer. It can fly higher, farther and more economically than competing models. Its advanced technology winglets offer the best combination of payload, range and reduced fuel cost for the airline's regional and domestic markets."

The first Boeing airplane for SAA, a 707, was delivered 40 years ago. Since then, Boeing has supported SAA, meeting range requirements for domestic, regional and long-range markets. SAA is the largest operator of Boeing airplanes on the African continent.

South African Airways operates a domestic and regional network of scheduled passenger and cargo services. Intercontinental services link Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town with Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Ilha do Sal, Lisbon, Taipei, Rome, Vienna, Zurich, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Manchester and Tel Aviv.

The Boeing 737 is the best-selling commercial jetliner of all time, with nearly 4,500 ordered. Since the launch of the Next-Generation 737 in 1993, customers worldwide have ordered 1,360 of the advanced twinjets. More than 1,000 737s are in the air at any time; one takes off somewhere in the world every 5.5 seconds.

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Lewis Brinson
Sean Griffin