R10bn in new planes for SAA

2013-05-14 13:05

South African Airways will take delivery of 20 Airbus A320 aircraft valued at R10 billion starting in the next quarter, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has said.

“(The aircraft) form part of a broader fleet replacement plan that aims to address the fuel inefficiency of SAA's current long-haul fleet,” Gigaba told Parliament today.

In April, government gave the troubled airline, which has cut some European routes to focus more on African destinations, a guarantee of R5 billion on the condition it developed a turnaround strategy.

Gigaba has resisted calls to privatise SAA, saying it had showed some signs of progress and savings following a turbulent year in which almost the entire board resigned and a new chief executive was appointed.

“Over the next year we will focus on ensuring that SAA’s cash position is stabilised, the cost compression programme is accelerated, the international network is reviewed and the long-term fleet plan is finalised,” Gigaba said during his budget speech.

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