Beleaguered South African Airways is taking delivery of five new A330-300 aircraft which will feature a refreshed business class cabin and new lie-flat seat. Check out the impressive pictures below.
The A330-300 will feature Thompson Aero Vantage XL seats, similar to those on SAS and regional competitor RwandAir. Priestmangoode, the highly-resepcted design firm, partnered with South African Airways to refresh the entire business class cabin.
Business class will offer 46 seats in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration. That means unlike the current generation South African business class seat, all business passengers will have direct aisle access. The seats also include ample personal storage space.
No Upgrade To Other Aircraft
Australian Business Traveler reports that SA’s A332 and A340 aircraft will not be retrofitted. The A332 is aging and the A340 is again and gas guzzling so this is not a surprise, though there are no plans (or funds) to retire these aircraft.
I flew in South African’s current A330-200 business class seat from Johannesburg to Munich and slept very well. Keeping the existing seats, while no longer cutting edge, is not a huge drawback.
The refreshed business class cabin on South African looks stunning. Hopefully the more fuel efficient A330s and renewed business class experience will lead the carrier toward solvency and profit.