South African Airways’ A350-900 Takes Off From New York

South African Airways (SAA) has officially launched its new Airbus A350-900 on nonstop flights between New York City’s JFK Airport and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport. The aircraft’s inaugural flight took place January 20. 

The A350-900 will operate SAA’s service on the New York route, which runs six days per week through March 31, 2020, before resuming daily service as of April 1. 

With seating for up to 339 passengers, the A350-900 offers Premium Business Class and Economy Class cabins. The Premium Business Class Cabin has fully flat-bed seats equipped with PC power and USB ports, an enhanced on-demand entertainment system with an 18-inch 1080P HD touchscreen with extensive programming and noise-cancelling headphones, gourmet meals and South African wines. 


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In Economy Class, customers can enjoy newly designed slim-line seats with adjustable headrests. Each seat in Economy Class is equipped with a USB port and access to PC power ports, an on-demand entertainment system with a high definition 10” screen to enjoy movies, television shows, interactive games or audio programming. The experience for Economy Class customers also includes a selection of freshly prepared meals coupled with complimentary South African wines and bar service, as well as an amenity kit to freshen up during flight. 

The aircraft also has larger windows as compared to its predecessors, as well as improved LED lighting and optimized cabin pressure and temperature controls. Additionally, the A350-900 reduces fuel burn by approximately 20 percent when compared to the current aircraft operation on the route, thereby significantly reducing carbon emissions, SAA said. 

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