South African Airways (SAA) is close to renegotiating its contract with Airbus to lease five new A330s instead of buying 10 A320s as agreed with the manufacturer in 2009.
SAA also confirmed it will extend existing leases on eight A340s in its fleet. The flag carrier said it expects to save around R1.25bn ($107m) as a result of a number of changes instigated in its 90-day turnaround plan, which was started two months ago.
Alongside the Airbus contract renegotiation, SAA has announced the closure of two unprofitable long-haul routes to Mumbai and Beijing and the cancellation of 180 supply contracts.
The savings are close to meeting the R1.3bn ($113m) target set last year by South Africa’s government, which owns the airline and granted a further R6.5bn ($566m) of guarantees in January in a bid to keep the ailing carrier afloat.