South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) has secured two A350-900s on three-year-long leases, acting chief executive Zukisa Ramasia has said.

In a statement, Ramasia said the two Airbus widebody jets would enter service during the second half of this year and will be used to replace SAA's A340-600s on ultra-longhaul routes such as Johannesburg O.R. Tambo-New York JFK.

“The introduction of these state-of-the-art aircraft to our fleet is an important step-change as we continue to make progress to transform our business and return the airline to financial sustainability in the shortest time possible," she said.

The aircraft's lessor was not disclosed.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, SAA's longhaul fleet currently consists of six A330-200s, five A330-300s, eight A340-300, and nine A340-600s.