South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) has taken delivery of its first of four new A350-900s following the arrival of ZS-SDC (msn 226) at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo on Thursday, October 31. It will be followed by sistership ZS-SDD (msn 245) on November 5. Both jets are leased from Avolon and, until recently, were in service for Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou).

The two remaining A350-900s - ZS-SDE (msn 354) and ZS-SDF (msn 365) - will tentatively deliver in early November and early December respectively. Both of these aircraft have been sub-leased from Air Mauritius (MK, Mauritius) on a three-year contract, SAA said in a statement.

Following type-certification, state-owned SAA expects to deploy the A350s onto its Johannesburg O.R. Tambo-New York JFK route by mid-December thus partially replacing its A340-600s.

SAA's A350-900s are configured with 339 seats, of which 30 are Business Class seats and 309 are Economy Class seats.