Stories by Demola Ojo

South African Airways, SAA is set to deploy its latest A330-300 aircraft on the Lagos route. Speaking during a media launch at Renaissance Hotel in Ikeja Lagos, the regional manager North, West and Central Africa, Ohis Ehimiaghe, disclosed that the aircraft only arrived into its fleet penultimate Friday.

He stated that the deployment of the latest A330 -300 on the Lagos route when other airlines are leaving the country underscores the importance the airline attached to the Nigerian market.

“We are delighted to introduce the A330-300 aircraft on the Nigerian route, we want Nigerians to have a feel of the new aircraft and to have a feel of how a brand new aircraft smells like.”

The SAA A330-300 aircraft deployed to the Lagos-Johannesburg route is one of the five new state of-the-art, environmentally friendly, super-comfortable aircraft that the airline has acquired to improve its service offering for passengers’ memorable journey.

According to him, aboard the SAA new A330-300 aircraft, Nigerian travellers will enjoy 46 Premium Business Class and 203 Economy Class seats with warm, neutral colours and cabin furnishings which provide a comfortable, elegant, hospitable and relaxed ambience, leaving travellers feeling well rested after long flights.

For the Business Class travellers, the A330 is sure to make passengers feel right at home in their very own living space.

In SAA’s configuration, the aircraft has capacity for 249 passengers, with 46 in business class and 203 in economy class. Seating in business class cabins is in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, offering increased privacy and providing all business class passengers with direct aisle access. The A330-300s offer more business class seats than the largest aircraft in SAA’s current fleet.

Economy is fitted with 203 newly designed slim-line seats, all with extra personal space and legroom. Each seat is fitted with a 10.1 inch screen, individual USB charging ports and access to shared PC power points.

The A330s complement SAA’s existing Airbus long-haul and domestic/regional fleet, which includes 10 A320s that were delivered last year.

In a related development, Ehimiaghe disclosed that Wakanow.com emerged the top agency in the country in the platinum award category organized by the airline to honour Nigerian travel agencies for their commitment to the growth of the airline in the country.

He said the airline felt it was good appreciating the agents every year in the country, adding that in that category, Flinchglow came second; Quantum Travel came third while HRG Nigeria came fourth.

The regional manager North, West and Central Africa, of South African Airways said for the Abuja region, Topaz Travel agency came top in the gold category. He said the airline will be celebrating 20 years of flying into Lagos, stressing that this is an important milestone for the airline in opening trade, investment and tourism opportunities in the country.

Ehimiaghe disclosed further that the airline will not stop flying into the country despite the recession and will not reduce its capacity on the Nigerian routes, pointing out that the current recession facing the country will not last forever as it is a cyclical thing.