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South African Airways (SAA) today tested an initiative aimed at reducing possible unnecessary weight on its long-haul flights.

All items which add to aircraft weight and the resultant fuel burnt such as catering and other on board items, including items in the cockpit, were closely scrutinised as the items were removed from an A340 on landing from Munich, in a hangar at SAAT, the maintenance facility of SAA.
Nico Bezuidenhout, Acting SAA CEO, and members of the Executive team participated in the exercise, which was initiated by the Fuel Forum of the airline’s Cost Compression Programme. This forum has been tasked to save fuel by, amongst other initiatives, coming up with innovative weight reductions of items carried on board.

“Large quantities of returned on board product, or catering items will tell a story. It will show us that our customers do not use these items. Reducing weight is critical to fuel burn. For every kilogramme of additional weight you carry on board, you burn approximately 270g additional fuel for a flight of this distance,” said Bezuidenhout.

The complete list of items loaded before departure will be scrutinised such as food, drinks, cutlery, crockery, blankets, duvets, pillows, magazines, items in the cockpit, and others.

SAA started looking at creative ways of cost compression in 2012, which has to date resulted in cost savings of R1.8 billion over three years. The airline, which is suffering sustained financial pressures, is set on continually finding ways of reducing cost throughout the airline, without compromising quality of product and service delivery.

“Cost compression remains a key driver of SAA’s 90 Day Action Plan with areas under scrutiny such as improving productivity, ensuring efficient governance and procurement processes, doing business differently and driving down cost. SAA will continue to look for ways to find innovative ways such as this one of today to make an impact on our CASK and bottom line results.

“Cost compression needs to become a culture and be ingrained in the way every single one of us do our work at SAA. We have to keep focused and work even harder so that we can combat competitive pressures from our peers whose costs are lower than ours,” said Bezuidenhout.
The airline’s senior management committed to further cost compression initiatives at a recent strategy workshop which set revised CASK targets (Cost per available seat kilometre) to be incorporated into SAA’s next financial year’s budget (FY2015/16).

Issued by SAA Communications

About South African Airways (SAA)
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 57 destinations, in partnership with SA Express, SA Airlink and its low cost carrier, Mango, within South Africa and across the continent, and ten intercontinental routes from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; and Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA. SAA is the winner of the ‘Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for twelve consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for three years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on – time airlines.