South Africa’s SA Express to buy 30 new aircraft by 2022

SA ExpressSouth African airline SA Express has announced that it plans to acquire or lease up to 30 new aircraft by 2022

According to local newspaper Business Day, SA Express would have to invest nearly US$840mn to buy up to 30 new planes.

SA Express chief executive officer Inati Ntshanga said that the airline operator would issue a formal request by the end of this month for this fleet expansion.

“The funding plans have still not been finalised, but we would not ask the government for more help,” Ntshanga added.

The regional airline currently has 24 planes in its fleet, including the Bombardier CRJ 200, the Bombardier CRJ 700 and the Bombardier Q400.

SA Express operates on a US$55.1mn government guaranteed loan, which will expire in February 2015, according to company sources.

The operator has told the South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that it would be self-sufficient by that time and that it was planning to add six new routes by 2020, Business Day reported.

SA Express chairman Andile Mabizela said that the airline was on track to report profits this year and that it had amassed savings of about US$7mn through the first half of 2013.

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