South African Airways Puts Airbus A340 Fleet Up For Sale

Cash strapped South African Airways has launched a new fundraising initiative. In a bold move, the airline is looking to sell off a number of its A340 aircraft.

They are selling the A340’s as a creative way to get money as South African Airways has been through a tough time!


ZS-SNC is regularly running between JNB and FRA, while ZS-SND, ZS-SNF and ZS-SNG are all regulars on the JNB to JFK route.

Of the -300s, ZS-SXD just got back from Hong Kong, ZS-SXE goes from JNB to Munich (MUC), SXF runs between JNB and Perth (PER) while SXG is frequently on the popular Johannesburg to Cape Town route. Only ZS-SXH appears to be out of use right now.

Thanks for Reading! ;)


If you have the money might as well get one! ;)

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I’ll take your entire stock!


How much? I’ll cop one and flex on all my friends with their Nike Air Force 1s and Jordans.


Discount just for you! 210M

All right. I’ll pull up in a week with a fat stack.

Gotcha! Where we meeting!?

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I predict a charter airline such as Air Belgium or Hifly will buy these. Or maybe multiple airlines. Who knows?

Probably a charter airline, government or low-cost airline!

And who’s gonna want to buy old, fuel inefficient aircraft? I doubt even charter airlines want it, and low-cost airlines will immediately realize how thirsty and unruly these aircraft are.

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That’s not how it works. In the short term these aircraft make great financial sense when you consider how much cheaper these aircraft will be to buy. If it’s costing 20 million less than a B777 then it’s not going to cost more is it? Might take many years of fuel costs before it reaches the 20 million mark for what you paid extra due to the increased consumption.


You assume that fuel cost doesn’t eventually match with the low retail price, yet you don’t realize just how much fuel costs, let alone how much fuel these aircraft consume. There’s a reason why Air Belgium nearly went bankrupt and is instead chartering their aircraft to airlines with 787 engine issues.

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Probably because they couldn’t fill their flights?

From Onemileatatime’s Air Belgium Review:

In total there were just 25 passengers, and only one of those other passengers was in business class. WOW! This was by far my emptiest longhaul flight ever.

Air Belgium’s A340s have around 300 seats… meaning that’s around a 8.3% load factor. Other people reported Air Belgium having very open flights as well.


You’re Calgary right? Why not on the ramp out in front of one of the hangars at YYC?

And what exacerbated their issue? Rising fuel costs and the insanely high fuel consumption of the A340. Say what you want but quadjets will always consume more fuel than twinjets, and hence, twinjets will always be economically superior to operate. There’s a reason why the 77W became popular while the A346 never did.

Again, it’s a very simple concept to grasp. Buy cheaper and pay for the added fuel costs. If they are leasing the aircraft, this would also apply. It’s all about covering their costs. Sure they could pay less in fuel but regardless they could be paying more by choosing the B777 overall per year once it’s all factored in.

A340 - Costs £100 a year to lease. £400 on fuel.
B777 - Costs £300 a year to lease. £300 on fuel.

Remember that the B777 is more desirable.

Did anyone say otherwise? We are discussing the point pertaining to whether the A340 could be seen as more financially viable which it can, if the aircraft is significantly cheaper in the first place.


This is exactly why airlines still purchase the A330. It’s less economical but it’s far cheaper. On the Neo cost per seat is the same as the B787 but the Airbus is almost 30 million cheaper making it much more cost effective.

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Sure why not 😜!

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Can I buy one for a penny?

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The higher cost of a 777 would be a one time disadvantage. Having lower fuel consumption and superior operating economics benefits long term. Why do you think Hi Fly is set to retire their ageing fleet of A340’s? The fuel and operating costs you pay for operating an aircraft simply outweigh the one time cost of procuring an aircraft. You assume that a used A340 would be roughly 67% cheaper than a used 777 but it’s simply not the case since both second hand aircraft don’t have that big of a difference in terms of price. About the A330; you do realize that there have been 500 something NEW orders for the past few years right? The A330 is no A340, given that it’s competitive because it’s highly economical. The A340 can be viable for short term at most in a best case scenario, but it is not a sustainable aircraft. You can’t deny that despite it’s low price, fuel and operating costs will eventually swamp the advantage of low procurement costs.

Ohh man 😔 really like seeing those at JFK but bye bye!