June 3, 2013 / 12:25 PM / 6 years ago

South African Airways to spend up to $7 billion for long haul aircraft

Passengers board a South African Airways Boeing 737 aircraft at the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe October 25, 2009. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s national airline plans to spend between $4 billion to $7 billion for 25-30 long-haul aircraft and has mostly been looking at the Boeing 787 (BA.N) and Airbus A350 EAD.PA, a senior official said on Monday.

State-owned South African Airways (SAA) expects deliveries to start from 2017, Nico Bezuidenhout, who has been acting chief executive since February, told Reuters.

Dogged by boardroom strife and massive losses, SAA hopes fuel efficient aircraft will help defray expensive energy costs, Bezuidenhout said.

Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Jon Herskovitz

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