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Comair: New fleet to lower costs

The airline’s CEO says the new planes will help keep ticket prices more affordable.

FILE: Comair's Erik Venter says the new fleet will keep tickets more affordable and provide a more pleasant flying experience for customers. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - New planes will help keep ticket prices more affordable, Comair Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Erik Venter said on Wednesday.

Speaking on The Money Show this evening, he said the new fleet will boast new seats and planes will not be as noisy.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed company on Wednesday revealed it would become the first African operator to order eight Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

"Overall, it's a very efficient aeroplane and it will definitely make a big difference to our fleet," Venter said.

Comair will start taking delivery of these jets in 2019.

The new aircraft will be the successor generation to the eight Boeing 737-800 planes the airline is now taking delivery of.

Comair has already received four of these planes.

The two models will ultimately make up the airline's entire fleet in the long-term.

"We still have a number of Boeing 737-400 aircraft we are upgrading" the CEO said.

Venter adds the airline will be saving almost 50 percent more fuel than they would if they still had the old McDonnell Douglas (MD) 82 models.

"Those aircraft were burning probably in the region of 30-35 percent more fuel than our current 737-800s and now with the MAX8s, we'll have another 15 percent saving on top of that.

"We have to keep getting more fuel efficient and the majority of the benefit goes back to the customer."

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