kulula flies youngest and greenest fleet in SA skies
Johannesburg, 31 July 2015
South Africa’s original no frills airline, kulula.com, operated by Comair Limited, will soon be receiving another two brand new Boeings.
Known for its pioneering approach to aviation, kulula ordered six Next Generation Boeing 737-800’s in 2009 and has taken delivery of four already. By the end of 2015 six of these state-of-the-art planes sporting the kulula “k dot” livery will be flying in South African skies.
kulula is expecting their fifth spanking new aircraft to arrive from Seattle on Sunday 10 August 2015, with another joining the kulula fleet in early October – giving it the youngest fleet in Southern Africa, with an average age of 11 years.
The new planes are amongst the most efficient aircraft currently available, making them cheaper to operate and kinder to the environment than older planes since they use less fuel.
CEO of Comair Limited, Erik Venter says, “The new 737-800’s utilise 18 percent less fuel per seat than the aircraft we are replacing, thereby saving two million-litres of fuel per aircraft per year for the equivalent total seats. Our decision to purchase these highly fuel efficient aircraft is a significant component in managing our exposure to the volatile fuel price.”
Another fuel-saving initiative championed by kulula is the fitting of Split Scimitar Winglets (SSW) to all its new planes which further reduce fuel consumption by 1.4% per aircraft, increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and result in an average cost saving of R1.3 million per aircraft per year.
“kulula is the first African airline to install this cutting edge technology to its aircraft which is testament to its long-term objective of investing in future technology to maintain the highest standards of safety and ensure continuous sustainability” says Venter.
kulula is also the only airline in Southern Africa which boasts the 737 Boeing Sky Interior on its new planes. Drawing from years of research, the 737 Boeing Sky Interior features new modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals that draw passengers' eyes to the airplane's windows. The LED (light emitting diode) lighting allows kulula to put different colour options into the cabin.
The new design offers larger pivoting overhead stowage bins that add to the openness of the cabin. The bins give more passenger room to store carry-on luggage near their own seat.
kulula has come a long way since its launch in 2001 with one leased aircraft, one route and a handful of passengers. By end 2015 it will operate ten aircraft in total, carrying 2.8 million passengers over 14 routes across the region. The R2,5-billion investment in its fleet upgrade is fundamental to Comair's business strategy of consistently improving customer service and value, while ensuring a sustainable airline.
“We are excited about our new fleet and we are confident that this investment strategy will support kulula in delivering the great value that our customers are familiar with since we championed low-cost flying 14 years ago in South Africa,” Venter concluded.