South African Airways (SAA) has contracted Airbus subsidiary Quovadis to design required navigation performance (RNP) procedures to help reduce fuel burn on flights to and from Cape Town International Airport.

RNP is a concept under which aircraft manoeuvre along a pre-defined flight path with a specific degree of lateral accuracy.

Under the contract, Quovadis will design RNP procedures for Airbus A320-family, Airbus A330 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

SAA's current arrival procedures at Cape Town average 70nm from initial approach to landing, a figure the carrier hopes to reduce through its agreement with Quovadis.

"We believe that by flying RNP-AR [authorisation required] procedures, we will save around 20nm on the arrivals and 10nm on the departure, creating important savings for the company," says SAA head of flight operations and chief pilot Johnny Woods.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news