South African Airways (SAA) plans to start daily nonstop flights between Johannesburg and New York JFK and increase capacity on several southern African regional routes.

SAA's Johannesburg-JFK flights are currently operated with Airbus A340-300s and make a stopover in Dakar, Senegal. The arrival on the route of A340-600s from 1 May will cut out this stop.

SAA will operate the A340-600 in a two-class configuration, with 42 business and 275 economy seats.

SAA also intends to bolster capacity on sectors from Johannesburg to both the Namibian capital Windhoek and Kenyan capital Nairobi to meet increasing demand.

Both routes are presently operated with either Airbus A319s or Boeing 737-800s. From 27 February a widebody aircraft - either one of SAA's new Airbus A330-200s, an A340-300 or A340-600, depending on demand - will replace narrowbodies on seven of the 20 weekly Windhoek services, increasing the number of seats available weekly from 5,830 to 6,746.

On the Nairobi run the number of weekly services will be reduced from 10 to seven but the adoption of widebody aircraft on the route will see weekly capacity rise from 2,918 to 3,500 seats.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news