SAA has entered into a ‘damp lease’ agreement with Turkish airline SunExpress to be used during the peak summer period.

Business Day report notes SunExpress is a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. In terms of the agreement, SAA will operate scheduled flights using two SunExpress aircraft for a six-month period, starting mid-October.

The first of the two B737-800 aircraft arrived last week.

The lease covers the provision of aircraft, maintenance and cockpit crew, while SAA staff will serve as cabin crew.

SunExpress has contracted SAA Technical to do the maintenance.

‘Overall, wet leases provide a turnkey solution where the lessor supplies the aircraft and crew, while in dry leases the lessee assumes more responsibility and control over the leased aircraft’s operations,’ SAA said.

‘At SAA we have negotiated an innovative option that works best for the airline, and we have damp leased – which is defined as a leased aircraft that includes cockpit crew but not cabin crew – and SAA will use SAA Technical to provide maintenance, repair and operations services during the leased period,’ the airline said.

The leased aircraft is funded by SAA’s operational costs and not by the Department of Public Enterprises, according to SAA.

The airline confirmed it has been given SA Civil Aviation Authority approval for three aircraft.

Full Business Day report