South African Airways (SAA) will operate single daily flights from Johannesburg to London from April 20 2018 — replacing the current twice-daily service.

CEO Vuyani Jarana said in a statement on Friday that the airline had decided "to focus on those areas of our business that will enhance our efficiencies‚ bring more value to our customers and produce improved overall performance of the airline".

"Network optimisation is one such area that can contribute towards containing our costs, and we introduced some initiatives that must yield dividends to return the business to commercial sustainability in the shortest time possible."

A new Airbus A330-300 aircraft will operate with effect from Sunday March 25 2018. "This will afford customers a significantly improved on-board business and economy product‚ with state-of-the-art technology‚ increased comfort and capacity‚" said Jarana.

SAA took delivery of five new A330-300 aircraft last year. The aircraft has capacity for 249 passengers‚ with 46 in business class and 203 in economy.

According to SAA, the A330-300s are quieter than previous-generation aircraft‚ equipped with advanced avionics and navigation systems‚ and have ultra-fuel-efficient engines‚ ensuring lower carbon emissions.