Selected SAA flights set to take off from Johannesburg on Thursday
It has been six days since SAA workers embarked on a strike that forced the airline to ground domestic flights, but some flights are set to resume on Thursday.
“SAA is pleased to announce its intention to resume selected flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Durban and Victoria Falls, with effect from Thursday November 21 2019,” the airline said on Wednesday.
Explaining how the routes would operate, it said: “Customers travelling on SAA’s regional network to Victoria Falls, Cape Town and Durban will be rebooked on the reinstated services and will be contacted accordingly.
“SAA will seek to rebook customers travelling on other regional routes (points on the African continent) wherever possible,” SAA said.
The carrier said it was working with partner airlines Mango and SA Airlink to re-book customers travelling locally on Thursday and Friday.
The bankrupt national carrier said it had managed to continue to operate some of its continental routes without disruption. These were mainly flights to Accra in Ghana, Lagos in Nigeria, Lusaka in Zambia, Maputo in Mozambique, Windhoek in Namibia and Harare in Zimbabwe.
The airline is operating on a skeleton staff as employees affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) downed tools on Friday over a wage dispute.
The unions said on Wednesday a secondary strike by Air Chefs that would likely affect catering aboard flights was in the pipeline.
The workers are demanding a wage increase of 8% while SAA is offering 5.9%.
The airline thanked workers who continued to report for duty amid the strike action.
Philip Saunders, SAA’s chief commercial officer apologised for the inconvenience caused to customers.
“Once again, we apologise to all our passengers for all the inconvenience caused. We are continuing discussions with labour and remain committed to reach a prompt resolution in the best interests of all parties,” he said.
Passengers wanting to cancel bookings, seek refunds or re-book flights have until November 30 to do so.
SAA emphasised that only customers in possession of a re-booked itinerary should report to the airport.