No more SAA flights to Durban, East London and PE — but airline vows to minimise job losses
South African Airways (SAA) will no longer fly to several local and international destinations from the end of the month.
The embattled airline — currently under business rescue — will no longer offer any services to Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth from February 29.
Domestic routes operated by Mango will not be affected by the changes.
SAA will continue to offer flights to Cape Town, but there will be fewer.
It will also no longer fly from Johannesburg to Abidjan (via Accra), Entebbe, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Luanda, Munich, Ndola, and Sao Paulo. This also effective from February 29.
SAA will continue to operate all international services between Johannesburg and Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York, Perth and Washington via Accra.
Regional services to be retained include from Johannesburg to Blantyre, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Kinshasa, Lagos, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Victoria Falls, Livingston and Windhoek.
“Following a careful analysis of SAA’s liquidity challenges and after consultations with all relevant stakeholders, the BRPs have identified which routes will be retained to drive the restructured national carrier towards profitability,” said Louise Brugman, on behalf of the joint business rescue partners.
SAA has committed to fully refunding all customers booked on any cancelled international and regional routes. Customers booked on cancelled domestic flights will be accommodated on services operated by Mango.
No further significant network changes were expected to be made.
“Passengers and travel agents can, therefore, feel confident about booking future travel with SAA,” Brugman said.
The flight schedule for February was unchanged.
Business rescue practitioners Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana did not rule out the possibility of job losses but said that “every effort” was being taken to limit the impact.
“It is our intention to restructure the business in a manner that we can retain as many jobs as possible. This will help provide a platform for a viable and sustainable future. However, a reduction in the number of employees will, unfortunately, be necessary,” said Matuson and Dongwana.
They said they would engage all affected parties to reach a solution necessary for a sustainable airline.