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SAA will need upgraded fleet to compete outside Africa – CEO

Airline is set to restart local and regional flights on September 23.
Early booking figures indicate planes may be as much as 75% full, according to the airline’s acting CEO. Image: Supplied

South African Airways will need a more modern fleet to be competitive on routes outside its home continent following the Covid-19 crisis, according to interim Chief Executive Officer Thomas Kgokolo.

The state-owned airline used to generate revenue on trips to cities such as London and Frankfurt, but its aging Airbus SE planes have prohibitive operating costs, he said in a panel discussion on Wednesday.

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“If we get the right fleet for those particular trips we should be able to minimize costs and become competitive,” Kgokolo said.

SAA is set to restart operations next week after emerging from bankruptcy proceedings, about 18 months after the fleet was grounded at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Flights are set to operate from Johannesburg to Cape Town, plus African capitals Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka and Maputo.

The carrier sees high demand on routes to cities elsewhere on the continent, Kgokolo said, as fewer competitors operate those trips. Early booking figures indicate planes may be as much as 75% full, he said. Routes anywhere else will be complicated by ongoing travel restrictions.

Ownership transfer
South Africa’s government agreed to transfer a majority stake in the carrier to a local jet-leasing company and private-equity firm in June, though the consortium has yet to complete the transaction more than three months later.

It’s still not a done deal, Kgokolo said.

“We’re done with due diligence, and negotiations are taking place on the share purchase agreement,” the CEO said. “It can be complex and take time.”

The group comprising Global Airways, which owns domestic airline Lift, and Harith General Partners has pledged to invest as much as 3.5 billion rand ($243 million) over the next three years. For now, SAA is solvent, after administrators reduced its workforce by almost 80% and secured a deal with creditors.

SAA currently has an eight-aircraft fleet, Ch-aviation reported last month, made up of five original-generation Airbus A320-series narrow-bodies, an A330 wide-body, and a pair of thirsty four-engine A340s.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Ja nee. Here comes the tenders !!

Here we go again to chapter 1 of SAA, TAX Payers get ready to buy a few new Boeings and Airbuses.

Work hard Tax slaves, no free flights, no ownership, just pay for something invisible, except if you are politicians’ girlfriend.

On the 23rd the sun will rise and it will set in the evening.

There will not even be a whisper of these old wrecks being jump started.

Ofcourse he is going to say they are 75% booked, typical sales BS.

what a bunch of chumps.

If we GET the right fleet for those particular trips we should be able to minimise costs and become competitive,” Kgokolo said.
Where will you be ‘getting’ them from, the poor tax payer again?
Should the ‘GET’ not be replaced by buy, rent, or lease?
Looks like here we go again.

75% full already, if true, how many of those are paying customers and where did you find these fools that will be panicking when the flights will be suspended again.

Other operators become profitable locally before expanding.

SAA once again thinking that more funding equates to more profits while this is only true for the ‘connected’.

“75% full already” – Cadres flying for free, that’s who is flying with them.

ANC Airways.

If you set foot on this airline, you are a part of the problem.

Will need upgraded fleet….

OK that’s fine. Just procure it with your own generated funds and not tax payer money and do not rely on any bailouts later.

ANC shuttle service between Cpt and Johannesburg – all on the house. Doomed to fail

End of comments.

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