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SAA set to resume flights from late September

But airline gives no details on financials or its planned majority stake sale to a private consortium.
Image: Tod Burns

Embattled national airline South African Airways confirmed on Wednesday that it will be back in the skies servicing the Johannesburg-Cape Town route and five other African regional destinations as of September 23, ahead of the Heritage Day long weekend.

The airline has effectively been grounded since late March last year, when the country went into a Covid-19  “hard lockdown” and SAA’s financial woes worsened amid the worst crisis for the aviation industry in its history.

With both international and local flights initially banned, all major local airlines and most major international airlines were force to ground flights.

Most of the local airlines have since recommenced flights in a stop-start fashion based on lockdown levels, but SAA has remained grounded in order to finalise its business rescue and the planned sale of a majority stake in the airline to a private consortium that includes Global Airways and Harith General Partners.

“The wait is finally over. In just under a month, the striking and familiar livery of SAA will once again be visible in the skies as the airline resumes operations,” SAA declared in a statement on Wednesday.

SAA noted that tickets will go on sale as of Thursday, August 26, 2021.

Read:
Government sells majority of SAA to private entities
PIC owns 30% of Harith, but ‘is not involved’ in 51% SAA acquisition

“After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming on board our loyal passengers and flying the South African flag. We continue to be a safe carrier and adhering to Covid-19 protocols,” said interim SAA CEO Thomas Kgokolo.

According to SAA, it will as an initial phase operate flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka and Maputo.

“More destinations will be added to the route network as it ramps up operations in response to market conditions,” it added.

“There is a profound feeling of enthusiasm within Team SAA as we prepare for takeoff, with one common purpose – to rebuild and sustain a profitable airline that once again takes a leadership role among local, continental, and international airlines,” said Kgokolo.

“The aviation sector is currently going through a testing period, and we are aware of the tough challenges that lie ahead in the coming weeks. We thank South Africa for the support we have received in getting us to where we are today. As we are now poised for takeoff, we see this as a major milestone for SAA and the country,” he added.

SAA’s board chairman John Lamola noted in the statement that since the national carrier came out of business rescue at the end of April 2021, the Department of Public Enterprises together with the board and the management team “have been seized with planning for the relaunching of a restructured and fit for purpose airline that South Africans can again be proud of”.

“The airline is restarting with a formidable business case,” added Lamola, without giving any further details of financials or the planned sale of a majority stake in the carrier to the Global Airways/ Harith General Partners consortium.

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Well then. Terms like ‘After months of diligent work’, and ‘loyal passengers’ and ‘formidable business case’ used by SAA tells me that they are still clutching at straws. I can also not remember South Africa supporting them.
But I do love this corporate empty words. They don’t fool us, do they?

“Loyal customers” – they are probably referring to the politicians and their girlfriends.

No more Mango and Khulula to CPT from Lanseria? what is available now?

I will never set foot on this airline again

The ANC with their big ego’s are using this as a cash cow again, courtesy of the tax payer

Same show, different time and they take us for fools

I’ll give them two years tops and they’ll be back where they started

As for Pravin, he is on record for saying that no more money will go to to SAA

Turns out you’re a liar, and you’ve shown that you’re part and parcel of the cabal

The adage of “never trust a politician” fits you like a glove

I really can’t imagine anyone buying those tickets.
And if some ignoring people do, don’t complain later that you lost your money.

You must be a special kind of stupid to fly with these clowns.

SAA has become a hated symbol of theft, corruption and plain stubborn stupidity. Nobody in his right mind would fly with that. It’s outright dangerous in a political unstable country.

I am not buying a ticket, that is for sure!

Remember, you fly SAA at your own peril as you will pay twice. Once for the air ticket and again on countless bailouts.

So beware!!!

Other than the ANC freeloaders I wonder who would be willing to fly this tax vacuum.

aNC because it is free.

Personally I don’t think we will hear the whine of a jet engine starting on the 23de.

I certainly won’t be booking a flight for my birthday on the 23rd ( see what I did there ? )
Rather just a quiet meal on the ground somewhere…

That way you know you’ll survive to live another day….

“The wait is finally over. In just under a month, the striking and familiar livery of SAA will once again be visible in the skies as the airline resumes operations”

Interestingly there is no change in the brand? The SAA brand is irreparably damaged in my opinion. I would’ve thought the new consortium would have insisted on a brand renewal and possible trading name change in order to at least attempt at building a new brand and reputation.

The livery of SAA is indeed striking and familiar, but for all the wrong reasons. The brand is a stark reminder of the utter failures of the South African government / ruling party and how they have plundered and destroyed all state institutions and entities.

They are “flying” the national flag.

Maybe fitting as the SA brand is as damaged as the SAA brand. Two pea’s in a pod.

It’s a brand to be utterly ashamed of – signals everything that’s wrong with this government!

Clearly, new investors too stupid to know this – when you see SAA on the runway or in the air you want to get as far away as possible; the mere sight offends!

Please do not buy any SAA tickets. Let them die quickly.

Triple BEE etc Pilots training ground !!!

I will never fly SAA again, please don’t support this state capture project.

Here I was thinking they had already commenced flying out of Kabul airport, with special exterior seats on special?

Yes, after the previous PR vaccine collection stint to Switzerland when the engines almost dropped out of the sky because of no training and maintenance, it’s indeed quite surprising Gordhan and ilk didn’t rush to Kabul to fetch stranded South Africans!

They have not rushed to Kabul yet……..

PLEASE DONT SUPPORT THIS AIRLINE!

VOTE LIKE TO AGREE!

If you support SAA in any way, it means you hate the South African taxpayer.

Rather rebrand it as ANC Airways.

Loyal Customers – Very arrogant indeed!

End of comments.

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