As part of its normal flight consolidation and review processes but also owing to the ongoing business rescue process, cash-strapped South Africa Airways (SAA) has announced 38 domestic and international flight cancellations over the week to save money.
In a statement released two hours after travel group Flight Centre warned customers on Twitter that SAA had cancelled a number of flights, the airline said this move was in line with its “usual policy of reviewing flights and consolidating services with low demand”.
“Furthermore, during the current process of business rescue, these cancellations represent a responsible strategy to conserve cash and optimise the airline’s position ahead of any further capital investment,” said the embattled carrier.
Domestic flights between Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town have been affected while internationally selected services to Munich have been cancelled.
The airline alluded to the fact that there could be further cancellations in the coming days. “Any operational changes will be communicated to our travel trade partners and customers at the earliest opportunity and passengers will be re-accommodated on other airlines wherever possible.”
“SAA is working closely with its sister airline, Mango, to re-accommodate passengers on alternative services operated by both airlines to minimise disruption, and thereby ensure passengers reach their destination as quickly as possible.
“SAA will re-accommodate passengers on its services between Johannesburg and Frankfurt as well as London Heathrow. Some passengers travelling to Munich, and others travelling via Munich to other destinations, will be re-accommodated for some of their journey on partner airlines in the Star Alliance to minimise delays,” it said.
Despite promising to fund R2 billion of SAA’s business rescue plans after the board made a resolution to undergo the process last year, the government has yet to find the money needed. The process requires R4 billion, half of which is guaranteed and has been raised from private banks, while the remaining R2 billion is still up in the air.
On Sunday evening the Public Enterprises Ministry said it was working with Treasury to find the money.
The following domestic flights operated by SAA have been cancelled:
Johannesburg (JNB) – Cape Town (CPT)
SA303 Depart 0530 Arrive 0735 Dates: 20, 21 & 24 January
SA307 Depart 0700 Arrive 0905 Dates: 21 January
Cape Town (CPT) – Johannesburg (JNB)
SA316 Depart 0820 Arrive 1015 Dates: 20, 21 & 24 January
SA322 Depart 0950 Arrive 1145 Dates: 21 January
Johannesburg (JNB) – Durban (DUR)
SA527 Depart 0630 Arrive 0735 Dates: 20, 21, 22 & 23 January
SA543 Depart 0955 Arrive 1100 Dates: 20, 21, 22 & 23 January
SA571 Depart 1655 Arrive 1800 Dates: 20 & 21 January
Durban (DUR) – Johannesburg (JNB)
SA534 Depart 0805 Arrive 0910 Dates: 20, 21, 22 & 23 January
SA550 Depart 1130 Arrive 1235 Dates: 20, 21, 22 & 23 January
SA578 Depart 1840 Arrive 1945 Dates: 20 & 21 January
On the international front:
Johannesburg (JNB) – Munich (MUC)
SA264 Depart 2115 Arrive 0700 Dates: 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24 January
Munich (MUC) – Johannesburg (JNB)
SA265 Depart 2030 Arrive 0820 Dates: 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24 January