While South African Airways struggles to keep aircraft flying and the liquidators away from its runways, the Government is determined that the airline should continue flying while Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says it should be closed. Be that as it may, SAA was promised R2 billion by the National Treasury as operating money but so far this has not been forthcoming.
Time is running out for SAA which has take a step towards cutting costs by cancelling 38 flights from 20 January, 2020, to save money and warned that further cuts may be in the offing. These cancellations affect domestic and international flights between the airline’s main hub, O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as between Johannesburg and Durban’s King Shaka airports.
SAA is working closely with its Mango, to re-accommodate passengers on alternative services operated by both airlines to minimise disruption, and ensure passengers reach their destination as quickly as possible.
The following domestic flights operated by SAA have been cancelled:
Johannesburg – Cape Town
SA303 Depart 0530 Arrive 0735 Dates: 20, 21 & 24 January
SA307 Depart 0700 Arrive 0905 Dates: 21 January
Cape Town – Johannesburg
SA316 Depart 0820 Arrive 1015 Dates: 20, 21 & 24 January
SA322 Depart 0950 Arrive 1145 Dates: 21 January
Johannesburg – Durban
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 – Johannesburg
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 network, SAA is cancelling selected services between Johannesburg and Munich. Passengers will be re-accommodated 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.
The following flights have been cancelled:
Johannesburg – Munich
SA264 Depart 2115 Arrive 0700 Dates: 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24 January
Munich – Johannesburg
SA265 Depart 2030 Arrive 0820 Dates: 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24 January
These decisions are in line with SAA’s usual policy of reviewing flights and consolidating services with low demand says a statement from the airline.
The consolidation on the Cape Town route is also necessary as SAA has been operating training flights for pilots on the new state-of-the-art Airbus 350-900 aircraft on this route, before transferring the new planes to international routes.
SAA is also hoping to sell a number of its aircraft although it states that this is to make place for the four new 350-900 aircraft that arrived recently.