The joint Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) of South African Airways (SAA) has announced its plans to support the airline’s transformation into a sustainable and profitable business.
This will include cutting a number of regional and international routes, the BRPs said in a statement on Thursday (6 February).
“The initiatives we are taking now will strengthen SAA’s business. We believe that this should provide reassurance to our loyal customers that SAA is moving in the right direction.
“We are focused on our mandate to restore SAA’s commercial health and create an airline that South Africans will be proud of,” the BRPs said.
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.
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 and Windhoek.
On 29 February 2020, SAA will close the following regional and international services from Johannesburg to Abidjan via Accra, Entebbe, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Livingston, Luanda, Munich, Ndola, and Sao Paulo.
On the domestic route network, SAA will continue to serve Cape Town on a reduced basis.
All other domestic destinations, including Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, will cease to be operated by SAA on 29 February 2020. Domestic routes operated by Mango will not be affected by the changes.
“All customers booked on any cancelled international and regional routes will receive a full refund. Customers booked on cancelled domestic flights will be re-accommodated on services operated by Mango,” the BRPs said.
“SAA does not intend to make any further significant network changes. Passengers and travel agents can, therefore, feel confident about booking future travel with South African Airways.”
The flight schedule for February remains unchanged.
The BRPs said that every effort is being taken to limit the impact of job losses in SAA and its subsidiaries.
“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 to a viable and sustainable future. However, a reduction in the number of employees will, unfortunately, be necessary.”
The BRPs said they will engage labour, both organised and non-organised, to reach a solution necessary for a sustainable airline going forward.
“The decisions and actions announced today are aimed at improving SAA’s balance sheet, creating a platform for a strong and sustainable airline and ensuring that the company is more attractive for potential strategic equity partners.”