The striking and familiar livery of South African Airways (SAA) will once again be visible in the skies as the airline resumes operations in September 2021.
SAA entered a formal business rescue process in late 2019, but efforts to restructure the carrier were further complicated by the pandemic’s disruption to global travel. The airline had suspended flights at the end of September 2020 amid mounting financial problems before a state R10.7 billion ($750 million) rescue funding package was agreed.
The airline came out of the business rescue process in April and the South African Government agreed on a deal to sell a 51% stake in the airline to a consortium of local investors in June. Earlier in August, South African aviation regulators restored SAA’s operating licence, paving the way for it to resume services.
According to the carrier, the first flight has been confirmed to commence on Thursday, 23rd of September 2021. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, 26 August 2021.
Voyager bookings and Travel Credit Voucher redemption will be available from Monday, 6th September 2021.
Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo says, “After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming onboard our loyal passengers and flying the South African flag. We continue to be a safe carrier and adhering to COVID-19 protocols.”
SAA 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.
Kgokolo 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.”
“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.”
According to the chairman of the SAA’s Board, John Lamola, 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”, says Lamola.
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