SAA to stop operations on all domestic routes except Joburg-Cape Town

Image credit: Flickr/Roderick Eime

The South African Airways (SAA) will cease operations on all domestic routes except Johannesburg-Cape Town.

This is according to a statement issued on Thursday by SAA’s business rescue practitioners Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana.

The route cancellations are part of key measures taken to “create a viable platform for a successful future” for SAA, they said.

Joburg-Cape Town on a reduced basis

The practitioners said SAA will continue to serve the Johannesburg-Cape Town route “on a reduced basis.”

They added, “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.”

SAA will nevertheless continue serving several international routes, including Johannesburg to Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York, Perth and Washington via Accra.

It will also retain the following regional routes: Johannesburg to Blantyre, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Kinshasa, Lagos, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Victoria Falls and Windhoek.

Refunds or re-booking for affected customers

However, SAA will cease operations on the following regional and international routes: Johannesburg to Abidjan via Accra, Entebbe, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Livingston, Luanda, Munich, Ndola, and Sao Paulo.

Matuson and Dongwana added, “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 practitioners are also considering other key measures to save the airline, including rationalisation programmes and sale of selected assets.

They said they are engaging with labour unions to minimise job losses, which they nevertheless said will be necessary.

Matuson and Dongwana explained, “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.”

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