Thursday, 26 August 2021

Johannesburg: South African Airways (SAA) has announced that it expects to resume operations on the Johannesburg-Cape Town route and other African destinations on September 23.

The carrier has not taken to the skies since early last year partly due to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent hard lockdown as well as the need to finalise its business rescue process.

The national carrier came out of business rescue at the end of April this year.

SAA Board chairman John Lamola said since the national carrier came out of business rescue, the Department of Public Enterprises together with the airline’s board and management team have been planning for the relaunching of a restructured and fit for purpose airline.

“The airline is restarting with a formidable business case,” Lamola said on Wednesday.

Interim SAA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Kgokolo said they are determined to make the airline a leader in the aviation sector.

“After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming on board our loyal passengers and flying the South African flag. We continue to be a safe carrier and adhering to COVID-19 protocols. There is a profound feeling of enthusiasm within Team SAA as we prepare for take-off, with one common purpose – to rebuild and sustain a profitable airline that once again takes a leadership role among local, continental, and international airlines,” he said.

Kgokolo noted that the airline is conscious that the sector is facing difficult times.

“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 take-off, we see this as a major milestone for SAA and the country,” he said.

Tickets go on sale  on Thursday, 26 August 2021, with the airline initially operating flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka and Maputo.

The airline says destinations will be added to the route network as operations ramp up in response to market conditions.

Voyager bookings and Travel Credit Voucher redemption will be available from 6 September 2021.