The new SAA – 9 aircraft, 27 routes

In the 2019-2020 year, every airline globally suffered devastating impact from COVID-19. The damage to SAA was even more severe than that suffered by others. It had already been driven into business rescue by years of misfortune, massive financial losses year on year, corruption, government interference, and lack of continuity at every level of management, when the pandemic arrived in South Africa. 

Prior to the pandemic, SAA had a long history of massive losses on many of its routes, so it is somewhat surprising to note, on examination of its business rescue plan, that the BRPs plan to retain 27 of the beleaguered airline’s 32 routes for the ‘new SAA’. Also noteworthy is the announcement that the BRPs have cancelled all SAA’s existing leases, leaving the airline with a fleet of only nine aircraft.

According to the business rescue plan, five of SAA’s original nine international routes are proposed to be retained. These are Washington (via Accra), New York, Perth, Frankfurt and London. The planes states that Hong Kong, Munich, São Paulo and Guangzhou have been cancelled.

Regionally, 19 of SAA’s 20 routes will be retained, with only Abidjan via Accra being cancelled.

Despite the BRPs initially announcing that SAA would only operate domestically on the Johannesburg-Cape Town route, the business rescue plan outlines that the airline will also retain its Durban and Port Elizabeth routes, cancelling only its East London route.

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Source: Travel News