Category Archives: South African Airways

South African deploys larger aircraft on some Durban and Cape Town flights

South African Airways has made this announcement:

South African Airways (SAA) has taken note of a decision by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to indefinitely ground all Comair flights in South Africa.

As a result, demand for seats across all domestic airlines has been extremely high given that 40% of normal seat capacity has been removed from the market.

SAA has not increased fares because of Comair’s temporary grounding. The airline has deployed bigger aircraft on some Durban and Cape Town flights and will continue to do so until the current situation stabilizes.

South African Airways resumes operations

South African Airways Airbus A320-232 ZS-SZY (msn 5011) JNB (Christian Volpati). Image: 955216.

South African Airways on September 23 resumed operations after being shut down for a year and reorganized as a leaner carrier.

The flag carrier issued this statement:

Following months of preparation after exiting business rescue, SAA has resumed both domestic and continental service. The carrier’s first scheduled flight flew from OR Tambo International in Johannesburg to Cape Town International on Thursday, September 23, 2021 and is one of three return flights per day between the two cities. Flights are also started to five African capitals – Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka, and Maputo.

SAA’s Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo says, “This week is a proud and significant one for SAA and its staff as well as all South African citizens. Our journey back to the skies has not been easy and I pay tribute to our dedicated workforce in all areas of the business all of whom have and are putting in long hours ahead of this day. People in every facet of the business want nothing more than for SAA to succeed and for us to build a new airline based on safety and exemplary customer service.”

Kgokolo says while SAA has big ambitions it’s overriding ethos will be one of responsible and prudent fiscal management and a commitment to transparency. “We restart this business with a new vision of pride in the brand and one that has been inculcated into every staff member. Our first order of business is to service our start-up routes efficiently and profitably and then look to expanding the network and growing our fleet, all depending on demand and market conditions.

Top Copyright Photo: South African Airways Airbus A320-232 ZS-SZY (msn 5011) JNB (Christian Volpati). Image: 955216.

South African aircraft slide show:

South African Airways to launch regional flights again on September 23

South African Airways has made this announcement:

The wait is finally over. In just under a month, the striking and familiar livery of SAA will once again be visible in the skies as the airline resumes operations. The carrier has confirmed the first flights will commence on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

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.

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.

South African Airways secures a new AOC, will resume operations in a “few weeks”

South African Airways has made this announcement:

SAA has taken another significant step closer to resuming operations after being granted a renewed operating license by the regulator, the South African Civil Aviation Authority, under the stewardship of Captain Sakhile Reiling, SAA’s Interim Executive: Operations.

SAA’s Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo says, “This is an important development as SAA readies itself to take to the skies again in just a few weeks. At our Airways Park headquarters, in hangars and at terminals around the country our staff are hard at work in finishing the final preparatory phases before we make an official announcement about the exact take-off date.

“While I acknowledge there is frustration over a delay in confirming this date, all of us at SAA need to make sure vital components in a very complicated and multi-faceted process are working seamlessly before we start. I’m confident that we will be able to make that announcement soon.”

As SAA accelerates its readiness, Kgokolo has also confirmed that all management and specialist pilots have now been appointed and that the pilots who will form the nucleus of the fleet’s cockpit have been identified and the processes to bring them on board will conclude in the next two weeks.

Note: SAA will return to the skies with a much smaller and limited fleet. It is unclear what aircraft will be operated at this time.


South Africa to sell its 51% share of SAA to Takatso

South African Airways is being saved with new private investors. The government has agreed to sell 51% of the stock in the flag carrier.

Under the agreement, SAA will now be majority owned by the Takatso Consortium (meaning “aspire” in SeSotho) with a 51% control of the shares.

The South African government will hold the remaining 49% of the shares.

The Takatso Consortium is composed of Harith General Partners (which owns Lanseria Airport) and Global Aviation, which will together control 51% of the national carrier.

SAA through reorganization, has cut its workforce by almost 80% and cut its liabilities to around N$2.6 billion.

Global Aviation partially owns Lift, the new South African airline which launched operations on December 10, 2020.

Lift is a joint venture between former CEO Gidon Novick, former Uber executive Jonathan Ayache, and aircraft leasing company Global Airways, a South African-based ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) company operating a fleet of Airbus A320 and A340 aircraft.

Lift currently operates three Airbus A320s.

South African Airways exits from bankruptcy protection

Delivered on December 1, 2016

South African Airways today exited from bankruptcy protection, referred to as “business rescue” in South Africa.

The flag carrier issued this short statement after submitting a business rescue plan:

The administrators have effectively discharged the business rescue and handed over the operations of SAA back to its board and executive team with immediate affect.

There was no mention of its subsidiaries including Mango.

The airline entered administration proceedings in December 2019.

The carrier is also reportedly in discussions with a potential investor.

Top Copyright Photo: South African Airways Airbus A330-343 ZS-SXI (msn 1745) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 946361.

SAA aircraft slide show:

South Africa bails out broke South African Airways

South African Airways has been given a government lifeline, once again.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on October 28 announced that the South African government would allocated another R10.5 billion ($640.5 million) to the flag carrier.

Read more from Bloomberg.

South African aircraft photo gallery:

South African Airways suspends all operations due to rising debt

South African Airways announced on September 30, 2020 it has suspended all operations due to mounting debts.

In December 2019 the flag carrier entered reorganization.

From Reuters:

“South African Airways will be put under “care and maintenance” until funding discussions are completed, the airline’s administrators said on Tuesday.

A company’s assets can be put under care and maintenance in order to keep them in good condition when they are not being used.”

South African Airways aircraft6 photo gallery:

South Africa hopes to establish a new flag carrier from the ashes of South African Airways

South African Airways is basically bankrupt on the edge of being liquidated by the administrators.

Employees have been offered severance packages but the various labor groups have not yet agreed to the packages.

According to Bloomberg, the government of South Africa is seeking to create a new national carrier to replace SAA using the remaining assets.

SAA administrators were working on a recovery plan before the COVID-19 crisis. The virus grounded all aircraft. New they are proceeding with a liquidation of there assets after the government did not want to proceed with a bailout.

South African aircraft photo gallery:

Is this the end of South African Airways?

South African Airways is reportedly in discussions with its eight labor groups to offer severance packages for its entire 4,700 employee labor force according to Bloomberg News. This drastic action would permanently ground the airline and force the liquidation of its assets.

SAA was unable to convince the South African government for another bailout. The company has been in a form of bankruptcy protection since December.

SAA suspended its commercial operations at all our offices throughout the world on Friday, March 27, 2020 due to COVID-19.

South African aircraft photo gallery: