Tag Archives: South African Airways

South African suspends services to Hong Kong, resumes some strike-impaired services

South African Airways (SAA) has announced the suspension of all services between Johannesburg and Hong Kong from Saturday, November 23, 2019 until and including, December 14, 2019.

This decision has been taken to curb significant financial losses incurred on the route, exacerbated recently by the ongoing political tensions in Hong Kong.

In other news, South African Airways (SAA) has also announced its intention to resume selected flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Durban and Victoria Falls, with effect from Thursday, November 21, 2019.

SAA is continuing to operate all international flights on an ongoing basis and without disruption. The airline is now also successfully operating services to six destinations on the African continent, namely Accra, Lagos, Lusaka, Maputo, Windhoek and Harare on an ongoing basis.

SAA would like to record its appreciation for those staff deciding to work despite receiving threats and intimidation from the unions. It is clear that SAA’s people are increasingly determined to put our customers first.

South African Airways cancels flights today and tomorrow due to a strike

Delivered on December 1, 2016

South African Airways (SAA) made this announcement for today and tomorrow:

South African Airways operations affected by industrial action. SAA has cancelled all domestic, regional and international flights for Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16.

Additionally it issued this statement:

South African Airways (SAA) regrets to advise all customers that we been served with notification by the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association (SACAA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) of their intention to embark on a strike effective Friday, 15 November 2019.

It is expected that the strike would cause maximum disruptions to SAA operations; therefore, in the best interest of protecting our customers and their travel plans, we have taken the decision to cancel all domestic, regional, and international flights on Friday 15 November 2019 and Saturday 16 November 2019, with the exception of a few international flights. Customers are requested not to travel to their departure airport unless in possession of a rebooked itinerary.

The following international flights would be operating:

Friday, November 15, 2019

DEPART ARRIVE

Maputo                   SA147      07:30        08:35

Lusaka                    SA067     07:15        09:15

Harare                    SA025      07:20       09:00

Windhoek               SA073      06:40       08:25

Accra                      SA210      09:10       16:55

Frankfurt                 SA261      20:45       08:25 next day

New York                SA204      10:40       08:15 next day

Munich                    SA265      21:05       07:40 next day

Hong Kong              SA287      23:50       07:10 next day

Perth                       SA281      23:40       04:55 next day

London                    SA235      19:00       07:05 next day

Washington             SA210      17:40       17:25 next day

The cancellations only affect flights operated by SAA. All flights operated on our partner airlines Mango, SA Express, Airlink and all codeshare partners will not be affected.

 

The following flight number ranges would operate normally:

SA1000 to SA1999

SA2000 to SA2999

SA7000 to SA7999

SA8000 to SA8999

Assistance will be provided to all ticketed customers holding a South African Airway is Ticket (only) through any SAA Contact Centre, City Ticket Office or dedicated Travel Agent with the following conditions:

– Rebook onto another South African Airways flight for any flight until 31st October 2020 at no extra charge and subject to availability in the same booking class

– If the customer no longer wishes to travel, then the booking can be cancelled and a full refund (including taxes) will be offered to the original form of payment.

– Re-routing would be permitted, Where possible rebook onto flight(s) operated by any of SAA’s Star Alliance, Codeshare and Interline Partners to transport customers to their final destination with minimal disruption.

– Change of cabin will not be permitted

– All tickets must be reissued on or before 30th November 2019.

– SAA will not be able to provide any support for Special Service Requests or Unaccompanied Minors during this period of Industrial Action

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

South African aircraft slide show:

SAA is introducing the Airbus A350-900 between New York – JFK and Johannesburg

South African Airways has made this announcement:

South African Airways is introducing the most technology-advanced aircraft available for ultra-long-haul flying with the new Airbus A350-900 on nonstop flights between New York John F. Kennedy International Airport and Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport.

The A350-900 will accommodate 339 customers across Premium Business Class, Extra Legroom Economy and Economy cabins that are designed for maximum comfort. The exclusive Premium Business Class Cabin will provide 30 seats, each of which can be converted to a fully flat bed. Extra Legroom Economy with 63 seats, offers more personal space with 35 inches of pitch. These seats are located in the first six rows of the Economy cabin allowing our customers seated in this section to quickly deplane upon arrival. Customers in Economy Class will enjoy newly designed slim-line seats with adjustable headrests. Each seat in both Extra Legroom Economy and Economy are equipped with a USB port and access to PC power ports, an on-demand entertainment system with high definition 10” screens to enjoy movies, television shows, interactive games or audio programming.

All customers on board will benefit from the aircraft’s larger windows, improved LED lighting, and optimized cabin pressure and temperature controls which allow you to feel relaxed and refreshed upon arrival. Additionally, the A350-900 reduces fuel burn by approximately 20% when compared to the current aircraft operating on the route, thereby significantly reducing carbon emissions.

In other news, South African Airways and Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, announced a new code share agreement for customers traveling between New York – JFK and the Seychelles.

The new code share partnership with Air Seychelles will provide convenient connections and a seamless travel experience for travelers during their entire journey. Customers on both carriers will be able to book flights operated by the other and enjoy the added convenience of travel on one single electronic ticket and through interline baggage transfer upon check-in

with each airline in the U.S. or the Seychelles. Air Seychelles offers more than 350 domestic scheduled flights a week throughout the archipelago, including domestic charter services.

South African grounds some aircraft due to maintenance issues

South African Airways issued this statement:

South African Airways (SAA) advises customers that it may operate an amended flight schedule following a decision to recall some of its aircraft to undertake compliance verification in line with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) requirements.

The decision to recall the aircraft follows an oversight inspection conducted by SACAA at SAA’s maintenance subsidiary, South African Airways Technical (SAAT).

Some of the flights will operate later than usual and SAA has implemented its contingency plans to ensure business continuity.

Whilst there were only four (4) domestic flight cancellations, SAA took steps to combine flights and deploy bigger aircraft to accommodate affected passengers. This has significantly reduced the impact of the inconvenience on the customers.

SAA understands that the inspection conducted by SACAA was in accordance with its regulations and a necessary exercise to ensure compliance and safety.

SAA apologises for the inconvenience caused to its customers and passengers.

SAA will continue to update the situation on an ongoing basis.

South African Airways to introduce the Airbus A350-900 on the New York JFK route

South African Airways has made this announcement:

South African Airways (SAA) is introducing the latest technology, available in ultra-long-haul aircraft, hailing exciting news for customers travelling nonstop between Johannesburg and New York JFK.

SAA will supplement its existing long-haul fleet with new Airbus A350-900 aircraft, which are modern, twin-engine, and wide-body aircraft. These new-generation aircraft boast fuel-efficiency and other benefits and advantages. The aircraft will operate on one of SAA’s ultra-long haul routes between Johannesburg and New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), replacing the A340-600 aircraft on this route and will still be operated on a nonstop basis.

SAA will lease the aircraft for up to three years.

The A350 configuration has 246 Economy Class seats with the first six rows offering extra legroom to provide a more comfortable experience, especially on longer flights. The Business Class cabin has lie flat beds.

SAA will take delivery of the aircraft in the second half of 2019. The aircraft will be operational in SAA’s branding as soon as SAA has met the regulatory authority requirements.

Photo: South African Airways.

 

South African Airways’ CEO resigns over lack of funding for turnaround plan

South African Airways has made this announcement:

The Board of South African Airways (SAA) has accepted the resignation of Mr Vuyani Jarana, Group Chief Executive Officer.

Since he joined SAA in November 2017, Mr Jarana has spearheaded the implementation of the long-term strategy to return the airline to financial and operational sustainability and position it to deliver effectively on its mandate.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Mr Jarana for his service and commitment to the airline. He contributed to returning confidence and credibility to the airline. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” said Mr JB Magwaza, SAA chairman.

Mr Magwaza said the airline will continue to implement actions to reduce SAA’s cost structure and make the airline more competitive domestically and globally.

“In terms of his contractual obligations, Mr Jarana has committed to remain until the end of August to ensure an orderly transition of his responsibilities, which is a matter that the Board will consider. The Board of SAA will immediately commence the process of searching for a new Group CEO to take the strategy forward,” concluded Mr Magwaza.

More details on transitional arrangements will be announced soon.

South African Airways takes “urgent steps” and remains optimistic

South African Airways Airbus A330-243 ZS-SXV (msn 1249) JNB (Paul Denton). Image: 910169.

South African Airways is taking drastic steps to reduce losses and turn around the flag carrier. The airline will continue to cut or reduce loss-making routes. SAA will also continue to transfer aircraft to lower-cost subsidiary Mango.

The airline has issued this statement:

The board and management of South African Airways are taking urgent steps to address issues raised by the Auditor-General’s office in its 2016-17 audit report, and remains optimistic about the airline’s future.

“The board of SAA has noted and accepted the Auditor General’s report,” says CEO Vuyani Jarana. “The majority of the airline’s operations are sound, and we are building on this to ensure we break the loss-making cycle and transform the airline into a viable and sustainable entity.

“The board has developed and approved a clear strategy and five-year plan to turn the airline around, and we are working closely with the board and the shareholder to ensure we succeed.

“SAA has had many previous turnaround strategies which have not been implemented before. This time it is different: we believe the vision outlined by the board is absolutely correct, and are committed to ensuring it is put into practice.

“We need a clean break with the past and a new approach to the future, and that is precisely what we are doing. We are acting with urgency to ensure the viability and sustainability of this crucial national asset,” says Jarana.

Jarana points out that the AG’s report was the first since the Auditor General was appointed as SAA’s auditors, having been appointed as part of the airline’s commitment to audit firm rotation. The report released last week covers the financial year ending March 2017, and Jarana says it has “provided a fresh pair of eyes, particularly as the team went a number of years back where required to establish an appropriate baseline.”

“The AG has given us a comprehensive diagnosis into key areas of our business and this has provided deep insights which will contribute to a fit for purpose group of businesses.”

The AG’s report forms part of SAA’s Integrated Report along with financial results for FY2016/2017, which are due to be announced later this month. The airline has incurred a net loss of R5, 569 billion (2015/2016: R1, 478 billion) and expects that its financial situation will not be much different for FY2017/2018.

However, a number of significant steps have already been taken as part of the turnaround strategy, with the clear aim of taking SAA to profitability in the medium-term.

The five-year plan and strategy require support and funding by the shareholder. The board and the shareholder are currently evaluating the appropriate terms for such support.

The immediate focus of the strategy is on liquidity management, balance sheet restructuring, cost management as well as revenue optimisation, which are intended to stem the losses and drive profitability.

Key steps already taken include:
·       Improving governance by strengthening the board and its structures.
·       Injecting R10-billion capital into SAA to improve its balance sheet.
·       Addressing the leadership vacuum by filling key executive vacancies.
·       Bringing in a depth of aviation skills by hiring the Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO).
·       Implementing key market-facing initiatives aimed at stopping ongoing losses.

Furthermore, network optimisation has been implemented on the domestic, regional, and international route network to improve yields.

The London route will be served by an upgraded product and reduced to a single daily service.

These network changes are necessary as SAA’s route network remains under intense scrutiny with clear defined minimum profit margin target at route and network level. A change hub has been setup as command centre for implementation of the change initiatives.

The R10-billion capital injection from National Treasury late last year has helped restructure the balance sheet and improve SAA’s equity position.

“However, it is important to note that SAA has never been properly capitalised, and any company has a defined maximum debt capacity beyond which debt becomes a burden. We need to do more and work closely with the shareholder to find lasting solutions that will materially improve SAA’s equity position,” says Jarana.

“Notwithstanding all the financial challenges facing SAA, it remains a well-recognised and respected brand in the aviation industry. We have a great reputation and track record for passenger safety and our on-time performance is among the best in the aviation industry, as well as numerous air travel recognition awards.

“We can assure our suppliers, creditors, customers, trade partners and the rest of our stakeholders that the shareholder, the board and management are doing everything practically possible to address SAA’s financial status and to transform the airline’s financial, commercial, and strategic position.

“The board and shareholder are determined to build a financially sustainable airline,” concludes Jarana.

Copyright Photo: South African Airways Airbus A330-243 ZS-SXV (msn 1249) JNB (Paul Denton). Image: 910169.

South African Airways aircraft slide show: