New SAA takes flight next month

State-owned airline company South African Airways (SAA) has announced it will resume flights on 23 September 2021.

“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 company said in a statement on Twitter.

SAA will operate flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka, and Maputo in the initial phase of its relaunch.

“More destinations will be added to the route network as it ramps up operations in response to market conditions,” the carrier stated.

It also said that Voyager bookings and Travel Credit Voucher redemptions would be available from Monday, 6 September 2021.

SAA Board chairman, John Lamola, said the airline was restarting with a “formidable business case”.

The relaunching of a new “fit for purpose” national carrier comes almost a year after SAA suspended operations due to a lack of funding.

It was initially grounded from 27 March due to strict Covid-19 travel measures.

It has since completed a business rescue process that included significant retrenchments and injecting a R10.5-billion government bailout to restructure the airline.

Staff numbers have been cut down from 4,700 to 1,000 employees.

Interim SAA CEO Thomas Kgokolo said there was a profound feeling of enthusiasm within the company and one common purpose to rebuild and sustain a profitable airline that “once again takes a leadership role among local, continental, and international airlines”.

“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,” Kgokolo stated.

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New SAA takes flight next month