New SAA launching with first intercontinental flight

Government is expected to officially relaunch South African Airways (SAA) in Cape Town on Thursday, 26 October 2023.

The event — which will mark two years since SAA returned to the skies — will also be used to announce the restart of the state-owned airliner’s direct flights to São Paulo, Brazil.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said the relaunch was a milestone for the airliner which had run into turbulence after it was grounded for 16 months and underwent business rescue and averted liquidation.

“The upcoming event marks a very significant step in the resurgence of South African Airways. We look forward to the official relaunch of SAA, along with the introduction of its first intercontinental flight to São Paulo, Brazil,” Gordhan said.

In a statement earlier this year, SAA revealed that it will fly four times a week to São Paulo, with two flights each departing from Cape Town and Johannesburg.

At the time, SAA Interim CEO, Professor John Lamola, said the airliner took the decision to introduce the long-haul flight following a thorough sustainability analysis.

“We are overjoyed to announce São Paulo as our first international destination since the airline successfully emerged from an intensive Business Rescue process and COVID-19 lockdown,” he said.

“It also marks the return of our long-haul service out of Cape Town. The teams at SAA are working hard behind the scenes to gear our operations for this much-anticipated route launch to South America.”

“Our decision to begin the relaunch of our long-haul service with São Paulo was taken based on a rigorous analysis of the viability of the route. Sustainability has been at the heart of SAA’s approach since our restart,” Lamola added.

The first flight to the South American country is expected to depart from Cape Town next Tuesday, with the Johannesburg flight to follow suit on 6 November.


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New SAA launching with first intercontinental flight