Business practitioners have contradicted a statement released by South African Airways (SAA) yesterday [March 26]. In the statement the airline announced they plan to resume domestic flights from mid-June 2020, once they have been granted official government approval.
The airline explained in their statement that they will retain their domestic flight schedule between Johannesburg and Cape Town only. This decision will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. All planned flights on regional and international services are cancelled with immediate effect until the end of June due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the resulting aviation regulations.
SAA also announced that customers currently holding tickets may use their ticket’s full value as a credit for travel on any SAA service until March 24, 2022. Those that no longer wish to make use of their tickets are permitted a free name change.
On Sunday, May 24, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that domestic fair travel will be phased in from June 1 for business purposes.
However, business practitioners argue that SAA may not resume operations until there are clearer guidelines for aviation in lockdown Level 3.
“The position around the cessation of flights remains as is until SAA has a better sense of what the level 3 lockdown means in terms of domestic air travel,” SAA’s business rescue practitioners, Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, said in a statement. “The airline also needs to consider what the opening of the skies will mean from a commercial and load factor perspective.”
SAA’s funding is also of concern to the practitioners. The airline has had financial trouble for years, and is currently under a form of bankruptcy protection.
Picture: Facebook / FlySAA