Nearly all domestic, regional and international South African Airways (SAA) flights scheduled for Friday, November 15 and Saturday November 16 have been cancelled due to expected protest action.

The airlines announced the decision to cancel the flights on Wednesday to minimize the impact of disruptions caused to its customers following news of industrial action planned for Friday morning.

The South African Cabin Crew Association and the National Unions of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) members will embark on industrial action this week.

Only flights operated by SAA will be affected and the situation will be assessed on an ongoing basis and customers will being kept informed on any developments.

Negotiations with the airlines are currently underway as SAA presented an offer of a 5.9% increase subject to availability of funds. SACCA and NUMSA, however, are demanding an 8% increase.

The airline attempted to dissuade the unions from embarking on industrial action but have failed. Discussions between the airline and the unions will continue.

“SAA will spare no effort to work jointly with the labour unions to find solutions that accommodate the employee demands, safeguard the business and return operations to normal,” said the airline in a statement.

Passengers affected by the flight cancellations will either be refunded, accommodated on other airlines or have their current flights rescheduled.

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