SOUTH AFRICA – In just under a month, South African Airways (SAA) will once again take to the skies as the airline resumes operations after a year.
The first flight will commence on September 23, 2021.
Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo, stated: “After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming on board our loyal passengers and flying the South African flag.”
South African Airways will as an initial phase operate flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka and Maputo.
More destinations will be added to the route network as it ramps up operations in response to market conditions.
“There is a profound feeling of enthusiasm within team SAA as we prepare for takeoff, with 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. As we are now poised for takeoff, we see this as a major milestone for SAA and the country,” Kgokolo added.
According to the chairman of the SAA’s board, John Lamola, since the national carrier came out of business rescue at the end of April 2021, the department of public enterprises together with the board and the management team have been seized with planning for the relaunching of a restructured and fit for purpose airline that South Africans can again be proud of.
“The airline is restarting with a formidable business case,” he said.
“After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming on board our loyal passengers and flying the South African flag”
Recently, SAA’s welcomed two A320 aircraft that have been in storage and have accomplished 6-year maintenance ‘C-Checks’ in Abu Dhabi during the carrier’s time in business rescue.
In the first week of August, SAA was granted a renewed operating license by the South African Civil Aviation Authority.
Meanwhile, the due diligence by the Takatso Consortium – the chosen strategic equity partner of South African Airways (SAA) – is “substantially complete and no material issues have been identified”, the consortium said.
In terms of the deal, the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) shareholding in SAA will be diluted.
Takatso is a joint venture between infrastructure investment firm Harith as majority shareholder and funders of the SAA deal, and Global Aviation, which operates low-cost airline LIFT among its other operations.
It is anticipated that the consortium would have to plough in at least R3 billion (US$201 million) into the new SAA over the next three years.
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