South African Airways (SAA’s) Interim Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Kgokolo has confirmed that the carrier, now out of business rescue, will take to the skies again in July or at the latest early to mid-August.
The plan he says is to focus initially on profitable local and regional routes and the lucrative Johannesburg-Cape run will most likely be among the first on a new and slimmed down timetable.
Kgokolo says he would like to give more clarity on an exact take-off date, but the process is contingent on ongoing negotiations with pilots regarding their severance packages. He describes this process as positive, and that regular engagement is taking place. Work is still being completed with other staff unions on departure agreements which will see the new SAA employing about a thousand people.
Kgokolo has also provided clarity on when an international service will resume. He says it could take up to two years as the carrier’s new management team has limited operating capital and that a strategic decision has been taken to focus initially on local and regional operations.
Kgokolo has also confirmed that talks continue, at a shareholder level, with a strategic equity partner. He says his remit is to make sure that SAA in coming months becomes an efficient, reliable, and profitable business which would pass muster during any due diligence process.
Kgokolo says momentum is starting to build quickly at SAA with a view to resuming full domestic and regional operations within weeks. Details on precise date and when booking opens will be provided as soon as possible.
Issued by SAA Group Corporate Affairs