South African Airways is officially back – Gordhan

  • South African Airways will be officially relaunched this week at an event held in Cape Town.
  • At the same event, the carrier will announce a new route from Cape Town and Johannesburg to the largest city in Brazil.
  • The national carrier is still poised to be acquired by Takatso Consortium, an agreement made when the airline was facing liquidation in 2020.

The national carrier of South Africa, South African Airways (SAA) will undergo an official relaunch this week, two years after it faced liquidation.

At the relaunch event to be held in Cape Town on Thursday, SAA will also announce a restart of the airliner’s direct flights to São Paulo, Brazil.

“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,” said Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan, who has long been involved in the recuperation process of the carrier.

In 2021 SAA was grounded for 16 months as it underwent a turbulent phase of business rescue in order to avoid being scrapped altogether. During the time the airline did away with several travel routes that would have required a larger fleet, and let go of around 1 000 employees, narrowing operation costs.

It now focuses on the most lucrative routes, and only faces competition on its Johannesburg-Cape Town route against British Airways, according to a report from Mail & Guardian.

Now, SAA will take the flight to São Paulo four times a week, two flights each from Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“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,” explained SAA interim CEO John Lamola.

Lamola was appointed to the SAA interim board of directors in April, alongside former Tourism Minister Derek Hannekom who serves as chairperson.

“It also marks our 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,” Lamola added.

The airliner’s first haul across the Atlantic to Brazil will take place on 31st October from Cape Town, with Johannesburg following on 6th November.

SAA is still expected to sell a 51 percent majority stake to private group Takatso Consortium with regulatory approval now granted. This will essentially give the consortium executive power over the national carrier.

[Source – SA News]

[Image – CC BY-SA 2.0 Alan Wilson on Flickr]


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