Rescue practitioners refute SAA statement to resume flights

Posted by Anita Froneman on 27 May 2020

South African Airways (SAA) said in a statement that it is retaining its domestic schedule for flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, with effect from mid-June 2020. But the airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRP) have refuted this claim.

The BRP said the airline is not aiming to resume domestic flights from mid-June, according to IOL. ‘The flysaa statement was released in violation of the BRPs communications protocol which was put in place so that unvetted releases are not issued,’ the BRP said.

‘It is unfortunate that the unvetted press statement created an unfair expectation on our relevant stakeholders, including SAA’s customers as well as employees, who are on unpaid absence as a result of the travel ban which led to the halting of the company’s operations and compounded its financial distress,’ BRPs Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana said in a statement according to Fin24.

SAA also states it is cancelling all planned scheduled flights on regional and international services until the end of June 2020 with immediate effect. This decision has been taken as a result of the continuing global impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Many restrictive rules and regulations still apply to civil aviation across the world.

‘On this basis, it is not yet possible to resume operations beyond South Africa’s borders in a sustainable manner,’ the airline said.

Mango Airlines states on its website that it has ‘provisionally suspended all flights until 31 May 2020 and anticipates to resume services from 1 June 2020.

‘Lockdown-Level dependent, we will continue to monitor developments in our Sector closely and keep all our passengers updated,’ the airline said.

Comair (operating airlines such as and British Airways), told Getaway Magazine that while President Ramaphosa’s announcement of domestic flights being allowed during Level 3 is encouraging, it contained no detail as to when air travel may be permitted or to what extent. ‘Until we have this information and are able to assess market conditions, we will continue to work towards a return to service in November,’ the airline said.

FlySafair told Getaway Magazine that a this stage, the airline has too little information to know whether starting up operations under Level 3 will be viable. ‘It’s not feasible for us to start operations until such time as we can reasonably expect a viable demand – in other words, enough demand to get our aircraft full enough, at fares that at least cover the cost of operating the flights. Right now we just have too little information to make that call,’ Chief Marketing Officer Kirby Gordon said. 

Image credit: Getaway gallery 


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