SAA’s Perth route relaunch signals ambitious growth plans

Posted on 10 January 2024 By Tsoku Maela

South African Airways (SAA) has revealed plans for the resumption of its flights to Perth, Australia, scheduled to begin at the end of April 2024.

Government will hold minority ownership of SAA

The state-owned airline faced operational challenges in 2019, leading to a suspension of services and subsequent business rescue proceedings. The ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has further impeded the airline’s economic recovery efforts.

SAA’s decision to resume operations in Perth aligns with its strategic goal of achieving profitability by capitalizing on its unique strengths as a national carrier equipped with wide-body aircraft for long-haul intercontinental connectivity, stated SAA CEO John Lamola.

Lamola expressed satisfaction that the renewed flights to Perth would enhance seamless travel for customers of the 25 airlines within the alliance. He highlighted the global interconnectivity potential of the route, emphasizing Perth as a favoured destination for both South African and Australian travellers. Approximately 80% of the target market consists of individuals visiting family and friends, making the recommencement of the route a facilitator of easier and direct passage for leisure and business travellers. Lamola emphasized that this would promote trade and cultural exchange between South Africa and Australia.

During the initial launch phase, SAA intends to operate an Airbus A340-300, providing a total seat capacity of 253, including 38 business class seats and 215 economy seats. Lamola concluded by expressing the airline’s commitment to transforming SAA into a respected leader in the global aviation sector, citing the Perth route as a tangible indicator of their ambitious vision to expand their footprint to over 20 destinations in the current year.

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