Saturday, September 18, 2021

South African Airways to resume flights September

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The South African Airways, SAA, will resume operations on Sept. 23, more than 15 months after it was grounded by the Coronavirus, COVID-19, and business rescue, the company said in a statement.

SAA interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said, “After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming onboard our loyal passengers and flying the South African flag.

“We continue to be a safe carrier and adhering to COVID-19 protocols,”

He said the SAA would start by flying from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Accra (Ghana), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), Harare (Zimbabwe), Lusaka (Zambia), and Maputo (Mozambique).

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The company said it would add destinations 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.

“As we are now poised for takeoff, we see this as a major milestone for SAA and the country,” Kgokolo said.

The SAA faced financial problems in spite of the numerous government bailouts and resorted to a business rescue last year.

In June 2021, the government agreed to sell a majority stake in the carrier to a local jet-leasing company and private equity firm.

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A consortium comprised of Johannesburg-based Global Airways, which owns recently launched domestic airline Lift, and private-equity firm Harith General Partners will take a 51 per cent shareholding in South African Airways.

The SAA’s board chairperson John Lamola said the rebranded SAA is taking to the skies after restructuring and planning and ready for relaunch.

Xinhua/NAN

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