SOUTH African Airways (SAA) plans to start returning its planes to the skies from September 23 2021, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Tickets for SAA flights went on sale from August 26 2021. Voyager bookings and Travel Credit Voucher redemption will be available from 6 September 2021, according to Media24.
‘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,’ said SAA’s interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo.
In the initial phase of the national airline’s return, the company will begin by operating flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka and Maputo. SAA says that more destinations will be added to the route network as it ramps up operations in response to market conditions.
‘There is a profound feeling of enthusiasm within Team SAA as we prepare for take-off, with one common purpose – to rebuild and sustain a profitable airline that once again takes a leadership role among local, continental, and international airlines,’ said Kgokolo.
‘The aviation sector is currently going through a testing period, and we are aware of the tough challenges that lie ahead in the coming weeks.’
Takatso Consortium takes majority stake in SAA
This latest statement from SAA did not indicate what the latest progress is with the ongoing due diligence process of the airlines chosen strategic equity partner, Takatso Consortium.
In June, South Africa lost the majority stake in SAA through a deal with Takatso.
A 51 percent black-owned enterprise that comprises pan-African investor group Harith Global Partners and aviation group Global Aviation, the consortium is expected to initially pump 3 billion rand (about $202 million) into the airline. SAA will retain its name and will be domiciled in South Africa.
Two weeks ago, SAA received two leased Airbus A320 passenger aircraft. These aircraft were among the aeroplanes SAA sent back to lessors during its lengthy business rescue process.
The Airbuses were placed in storage and given six-year maintenance checks in Abu Dhabi during this time.
SAA has since told employees in an internal memo that the due diligence process with Takatso is gaining momentum and plans are well advanced for cargo and charter flights.