The Airbus A350 will be brought back by South African Airways for international flights.
SAA will resume long-haul flights previously operated before the COVID-19 pandemic in two phases.
Following voluntary business rescue, the South African flag carrier reopened in September 2021 with a fleet of six aircraft. It had previously served 34 international destinations. Despite resuming flights, the airline was unable to serve several of its previous destinations, and some of its flight frequencies were canceled by the International Air Services Commission (IASC).
Aside from resuming long-haul flights, the airline plans to add flights to coastal regions in South Africa, including Cape Town-Durban, Johannesburg-George, and Johannesburg-Gqebera. The proposed routes to CH-aviation were explained in more detail by Tebogo Tsimane, interim Chief Commercial Officer at SAA.
We have chosen routes this year that will be easier and quicker to start. They do not require the kind of investment that will take time.”
SAA will serve four continents and new destinations
When the A350 is reinstituted and long-haul flights to previously served destinations are resumed, two phases will follow.By the end of March 2023, SAA will use its leased Airbus A330-300 aircraft to fly long-haul flights between Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) and Perth International Airport (PER).
It will resume flights to Frankfurt Airport, London Heathrow, Washington Dulles Airport, and New York John F. Kennedy Airport in the second phase. According to ch-aviation’s fleet history, SAA operated four A350-900s between October 2019 and August 2020, including two former Air Mauritius aircraft and two Hainan Airlines aircraft leased from Dublin-based Avolon.
In 2021, South African Airways (SAA) saw a revival of its operations. After being classified as technically insolvent last month, the airline resumed regional services to Ghana, DRC, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and re-introduced sought-after flights to Namibia and Mauritius. Plans are also underway for Lilongwe, Malawi journeys. These steps demonstrate SAA’s dedication to returning to its place as one of the top airlines in Africa. The future could be very bright for the company.
The state invests millions in SAA and has the potential to invest more in the future
At the end of the financial year 2023, South African Airways received a national budget allocation of $55 million (R1 billion). The funds will be used to cover outstanding liabilities and legacy debt, including the final payment of a receivership created when the airline came out of business rescue. According to the Department of Public Enterprises, legacy debt is estimated at $190 million (R3.5 billion).
Takatso Aviation has agreed to take a 51% stake in the airline in a deal that will restore the national carrier’s former glory despite receiving money from the government.
Takatsu said it would not be responsible for the airline’s debts despite investing over $160 million over the next two years. Despite concerns about unfair competition, South Africa’s Competition Commission may not approve the deal, forcing both parties to explore other options for extending the partnership.