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Photo: Aero Icarus/Wikipedia

South African Airways Chops Many Routes From Network As Part Of Restructure

Feb 7, 2020
Photo: Aero Icarus/Wikipedia

As South African Airways continues to work through its business rescue plan, the airline has announced a number of route reductions to both African and international destinations. In a press release, the business practitioners noted that significant efforts were being made to move the airline towards a sustainable state by phasing out its older and less fuel-efficient aircraft, re-evaluating and removing low traffic routes, and re-organizing the company’s corporate structure.

“The initiatives we are taking now will strengthen SAA’s business. We believe that this should provide reassurance to our loyal customers that SAA is moving in the right direction. We are focused on our mandate to restore SAA’s commercial health and create an airline that South Africans will be proud of”, commented the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs).

Route cuts

As mentioned above, one of the targeted areas was the airline’s route network. They have decided to cut the following routes effective February 29, 2020.

The routes within Africa are:

  • Abidjan via Accra
  • Entebbe
  • Luanda
  • Ndola

While the international routes are:

  • Guangzhou
  • Hong Kong
  • Munich
  • Sao Paulo

Affected international customers are asked to contact the airline for a refund, while those flying within the continent will be re-accommodated on Mango flights.

Finally, the airline will only operate reduced domestic service between Johannesburg and Cape Town, completely phasing out the Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth routes. The responsibility will be fully managed by its low cost subsidiary Mango Airlines.

The airline says it has no intentions of further reducing their network, leaving their map as follows.

Within Africa

  • Johannesburg to Blantyre
  • Dar es Salaam
  • Harare
  • Kinshasa
  • Lagos
  • Lilongwe
  • Lusaka
  • Maputo
  • Mauritius
  • Nairobi
  • Victoria Falls
  • Livingston
  • Windhoek

International

  • Frankfurt
  • London Heathrow
  • New York
  • Perth
  • Washington via Accra

Domestic

  • Cape Town

Potential job loss

As the airline looks to streamline its organizational structure, there will be expected job loss. Even though they hope to limit the impact, besides re-organizing the structure, those serving soon to be discontinued routes may also be up on the chopping block.

“It is our intention to restructure the business in a manner that we can retain as many jobs as possible. This will help provide a platform to a viable and sustainable future. However, a reduction in the number of employees will unfortunately be necessary.”

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