South African Airways (SAA) has cancelled “selected domestic flights” and its service to Munich over the coming days after denying rumours that is on the verge of collapse.
The carrier responded to media speculation yesterday by saying “flights to all its destinations continue as normal”.
But it added: “Where there may be flight schedule amendments, such operational changes will be managed and communicated in accordance with the industry norms and practices.”
Now SAA has announced it is “consolidating” some domestic services from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Durban’s King Shaka airport. The following flights have been cancelled:
Johannesburg (JNB) – Cape Town (CPT)
SA303 Depart 0530 Arrive 0735 Dates: 20, 21 and 24 January
SA307 Depart 0700 Arrive 0905 Dates: 21 January
Cape Town (CPT) – Johannesburg (JNB)
SA316 Depart 0820 Arrive 1015 Dates: 20, 21 and 24 January
SA322 Depart 0950 Arrive 1145 Dates: 21 January
Johannesburg (JNB) – Durban (DUR)
SA527 Depart 0630 Arrive 0735 Dates: 20, 21, 22 and 23 January
SA543 Depart 0955 Arrive 1100 Dates: 20, 21, 22 and 23 January
SA571 Depart 1655 Arrive 1800 Dates: 20 and 21 January
Durban (DUR) – Johannesburg (JNB)
SA534 Depart 0805 Arrive 0910 Dates: 20, 21, 22 and 23 January
SA550 Depart 1130 Arrive 1235 Dates: 20, 21, 22 and 23 January
SA578 Depart 1840 Arrive 1945 Dates: 20 and 21 January
In addition, flights SA264 and SA265 between Johannesburg and Munich have been cancelled from 20-24 January.
SAA said it is working with sister airline Mango to re-accommodate passengers on alternative services operated by both carriers.
SAA was placed into a form of bankruptcy protection in December after the government and lenders agreed loans totalling 4 billion rand (£211 million) to keep it in operation. However, local media reports say the government missed the deadline for providing the cash boost and is demanding guarantees before it will pay.
In a statement about the cancellations, the airline said: “These decisions are in line with SAA’s usual policy of reviewing flights and consolidating services with low demand. Furthermore, during the current process of Business Rescue, these cancellations represent a responsible strategy to conserve cash and optimise the airline’s position ahead of any further capital investment.
“The consolidation on the Cape Town route is also necessary as SAA has been operating training flights for pilots on the new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 aircraft on this route before transferring the new planes to international routes. The introduction of these larger aircraft has resulted in temporary surplus capacity on the route.”
It added that it will be reviewing further possible schedule amendments over the coming days, with announcements of any cancellations to be made “at the earliest opportunity”.