South African Airways to resume flights in September

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South African Airways Airbus A330 (A330-243) airplane as seen on 19 November 2019 at Munich International Airport MUC EDDM named Franz Josef Strauss, Flughafen Munchen, capital of Bavaria, Germany. The aircraft has the registration ZS-SXX with 2x RR jet engines. South African Airlines SA SAA SPRINGBOK is a state owned flag carrier airline of South Africa, Star Alliance member headquartered in Airways Park at O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg JNB hub. (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
South African Airways Airbus A330 (A330-243) airplane as seen on 19 November 2019 at Munich International Airport MUC EDDM named Franz Josef Strauss, Flughafen Munchen, capital of Bavaria, Germany. Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

South African Airways (SAA) will resume operations on September 23, more than 15 months after it was grounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and business rescue.

“After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming on board our loyal passengers and flying the South African flag. We continue to be a safe carrier and adhering to COVID-19 protocols,” said SAA interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo.

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

SAA faced financial problems despite 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 a private equity firm.

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 percent 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 the relaunch.

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