South African Airways Routes
South African Airways Routes

South African Airways to Enter Business Rescue

South African Airways (SAA) today announced that the Board of Directors of SAA has adopted a resolution to place the company into business rescue.

As previously reported the SAA Board of Directors and the Executive Committee have been in consultation with the shareholders and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), in an effort to find a solution to the company’s financial challenges.

The conclusion has been to place the company into business rescue.

SAA says that they understand this decision presents many challenges and uncertainties for its staff.

SAA plans to operate a new timetable and will publish details shortly.

Currently, the Johannesburg – Hong Kong route has been suspended from November 23rd to January 15th. The planned Johannesburg – Guangzhou route from January 2020 has been completely suspended.

Having received almost $4 billion in bailouts since 1994, and last earning a profit in 2011, South African Airways has been clinging on by a thread.

When South African Airways employees staged a week-long strike last month, multiple flights were cancelled and a significant amount of customers cancelled bookings; costing the airline $3.4 million each day.

All services operated by SAA’s subsidiary airline, Mango, will continue as usual and as scheduled.

South African Airways Edging Towards Collapse
South African Airways

November 27th, travel insurance provider Travel Insurance Consultants (“TIC”), and their underwriters, are no longer willing to cover SAA under their Travel Supplier Insolvency benefit, due to doubts concerning the long-term viability of the airline. A number of other global insurers have taken a similar approach.

On the same day, Flight Centre Travel Group South Africa has made the decision to no longer sell SAA.

Interestingly, South African Airways recently took delivery of their first Airbus A350 and committed to another two; to replace part of their ageing A340 fleet.

The loss of South African Airways will be a significant one, since the airline carries so much history. Founded 85 years ago on the 1st of February 1934, state-owned flag-carrier, South African Airways has provided flights for people all around the world, from their base at O.R. Tambo International Airport.

What are your thoughts on South African Airways’ current situation?