South African Airways temporarily cancels several flights

An SAA Airbus A330 at Munich Airport. Photo: © Phillip Rohmberger / IFN

South African Airways (SAA) has announced that it will temporarily cancel flights on several routes. Both international flights and domestic services are affected.

The financially struggling carrier cancelled its international flights between Johannesburg and Munich, which are operated almost daily by Airbus A330 airplanes, until next Friday. Furthermore, some crucial domestic services from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Durban have also been cancelled for the coming days.

Although the airline underlined that “these decisions are in line with SAA’s usual policy of reviewing flights and consolidating services with low demand“, it admitted that these cancellations “represent a responsible strategy to conserve cash” during the ongoing business rescue process. The news of the cancellations come amid delays to yet another rescue fund by the South African government.

SAA has recently taken delivery of its brand new Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The carrier will now sell five Airbus A340-300s and four Airbus A340-600s, forcing it to make cuts to its route network. According to acting CEO Zuks Ramasia, the decision to sell the aircraft is not related the business rescue process.

South African Airways, which is going through a restructuring process, has also repeatedly denied reports that it will cease operations. Many politicians in the country are calling for a liquidation of the national carrier, as it continues to lose money. SAA has been unprofitable since 2012. Attempts to turn the company around have so far failed, pushing the airline into bankruptcy protection in December last year.