South Africa’s financially wounded national carrier, South African Aircraze (SAA), will cancel a number of regional flights in a desperate attempt to save money.
According to a notification sent out to the trade this week, the airline will cut flights to Brazzaville via Pointe Noire in the Congo; Douala in Cameroon via Libreville in Gabon; Kinshasa in the DRC; Entebbe in Uganda; Luanda in Angola; Cotonou in Benin via Libreville in Gabon.
Travel website Tourism Update says the airline aims to re-accommodate passengers on alternative days, with change fees waived. Tickets must be re-issued on/before October 17, 2017.
The airline announced in August that it would cancel routes as part of its attempts to regain financial stability. SAA Acting CEO, Musa Zwane, said the executive committee had begun reviewing the airline’s route network and had identified avenues that would help save R900m per annum.
While no pronouncements have been made on route cancellations, Airlink has shown an interest in taking over SAA’s Johannesburg-Brazzaville route.
In comments posted online “Jon” says:
“If the CEO really thinks that reducing the flights to these countries by cancelling one flight a week will gain any financial stability – he must go into the garden and smell the roses. This won’t help save R900m. It might save R60m/annum.
SAA has made too many mistakes not just in the timetables but their marketing and general operations as well. eg When you offer this voyager member upgrades after they have returned – for a ‘small extra cost’. When I boarded found that economy class is 80% full and business about 30%. The flight I was on could have generated about an extra R120 000 if you had made the offers timously. That was on one of your expensive leased planes on the Lagos route.
This month I’m off to Kigali with another airline as I can fly cheaper in Business class than I can with SAA – another route that you are planning to reduce.”
The cancellations are as follows:
Effective September 25, flight SA084 JNB-PNR-BZV-JNB will operate on Fridays only. Currently the airline services the route on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
Effective October 9, flight SA086 JNB-LBV-DLA , Fridays only. Currently the airline services this route on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Effective October 9, flight SA050 JNB-FIH will operate on Sundays and Thursdays. Currently the airline services the route on Sundays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Effective October 9, flight SA160 JNB-EBB will operate on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Currently the airline services the route on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Effective October 9, SAA will operate JNB-LAD on Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. Currently the airline services the route daily.
Effective November 1, flight SA090 JNB-LBV-COO will operate on Mondays and Saturdays. Currently the airline services the route on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
In each case, the same applies for the return flights.