South African Airways to scrap flights to avoid insolvency

By David Ochuma

An attempt to fend off bankruptcy, South African Airways has proposed to trim eight routes from its international schedule.

The airline was reportedly saved from collapse by a loan of R.3.5 billion ($239m) from the State-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa last month.

Report has said that the airline would scrap flights from Johannesburg to Abidjan via Accra, Ghana, Entebbe (Uganda), Guangzhou (China), Hong Kong (China) and Luanda (Angola).

It also said the airline’s departures to Munich in Germany, Ndola (Zambia) and Sao Paulo (Brazil) would cease, with effect from February 29.

It said all its other internal destinations such as Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth would be affected.

It however, said, “On its domestic route network, South African Airways will continue to serve Cape Town from Johannesburg on a reduced basis.”

Domestic routes operated by its low-cost subsidiary Mango would not be affected, it added.

The report also said the airline’s international services between Johannesburg and Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York, Perth and Washington (via Accra) would be retained.

The arrangement with regional services from Johannesburg to Blantyre, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Kinshasa, Lagos, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Victoria Falls, Livingston and Windhoek will also continue.

In a bid to reassure potential passengers, the carrier added further route changes are not expected.

Although it confirmed that this would lead to a reduction in the number of employees the report did not say how many people would be affected, adding that the airline was yet to announce the number.

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