S.African Airways to resume flights in Sep

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South African Airways (SAA) will resume operations on September 23, more than 15 months after it was grounded in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the flag carrier said in a statement.

“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,” Xinhua news agency quoted SAA interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo as saying in the statement on Wednesday.

“We continue to be a safe carrier and adhering to Covid-19 protocols,” he said.

Ngokolo added that 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 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.

The SAA faced financial problems despite numerous government bailout 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 private-equity firm.

A consortium comprising Johannesburg-based Global Airways, which owns recently launched domestic airline Lift, and private-equity firm Harith General Partners will take a 51 per cent shareholding in SAA.

–IANS

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