SAA to axe another route

2013-11-05 08:34
Cape Town - South African Airways (SAA) is set to implement part of its 20-year turn-around strategy by going ahead with the cancellation of its Johannesburg and Buenos Aires route, Tourism Update reports.

News24 Travel contacted SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali to confirm when the twice-weekly flight, which began in April 2009, would cease but a formal announcement has yet to be made.

Assessing unprofitable international routes and focusing on regional and domestic business forms part of the troubled national carrier’s ninth turnaround strategy, presented to parliament earlier this year by Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.

An integral part of the plan is to merge SAA with its subsidiaries, SA Express and the low-cost airline Mango but the legal complexities of which would only allow this to be determined in early 2014.

The airline is also embarking on a number of codeshare agreements in order to extend its network without having to invest in more aircraft

In August South African Airways and TAM Airlines, one of the largest carriers in South America, implemented an agreement. The codeshare for the route between Sao Paulo and Johannesburg with 11 flights per week, took effect in September 2013.

While SAA Voyager customers continue to earn miles and obtain tier status when travelling on TAM flights, it means passengers will now have to add six hours to the journey had they originally travelled via Buenos Aires, a 15 hour flight.
New SAA CEO Monwabisi Kalawe has stated he considers the strategy to be the most comprehensive in the airline's history, but it remains to be seen whether it will help the it avoid a similar situation to last year, with a reported a loss of R1.25bn and the need for a R5bn guarantee for a period of two years.

Read more on:    saa  |  argentina  |  south america  |  flights  |  travel international

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