SAA scraps 162 flights amid coronavirus crisis

accreditation
SAA
SAA

National carrier South African Airways is scaling down its capacity, as coronavirus wreaks havoc on the global transport industry. 

The airline is cancelling 162 flights between 17 March and 31 March 2020. Of these 38 are international and 124 are regional, it said.

"The effects of the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) have led to travel disruptions and restrictions across the world, leading to the grounding of aircraft, releasing employees, and cancelling flights for many airlines. SAA is not immune to these realities," the airline said.

SAA has had to review its flight schedule and will only operate flights under circumstances where its load factors and other business considerations "weigh in favour" of scheduling flights, it said. 

"Notwithstanding the decline in demand, SAA continues to aggressively review its schedule to match capacity with demand to the extent possible. Where feasible, we will consider options that include cancelling and merging flights," said SAA Chief Commercial Officer, Philip Saunders.

SAA said it would continue to provide services on domestic, regional and international routes for passengers' whose travel is essential and can't be avoided. The airline will also continue to operate flights to destinations not impacted by the travel ban announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday.

SAA will also be taking on passengers from other airlines, who want to travel back to South Africa. At a briefing on Tuesday Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said SAA had been getting requests to take on passengers from international airlines who had groundded their aircraft amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

"Our priority is to assist those travellers wishing to repatriate to their home countries to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible. Naturally, this includes South African citizens abroad wishing to return home," Saunders said.

SAA has also allowed one free ticket change to customers who have had to adjust their travel plans given the travel ban.

Earlier on Tuesday SA Express said it would suspend operations until further notice. Its passengers would be accomodated by alternative airlines.

For more details on flight cancellations click here.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.28
-0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.86
+0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.02
+0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.75
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.0%
Gold
1,781.30
+0.1%
Silver
25.92
+0.6%
Palladium
2,584.59
+1.0%
Platinum
1,094.86
+1.1%
Brent Crude
74.81
-0.1%
Top 40
59,494
0.0%
All Share
65,552
0.0%
Resource 10
61,934
0.0%
Industrial 25
87,234
0.0%
Financial 15
12,834
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Should government have assigned a majority shareholding in SAA to the private sector?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, It's a good decision
68% - 422 votes
Not a good move
9% - 54 votes
Too early to tell
23% - 144 votes
Vote