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S. African Airways to resume flights in September

JOHANNESBURG, (The Southern African Times) South African Airways (SAA) will resume operations on September 23, more than 15 months after it was grounded by COVID-19 and business rescue, said the company in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

“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. We continue to be a safe carrier and adhering to COVID-19 protocols,” said SAA interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo.

He said, 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.

SAA faced financial problems despite numerous government bailouts and resorted to a business rescue plan 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 comprised of Johannesburg-based Global Airways, which owns recently launched domestic airline Lift, and private-equity firm Harith General Partners will take a 51 percent shareholding in South African Airways.

The SAA’s board chairperson John Lamola said the rebranded SAA is taking to the skies after restructuring and planning and is now ready for relaunch.

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