SAA cancels flights as its financial woes deepen

SAA cancels flights as its financial woes deepen.
SAA cancels flights as its financial woes deepen.
Image: SAA

South African Airways on Tuesday cancelled a number of its international and domestic flights as the financial crisis at the national carrier deepened.

The national carrier's spokesperson Tlali Tlali confirmed to SowetanLIVE that they had cancelled a “few flights” but could not divulge any more information. It is reported that in total 19 international and domestic flights were cancelled.

He said that the flights were not grounded but cancelled as “in aviation, grounding is a serious situation”.

The news were first highlighted by travel agency Flight Centre on Tuesday morning saying that they were in the process of liaising with their customers.

“South African Airways (SAA) has cancelled a number of their domestic and international flights. We are in the process of contacting our customers to advise and assist. Should you be affected and wish to discuss your options, please contact your Travel Expert,” Flight Centre tweeted.

The airline is expected to release a statement.

DA shadow minister of public enterprises Ghaleb Cachalia said that they were not yet informed of the cancelation of the flights but said that he was concerned with the lack of transparency from the business rescue practitioner.

“SAA is in business rescue and the issue of funding is extremely tight,” said Cachalia.

“The business rescue practitioner and his team would have taken a decision to cut their costs. They are required to report to parliament and be transparent on what the issues are.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa last month announced the decision to place the airline under business rescue giving practitioner Les Matuson powers to run SAA.

The airline is awaiting a R2bn bailout from the government that was pledged when it was placed on business rescue.