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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


SAA to restart flights to Zim, Namibia and Malawi before Christmas

By Christmas, SAA will have flights to one airport each in Namibia and Zimbabwe, and to two cities in Malawi available.


After a meeting between the International Air Services Council (IASC) and South African Airways (SAA), the national carrier will once again reinstate flights to neighbouring countries. 

Business Insider reports that SAA appears to have reached a settlement with the IASC after the body cancelled SAA’s rights to some routes in September. 

The routes were reportedly cancelled because they were not operational following the effects of the pandemic. 

SAA now “retains all its historical route traffic rights, following SAA’s voluntary relinquishing of the number of frequencies on the destinations it is not currently servicing”.

The publication further reports that airports and regulators found themselves under pressure to re-assign unused slots quickly when airlines ran into trouble both before and during the pandemic.

According to a Moneyweb report, the airline operates somewhere between 16 and 17 return flights a day (this has been ramping up). 

Seven of those are between Johannesburg and Cape Town and a further six are between Joburg and Durban.

READ: SAA is stuck in a bygone era

“To put this into context, FlySafair currently flies 16 times a day (return) between OR Tambo and Cape Town alone (and a further four return flights from Lanseria).”

Locations 

By Christmas, SAA will have flights to one airport each in Namibia and Zimbabwe, and to two cities in Malawi available.

Details regarding the frequency and ticket prices of flights have not yet been announced. 

Business Insider reports that SAA will be flying to Blantyre and Lilongwe in Malawi, to Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls, and to Windhoek in Namibia.

SAA is stuck in a bygone era
The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has welcomed the Western Cape High Court judgement against Pretoria based firm, Toto investments Holdings in which it applied to interdict the implementation of partnering with South African Airways (SAA).

The national carrier also promised to introduce more frequent flights to locations such as Accra, Harare, Lusaka, Kinshasa, and Mauritius as well as Cape Town and Durban.

Internationally speaking, SAA did hint at the launch of an intercontinental route during the first quarter of the new year.

“The airline had previously asked to keep the rights to fly to the USA, Germany, UK, Brazil and Australia,” reported the publication. 

According to Moneyweb, the current plan is for it to launch routes from Cape Town to New York, São Paulo and at least one Australian city. 

It also plans to restart its Johannesburg-Washington (via Accra) and Joburg to Perth routes. It is understood that these two were among its most successful (and profitable).

READ NEXT: FlySafair secures rights to destinations in several neighbouring countries

Compiled by Kaunda Selisho