Confusion at SAA as business rescue practitioners say flights might not resume next month

The business rescue practitioners of flag carrier SAA have hit out at the airline for publishing an “unvetted” statement saying some passenger flights will resume next month.  

SAA published a statement on its website on Monday saying it is retaining its current domestic schedule between Johannesburg and Cape Town from mid-June under level 3 of the lockdown. 

“Everyone at SAA is looking forward to welcoming and serving our customers once again,” said Philip Saunders, SAA’s Chief Commercial Officer, in Monday’s statement

SAA was placed into business rescue in December 2019, and all media statements have to be approved by the practitioners. 

On Wednesday morning the BRPs, Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, said the statement had not been authorised by them.

“The flysaa statement was released in violation of the BRPs communications protocol which was put in place so that unvetted releases are not issued.

“The position around the cessation of flights remains as is until SAA has a better sense of what the level 3 lock down means in terms of domestic air travel. The airline also needs to consider what the opening of the skies will mean from a commercial and load factor perspective.  SAA’s future funding also remains a key variable in all of the above considerations.”

“It is unfortunate that the unvetted press statement created an unfair expectation on our relevant stakeholders, including SAA’s customers as well as employees, who are on unpaid absence as a result of the travel ban which led to the halting of the company’s operations and compounded its financial distress. “

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