South African Airways (SAA) will scale back some of its domestic and international routes from the end of February as part of business restructuring plans aimed at easing its financial woes, reported Reuters.
The airline was placed in a form of bankruptcy protection in December as it failed to make any profit since 2011. It has received more than 20 billion rand ($1.35 billion) in bailouts over the last three years.
In a statement released on Thursday, the specialists appointed to try to rescue the airline confirmed that the airline will no longer serve Abidjan via Accra (Ghana), Entebbe (Uganda), Guangzhou (China), Hong Kong, Luanda (Angola), Munich (Germany), Ndola (Zambia), and Sao Paulo (Brazil) starting from February 29.
On its domestic route network, the South African Airways will continue to serve Cape Town from Johannesburg on a reduced basis, but will end all other destinations, including Durban, East London, and Port Elizabeth.
The International services between Johannesburg and Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York, Perth, and Washington via Accra will continue. Flight services from Johannesburg to Blantyre, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Kinshasa, Lagos, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Victoria Falls, Livingston, and Windhoek will also continue.
The airline will either make a full refund to the customers who booked on canceled flights or re-accommodate them on services operated by Mango, it’s subsidiary which remains unaffected by the wave of route cancellations.
In addition to scaling back flights, the state-owned SAA will also seek to deploy more fuel-efficient aircraft, renegotiate contracts with suppliers, reduce the number of its employees and consider asset sales as part of rescue efforts.
The airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) said they are now planning to “develop a sustainable, competitive and efficient airline”.
The rescue experts are expected to publish a restructuring plan later this month that will be presented to creditors for approval.