South African Airways (SAA) has announced passengers will no longer require to switch off their phones on planes beginning next year.
According to SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali, the Times Select the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has finally given the airline permission to allow its passengers to keep their phones switched on during the flight.
“We are in the process of implementing this concept where passengers do not need to switch off their cell phones during takeoff, turbulence, and landing,” Tlali said, reported Business Day.
However, the SSA spokesperson said implementing the new change will require some time. He added that SSA is currently making changes to its safety video, pamphlets, and in-flight magazine to reflect the upcoming change.
“Cellphones will be put on flight mode during these phases,” Tlali said adding, “SAA is currently amending the safety video, safety pamphlets, and its in-flight magazine to reflect the changes.”
The changes are likely to come into effect in the first quarter of 2019.
In related news, a consortium of local and international investors including Fly Modern Ark and Cerberus Capital Management have made an unsolicited loan offer to SAA to the tune of R21 billion in return for a 51 percent stake in the airline, reported City Press.
The loan proposal followed City Press September report that claimed SAA would need R21 billion between then and 2021 when the airline was expected to return to profitability.
Notably, the loan offer isn’t as attractive as it appears to be as there are certain conditions that need to be followed if the offer from the consortium was to be considered. For instance, the loan should not be backed by any government/taxpayer guarantees; and be used primarily to extinguish all existing loans to SAA backed by government/taxpayer guarantees. All existing government/taxpayer guarantees of R19.1 billion should be withdrawn from SAA and no further guarantees should be issued.