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SAA cancels more regional & international routes

The announcement was made by the state-owned airline’s joint Business Rescue Practitioners on Thursday.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – South African Airways (SAA) has announced that it will be cutting 11 routes indefinitely from the end of February.

These include regional and international services from Johannesburg to Abidjan via Accra, Entebbe, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Livingston, Luanda, Munich, Ndola, and Sao Paulo at the end of this month.

The announcement was made by the state-owned airline’s joint Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) on Thursday.

According to the BRPs, all other domestic destinations, including Durban, East London, and Port Elizabeth would cease to be operated by SAA. Domestic routes operated by Mango would not be affected by the changes.

UIF APPROACHED OVER SAA BAILOUT

Meanwhile, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) said it had been approached by the Department of Public Enterprises about possibly bailing out SAA to avoid retrenchments.

The UIF controls over R100 billion in surplus funds contributed by employees and employers in South Africa.

SAA was currently under business rescue due to financial difficulties. This led it to cancel some flights recently to stay afloat.

UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping said no decision had been taken yet.

“But a mistake must not be made. SAA is an employer and its employees are contributing to UIF, and therefore we cannot pull back and not contribute in whatever that the act allows because they are contributors,” Maruping said.

The Democratic Alliance MP Alf Lees rejected the move.

“In other words, the employer has obligations to all its employees when retrenchments take place and those are the employer's obligations. That’s not the UIF’s obligations, the UIF has obligations towards the retrenched employees and the law provides for how that’s dealt,” he said.

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