D-Day for SAA as it returns to the skies

Initially, SAA will fly three times daily between Johannesburg and Cape Town. From Monday, it will operate daily return flights to Harare, Lusaka, and Maputo and three times a week to Accra and Kinshasa.

FILE: The airline said it would be focusing on a new business and operating philosophy, which would put customer service at the core of its operations. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - The South African Airways (SAA) is set to return to the skies on Thursday after more than a year of being grounded due to finances and COVID-19.

The company was pulled out of business rescue earlier this year and is now ready to continue operations.

The airline said it would be focusing on a new business and operating philosophy, which would put customer service at the core of its operations.

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Before its grounding and restructuring, SAA had about 4,000 employees. It now relies on 1,000 workers to carry the airline as it heads back to the skies.

Initially, SAA will fly three times daily between Johannesburg and Cape Town. From Monday, it will operate daily return flights to Harare, Lusaka, and Maputo and three times a week to Accra and Kinshasa.

Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said while it was impossible to ignore the recent difficult history of SAA, it was a proud brand that celebrated its 87th anniversary this year and was respected the world over.

The Takatso Consortium said it noted reports that SAA would start flying again, but was not involved in the management, funding or relaunch plans of the airline.

CEO Gidon Novick said the relaunch of the airline was separate to the engagement between Takatso and the Department of Public Enterprises to acquire a 51% stake in SAA.

WATCH: Gordhan: SAA gets new equity partner, will no longer rely on government funding

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