SAA confirms flight cuts and reductions on key domestic routes

2017-09-27 16:32 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - South African Airways says it will be cutting flights on its Port Elizabeth and East London routes, from the end of October - and that only aircraft capacity changes will be made to its Cape Town - Johannesburg flight routes for now. 

The airline says the cuts remain in line with its "progressive implementation of its turnaround plan through network remediation strategies"  Read Fin24's latest update here

SAA Spokesperson Tlali Tlali says, "SAA would like to assure customers that it will honour its obligations to all ticketed passengers who purchased tickets in advance. Ticketed customers will be re-accommodated on other flights - with alternative travel to be finalised "on/before October 17, 2017".

Schedule adjustments effective 29 October are as follows for its domestic network: 

SAA to continue operating to Port Elizabeth and East London however,

  • - Port Elizabeth daily flights reduced from four to two 
  • - East London daily flights reduced from three to two 

Johannesburg-Cape Town route changes?

When asked about possible changes to other domestic routes, with a previous City Press report indicating the airline would be cutting "a third of its Johannesburg-Cape Town route” Tlali says, "Changes to this route involve equipment changes only. We plan to replace the wide-body aircraft, operated on some of the flights in the afternoon with narrow-body aircraft."

Schedule adjustment effective 29 October on its regional network:

The domestic route flight cuts are in addition a number of regional re-configuration of flight routes, announced earlier this week. 

SEE: SAA cancels flights across six routes

  • - Flights to Luanda (Angola) will be reduced from seven to four per week and the aircraft type will be down gauged. 
  • - Flights from Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) will be reduced from five to four per week. 
  • - Flights to Brazzaville, Pointe Noir (Congo) and Libreville (Gabon) with connections onward to Cotonou (Benin) and Douala (Cameroon) are under review, says Tlali. "SAA is evaluating options to reduce operations or down gauge aircraft type on its."

'Ever changing demand patterns across its network'

“Demand in Central Africa has remained at levels similar to last year due to slow economic growth in the region. Our intention therefore is to maintain our presence in these markets, and we have initiated discussions with our partners to decide on the best option to serve these markets,” says Tlali. 

Tlali says SAA has already made known its intention to introduce network enhancements which are in line with the implementation of its newly developed five-year Corporate Plan in order to improve schedule efficiencies. 

Towards the end of August SAA issued a statement saying the airline was set to introduce network changes on the domestic and regional segments of its route network.

SEE: SAA to 'honour all tickets' as plan for network changes confirmed

"We are aiming to provide our customers with timeous and reliable information so that they are not inconvenienced and can make informed decision about their travel arrangements."

More details would be made available at a later stage, Tlali confirmed. 

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