SAA reviews seven airline partnerships, including Emirates, as SEP still up in the air

2018-07-24 11:33 - Selene Brophy
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SAA planes lined at at an airport

State-owned airline SAA carried 6.9 million passengers in the year ending March 2016.

South African Airways says it has met with its commercial partner airlines, as it pushes ahead with its turnaround strategy but will not be entering any merger.

SAA has met with Emirates, Turkish Airways, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Air Mauritius, Unite Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

"These discussions have been purely about commercial agreements such as interline, codeshare, cargo as well as possibilities of these airlines taking some of our excess flight deck and cabin crew staff," says SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali.  

Financial stability has eluded the airline, despite rigorous efforts to optimise route networks.

READ MORE: Rent-a-captain: SAA plugs global pilot shortage by hiring out its crew

This also included a route rationalisation of all alliance and partnerships in November, says Tlali.

"Over the past six months SAA has been on roadshow to meet its major codeshare partners and other potential commercial partners to revitalise the commercial delivery under the existing agreements and explore mutually beneficial opportunities to expand the network," he states.

READ MORE: SAA cancels flights across six routes   

While talks of a UAE backer have been ongoing, Tlali says. "We have not discussed any possibility of them investing in SAA as part of SEP process."

The UAE plans to invest as much as $10 billion in South Africa’s economy, according to Bloomberg - a commitment made during a visit by the nation’s President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit this month. 

Fin24reported the UAE ambassador Mahash Alhameli indicated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its business sector would be interested in investing in SA's state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including SAA "if this opportunity arises". 

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