SAA glides back 

by | Aug 29, 2021 | Business | 0 comments


Hosia Mviringi

South Africa’s national flag carrier, South Africa Airways will return to the skies next month, September 23, 2021, after a prolonged hiatus due to a myriad of issues.

In a public announcement, the airline assured the flying public of the usual courtesy, comfort and consistent service quality that have become the landmark of Africa’s second-largest airline.

“The wait is finally over. In just over a month, the striking and familiar livery of SAA will once again be visible in the skies as the airline resumes operations,” said the airline.

Harare is among the top routes targeted for the launch of flights by a restructured SAA. Some of the targeted international routes include Ghana, Kinshasa, Lusaka and Maputo.

“There is a profound feeling of enthusiasm within Team SAA as we prepare for take-off, with one common purpose- to rebuild and sustain a profitable airline that once again takes a leadership role among local, continental, and international airlines,” said Thomas Kgokolo, interim CEO of the restructured SAA.

On December 5, 2019, the perennially loss-making state-owned entity applied for voluntary business rescue, otherwise known as a pre-insolvency procedure, which is meant to prevent a company from catastrophic total collapse and costly liquidation.

The procedure culminated in President Cyril Ramaphosa placing the broke national carrier into voluntary rescue, tactfully avoiding the costly route of liquidation which would have compelled the SA government to pay all creditors in full beforehand.


Coupled with the seemingly never-ending Covid-19 induced lockdowns, the national flag bearer was subsequently grounded while a comprehensive business rescue plan was being deliberated by creditors.

The rescue plan was finally approved on July 24, 2021, on a staggering R10.3 billion funding requirement for an effective business turnaround. This process would result in a lean structured SAA which resultantly enables a cost-cutting foundation going forward.

The airline only emerged from business rescue end of April 2021 following successful recapitalization and privatisation through debt equity swap deal with creditors.

Preparations are now in full swing for resumption of international flights as Covid-19 related restrictions continue to be reviewed, depending on the infection prevalence rate in destination countries.

Zimbabwe continues to lead the region as one of the safest destinations in terms of its Covid-19 response and management, vaccine acquisition and rollout.

So far, the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) ranks Zimbabwe highest on the SADC scoreboard for Covid-19 vaccination efficiency.