South African Airways has taken to the skies again today, September 23, 2021 after over a year of uncertainty, staff agitations, and South Africa government’s desire to oversee the national air carrier’s transition from business rescue to market re-entry.
The revived carrier, now headed by Thomas Kgokolo as the CEO, is looking to serve its domestic market and selected regional and African destination in a much-changed aviation landscape.
Cape Town, Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka, and Maputo are the initial destinations to be served by SAA. Cape Town-Johannesburg flight was successfully operated today to mark the re-birth of the airline.
A look at the departure dashboard from Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport on September 23 shows that the new SAA will need to work extra hard to regain some lost glory and with it some market share.
Airlink, FlyCemAir, FlySafair, Kulula and Fastjet have served the market well in the absence of SAA. The flag carrier’s strategy in terms of its service, price and promotional must be top-notch to regain some significant market share.
Fortunately, SAA can tap into decades of on-board and on-ground experience, given that some very experienced hands are part of the core team on the SAA 2.0. In 2018, the airline was adjudged as the Best Airline in Africa by the Global Traveler Magazine; Skytrax Best Airline Staff in Africa; and the Skytrax Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in Africa among others.
In Ghana, South African Airways (SAA) flight tickets went on sale on August 26, 2021, with an expected scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Accra slated for September 28, 2021. SAA tickets are available on Amadeus and all GDS systems for booking.
Flight SA052 is scheduled to depart Johannesburg at 17:00hrs, arriving in Accra at 21:05hrs on September 28. The return flight will leave Accra at 22:35hrs, arriving in Johannesburg at 06:25hrs + 1 the next day.
Thomas Kgokolo, Interim CEO of SAA in a statement copied to AviationGhana said: ” After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming on board our loyal passengers and flying the South Africa flag. We continue to be a safe carrier and adhering to COVID-19 protocols.”
Takatso Consortium holds a 51% controlling stake in the new-look SAA.
Story by: Dominick Andoh