STATE-OWNED SOUTH AFRICA ARIWAYS CONSIDERING COST-CUTTING MEASURES

JOHANNESBURG, South African Airways (SAA), the cash-strapped State-owned national flag carrier, is considering cost-cutting measures which extend to its route network and fleet.

SAA Spokesperson Tlali Tlali said here Monday that no decision had been taken which routes would be affected or how the fleet would be impacted after media reports claimed that that the carrier plans to reduce flights on the Johannesburg-Cape Town route.

It was also reported that SAA planned to cancel all flights from here Port Elizabeth and East London, as well as flights to all central African destinations. Media reports said the airline also wanted to get rid of at least 10 of the more than 50 planes in its fleet, and that it would also cut back on its already reduced international flights.

In the past week, the Democratic Alliance (DA), the country’s main opposition party, revealed in Parliament that the government might sell its stake in fixed line and wireless telecommunications provider Telkom, in which it has a minority stake, in order to finance a 10 billion Rand (about764 million US dollars) bailout for SAA.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told Parliament recently that a turnaround strategy for SAA adopted in 2013 had been abandoned and that the challenges facing the airline could be solved if the latest strategy was implemented aggressively.

He assured Parliament there would be no privatisation of the airline.

Acting SAA CEO Musa Zwane said the executive management had agreed on five key elements to save costs, which include salary cuts, cancellation of routes, fuel management and freezing of posts.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK