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South African Airways to restart operations

South Africa's state-owned national carrier South African Airways (SAA) will restart flying between limited destinations from 23 September, it said on Twitter, a year after it halted operations as it failed to pay its debt.
A South African Airways aircraft is seen at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa January 12, 2020. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
A South African Airways aircraft is seen at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa January 12, 2020. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

Last month the government had said that it was selling a 51% stake in the carrier to Takatso consortium, which had committed more than R3bn ($200m) to bring the airline back from the brink and restart operations.


SAA is one of a number of South Africa's debt-laden state enterprises that have regularly depended on government bailouts. It entered a form of bankruptcy protection in December 2019, but its condition worsened as the Covid-19 pandemic restricted air travel and hurt its minimal cash flows further.

"After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service," the airline said on Twitter, quoting interim chief executive Thomas Kgokolo.

Initially, SAA will operate flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka and Maputo, the statement on Twitter said, adding that more destinations will be added to the route network as it ramps up operations in response to market conditions.

Last month, Tshepo Mahloele, chairman of Takatso consortium, which includes pan-African investor group Harith Global Partners and aviation group Global Aviation, had said that the R3bn it had committed should be sufficient to operate the airline for 12 to 36 months.


SOURCE

Reuters
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About Promit Mukherjee

Reporting by Promit Mukherjee, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien.

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