South African Airways to cut routes

JOHANNESBURG: Plans to cut some of South African Airways’ (SAA) domestic and international routes are aimed at making the airline sustainable and free from government funding after restructuring, experts appointed to try to rescue the company said.
State-owned SAA entered a form of bankruptcy protection in December and is fighting for its survival. The rescue specialists said that SAA would cease flights to Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth from February 29, as well as cutting some international routes, as part of efforts to conserve cash and make the airline more attractive to potential equity partners.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday his government did not agree with plans to cut some of SAA’s domestic routes, plunging rescue efforts for the cash-strapped carrier into uncertainty.
“We recognise the concerns raised, especially around the domestic routes. We will continue to engage with stakeholders, with a commitment to include inputs into the final business rescue plan, which is due to be published by the end of this month,”SAA business rescue practitioners Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana said in a statement.
SAA is among several South African state entities including power company Eskom that are mired in financial crisis after nearly a decade of mismanagement. — Reuters