SAA Continues Long-Term Turnaround Strategy with new US Flight

South African Airways (SAA) has continued the implementation of its long-term turnaround strategy across the business to combat declining demand.

South African Airways (SAA) has continued the implementation of its long-term turnaround strategy across the business to combat declining demand.

The national airline for South Africa, and official carrier for World Routes 2015 has reduced operating costs by 14 percent and will be commencing another “commercially viable route” to Washington from Accra next month, following a new route between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi which was launched in March this year.

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It said while commercially the airline has adjusted capacity against declining demand, 81% aggregate load factors marked the first quarter of the 2015/16 fiscal year.

By the beginning of August, SAA would have introduced two new commercially viable routes. While the positive impact of improving opportunities and efficiencies in its network should realise a positive impact of R2.5 billion in annualised earnings,” said a spokesperson for the national carrier.

SAA has also increased frequencies to key African destinations including Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritius, with Africa remaining a key focus area for the airline, due to the important contribution aviation has the potential to make to the further economic development and growth on the continent.

“The positive commercial impact of a demand-side response not only indicates that there are positive gains to be made through network efficiencies but, that sound commercial decision making will benefit the business in the medium to long term,” said SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout.

Operationally, SAA has been ranked amongst the best airlines in the world that operates in excess of 10,000 flights per month, for its on-time performance since March this year. In June, the national carrier was ranked fourth globally.

“As far back as 2011 an Airbus forecast pegged annual air traffic growth of 6.5% annually for Africa leading up to 2020. And SAA plans to be a leading and very active role player in this market,” added Nico Bezuidenhout.

SAA serves 67 destinations worldwide in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low-cost carrier, Mango. SAA has codes share agreements with United Airlines, Air Canada and JetBlue Airways, which offer convenient connections from more than 30 cities to SAA’s flights.

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