SAA’s ‘profitable’ overseas link under threat

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The direct South African Airways link between Johannesburg and Buenos Aires is under threat – despite claims that the route makes a profit.

But SAA admitted yesterday that it had alluded to the possibility it could cease operating on certain routes, when it presented its long-term turnaround strategy in Parliament last month.

A group of South Africans and Argentinians involved in tourism raised concerns about non-stop flights being cut between Johannesburg and Buenos Aires.

In a letter addressed to Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba the group said SAA’s three current non-stop weekly flights between Johannesburg and Buenos Aires provide essential passenger, cargo and mail conduits between the two countries.

“This route is one which achieves revenue targets well

beyond comparative routes the airline flies,” the concerned group said.

“These three weekly SAA flights are the only on-line airline services between the countries.”

However, SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali said all of the carrier’s long haul routes were making a loss – and this included the Johannesburg-Buenos Aires route.

“In the light of the finding we have made, we needed to embark on a rigorous stakeholder engagement process leading to our final decisions on these,” Tlali said.



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