South African Airways Cancels Flights As Cash Worries Grow

South African Airways has canceled a number of flights as its financial worries grow. The news comes as last week SAA listed a number of Airbus A340 aircraft for sale on the South African Government’s procurement website.

South African Airways, Flight Cancellations, Cash Worries
South African Airways has canceled flights as cash worries continue. Photo: Getty Images

Things appear to have gone from bad to worse this week as far as South African Airways is concerned. The airline today canceled 38 flights both domestic and international. The airline said that it was consolidating selected domestic and international services. Affected are flights to Cape Town, Durban, and Munich.

Munich flight canceled

The biggest action taken by South African Airways is the temporary cancellation of flights to Munich. The cancellation of flights to Munich began yesterday, and are currently set to extend until Friday. The airline has stated that Munich bound passengers will be rerouted to London and Frankfurt. However, some passengers heading beyond Munich will be rebooked on other partner airlines.

The flights departing Johannesburg have been canceled from the 20th to the 24th of January. Meanwhile, the return leg has been canceled from the 21st until the 25th. SAA’s Munich route is scheduled to run to the following schedule:

  • SA264 is set to depart from Johannesburg (JNB) at 21:15. It should arrive in Munich (MUC) at 07:00 the next day.
  • SA265 is set to depart Munich at 20:30 after spending the day on the ground. It should then arrive back in Johannesburg at 08:20.
South African Airways, Flight Cancellations, Cash Worries
Some Munich passengers are being rebooked onto Star Alliance partners. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia

Domestic consolidation

Some flights to Cape Town have been canceled according to South African Airlines. The airline has said that this is due to Airbus A350 pilot training. The Airbus A350-900 is currently flying to Cape Town for pilot training, meaning that the airline has excess capacity on the route.

As a result, four rotations between Johannesburg and Cape Town have been canceled. Two today, one yesterday, and one on Friday. Meanwhile, ten rotations have been canceled to Durban by the airline. This included three flights yesterday and today. According to the airline, passengers are being rebooked on SAA’s sister airline, Mango, where appropriate.

SAA Airbus A350 Aircraft
South African Airways is operating its A350 to Cape Town for pilot training. Photo: South African Airways

In a statement issued on its website, the airline said:

“These decisions are in line with SAA’s usual policy of reviewing flights and consolidating services with low demand. Furthermore, during the current process of Business Rescue, these cancellations represent a responsible strategy to conserve cash and optimize the airline’s position ahead of any further capital investment.”

Interestingly, flights were canceled yesterday. However, yesterday the airline also issued a statement stating that “flights to all its destinations continue as normal”.

Are you due to fly with South African Airways? Did your flight get canceled? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.