SAA’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs), Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, have clarified that the national carrier will not be resuming domestic flights by mid-June.

The statement from the BRPs, issued today (May 27), follows a flysaa press statement announcing that SAA was retaining its domestic schedule as published between Johannesburg and Cape Town, with effect from mid-June.

In the statement, SAA Chief Commercial Officer, Philip Saunders, was cited as saying: “Everyone at SAA is looking forward to welcoming and serving our customers once again. Our operational preparedness is underlined by the significant role the airline has played in global repatriations to and from South Africa and by our desire to serve the domestic market.”

The BRPs are adamant that the flysaa statement was released in violation of the BRPs’ communications protocol, which was put in place so that unvetted releases were not issued.

“The position around the cessation of flights remains as is until SAA has a better sense of what the level 3 lockdown means in terms of domestic air travel. The airline also needs to consider what the opening of the skies will mean from a commercial and load factor perspective,” said Louise Brugman, Spokesperson for the BRPs.

She added that SAA’s future funding also remained a key variable in all of the above considerations. “It is unfortunate that the unvetted press statement created an unfair expectation on our relevant stakeholders – including SAA’s customers as well as employees.”

The BRPs’ focus is on the publication of the Business Rescue Plan as outlined in the SCOPA update on May 15

Read more from Tourism Update