The SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has confirmed that it has concluded SAA’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) renewal. This was the final hurdle that, according to the airline, needed to be completed before it could restart its operations.
This should pave the way for SAA to end the speculation and announce its routes and the launch date for each one.
“The SACAA has concluded the AOC renewal audit of SAA. The operator submitted its final corrective action plan and it was accepted by the regulator. They are authorised to operate both domestic and international routes, as per the AOC read together with Operations Specifications (OpSpec).
“At this stage they are authorised to use only the eight aircraft listed in their OpSpec. Please note however, that approval of routes does not mean that these routes will be serviced immediately,” said Marie Bray, Acting Manager of Communications at the SACAA in an email sent to Tourism Update’s sister publication, Travel News.
SAA Acting CEO, Thomas Kgokolo, said last week that once the SACAA had renewed the airline’s licence, the national carrier would be cleared to restart operations.
In his statement, he also said that SAA remained on track to resume operations with an initial focus on cargo flights before introducing a full passenger service. Running parallel to this process, was a mandatory retraining programme for pilots, which was now also complete.
In the same statement, he said the due diligence process on the Strategic Equity Partnership (SEP) was running concurrently with SAA’s process, aimed at taking to the skies again.
SAA also confirmed that subsidiary, Mango Airlines, would go into business rescue and was receiving top priority with intense consultations under way with all key stakeholders.
“SAA’s Board and Executives are aware that June and July salaries had not been paid to Mango staff and this is receiving urgent attention,” said the airline. It said it still intended to pay the subsidiaries the R2.7bn (€158.1m) in funds that had been appropriated from SAA’s business rescue plan last month, and the news of Mango going into business rescue had not changed that. “The funds gazetted to recapitalise the SAA subsidiaries totalling R2,7bn have not yet been received by SAA. We are in constant contact with our shareholder in this regard,” said Kgokolo.
SAA has confirmed that the Section 189 consultation processes have started for SAA Technical and Air Chefs. “Despite technical operations eventually being slimmed down, core skills and competencies will remain and safety will not in any way be compromised,” he added.