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By John Bowker and Loni Prinsloo 18 de abril de 2020 06:04 BRT Updated on 18 de abril de 2020 14:49 BRT South African Airways plans to lay off its entire workforce after failing to persuade the government to provide more financial aid, a move that threatens to ground the 86-year-old carrier for good. The state-owned airline has offered severance deals to all 4,700 staff from the end of this month after administrators concluded that a successful turnaround is now unlikely, according to a proposal to eight labor groups seen by Bloomberg News. The basic value of compensation will be one-month pay for each year of service and will depend on the successful disposal of assets such as real estate, according to the document. No agreements have been concluded, the Department of Public Enterprises said in a statement. “There are discussions with the unions to the current South African Airways business model, success of the business rescue process, and the best possible outcome for the airlines employees,” said the statement. SAA has relied on bailouts and state-guaranteed debt agreements for years, having last made a profit in 2011, and was put into a form of bankruptcy protection in December. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said earlier this week that the cost of staving off the Covid-19 pandemic meant no more cash could be extended, while Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said the carrier’s closure could help shore up state finances. Sign up here for our daily coronavirus newsletter on what you need to know, and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest news and analysis. The coronavirus may prove the final nail in the coffin for SAA, which was reducing routes and considering job cuts even before the outbreak forced airlines around the world to ground airplanes. The industry could lose $314 billion in ticket sales this year, according to the International Air Transport Association, as lockdowns and travel bans take an increasingly heavy toll on the global economy. SAA has been flying cargo planes and chartered flights to countries such as Germany and Brazil in recent weeks, but no commercial passenger services. The plan to offer severance packages to all staff was first reported by the News24 website. Asset Sales The team of administrators led by Les Matuson and Sizwe Dongwana will now look to sell assets and raise cash to repay creditors. Two prized nighttime operating slots at London’s Heathrow Airport could be up for grabs, people familiar with the situation said in February. SAA is among several state-owned companies to have become technically insolvent without financial assistance from the South African government, following years of mismanagement and corruption scandals -- particularly under the presidency of Jacob Zuma, which ended in 2018. The airline has had at least nine chief executive officers in the past decade, hampering attempts at a turnaround, while responsibility for the carrier was passed from the Department of Public Enterprises to the National Treasury and back again. (Updates with comments from the government in the third paragraph) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-18/south-african-airways-nears-collapse-with-plan-to-fire-workforce
South African Airways has major issues. The airline continues to lose massive amounts of money, they have an inefficient fleet and route network, their CEO recently resigned, and the government can’t seem to decide just how involved they want to be in SAA’s turnaround (if it ever happens). Currently SAA’s long haul fleet consists of 27 aircraft, including a mix of A330s and A340s. These aren’t especially fuel efficient planes, and up until now the airline hasn’t really had any plans for modernizing their fleet. Well, it looks like that will be changing soon. South African Airways has announced that they’ll add A350-900s to their fleet starting in the second half of 2019. The airline plans to use these planes to fly between Johannesburg and New York JFK, and will lease them for up to three years. It’s my understanding that the airline plans to add two of these aircraft to their fleet, though this detail isn’t specifically written in the press release. SAA says that this plane will reduce fuel burn by about 20% compared to the plane they’re currently using for the route, which is the A340-600. The airline has stated that the plane will have 246 economy seats, and the first six rows of economy will feature extra legroom. SAA hasn’t yet clarified how many business class seats there will be. No exact date has been given for the plane entering service, but rather it’s said that the plane will join the fleet as soon as it has met regulatory authority requirements. Usually airlines order planes years in advance, though in this case it seems like the airline is getting the A350 on fairly short notice, and is only leasing it. While the airline hasn’t officially stated where these planes are coming from, it’s my understanding that these were planes that were supposed to go to HNA Group, and specifically frames B-304Z and B-305A. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they feature reverse herringbone seats in business class, as HNA Group airlines are installing on their newest A350s. SAA isn’t the only airline getting an A350 on short notice. Fiji Airways is also taking delivery of two A350s later this year. These planes were supposed to go to Hong Kong Airlines, but due to their financial situation, Fiji Airways took over the leases. This is an exciting development, and I can’t wait to learn more. Hopefully they also develop a long-term strategy for what they’ll do after the three year lease is up. https://onemileatatime.com/south-african-airways-a350/
04-Jul-2019 7:18 PM South African Airways announces codeshare and frequent flyer agreements with Gol Linhas Aéreas South African Airways (SAA) has signed codeshare and Frequent Flyer agreements with Brazilian airline Gol - Linhas Aéreas (GOL). The agreement will enable SAA to add its code on flights operated by GOL in the Brazilian territory, which will allow SAA customers to integrate their travel with easy connections on flights of both carriers. The codeshare is effective from today and tickets can already be purchased through all SAA sales channels including flysaa.com. The agreement makes it possible for SAA to add its code on 20 connecting flights in Brazil operated by GOL, including Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, and Florianópolis, among others. The codeshare with the leading carrier in the domestic Brazilian market extends SAA’s reach throughout Brazil. Besides the codeshare, the signed Frequent Flyer Programme ("FFP") agreement offers members of each airline’s programmes, Voyager from SAA and Smiles from GOL, the opportunity to accrue and redeem miles. Customers from Smiles can accrue and redeem miles on flights operated by SAA to Africa, Asia and Australia, and Voyager members can accrue and redeem Voyager miles on flights operated by GOL. “We are extremely pleased with this agreement which comes at an opportune time and gives strategic impetus to our strategy of growing partnerships globally to offer our customers more travel options. It is an important step in the execution of our strategy and gives our customers, through our direct flights to Sao Paulo, a number of further travel options to explore Brazil. In turn, the mutually beneficial agreement offers GOL customers the chance to explore the riches of Africa,” says Zuks Ramasia, SAA acting Chief Executive Officer. “The partnership with South African Airways is in line with our commitment to offer a larger international connectivity, with quality of service and integrated products of each carrier. Thus, we enable more destinations options and connectivity bringing more benefits to our clients, with more agility and the smart use of time on their trips,” says Randall Saenz Aguero, GOL’s Director of Alliances, International Expansion and Distribution. This press release was sourced from South African Airways on 03-Jul-2019. https://centreforaviation.com/members/direct-news/south-african-airways-announces-codeshare-and-frequent-flyer-agreements-with-gol-linhas-areas-481536