Johannesburg: Statement by South African Airways Spokesperson Tlali Tlali

South African Airways this morning issued an update release on the substantial progress that has been made during the first quarter after the successful implementation of the 90 Day Action Plan. An excerpt reads: “South African Airways (SAA) continues to drive implementation of its Long-Term Turnaround Strategy across the business. While commercially the airline has adjusted capacity against declining demand, 81% aggregate load factors marked the first quarter of the 2015/16 fiscal. The business has reduced operating costs by 14% and by beginning August SAA would have introduced two new commercially viable routes (Johannesburg Abu Dhabi in March and Accra Washington on 2 August) while the positive impact of improvement opportunities and efficiencies in its network should realise a positive impact of R 2,5 billion in annualized earnings.”

  1. South African Airways has made significant strides toward business stability during the 90 Day Action Plan period, followed by a positive first quarter of Long-Term Turnaround Strategy implementation.
  2. Mr. Nico Bezuidenhout, in his current role as SAA Acting Chief Executive Officer, has successfully led the business during one of the most critical periods in its 81 year history; with a dedicated management and staff, he has re-stabilised the airline from what has become a broken business over time, back into stability and ultimately to expected full recovery.

Baseless rumour mongering around SAA, such as the unsubstantiated gossip published in today’s Business Day, has been a pandemic in the media for several years. SAA remains focused on turning around the business and Mr. Bezuidenhout’s interim leadership has been critical in returning SAA to relative stability. He remains committed to the SAA Group and this is fully recognised by the Shareholder, the Board, his management colleagues, staff and key stakeholders.

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