South African Airways (SAA) international flights resumed today, despite the industrial action continuing in SA since last Friday.  SAA’s first scheduled service from the Asia Pacific region will depart tomorrow with SA281 from Perth to Johannesburg and SA287 from Hong Kong to Johannesburg.

SAA reinstated international flights to seven international destinations from Sunday night – November 17 - and has advised passengers to report to their departure airport as normal when in possession of a rebooked itinerary.

Tim Clyde Smith, Regional General Manager – Asia Pacific said, “While International flights have resumed, SAA have worked  hard to reaccommodate our domestic passengers with subsidiary airline Mango and are working on restoring as many regional networks as we can.”

Clyde- Smith reiterated the commercial significance of SAA’s Perth to Johannesburg route for the airline,  “Over the last few days, it has been SAA’s key objective to minimise the impact of disruptions for our valued customers and travel partners and we will continue to keep our customers and partners as our number one priority.

“We would like to thank them for their understanding and support and apologise for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of flights as a result of ongoing industrial action by the South African Cabin Crew Association and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.”

SAA took a decision to reinstate international service on its route network after assessment of its personnel numbers who are available and willing to operate the flights. Whilst some employees are on strike and have elected to do so in exercising their rights, the airline has a duty to render services to its customers where it has employees who have elected to report for work. All employees have rights protected in law on both sides of the divide.  

The seven destinations are New York, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, Perth, London, Frankfurt, and Washington. Customers are requested not to travel to their departure airport unless in possession of a rebooked itinerary. 

Customers seeking a refund or wishing to rebook their travel on a future SAA service have until 30 November 2019 to finalise their arrangements.