Troubled State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) has reported that it is in talks with other airlines on renewing or creating new commercial partnerships. SAA stressed, in its statement, that these discussions were only about “commercial agreements such as interline, codeshare, cargo as well as possibilities of these airlines taking some of our excess flight deck and cabin crew staff.”
These talks had nothing to do with finding a partner to invest in the embattled airline. “We have not discussed any possibility of them investing in SAA as part of [a] SEP [Strategic Equity Partner] process.”
The airlines concerned were listed as Air Mauritius, Emirates, Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airways and Unite Airlines. (It is not clear if the last is a typographical error and should be United Airlines.)
Last November the airline started a programme to rationalise its routes and its total network. These talks form part of that process.
They have been taking place over the past six months. Their aim is to re-energise the South African carrier’s “commercial delivery” using its current relationships and by developing new, mutually-beneficial, ones.
“South African Airways is making steady progress in implementing its turnaround plans to lead the company to financial sustainability,” it assured in its statement. “Network optimisation and development is an important part of the airline’s turnaround strategy.”