South Africa’s national airline, which is in a state of bankruptcy, resumed a flight on Thursday for the first time since March 2020.
Passengers on the South African Airways (SAA) flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town were greeted by singing and dancing airline staff before departure.
SAA was once the second-largest airline in Africa after Ethiopian Airlines. The society survived for decades on government bailouts. Even before the corona pandemic hit, the company cancelled several routes.
The South African government agreed in June to sell a 51 percent stake to a group of investors. This paved the way for a potential injection of 171 million euros. However, the airline only recovered from bankruptcy after cutting hundreds of jobs.
That happened after a financial injection of more than 425 million euros from the government and a restructuring of the debt.
In addition to the domestic route that resumed Thursday, SAA plans to begin regional services to Accra, Kinshasa, Lusaka, Harare and Maputo next week. SAA’s fleet now consists of only six aircraft, up from 46.