South Africa: SAA Aims to Break Even in 2021, Despite the Projected R7.2bn Loss in Next Two Years

South African Airways Airbus A340.

SAA executives say they have a plan. The airline will be restructured into three units, although differently from Eskom, with a new focus on innovation and profitability. It just needs to get out of the woods first.

South African Airways (SAA) has hired a slew of top executives since Vuyani Jarana was appointed CEO in 2017 with the basic aim of turning the airline around and finally turning a profit.

Looking to contain costs and increase revenue, they have been analysing which routes are profitable.

When chief restructuring officer Peter Davies asked managers about SAA's second daily flight to London, they looked at him blankly. SAA was losing $50,000 every day on the flight. He asked them again.

"They looked as blank as they had before," he said.

SAA executives briefed the media on Monday at the Southern Sun OR Tambo International Airport Hotel on the airline's long-term turnaround strategy. If it works, SAA will break even in 2021 after failing to make a profit since 2011.

The airline will create three business units, focusing on domestic, international, and regional operations. They will share services such as finance, human resources, commercial and legal and each answer to SAA management.


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