SA Express is making good news.

The airline resumed its Cape Town flights to Bloemfontein and Walvis Bay on January 12 and 13, saying this showed the significant progress SA Express had made in terms of the implementation of its new business strategies.

“Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, we have adopted a new pragmatic model in the way we select our routes, so that, in the end, we only relaunch those routes that can be sustained,” says Siza Mzimela, interim CEO.

The airline is also making strides to overcome its financial troubles, confident that it will break even by the end of the current financial year, says Madikwe Mabotha, SA Express Head of Communications and PR. Mabotha said as much during a recent interview on Radio 702.

“We are very excited about this relaunch in Cape Town,” he said. “Remember, we have been using only OR Tambo as our base. We closed the Durban base [and] we closed the George base because we are really trying to look at ways of doing it differently so that we don’t spread ourselves thin.”

Mabotha also said the airline’s turnaround intervention was well ahead of schedule. “We have 10 of our aircraft certified by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) as worthy to operate. We are operating 10 regional and local routes, including Botswana, Gaborone, Walvis Bay, Namibia, Lubumbashi, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and so on.”

Update on refunds

The airline has confirmed to Tourism Update that it has processed more than 90% of the refunds relating to its grounding in May last year by the SACAA.

The outstanding refunds may be the result of multiple factors, some of which are outside SAX’s control, says Clint Harris, Customer Care Team Leader. This includes tickets purchased where the issuing carrier is a foreign airline, meaning SA Express cannot issue the refund for that ticket; and passengers who may have used a cheque card to pay for the ticket, in which case additional information would be required before the refund could be processed, among other issues.

Agents who have queries regarding refunds should contact Clint directly.