SAA has applied for licences to operate scheduled flights from Guangzhou, China, and Addu City, Maldives.

The applications are for flights to OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport.

According to Tlali Tlali, SAA spokesperson, the applications were primarily aimed at addressing enhancements to the airline’s existing codeshares. “They were not requested with the intention for SAA to commence operating in those markets or destinations.”

However, the direct flights from Guangzhou could be operated by SAA.

Tlali says: “In order to be able to serve any destination in a specific country one has to hold the underlying traffic rights for the number of weekly frequencies that it wants to operate to the specific destination. Should the intention be to only offer codeshare services, only one weekly frequency is required.”

The application made in September last year is for four weekly return flights to Guangzhou; and daily return flights to Addu City.

SAA has also applied for codeshares on flights to Kisumu and Mombasa in Kenya.

Tlali explains that if an airline already holds the underlying traffic rights for a destination in a specific country, only a codeshare licence for the “new” destination is required.

He confirms that the codeshares on these routes would be with Latam and Kenya Airways respectively and adds that SAA will provide further updates in due course.