The deadline for publishing the SAA business rescue plan has been extended to May 29, following a call by President Cyril Ramaphosa for the country to go into lockdown for three weeks, starting at midnight tonight.

Confirming that the extension application had been granted today, Louise Brugman, spokesperson for the SAA business rescue practitioners, Siviwe Dongwana and Les Matuson, told Tourism Update that the business rescue plan was still “very much in play”.

“Despite going into lockdown from tomorrow, the Section 189 restructuring process is being conducted virtually as there is no time to waste,” she added.

Brugman said while variable costs – such as fuel and parking fees – had been reduced following the grounding of flights, fixed costs remained the same. “The latter includes salaries, which we will pay at the end of the month.”

Furthermore, while international, regional and other domestic routes have been shelved until May 31, SAA hopes to resume domestic Cape Town and Johannesburg flights after lockdown (April 17).

“This is dependent on there not being further lockdowns or travel restrictions announced by government in the interim,” said Brugman.

Updated policy from SAA

The SAA policy provides for changes for a period that extends beyond the industry norm (where ordinarily tickets are valid for only six months for domestic travel and 12 months for international travel), which is up until 2022. Below is a summary of the policy:

  • The policy applies to tickets issued on/before March 24, 2020 and new tickets issued up to August 31, 2020.
  • Customers holding an 083 ticket for flights operated by SAA will be offered a refund in the form of a credit that can be used for future travel.
  • Customers holding an 083 ticket for flights marketed by South African Airways in the flight range 7000-7999 and Mango codeshare flights will also qualify for the credit.
  • The value of the credit will equal the value of the unused sectors (coupons).
  • The original ticket rules will be waived.
  • The credit must be used between the period March 24, 2020 and March 24, 2022.
  • The credit can be used to purchase another ticket of the same/lower value or used as part payment for a ticket with a higher value.
  • Any additional amount to be collected (i.e. fares, taxes and surcharges) will be for the passenger’s account.
  • Change of routing will be permitted.
  • This travel advisory waives the 72-hour rule.

The full policy is available at www.flysaa.com