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Here’s What South African Airways Strike Could Mean For Your Travel Plans

By Parker Diakite

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The future of South African Airways is on thin ice following an employee strike earlier this month to demand higher wages and protest SAA’s announcement of cutting more than 900 jobs.

As a result of the strike,  SAA was forced to ground hundreds of international and domestic flights.

SAA officials said the employee walkout orchestrated by the unions representing a majority of its workforce will cost the airline approximately $3 million per day and threatens its survival, as reported in Reuters.

A statement on SAA’s website said that the government is “not in a position” to make money available to the airline as the pattern of bailouts has become “a moral hazard.”

As SAA works around the clock to negotiate funding from the banks to stay afloat, representatives from the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association, who called the strike, said they will continue until their demands of job security and an 8% wage hike are met.   

So, what does that mean for your travel plans?

As of now,  SAA has resumed some flights to the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany and several of its 25 African destinations.

Flights to Hong Kong, however, will be suspended from Nov. 23 to Dec. 14.

“The decision to suspend services to Hong Kong is regrettable, but necessitated by the current downturn in business due to the developing challenges in the region,” said Philip Saunders, SAA’s Chief Commercial Officer. “By suspending these flights, we can concentrate on resuming more regional services at the earliest opportunity and make better use of all our resources.”

Other flights have been diverted to Mango Airlines and competitors.

The airline announced that it will continue to assess the situation and will keep customers informed of all operational developments on a daily basis.

Travelers can stay up-to-date with South Africa Airways’ cancellations, delays, and more through the company’s website.

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