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KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala. Photo: GCIS/KwaZulu-Natal

SAA flight cuts: KZN premier livid over ‘economic sabotage’

Zikalala has pulled a grand total of zero punches in lambasting the failing airline

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KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala. Photo: GCIS/KwaZulu-Natal

“Who are we serving as a country and province?” 

These were the words of Kwazulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala who accused South African Airways (SAA) of “economic sabotage” after it’s decision to sustain flight cuts to his province.

SAA cut flights to Durban, other major metros

In January, the embattled airline said that they would be cutting several prominent flight routes to assist with their efforts to cut back on expenditure. SAA are currently undergoing business rescue. 

Apart from Cape Town and Johannesburg, all domestic destinations – including Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth – will cease to be operated by SAA on 29 February 2020.

Zikalala said that the move was unacceptable and vowed to fight the decision with all his might. 

“We believe they will still talk about shutting down the flights – it will result in economic sabotage,” he said while addressing the media on Wednesday. “We are not going to take that.”

“It will add to unemployment.” 

“People in South Africa must become unemployed while people overseas are employed by SAA. We create domestic unemployment and safeguard job opportunity in a foreign land.”

“Those are things we are going to engage with the National Government.”

BRPs confident flight cuts will help 

Business rescue practitioners assisting with the SAA conundrum say that the decision to tighten the belt and reduce flight frequency was going to propel the company towards a sustainable growth model.

“The initiatives we are taking now will strengthen SAA’s business. We believe that this should provide reassurance to our loyal customers that SAA is moving in the right direction.

“We are focused on our mandate to restore SAA’s commercial health and create an airline that South Africans will be proud of,” the BRPs said.

SAA are set to release their business rescue plan at the end of February.