12 November 2013
South African Airways (SAA) has announced its commitment to continue providing travel options to and from Argentina, despite discontinuing its direct flights to Buenos Aires from 28 March next year.
The airline said in a statement on Monday that customers will still be able to travel to Argentina on SAA via Brazil (where the airline operates 11 weekly flights), or between South Africa and Argentina via flights operated by the airline’s partners in South America.
SAA has made travel agreements with fellow Star Alliance partners (made up of Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines and Thai and United Airlines), and other major airlines operating between Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, as well as to and from other key South American destinations.
“Before discontinuing any route, SAA takes into account the possible consequences of stopping flights, with consideration given to how a particular market can still be served,” SAA chief executive Monwabisi Kalawe said.
He added that the decision to rationalise the carrier’s long-haul network was the result of “declining passenger volumes and the depreciation of South Africa’s currency against the US dollar by more than 20% over the last 12 months, and high fuel costs.”
SAA’s long-term turnaround strategy will see the airline using more of its Star Alliance membership to gain the most benefits out of the partnership.
Customers already holding ticketed reservations on SAA direct services between Johannesburg and Buenos Aires from 29 March 2014 onwards will be re-accommodated via SAA’s Sao Paulo flights, in line with IATA conditions of carriage.