South African Airways to discontinue own flights to Buenos Aires and will serve Argentinean market through partnerships

Johannesburg,  South Africa, 2013-11-11 — / — South African Airways (SAA), the South African national carrier, announced its full commitment to continue providing travel options to and from Argentina.

Although SAA will discontinue its own operated flights to Buenos Aires on the 28th of March next year, SAA customers will still be able to travel between both countries through numerous flights operated by SAA partners in South America.

“Before discontinuing any route, SAA takes into account a number of factors that include but are not limited to the possible consequences of stopping flights, with due consideration given to how a particular market can still be served,” said Monwabisi Kalawe, SAA CEO.

“Declining passenger volumes and the current economic conditions such as the depreciation of the South African currency against the US Dollar by more than 20% over the last 12 months, and high fuel costs, have played an important role in our decision to rationalise SAA’s long haul network,” added Kalawe.

SAA customers will still be able to conveniently connect to and from various destinations in Argentina via São Paulo/Brazil, where SAA currently operates 11 weekly flights. In its effort to continue offering proper connectivity in the region, SAA has implemented agreements with fellow Star Alliance partners and other major airlines operating between São Paulo and Buenos Aires, as well as to and from other key South American destinations.

SAA’s Long-Term Turnaround Strategy, named Gaining Altitude, will see SAA leveraging more of its Star Alliance membership to extract maximum value. SAA’s approach is to focus on strengthening and expanding partnerships from its own hub airports as well as those of fellow carriers within Star Alliance. SAA will route traffic on thinner markets using its partners’ networks.

Customers already holding ticketed reservations on SAA direct services between Johannesburg and Buenos Aires from the 29th of March, 2014 onwards, will be re-accommodated via SAA’s São Paulo flights in line with the IATA conditions of carriage.

About South African Airways
South African Airways (SAA), Africa’s most awarded airline, operates to 42 destinations worldwide.

In its domestic market SAA has an extensive schedule operating 660 flights in total per week between Johannesburg – Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, from its Johannesburg hub, as well as code-shared flights between Lanseria – Cape Town and Durban. SAA offers more frequencies than any other airline in South Africa.

Regionally, SAA offers 26 destinations across the African continent including Abidjan, Accra, Blantyre, Brazzaville, Bujumbura, Cotonou, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Entebbe, Harare, Kigali, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lilongwe, Livingstone, Luanda, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Ndola, Pointe Noire, Victoria Falls and Windhoek.

SAA’s international network creates links to all major continents from South Africa through 11 direct routes and code shares, with daily flights from Johannesburg to London (Heathrow), Frankfurt, Munich, Mumbai, Perth, Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, Washington, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. SAA has codes share agreements with 27 other airlines across the markets it serves. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC).
SAA is a Star Alliance member which offers more than 21,900 daily flights to 1,328 airports in 195 countries. SAA is the winner of the ‘Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for eleven consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on-time airlines.

For more information contact:
SAA Group Corporate Affairs

Tlali Tlali
Tel: +27 11 978 3819
Mobile: +27 82 333 3880

Twitter: @flysaa