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SAA suspending operations

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SAA suspending operations

Old 30th Sep 2020, 10:13
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Angry SAA suspending operations

BBC is reporting that South African Airways has suspended all operations and been put into "care and maintenance" by receivers due to the government not providing a promised bailout.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/africa

[quote]

18:18 29 SepSouth African Airways operations suspended
AFPCopyright: AFPOperations of South African Airways (SAA), the country's national carrier, have been suspended with immediate effect.

"This means SAA will complete repatriation flights that have already been scheduled but will not schedule any further flights," Business Day news site reports.

Administrators said they were putting the struggling state-owned carrier under "care and maintenance" until funding for a restructuring plan was found.

The airline was put in bankruptcy protection in December after heavy financial losses in the past few years, which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government has not come up with more than 10.5bn rand ($621m; £483m) to support a restructuring plan outlined by administrators in June, EWN news site reports.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 15:15
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In a novel situation, SAA Technical (a wholly owned subsidiary of SAA) suspended services to SAA and Mango because SAA were in arrears in payments for services. SAAT could not pay 100% salaries in September which also led to a partial strike of staff. Without technical support SAA really could not fly.
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Old 1st Oct 2020, 09:12
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Sad . Another iconic Operator staring at the abyss."Springbok______" on the airways and waves will be missed. Always remember when they took a full page ad in the back of Flight Mag seeking DEFO for 747 Didn't need to be type rated.. There was queue from Slough to Joberg. List was long & distinguished and being right at the bottom, I never got past the starting gate. Know a few who did , enjoyed , but all returned home.
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Old 1st Oct 2020, 13:26
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I too will miss the “Sprrrinbok’ call on the radio.

We all know why it’s gone out of business but can’t say why.

Sad
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 06:58
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As an ex proud employee of SAA I will remember it as it was, then.
Sad to see the southern part of Africa fading away.
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 07:42
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Likewise, was an unbelievable 49 years ago last month when I arrived at Jan Smuts for what was to be a very pleasant 7 years.

Then it was a fabulous airline in every area with wonderful people.

Today.........
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 08:16
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Sadly inevitable like so many state owned airlines in africa. Overstaffed with nepotism and political jobs for the boys.
The writing has been on the wall for many years.
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 08:55
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When I was out there in the seventies, SAA was actually a subsidiary of South African Railways! It was iconic, strangely run and it was rumoured that the female cabin crew were selected by a committee of the chief pilots' wives. It will be sadly missed.

Last edited by Pilot DAR; 2nd Oct 2020 at 15:57. Reason: typo
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 09:17
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I knew someone who joined SAA after Court Line went bust on the 747 .Spent several years there just doing the radio, never allowed to fly it.
Luckily transferred onto B737 and got a better job after a few years.
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 09:58
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Absolutely scandalous to see a once, well respected airline, with well-trained and experienced crews, excellent cabin service, and a modern fleet, brought down by corruption and cronyism.

My next door neighbor flew for them from the day he left the SAAF until reaching retirement, on every version of the 747, the B727 and B707.

He is still around to see the carnage and must be totally gutted.

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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 10:25
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BristolScout

It was South African Railways & Harbours. Quite useful as we got cheap rail passes too
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 12:42
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.....and don't get me started on the state of the South African Railways!
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 13:52
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Wynberg to Simonstown was always kept in good nick.

First Heir nearly arrived on St James beach before we managed to beat a hasty retreat to the hospital.

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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 15:22
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The infamous full length departure from LHR to get airborne for the long trip around Africa.
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 15:26
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Court Line. That brings back memories. About 10 years after they went bust,their helicopter service based in Cape Town,primarily to deliver/collect marine pilots to/from ships rounding the Cape,recruited me to fly S 58s. I was impressed by the skill of their engineers: an S62 (no error 62) had sunk in the harbor. They salvaged it,took it to the hangar and stripped it. They told me they had drilled out every rivet to ensure no salt remained. It was then re-assembled and put back into service. I was fortunate to be given a conversion: it felt like driving a Sycamore tho'with every control 3 times heavier. I don't believe there are many,now,with S62 on their licence. (Expired now at my 86 years.)
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 17:32
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I can identify with Gypsy's comment. Back then, regardless of experience, a gallant aviator joined as the 'boy pilot' on the 747 - cruise relief only - before being posted, eventually, as FO on the lowliest fleet, the HS748. Thence up the fleets in the right-hand seat then back to the 748 as captain and up the fleets yet again. It was a hell of a long haul to a decent command. A different world back then.
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 20:57
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Originally Posted by Trinity 09L View Post
The infamous full length departure from LHR to get airborne for the long trip around Africa.
The other way, JNB to LHR is much worse!
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 21:16
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Was it not over a minute take off roll?
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 22:18
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So sad to hear of their demise, my sympathy to all there who are now out of a job.

I can still hear their 707s Saturday afternoon departures out of Perth, Western Australia ringing in my ears!

Hot isummer temps, chock full of fuel, Max gross weight no doubt, they'd coast out heading west still very low.,trailing black smoke (remember when jet engines did that?) and were a vivid, unforgettable sight.

Their crews would drink in my local - the OBH at Cottesloe, where they were always friendly, keen to encourage and engage with a young chap thrilled with his first flying job. They were regular attendees of the OBH's "Sunday sesh" aka Evensong.

This was the mid-70s and they struck me as great professionals, an impression that never diminished with time.

Waht a waste.


ps, Were those 707s RR Conways? I've a feeling they even carried navigators? I've a feeling someone here will know.
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Old 2nd Oct 2020, 22:48
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Back in the day, they were unable to overfly much of Africa and had to route off the coast around the bulge, enroute to Europe. Fueling stops were in Las Palmas or Ilha do Sol. Due to weight limitations, a full cabin wasn’t possible and IIRC they had 60 seats fewer than BA, which made for plenty of legroom. Also they were one of the few operators of the B747SP.

A very fine airline which, similar to EL AL, couldn’t reach its potential due to politics.

Rumour was that pilots were paid the same as train drivers when it was part of the railways group, anyone able to provide more info ?
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