SAA issues new flight warning

SAA issues new flight warning
By admin

South African Airways will cut its number of flights between Perth and Johannesburg should the airline regulator stick with its decision to block the continuation of its codeshare with Qantas.

In the starkest warning yet that services would suffer, SAA told the International Air Services Commission (IASC) that without feeder traffic from Qantas, it would be forced to “promptly and significantly” reduce flights.

The same will probably be the case for Qantas from Sydney, SAA predicted.

In a nine-page letter to the IASC in support of a new Qantas application (Travel Today, July 5), SAA argued the codeshare brings greater competition and services to the market. It has created “steady growth” and led to daily services from Sydney on Qantas and from Perth on SAA.

A decision to end the codeshare would hit the airline’s bottom line as it would no longer be able to sell fares from New South Wales, SAA said.

“Should the IASC opt not to approve the arrangement, the daily non stop services would most probably cease as both SAA and Qantas would have great difficulty operating the same number of frequencies currently being offered in their respective markets,” head of global sales development and alliances Marc Cavaliere wrote.

“In this exceptionally high cost environment, without the traffic support from each other, neither carrier could realistically sustain the current level of flight activity which will result in reduced choice and increased cost to passengers due to the lack of direct service competition.”

Demand would be too lean without passengers generated by Qantas and costs would mount, he said.

“It would force us to promptly and significantly reduce our flights,” Cavaliere said. “We further hypothesise that QF would no doubt suffer a similar impact.”

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