Aviation

South African Airways cancels almost all flights due to strikes

South African Airways (SAA) has cancelled nearly all domestic, regional and international flights scheduled for today and Saturday.

The airline said in a statement the cancellations are to minimise disruption from planned strikes in South Africa.

This means SAA’s services from Johannesburg to Perth will not operate on 15 and 16 November and that the returning services from Perth to Johannesburg as SA281 on 16 and 17 November have been cancelled.

“Our customers and travel partners are front of mind and we have been working hard across our entire global network to provide tangible solutions to get to their final destination over the coming days,” Tim Clyde Smith, regional general manager – Asia Pacific of SAA said.

“Moreover, our travel partners are now enabled to reissue tickets of customers directly impacted by these cancellations. An SAA Trade Alert will be sent shortly on this to provide our partners more details.

“Until these tickets are reissued, customers are advised to follow our re-accommodation travel policy and are requested not to travel to their departure airports unless in possession of a rebooked itinerary.”

The cancellations follow an announcement by the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) that their members will embark on industrial action from Friday morning.

SAA attempted to dissuade the unions from embarking on industrial action by providing firm commitment dates to SAA’s offer of 5.9 per cent. Discussions are continuing to resolve the wage matter at the time of issuing the statement.

The airline has advised that unless alternative arrangements are in place, passengers should not to go to their departure airports during the disruption.

Only flights operated by South African Airways will be affected by the industrial action. All flights operated on partner airlines, including SA Express, Mango, Airlink and all codeshare partners, including flights operated by our Star Alliance partner airlines will not be affected.

The airline has advised passengers will be assisted as follows:

  • If the customer no longer wishes to travel, the booking can be cancelled and a full refund, including taxes, will be offered.
  • Where possible, passengers will be rebooked onto flights operated by any of SAA’s Star Alliance partners to travel to their final destination with minimal disruption.
  • Passengers can be rebooked onto another South African Airways flight for any flight until 31st October 2020 at no extra charge and subject to availability in the same booking class.
  • All tickets must be reissued on or before 30th November 2019.
  • SAA will not be able to provide any support for special service requests or unaccompanied minors during the industrial action.
  • For up-to-date information, please refer to the SAA website www.flysaa.com.

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