More cancellations for SAA but int’l flights could re-start Nov. 17

JOHANNESBURG — South African Airways has extended its cancellation of all domestic and regional flights scheduled for Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, however the airline says it is aiming to operate all international flights departing from O.R. Tambo International Airport starting Nov. 17.

Departures from SAA’s international gateways including New York, Washington, London, Munich, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, are expected to operate starting Nov. 18 (with the first departure from São Paulo expected to operate Nov. 17 and the first departure from Perth on Nov. 19).

SAA is currently in the first day of an open-ended strike by two of its unions, a strike that has forced the cancellation of virtually all domestic, regional, and international flights today and tomorrow.

Earlier this week SAA said that any strike endangers the future of the airline and threatens jobs. The extension of cancellations is a result of ongoing industrial action by the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).

SAA is working with its sister airline, Mango Airlines, which is not impacted by the strike, to re-accommodate as many passengers as possible travelling on domestic flights. Passengers booked to fly to destinations in the regional market (on the African continent) will be re-accommodated on Airlink, a partner airline of SAA, and other airlines where possible, however, it will not be possible to re-accommodate all customers, says the airline.

Passengers looking for a refund or to rebook their travel on a future SAA flight have until Nov. 30, 2019 to finalize their arrangements. SAA’s U.S. contact centre, which also serves Canada, is in Fort Lauderdale and can be reached at 1-800-722-9675.

Where possible, passengers will be rebooked onto flights operated by any of SAA’s Star Alliance partners or other airlines to travel to their final destination with minimal disruption.

Passengers can be rebooked onto another SAA flight for any flight on the same routing until Oct. 31, 2020 at no extra charge and subject to availability in the same booking class.

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