SAA to implement new strategy

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According to News24, South African Airways has briefed the country’s members of parliament at the public enterprises portfolio committee about presenting a turnaround plan at the end of next month, which might involve cutting some flight routes. SAA board acting chairperson Dudu Myeni said that this would be the ninth plan developed by the airline in 13 years, after discovering that there were eight strategies that were developed but never implemented.

SAA’s new board is ‘hard at work’ finalising a new plan, which will be presented to the government on either 28 March or 2 April. Myeni described the 20-year plan as “cutting-edge”, and vowed it would be more successful than its predecessors, because “it will be developed and owned by our own people”. Responding to questions about why the latest plan would be more credible than previous ones, SAA Acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said the latest “holistic” strategy aimed to achieve “sustainable” business and will take the best elements of the previous ones.

SAA is also set to take “a very hard look” at the routes it flies. Bezuidenhout also called for changes to SAA’s fleet. According to its 2011/12 annual report, the carrier operates 53 aircraft. “If we have the wrong tools for the job, we’re not going to make it,” he said. “Our long-haul fleet will not be profitable unless we adapt and change our fleet.