National carrier, SAA, has issued assurances that it will continue to operate repatriation and cargo flights during the month of May and beyond.

This comes as the 60-day business rescue process comes to an end today (May 8), with the business rescue practitioners, Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, wanting to ground all SAA cargo and repatriation flights as the airline’s funding has run out.

“SAA has no plans to cease its operations on May 8. The airline will honour all existing commitments to provide air transportation services to its customers and any other requests that it receives,” said SAA spokesperson, Tlali Tlali

There are several requests for repatriation flights to operate to North, West and East Africa, the UK, the Middle East, South and North America, and the Far East during the course of this month, which are being considered by the airline.

“We are in ongoing discussions with the Departments of Public Enterprises and International Relations and Cooperation regarding other destinations where South African citizens may be stranded. Further, we are responding proactively in those instances where there is a need for essential humanitarian cargo for our country and for the neighbouring states,” said Interim SAA Executive Chairperson Thandeka Mgoduso.

The airline continues to receive and operationalise requests from various foreign governments that still have their citizens stranded in South Africa. Since April 3, SAA has transported more than 9 100 passengers to six continents and more than 870 tonnes of freight – both export and import consignments – which included essential humanitarian cargo.

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