By Watchdog reporter

South African Airways has confirmed it will cancel flights to Uganda and other five regional destinations due to ‘operational reasons’.

The Airline sent out a notification to trade last week, confirming it “will cut flights to Brazzaville via Pointe Noire in the Congo; Douala in Cameroon via Libreville in Gabon; Kinshasa in the DRC; Entebbe in Uganda; Luanda in Angola; Cotonou in Benin via Libreville in Gabon”.

SAA says it will re-accommodate passengers with alternative travel to be finalized “on/before October 17, 2017”.

Towards the end of August SAA issued a statement saying the airline was set to introduce network changes on the domestic and regional segments of its route network.

According to Traveller 24, SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said at the time, it related specifically to replacement of SAA’s own metal service on certain routes and not total withdrawal. The network changes are said to be part of the airline’s implementation of its newly developed five-year Corporate Plan that seeks to return the company to financial sustainability in the shortest time possible.

In June 2017, SAA aimed to address its current and long-term challenges, and bring more efficiency and financial stability, with the five-year business plan.

“We will continue to provide services to the affected markets, albeit rendered by our partner carriers who will be operating on those routes. In essence, no existing or future customers will experience an adverse impact due to the introduction of the partner carriers, as the change will be managed seamlessly.

A City Press report, previously detailed plans to meet some of its challenges included cutting more than a third of its Johannesburg-Cape Town route – one of the most profitable flight routes in the world, but diminished in gainfulness due to more direct international flights to Cape Town.”

SAA currently has 17 daily return flights between the two cities.