Planes. SA Express suspends operations. Is it the breakdown?
From today, and until further notice. Covid-19 is not only the cause
The same South African carrier announced it on its web page: air links suspended starting today: "In light of recent negative developments, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, SA Express declares that it will suspend operations from March 18, 2020 until further notice. This decision will impact both customers and staff as follows:
- All customers will be reprotected on alternative flights
- All non-critical SA Express personnel will be placed on mandatory leave during this period".
The airline will use this time "to review its current network and simplify flight operations for greater efficiency". The carrier will report "on any additional developments in due course".
In reality, the epidemic is only a marginal aspect of this stop, because South African Express Airways has been in agony for some time: already at the beginning of this year it was subjected to a corporate rescue procedure, not to mention that within four years it has been grounded twice by the National Civil Aviation Authority for safety reasons. From today, the planes are with the engines off, and unlike the airlines that have indicated the dates of the start and end of the detention around the world, SA Express does not affirm when it will resume operations. Will it ever make it?
The airline, wholly owned by the State, began its operations in April 1994, and although it is operationally independent from South African Airways, its flights are incorporated into the strategic alliance with the latter. Its financial results are unclear and subject to constant review due to accounting errors. As of February, the carrier had 10 Bombardier CRJ-200, four CRJ-700, and ten Q-400 in its fleet.
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