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Airlines update: South African Airways lays off all staff

written by Dylan Nicholson | April 20, 2020
South African Airways funded the cabin crew study. (Arcturus/Wikimedia Commons)
South African Airways funded the cabin crew study. (Arcturus/Wikimedia Commons)

South African Airways will lay off all of its staff at the end of April after the national government ruled out further assistance to the struggling airline.

Bloomberg has obtained a document that outlines the severance package of the 4,700 employees will leave the company in as little as 12 days. The carrier will make sales of its assets to foot the salary payouts.

The airline had been struggling prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with the South African government contributing $1.1 billion over three years to keep the airline running. However, as they reject any further assistance, it’s looking like the end of the road for the airline.

In other airline news around the world this past weekend:

  • Air Arabia Abu Dhabi launch will still go ahead, despite the issues caused by coronavirus. The low-cost airline, based in the United Arab Emirates, is scheduled to launch in Q2 of 2020.
  • AirAsia will resume domestic flights starting at the end of this month in Malaysia with other countries to follow. These are: Malaysia 29 April, Thailand 1 May, Philippines May 1st, India 4 May, Indonesia 7 May.
  • Japanese airlines are continuing on with domestic operations despite a significant drop in demand. On 17 April, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced an additional round of domestic flight cuts. However, the cuts are not precisely lined up with the drop in demand. In fact, both airlines are operating significantly more flights than there is demand.
  • Virgin Australia has been thrown a lifeline offer from the Queensland government in Australia in the form of a $200 million bailout. This cash injection comes with the stipulation that the airline keeps its headquarters in the state’s capital, Brisbane, and continues regional flights.
  • It has been revealed that two of Malaysia’s largest airlines are contemplating a merger, in a bid to ensure both parties survive. In a Reuters exclusive, a senior minister of Malaysia’s government confirmed that a merge between loss-making Malaysia Airlines and carrier AirAsia was being considered as an option.

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