The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has confirmed it has re-issued an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) to South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) for both domestic and international flights ahead of the flag carrier's expected relaunch later this month.

According to a SACAA spokesperson, only eight aircraft are currently listed on SAA's AOC operating specifications. The regulator referred ch-aviation to the airline to clarify which aircraft they would be operating as part of this approval.

In a separate statement, SAA confirmed it had been granted a renewed operating license but omitted to clarify which aircraft it would be operating. Spokesperson Vimla Maistry confirmed to ch-aviation that the current certification covered A320 and A340 types totaling eight aircraft. She said that no request for proposals (RFP) for any additional aircraft - and "definitely none for regional jets" - had as yet been issued.

According to the AOC operations specifications shared with ch-aviation, the eight aircraft are the following:

The airline's business rescue plan foresees a fleet of 26 aircraft, comprising 10 "small narrow bodies" (presumably regional jets which SAA has never had); nine narrow-bodies; and seven wide-bodies.

In the statement, SAA interim chief executive Thomas Kgokolo said: “This is an important development as SAA readies itself to take to the skies again in just a few weeks. At our Airways Park headquarters, in hangars, and at terminals around the country, our staff are hard at work in finishing the final preparatory phases before we make an official announcement about the exact take-off date".

“While I acknowledge there is frustration over a delay in confirming this date, all of us at SAA need to make sure vital components in a very complicated and multi-faceted process are working seamlessly before we start. I’m confident that we will be able to make that announcement soon.”

As SAA accelerates its readiness, Kgokolo has also confirmed that all management and specialist pilots have now been appointed and that the pilots who would form the core of the flight crew had been identified and would be brought on board in the next two weeks.

According to the AOC specifications, SAA still holds route rights to the following destinations:

Domestic:

  • Johannesburg O.R. TamboCape Town—Johannesburg;
  • Johannesburg—Durban King Shaka—Johannesburg;
  • Johannesburg—East London—Johannesburg;
  • Johannesburg—Port Elizabeth—Johannesburg;
  • Johannesburg—George—Johannesburg;
  • Port Elizabeth—Cape Town;
  • East London—Port Elizabeth—Durban—Johannesburg—Durban—East London;
  • Johannesburg—Durban—Port Elizabeth—East London;
  • Bloemfontein—Johannesburg—Bloemfontein;
  • George—Port Elizabeth—George.

Regional:

International:

Editorial Comment: Added fleet breakdown and route authorities granted as per AOC opspecs - 05.08.2021 - 09:12 UTC