South African Airways (SAA) says it will reintroduce international flights on Sunday, but will extend its cancellation of regional and domestic flights after a labour strike brought operations to a standstill on Friday.
The airline said in a statement that it was aiming to operate all international flights leaving from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport from Nov. 17.
“Departures from SAA’s international stations, including London, New York, Washington, Munich, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, are expected to operate from Monday, Nov. 18,” the airline said.
The beleaguered airline cancelled almost all flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday ahead of the strike which saw staff walk off the job and protest outside major airports.
SAA check-in desks were empty and many travellers were caught unawares when they arrived to catch their planes on Friday.
The airline warned that it would assist as many passengers as possible to get alternative flights although not everyone could be accommodated.
The cancellations are a result of ongoing industrial action by the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).
On Thursday, the airline said it would not be able to go higher than its offer of a 5.9 per cent salary increase and that a “no-work-no-pay” principle would apply to employees participating in the strike.
Workers had asked for an 8-per-cent raise.
SAA has long faced financial difficulties.
In June, its board of directors announced that the national carrier needed an additional 4 billion Rand (268 million dollars) in immediate funds to survive the current financial year.