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LAXintl
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SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:48 am

Long time sick South African Airways received an emergency loan to cover fuel costs, preventing the grounding of its local and international flights.

Finance Ministry provided SAA a R550 million (USD $64 million) bank facility to help cover fuel and other short term operational commitments over the next 3-months.

Last fall SAA requested a R5 billion government bail-out, after posting another year of loses that exceeded R1.25 billion.

Story:
http://allafrica.com/stories/201301070749.html
and
http://www.ukzambians.co.uk/home/201...-r1-25-billion-lessons-for-zambia/

=
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LFutia
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:51 am

Is SAA bleeding money that badly? I doubt that they would go under soon or would they?

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LAXintl
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:19 am

SAA is sadly a classic example of how a well organized business enterprise can be turned into a government lackey under a patronage system. The last decade has seen SAA plundered and become a revolving door for inept government management while the losses pile up.

If you want a interesting (and sad) read, check out the book Jetlag by Denis Beckett. Its basically starts in the Coleman Andrews era (1998-2001) when SAA began to be stripped of its assets (and much-trumpeted fake profit were generated). Terrible wastage and financial discrepancies started to become the norm at this once proud and solid 70-year old institution.
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RWA380
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:49 am

I am by no means an expert in African economics, but wouldn't the reduction/demise of SA not only be a hard hit for S. Africa but also the entire Continent of Africa? With SA being the largest carrier operating on the Continent, a void like that would not easily be filled, therefore isn't South Africa to some point, obligated to keep SA afloat, even if not legally? The financial ripple affect across Africa would take already struggling countries over the brink, paying other carriers to provide cargo lift alone, let alone passenger service, IMHO.
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:05 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 3):
With SA being the largest carrier operating on the Continent, a void like that would not easily be filled, therefore isn't South Africa to some point, obligated to keep SA afloat, even if not legally? The financial ripple affect across Africa would take already struggling countries over the brink, paying other carriers to provide cargo lift alone, let alone passenger service, IMHO.

That my friend is the real world. Capitalism at its best. Put up or shut up. SA obviously did not put up. They have become a very weak brand, weak financially, and their maintenance record has run into several spots of bother very recently.

Comair could fill in some of the gap using BA.

Although, I do have to say that the SA air market has not been very good lately. Look at the carriers servicing CPT; it has drastically reduces. To my knowledge BA is the only airline to announce an increase in service recently.
 
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:13 am

How are the airlines from countries that compete with SA going to react to this bail-out, specially since the ones from the EU can´t get government bailouts, or am I wrong?
 
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:23 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 5):
How are the airlines from countries that compete with SA going to react to this bail-out, specially since the ones from the EU can´t get government bailouts, or am I wrong?

Well most EU airlines cannot get government aid (BA, LH, IB etc) due to anti-competitiveness laws. However some airlines like, AF and TAP are in fact still nationalized, giving them access of cash funds if necessary.

The reaction will not be find, but what can they do? And they risk upsetting the SA government if they make too much of a fuss, thereby putting the bilateral agreements under shaky circumstances.
 
blueflyer
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:01 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 5):
How are the airlines from countries that compete with SA going to react to this bail-out, specially since the ones from the EU can´t get government bailouts, or am I wrong?

They won't like it, but there's nothing they can do, short of suing in South Africa if they find some reason to. SAA doesn't have enough of a significant presence in any EU country to make a difference in the marketplace overall, so EU regulators will not intervene.

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 6):
However some airlines like, AF and TAP are in fact still nationalized, giving them access of cash funds if necessary.

Almost entirely wrong!

81% of AirfranceKLM's shares (and voting rights) are in private hands.

The EU's ban on unauthorized state-aid applies to all EU-based carriers, irrespective of their ownership. Just ask Malev. Its collapse came about in 2012 after the EU ordered the return to the Hungarian government of illegal subsidies. Hungary tried to make the case that the airline was a "national asset" and couldn't be forced to return the subsidies, but the EU didn't flinch. The carrier shut down almost immediately because it didn't have enough cash to both repay the subsidies and fund its operations.

TAP, on the other hand, is indeed state-owned, one of two among the 20 largest European airlines.
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speedbird128
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:53 am

Let them die.

They can enjoy the medicine that One Time, Flitestar, and many others enjoyed, while SAA operate with no need, or desire, to make a single cent profit, knowing that standing with their begging bowls out garners (regularly, too) billions of rand in bailouts.

All this whilst wasting money on re-fleeting and new A320, when they actually had them and so forth and so on.

I will never fly SAA. I fund them through my income tax. Why should I pay double for a flight? I'd rather give Comair my money - and have some cabin crew that smile at me occasionally.
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:42 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 7):
Hungary tried to make the case that the airline was a "national asset" and couldn't be forced to return the subsidies, but the EU didn't flinch

Well, knowing how the things go in EU, in the case of France they WILL finch. At least.
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thegreatRDU
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:28 pm

This actually an issues for all the major African airlines, the majority are state-owned

Look at Kenya Airways, they were spun off with an IPO, they tried to make cuts to labor redundancies because they are losing money too and were hit with court injunctions and union strife left and right, eventually they were forced to back down and rehire the employees.

The point I'm making is this , even if SAA or others are privatized their respective governments will probably prevent them for doing anything drastic to restructure themselves to profitability.

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 4):
That my friend is the real world. Capitalism at its best.

No it's not, because it's government owned. It's not a private institution.
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airbazar
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:07 pm

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 6):
Well most EU airlines cannot get government aid (BA, LH, IB etc) due to anti-competitiveness laws. However some airlines like, AF and TAP are in fact still nationalized, giving them access of cash funds if necessary.

That's incorrect. Being nationalized does not "give them access to cash funds if necessary". No EU airlines can get state funding no matter who their owner is. In fact in the EU it's bad to be state owned which is why TP is trying to be privatized. That's because unlike government owned airlines, in the EU and everywhere else, private companies can get cash injections from their investors if such is necessary.

[Edited 2013-01-14 08:09:47]
 
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dabpit
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:11 pm

Yes they received a bail out. However all governments tend to bailout their respective companies
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speedbird128
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:54 pm

Quoting dabpit (Reply 12):
Yes they received a bail out.

Hardly just "a bailout"... this has been going on for decades. They have received between R16 and R18 *BILLION* of taxpayers money....

SAA are incapable of producing a cent. They have money printing routes, yet, amazingly, are unable to make money. Instead they managed to lose R1 billion in the last year alone.
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LAXintl
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:03 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 3):
I am by no means an expert in African economics, but wouldn't the reduction/demise of SA not only be a hard hit for S. Africa but also the entire Continent of Africa? With SA being the largest carrier operating on the Continent, a void like that would not easily be filled,

There are 54 African states, and SAA serves 18 of them.

But due to geography at the Southern cone the airline is not much use as a connecting hub as most routes require a major back track.
So SAA is really an O&D player in most of these markets flying people to / from SA, not some irreplaceable continental business enterprise.
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sweair
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:13 pm

No one bitches about private banks getting bailed out, I just dont get this whine everywhere, greed and whine.
 
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:36 pm

Quoting sweair (Reply 15):
No one bitches about private banks getting bailed out, I just dont get this whine everywhere, greed and whine.

That´s absolutly true and I agree with you, but here we talk about airlines not politics and banks.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 14):
There are 54 African states, and SAA serves 18 of them.

What are the worse performing routes?? I know Nairobi must be in the list because they keep downgrading and I think now they don´t even fly, I haven´t seen them in a long time, and right now KQ is 3x day.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 14):
But due to geography at the Southern cone the airline is not much use as a connecting hub as most routes require a major back track.
So SAA is really an O&D player in most of these markets flying people to / from SA, not some irreplaceable continental business enterprise.

exaclty and the few traffic they can attract from Brazil or Australia to connect now they can use QR, EK and soon even ET and KQ to connect to Asia or middle east.


What´s not fair in this kind of situations is that government didn´t do this for 1time for example or other airlines but they do for SAA, I know they can give us many excuses, but it´s not fair with the competence at all...
 
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:42 pm

Quoting migair54 (Reply 16):
I know they can give us many excuses

Legitimately, they cannot give many excuses. All it boils down to is incompetence. Simple as that.
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:52 pm

 
Viscount724
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:20 pm

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 6):
However some airlines like, AF and TAP are in fact still nationalized, giving them access of cash funds if necessary.

AF isn't nationlized. The French government only owns about 15% of AF-KL, but that doesn't give them any more rights to state aid than any other EU carrier. That would be true even if they were 100% state owned.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:07 pm

This is sad. SAA has so much potential, if only it were run as a company instead of a government service.

Maybe they can hock their recent 'airline of the year' award:
http://www.skyclub.com/news/2012/12/...irline-of-the-year%E2%80%99-award/

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 3):
I am by no means an expert in African economics, but wouldn't the reduction/demise of SA not only be a hard hit for S. Africa but also the entire Continent of Africa?

What time frame? Eventually the market would replace the service. There is no reason SAA couldn't be wound down over two years. Put out a schedule and watch private industry fill the gaps... There would be pain at first, but then service would resume. Much of it by foreign airlines... Cest la vie.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 3):
With SA being the largest carrier operating on the Continent, a void like that would not easily be filled,

A fleet of 30 narrowbodies and 24 widebodies could be displaced pretty quickly. Now the service would shift and non-profitable routes/frequencies would be cut.

Replace short haul with a LCC. U2 South Africa or FR South Africa... It would surprise me if DH wouldn't be willing to set up a South African branch.   

And fastjet will soon enter South Africa (if they buy 1time):
http://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/2...ost-carrier-fastjet-does-it/23313/

Things will get worse, not better, for SAA when a LCC enters their market.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 7):
Quoting AR385 (Reply 5):
How are the airlines from countries that compete with SA going to react to this bail-out, specially since the ones from the EU can´t get government bailouts, or am I wrong?

They won't like it, but there's nothing they can do, short of suing in South Africa if they find some reason to.

Some, such as the mid-east will have no choice but to take it. I wonder about the largest European nations though... I don't think they'll do a thing, but writing a protest letter would be wise.

Quoting sweair (Reply 15):
No one bitches about private banks getting bailed out,

Oh yes they do!

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dabpit
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:06 pm

Yes SAA needs to change how they do business but like a lot of state owned companies that does not come easy. This happens in a lot of industries not just the airline industry.
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LH7478i
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:36 pm

Quoting sweair (Reply 15):
No one bitches about private banks getting bailed out

I don't want to carry this thread off topic, but I think there wouldn't be much left if there were no bank bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis.

In case of SAA, would it really hurt that much if it would go belly up ? Connections to other continents probably wouldn't affected at all as the big boys from Europe and EK,QR, etc.. will fulfill the travelers wishes. In regard of the intra african services, routes which can sustain a service will be served by Comair or some even a start-up sooner or later.
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speedbird128
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:11 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 3):
With SA being the largest carrier operating on the Continent

Although on the other end of it, it is still africa though - I believe MS Egyptair to be a touch larger.

SAA would not be missed that much. Life would carry on for the better.
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dcann40
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:32 pm

Quoting Speedbird128 (Reply 23):
SAA would not be missed that much. Life would carry on for the better.

Yes life would go on, but I think it has a great brand and it would be missed.
 
idlewildchild
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:36 am

Oh boy... I'm scheduled JFK-JNB-CPT-JNB-JFK (side trip to MSU) in J class come mid February. I was excited and now this thread's made me anxious. I just checked to see if I could get on LH/LX (mileage ticket) and everyone looks full.

Anyone want to make me feel better about SA203/SA204? Also, are we now sure they'll be flying 12FEB and 22FEB?

Thanks
 
qf340500
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:52 am

Speedbird128, is there a special reason why you hate SAA much? Sounds like you really have not one sinle good or decent word, not even a letter for them?

I always find this airline nice and refreshing.... but thats my 2cents only

hope it works out for them, love the livery very much!
 
tardis
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:00 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
If you want a interesting (and sad) read, check out the book Jetlag by Denis Beckett. Its basically starts in the Coleman Andrews era (1998-2001) when SAA began to be stripped of its assets (and much-trumpeted fake profit were generated). Terrible wastage and financial discrepancies started to become the norm at this once proud and solid 70-year old institution.

Mr. Andrews, airline destroyer, rather than airline fixer.
 
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boeingrulz
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:34 am

WIth their huge fuel surcharges one would think that they had fuel covered.
 
speedbird128
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:09 am

Quoting qf340500 (Reply 26):
Speedbird128, is there a special reason why you hate SAA much? Sounds like you really have not one sinle good or decent word, not even a letter for them?

Having been involved in the aviation sector in SA for quite some time, its a bitter pill to swallow when every other competitor is slaughtered at the hands of SAA and their bailouts. Those very people that do an honest days hard work. Only to lose their jobs because a subsidised money wastage system (ie SAA) gets, as I said nearly 20 BILLION of my tax money. *Every* SA airline should be given billions to fund their new fleets.

The exorbitant salaries. The inefficiency. The attitude - like issues that have been raised with their customer care department ignored.

If BA / Comair can turn profits in this business environment, then so can SAA.

There are some really good employees at SAA . But the entity as a whole is riddle with cancer.
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boeingrulz
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:06 pm

Very sad to hear about SAA problems. I flew them in the olden days (1970's) and they were a world class airline. Service was one of their points of pride. I know the entire industry has changed since then but some airlines have been able to keep up service standards.
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:17 pm

Quoting idlewildchild (Reply 25):
Oh boy... I'm scheduled JFK-JNB-CPT-JNB-JFK (side trip to MSU) in J class come mid February. I was excited and now this thread's made me anxious. I just checked to see if I could get on LH/LX (mileage ticket) and everyone looks full.

I wouldn't worry, if they just got a bailout, they're gonna be fine for next month!
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
dcann40
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:28 pm

Quoting boeingrulz (Reply 30):
Very sad to hear about SAA problems. I flew them in the olden days (1970's) and they were a world class airline. Service was one of their points of pride. I know the entire industry has changed since then but some airlines have been able to keep up service standards.

Has SAA aways been state subsidized however? Or is this just a one-off?
 
thegreatRDU
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:05 pm

Quoting dcann40 (Reply 32):
Has SAA aways been state subsidized however? Or is this just a one-off?

SAA has always been owned by the government
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LAXintl
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:28 am

Quoting dcann40 (Reply 32):
Has SAA aways been state subsidized however? Or is this just a one-off?

Short history.

Formed in 1930s when SA government acquired a private operator and renamed it South African Airways.

For much of its life SAA (then known as SAL) while government owned ran along the lines of a commercial enterprise. It was managed as a division of Transnet the transport and infrastructure authority in SA and actually generated profits as did several other Transnet enterprises.
As South Africa could not fly over many African countries it was forced to fly around the bulge or refuel at Cape Verde to maintain services to European countries, but the government helped cover this great extra expense.

Following end of apartheid, what should have been a glory period as the world opened up to SA, the company became a basket case with all types of scandals including outright financial impropriety along with repeated changes in management imposed on it by the new government.
SAA was separated "sold off" from Transnet and basically is now a fully nationalized toy under the authority of the treasury.
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koruman
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:48 am

OP,
It's monumentally offensive to call SAA a formerly proud and solid institution.

Especially when it operated under Apartheid for 46 of those years.

We can complain about it not being run as a sound business now. But don't ever, ever forget that they had to buy 747SPs because they were a pariah airline from a pariah nation.

It's funny how US-based people seem to have massive gaps in the understanding of this period, and especially how Cuba's aerial supremacy after Cuito Cuanavale made Apartheid collapse after they bombed the Calueque dam and threatened to bomb Cape Town.

SAA has a history, for sure. But pre-1994 that history is a story of shame, of prejudice and of colloboration with evil.

And for once I can write such words without even coming close to breaching forum rules. Because to argue otherwise is akin to applauding slavery.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:57 am

Apartheid had nothing to do with the airline.

It would be like connecting Delta with being a deep southern airline and US segregation, or Aeroflot for being the transportation arm of an repressive atheist regime, or Saudia for being part of a state that stones people.

If you wish to discuss apartheid then suggest a NonAv thread.
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RWA380
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RE: SAA Receives Emergency Bail Out From Government

Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:00 am

Quoting boeingrulz (Reply 30):
Very sad to hear about SAA problems. I flew them in the olden days (1970's) and they were a world class airline. Service was one of their points of pride. I know the entire industry has changed since then but some airlines have been able to keep up service standards.

My trip in 1970 on SAL/SAA JFK-GIG-JNB-GIG-JFK on a 707 was way nicer in Y, than domestic F is today. Superior service and amazing flight crews on all 4 legs, I do not know what they have become, but that time is a great memory.
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