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South African Airways to take off in September

South African Airways, which was recently privatised in an effort to save the cash-strapped carrier, announced on Wednesday it would take to the skies again in September.

Once Africa’s second largest airline after Ethiopian Airlines, the carrier survived for years on state bailouts and was abandoning routes even before the Covid-19 pandemic forced it to halt operations.

“In just under a month, the striking and familiar livery of SAA will once again be visible in the skies as the airline resumes operations,” the airline said in a statement.

It said the first flights will take off on September 23.

At the beginning, SAA said it will operate domestic flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, as well as serve African destinations Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka and Maputo.

“More destinations will be added to the route network as it ramps up operations in response to market conditions,” it added.

In June the South African government sold a 51 percent stake in SAA to a consortium that includes the owner of a recently launched local budget airline, LIFT.

The sale followed a state bailout of more than $500 million and a restructuring of its debt.