Striking SAA cabin crew. CREDIT: Twitter

Johannesburg – South African Airways says it is experiencing operational delays and flight cancellations due to industrial action by members of its cabin crew.

This is as cabin crew went on strike Wednesday morning over meal allowances.

Speaking on 702 this morning, the spokesperson for the South African Cabin Crew Association said the crew had not had an international meal allowance increase in six years.

The crew want the daily allowance raised from $131 for all three meals to $170 a day, although the crew is open to negotiation, the spokesperson says.

SAA says flights departing from coastal cities early this morning were impacted and it is considering its options to accommodate passengers affected by the cancellations.

The airline says the required number of cabin crew members are currently not available to enable SAA to operate all of its flights.

Read also: SAA cabin crew on strike over meals

SACCA represents about just more than 80 percent of all SAA crew and the company cannot legally put planes in the air without crew.

Late on Tuesday, SAA said it was doing everything possible to find common ground and/or a settlement on matters that are currently under discussion. “Negotiations are ongoing and the company remains optimistic that the strike action could be averted.”

It also said preparations were underway to support any service disruptions.

On Wednesday morning, it said several flights had been affected.

These are:

Johannesburg

Delays:

SA401 Johannesburg - Port Elizabeth

SA459 Johannesburg – East London

Cancellations:

SA531/538 Johannesburg – Durban - Johannesburg

SA307/322 and SA313/326 Johannesburg - Cape Town - Johannesburg

SA317/332 and SA323/SA334 now to operate on a A340-600 aircraft to create more seat capacity

Flight Departed:

SA527 Johannesburg – Durban departed with a 51minute delay

SA303 Johannesburg – Cape Town departed with a 20 minute delay

All flights departing from Cape Town and Durban departed as per normal.

It says it will provide further updates on what options are available to its customers. These include combining some of the cancelled flights to minimise the impact of the delays customers will experience as a result of flight cancellations.

“The airline will ensure that all changes are published timeously and on the day of travel support will be provided to customers who may experience flight delays or cancellations that may occur during this period.

“SAA regrets the inconvenience to all its customers and is exploring ways in conjunction with its partners to facilitate the accommodation of its passengers on later flights or on partner flights.

“Other travel options and/or flight details will be communicated as soon as final arrangements have been confirmed.”

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