SA Express has announced its return to service of two of its critical routes to the coastal town of Walvis Bay as well as Hoedspruit in Mpumalanga. Picture: FWT

CAPE TOWN - As part of the relaunch strategy to reclaim its local and regional footprint, SA Express has announced its return to service to two of its critical routes to the coastal town of Walvis Bay in Namibia as well as Hoedspruit in Mpumalanga. 

Both flights will be departing from Johannesburg.

The Johannesburg – Hoedspruit flights are effective from 11 October 2018. 

The Johannesburg – Walvis Bay flights resumed two weeks ago on 24 September 2018. 

This brings to seven the total number of SA Express destinations reinstated since the airline’s relaunch in August 2018.

SA Express Interim chief executive, Siza Mzimela, said on Tuesday that the organisation is determined to re-establish its best performing routes as rapidly as possible in order to close the gap that the airline’s brief absence left on the business traveller market.

“SA Express primary objective is to connect secondary destinations to main airport hubs and connect people to businesses and people to their loved ones and we’re determined not to make our passengers wait any longer than necessary”

“Over the past months we have received countless messages of support from our passengers and partners and this is evidence to the critical role SA Express play in the South African aviation ecosystem. The latest additions to our travelling roster is, therefore, a clear indicator of our promise to optimise on our efficiency as a business while observing industry standards for safety, product quality and customer service.

“The SA Express Board of Directors, Executive Management Team and employees have worked very hard to ensure that the airline’s return to service is efficient and sustainable. It is in this vein that the airline adopted the new route rationalisation model which includes meticulous analysis of the airline’s route network in order to fully return to service”.

“Key to this new business model is the adoption of a customer-centric service with an On-Time Performance (OTP) of 90% and we are delighted to say that since our first return to commercial flight on 23 August 2018, our average OTP has remained consistently above 90%”, Mzimela said.

In August SA Express said that they hoped to resume flights as soon as possible. 

This follows the recent reinstatement of both the airline’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) licences by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

SAX has also already received Certificates of Airworthiness for most of its 11 aircraft from SACAA, with the remaining fleet expected to be given the green light soon.

“We are delighted that we have now satisfied the concerns that the regulator had leading to our temporary grounding at the end of May this year. This has paved the way for us to prudently and incrementally reintroduce our flights as from August 23, 2018,” Mzimela said at the time.

“We would like to thank all our valued customers and loyal staff for bearing with us while we were addressing the regulators operational requirements,” Mzimela added.

“Indeed, our temporary grounding was an opportune time for the airline to interrogate all aspects of our operation, as well as our customer value proposition."