SAA cabin crew embarked on strike over meal allowances on Wednesday morning. They gathered outside the company's headquarters, Airways Park, in Kempton Park. Picture: Lindi Masinga/ANA

Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) has cancelled 38 flights due to a strike by flight crew over meal allowances.

The crew want the daily allowance raised from $131 for all three meals to $170 a day, although the crew is open to negotiation, a spokesperson for the South African Cabin Crew Association said on 702 on Wednesday morning.

In an update on Wednesday, SAA continued to advise customers and stakeholders that it is experiencing operational delays and flight cancellations due to the industrial action.

It explains rhe required number of cabin crew members are currently not available to enable SAA to operate all of its flights. The strike action follows a notice of industrial action by one of the labour unions representing its cabin crew members, the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA).

SACCA noted planes cannot be in the air without cabin crew, and it represents more than 80 percent of all crew – which will see flights grounded.

Read also: SAA cabin crew on strike over meals

Currently 32 flights have been cancelled in total, which included 28 domestic, three regional and one international flight, SAA says.

It notes updates are available on its website.

It adds 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.”

SAA, which regrets the inconvenience, says it 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.