Economic Development MEC alarmed over SAA canceling flights to KZN
“We are at one with our (business) chambers and our businesses in saying that we are very anxious, and we believe that the decision, if taken, will have a devastating impact on our province,” Dube-Ncube said.
“If you speak about KZN as the gateway to Africa, and if we talk about... the numbers that we’ve experienced - people that visit the province, be they (arriving for) business or for leisure - we cannot therefore do without... direct SAA flights to KZN and Durban.”
She added the recently launched R1 trillion, 32000 hectare Durban Aerotropolis at King Shaka International Airport was a prime example of a development showing the provincial economy was booming, highlighting the need for direct SAA direct flights bringing people involved in business from different parts of the country.
SAA was expected to play a leading role in the development of the new aerotropolis city by bringing investors to the province.
Earlier this month, SAA’s business rescue practitioners announced plans to cancel several domestic routes, including flights to Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London, on March 1 in a bid to save money.
The move prompted Premier Sihle Zikalala to seek an urgent meeting with SAA staff. Provincial government spokesperson Lennox Mabaso could not verify whether Zikalala had held talks with SAA, but said “processes were under way” and an update would be provided in due course.