Aviation analyst Joachim Vermooten has warned that it will take a long time for South African Airways (SAA) to regain its reputation.

Government has set aside R2 billion for SAA while R3 billion is expected to come from the airline’s private consortium to recapitalise SAA to resume operations on the 23rd of this month.

For now, the airline will only be flying from Johannesburg to Cape Town and to five other African regional destinations.

Vermooten says the airline needs to work hard to restore customer confidence.

“Any newly restored airline will take a while before it gains enough support. So, it’s going to be a tough one. But there are people that would like to fly with SAA especially in the region. It will take time before customer confidence can be regained,” says Vermooten.

SAA set to take to the skies later in September

Some airline passengers say they are looking forward to the return of SAA to the skies. Others say the absence of the airline from the local market has resulted in a high cost of tickets and a shortage of flights

“It’s the national carrier, so obviously we are excited that it will provide services, we’re generally looking forward to it,” says a passenger.

“I for one am glad if SAA could get a better management structure. It needs a better management structure,” says another passenger.

Interim SAA Chief Executive Thomas Kgokolo on the airliner resuming operations in September 2021: