In a further blow to South African Airways, the airline will cancel many flights abroad and only keep a reduced presence between Johannesburg and Cape Town from the end of the month. The move comes as no surprise after photographs have appeared on social media showing practically empty SAA planes flying to London and New York.

south african airways empty seats plane
A photograph posted of a SAA flight to New York this week. Photo: Twitter.

SAA said in a statement today that the business rescue practitioners trying to correct the problems at the embattled airline had called for the changes, which will take place from 29 February.

Flights in South Africa it will operate after 29 February: Cape Town on a reduced bases. (It will cease operations to all other domestic destinations, including Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth.)

International flights that will continue: Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York, Perth and Washington via Accra. (It will close Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Munich and Sao Paulo.)

Flights into Africa it will operate: Blantyre, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Kinshasa, Lagos, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Victoria Falls, Livingston and Windhoek. (It will close Abidjan via Accra, Entebbe, Luanda, Ndola.)

SAA said it did not intend to make any further significant network changes. The flight schedule for February remains unchanged.

Domestic routes operated by Mango will not be affected by the changes.