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11th November, 2013.

SAA to continue serving the Argentinean market through partnerships

South African Airways (SAA), the South African national carrier, announced its full commitment to continue providing travel options to and from Argentina.

Although SAA will discontinue its own operated flights to Buenos Aires on the 28th of March next year, SAA customers will still be able to travel between both countries through numerous flights operated by SAA partners in South America.

"Before discontinuing any route, SAA takes into account a number of factors that include but are not limited to the possible consequences of stopping flights, with due consideration given to how a particular market can still be served," said Monwabisi Kalawe, SAA CEO.

"Declining passenger volumes and the current economic conditions such as the depreciation of the South African currency against the US Dollar by more than 20% over the last 12 months, and high fuel costs, have played an important role in our decision to rationalise SAA's long haul network," added Kalawe.

SAA customers will still be able to conveniently connect to and from various destinations in Argentina via Sao Paulo/Brazil, where SAA currently operates 11 weekly flights.

In its effort to continue offering proper connectivity in the region, SAA has implemented agreements with fellow Star Alliance partners and other major airlines operating between Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, as well as to and from other key South American destinations.

SAA's Long-Term Turnaround Strategy, named Gaining Altitude, will see SAA leveraging more of its Star Alliance membership to extract maximum value.

SAA's approach is to focus on strengthening and expanding partnerships from its own hub airports as well as those of fellow carriers within Star Alliance. SAA will route traffic on thinner markets using its partners' networks.

Customers already holding ticketed reservations on SAA direct services between Johannesburg and Buenos Aires from the 29th of March, 2014 onwards, will be re-accommodated via SAA's Sao Paulo flights in line with the IATA conditions of carriage.

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