South African Airways will stop flying between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi, a route that was opened in March 2015.


The Minister of Finance said in a statement on the weekend he had granted approval for SAA to cease operating the route, which has not performed as expected.

SAA’s interventions to improve the financial performance on this route had unfortunately not yielded the desired results, warranting that decisive action be taken to mitigate the negative impact on the airline, the minister said in his statement.

SAA, which has been suffering under financial pressures, among other things, and who has seen its expenses cut drastically by the Minister of Finance, operated the route in codeshare with Etihad Airways, which will continue flying the route. At the same time, SAA has just opened up a route between Johannesburg and Abuja, Nigeria.

“The National Treasury and the Department of Tourism are certain that the decision will not impact tourism and connectivity,” the Minister of Finance said. “The National Treasury worked closely with the Department of Tourism to weigh the costs and benefits of closing the route and agreed that the closure was in the best interest of both South Africa and SAA.”