On Monday 09 September 2019, a Delegation of the SAA Company was received by S.E. Safiatou NDIAYE, Ambassador of Senegal in South Africa and her Team. The exchanges revolved around the revival of the Dakar-Johannesburg line by the SAA Company, so much desired by the governments of the two countries.

Ms. Pumla Luhabe, Acting Commercial Director and Mrs. Vimla Maistry, Head of SAA‘s Stakeholder Relations Department, came to present to the Ambassador the reasons why their airline decided to temporarily suspend flights to Dakar. According to them, the financial difficulties are at the origin of this decision. The Company is experiencing a difficult period, known to all, which has led its leaders to review the movement of their devices. However, they pointed out that this stop of the connection is not definitive and that the leaders of the structure are studying other possibilities.

For his part, the Ambassador thanked the SAA Team for kindly requesting such a meeting, while indicating that Management should have notified this decision before it came into force. She also said that the suspension will significantly affect economic diplomacy enough living between Senegal and South Africa but also the many traders and businessmen of both countries.

For nearly an hour, the Ambassador explained to his hosts that many South African companies and banks are currently working with the State of Senegal and frequently travel to Dakar. By way of example, she cited DBSA, which is involved in financing infrastructure at DIAMNIADIO and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which is in talks with SENELEC, for a project finance contract. She also noted NEDBANK‘s decision to expand to Senegal to expand its influence in West Africa.

Regarding the commercial aspect, S. E Madam Ambassador said that this decision of the Company will cause many losses in the Senegalese and South African Businessmen, considering the additional costs that it risks training the SAA company allowed, each year, the transport of several tons of goods to Dakar and favored more business tourism. Each month, between 3700 and 4000 passengers were transported by it on this axis.

For all these reasons, she invited the representatives of the company to reopen this line as soon as possible in view of the many advantages that this presents. She also indicated that a collaboration between SAA and Senegal Airlines or reductions on airport charges should be considered by both states to facilitate the reopening.

Other meetings with SAA executives are planned very soon.

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