SAA blames revenue drops on new immigration laws

SAA cited the new immigration regulations as among the reasons for an 11% drop in its revenue this year.

CAPE TOWN – South African Airways (SAA) has cited government’s new immigration regulations as among the reasons for an 11 percent drop in its revenue this year.

SAA’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wolf Meyer was briefing Parliament’s finance committee on the ailing national carrier’s turnaround plan.

The news isn’t all bad.

Meyer says operational costs have been slashed by 43 percent year on year and that renegotiated aircraft leases are making for significant savings.

But SAA’s CFO says the new visa and immigration regulations are having an impact.

In August, 400 SAA passengers were not allowed to board their flights because their papers weren’t in order.

“What that means is people already planned to travel, they got there and they were denied boarding so that has a serious impact on revenue.”

Meyer says the weak rand, lower air fares – thanks to a cheaper oil price and increased competition – are also hitting SAA’s bottom line.

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