Safe to fly SAA again?

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hed
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Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by hed » Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:56 pm

Hi All,

Now that SAA is in the air again, at least regionally and domestically for now, I was wondering what the consensus is on quality of flight crews, training standards and general flying safety?

I am thinking about the debacle of the Brussels vaccine flight (alleged airspace busts, supposedly un-authorised low-flying etc.), the story around the unprocedural ORTIA departure last year (was it a weight issue or what - I cannot remember the details but do remember the subsequent public debate) plus the general chatter around insufficient training standards due to shortage of qualified training captains and affirmative action, now that most experienced SAA cockpit crew have been retrenched.

I used to be a very loyal SAA customer for years, incl. many years as a Platinum Voyager member. They recently reinstated my Gold Voyager Status until Dec 2022, and I am kind of warming to the idea again of flying them again, despite previously promising myself "Never again", but my biggest fear is crew competence.

So do you think the new SAA is safe to fly again?

Thanks,

Heye
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by southside » Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:43 pm

Don’t pay them a cent just on principle. The owner is stealing from us as tax payers where it could have been used for so much more constructive means. Rather pay money to an honest company.

The SAA debacle is wrong on so many levels, regardless if the crew are competent or not.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by Volo » Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:50 pm

southside wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:43 pm
Don’t pay them a cent just on principle. The owner is stealing from us as tax payers. Rather pay money to an honest company.
...............

100 % and more . Adding to the reasons why SAA should not be supported are there blatant racist policies disguised as legitimate BEE policy then their is their cavalier treatment of creditors - add to that the fact that they have thrown the Mango enterprise under the bus lock stock and barrel .
Finally they have embarked on an absolute catalogue of lies to everyone including parliament to cover thier subterfuge
.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by hed » Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:59 pm

Sorry guys I share your sentiment, but that does not answer my question on crew competence and safety?
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by IKTAV » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:08 pm

I spent many wonderful years with SAA. But I can tell you now - after the way they treated their pilots in the last 18 months, and the shenanigans behind the scene, I will never fly with them again! Regardless of the 4 free tickets I retired with. It wasn’t the airlines fault. It’s was the governments fault. But sadly SAA is just a snapshot of what they've done to the entire country.
Last edited by IKTAV on Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by Whirly » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:10 pm

hed wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:59 pm
Sorry guys I share your sentiment, but that does not answer my question on crew competence and safety?
Fly with them and tell us afterwards. If we don't hear from you again, we will know.

Whirly.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by IKTAV » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:21 pm

hed wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:59 pm
Sorry guys I share your sentiment, but that does not answer my question on crew competence and safety?
They still have a couple of excellent Training Captains and some very fine crew, but I sympathize with the pressure they're going to be operating under.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by southside » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:01 pm

hed wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:59 pm
Sorry guys I share your sentiment, but that does not answer my question on crew competence and safety?
This should be irrelevant.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by southside » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:20 pm

IKTAV wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:08 pm
I spent many wonderful years with SAA. But I can tell you now - after the way they treated their pilots in the last 18 months, and the shenanigans behind the scene, I will never fly with them again! Regardless of the 4 free tickets I retired with. It wasn’t the airlines fault. It’s was the governments fault. But sadly SAA is just a snapshot of what they've done to the entire country.
With all do respect IKTAV, is this response not derived from the fact that you were hard done by, by the company? I made the choice not to support them many years ago because of the unsustainable bailouts that kept being handed to them to the detriment of the economy. All the while private companies battle to keep from not making a loss and closing shop. Many have closed doors because they were unable to compete with state bailouts. Waist full expenditure to an unsustainable entity at its worst, only to serve the pockets of those involved. I know that SAAPA tried to make a difference.

It must have been between a rock and hard place for you guys, keeping your jobs but knowing the entity you work for are criminals.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by IKTAV » Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:20 pm

Hard done by? 🤣 Actually Southside I was one of the lucky guys. Unlike many of my younger colleagues, I was already close to normal retirement.
Version 2’s imperative is not about sound business principles. It’s about fulfilling political agendas.
That’s the reason SAA failed. And it’s the reason V2 can never stay afloat without continued taxpayer support.
Any wonder we haven’t heard another word from Takatso?
Any wonder why nobody wants to fly on them?
Myself included.
And yes, for years we were between a rock and a hard place. Everyone there feels exactly as all taxpayers do.
But when political agendas trump common sense safety issues, you know you’re on a slippery slope.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by Stef98 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:48 pm

hed wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:59 pm
Sorry guys I share your sentiment, but that does not answer my question on crew competence and safety?
Agree. You aren't getting direct answers to your questions but there is a lot of emotion on the topic. I'm not sure you will get a definitive answer. How safe is safe?

I had my first flight with them yesterday since March 2020 and it felt good to be back in SAA. Friendly staff and what I thought was some good flying in bad weather. It was probably standard flying but for me it was quite a shake up and I survived!

My other option is ET whose government(owner?) is not treating their population too well. I'm not sure that flying near ADD is a safe thing at the moment.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by Flaps Up1 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:55 pm

You want a direct answer?

NO

What’s happening in the background and the complete lack of any sort of plan, training or business will make you wonder how the place functions.

The safety culture that was there before business rescue is simply gone.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by dollar » Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:49 am

Interesting question 😜

Has SAA become “just another African Airline”? Excluding Ethiopian, I guess it has. Does it impact safety?

Well I suppose that you can argue this at length. Although smaller African airlines don’t always have an great reputation they generally don’t crash aircraft regularly?

Fatalities per passenger miles flown may tell a different story, I really don’t know. I would hesitate to make a sweeping statement that it’s unsafe. It may be less safe tho.

Unfortunately an airlines safety record can change in seconds - then we will know for sure.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by Trent772B » Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:42 am

In general it will probably be safe. But here is what concerns me. We all know how the swiss cheese model in flight safety works. A series of small, not so serious events or circumstances all align to create on large catastrophic event. SAA is a swiss cheese hull loss waiting to happen. A Capt promoted on race and gender, along with a F/O who is actually more senior, poor CRM environment, poor weather, an aircraft dispatched by a lessor experienced ground engineer (because all the senior were told to sod off), a complex technical event along with a MMEL dispatch and then add perhaps poor salaries adding to stress at home.

I would be concerned.
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Re: Safe to fly SAA again?

Unread post by Caravan Driver » Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:50 am

Trent772B wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:42 am
In general it will probably be safe. But here is what concerns me. We all know how the swiss cheese model in flight safety works. A series of small, not so serious events or circumstances all align to create on large catastrophic event. SAA is a swiss cheese hull loss waiting to happen. A Capt promoted on race and gender, along with a F/O who is actually more senior, poor CRM environment, poor weather, an aircraft dispatched by a lessor experienced ground engineer (because all the senior were told to sod off), a complex technical event along with a MMEL dispatch and then add perhaps poor salaries adding to stress at home.

I would be concerned.
Poor salaries? You mean salaries on par with what other operator's pilots have been comfortably "surviving" on? :lol:

I agree with your post except for the poor salaries of course. :D

All the pilots still at SAA, especially the ones of concern, did not start flying yesterday and have all been there for 10 years+ with ample experience on the types they operate, which are still the same, but there is some unique circumstances at SAA which may just line up a few holes!
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