South African Airways (SAA) has revealed a R51 million ($8.32 million) profit for the 12 months to the end of March. The state-owned airline, which last month agreed to sell a 20% shareholding to SAirGroup of Switzerland, recorded a R244 million loss the previous year.

The turnaround in fortunes is attributed to a major cost cutting exercise and route rationalisation programme implemented in the wake of the appointment of ex-World Airways boss Coleman Andrews as chief executive last year. Revenues at the airline improved by 20% to reach R7.66 billion compared with the R6.36 billion the previous year.

Turnover was also improved by a continuing rise in cargo business last year.

SAA holding company Transnet says that the partnership with Swissair and continuing improvements to productivity should enable the carrier to maintain the upward performance trend in the coming year.

Source: Flight International