TRS to run South African Airways inflight duty free

By Luke Barras-hill |

SAA ran an inflight duty free tender this year. Shutterstock/Niel Goosen.

Tourvest Retail Services (TRS) is to manage the inflight duty free concession onboard South Africa’s flag carrier South African Airways (SAA), TRBusiness can report.

The business is due to begin in February, sources have told this publication. TRS did not comment.

The Star Alliance carrier, which operates through flysaa.com, launched a duty free tender several months ago, marking an interesting development for the airline.

SAA’s widely reported financial struggles led to it being placed into administration in late 2019.

Having entered into business rescue – and grounding its flights in 2020 – it exited the process in April 2021 and relaunched its airline operations in September that year.

Since then, the state-owned flag carrier has been restructuring through the help of a private strategic equity partner Takatso Consortium.

New business lounge in Johannesburg

Takatso Consortium is eyeing a controlling interest (51%) in SAA with the South African government’s Department of Public Enterprises taking a 49% equity stake, a move pending formal completion after the sale was cleared by the competition watchdog to proceed – subject to certain conditions – over the summer.

Earlier this month, SAA opened its new international premium lounge at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport in the first in a series of renovations to the airline’s lounges.

The first class platinum lounge at the airport will be renovated in early 2024.

This will be followed by refurbishments of lounges in Qheberha, Cape Town, O.R. Tambo domestic, and Durban.

 

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