JOHANNESBURG: The promise made by SAA to provide flights for President Cyril Ramaphosa is costing the government millions, according to a report by the City Press.
The report stated that the Air Force has leased SAA jets for Ramaphosa when no commercial flights are available, which is not cheap. An example of this is when the Air Force paid R1.5 million for a single return flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg on 21 June 2018.
The flight took 30 people but could have accommodated 316 passengers. This is not the only time this type of flight has taken place, added the report.
Aviation experts were quoted as saying that, by comparison, renting a private jet for 30 people for the same flight would have cost R350,000.
The City Press stated that as a result of the SAA plane leasing, the Air Force has spent R50 million in four months on flights.
It further stated that the Air Force cannot keep its own VIP fleet running.
Defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the Air Force would pay for all VIP flights until a new tender had been finalised.