May 28, 2024

South African Airways gets government backing

The South African government has implemented a 'business rescue plan' to secure the future of struggling South African Airways.

A statement issued by South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprise said the process will allow SAA to continue operating and that “there will not be any unplanned stoppages of flights or cancellation of flights without proper notice should that be necessary”.

Existing lenders will inject R2billion (£104million) and the government another R2billion to keep the state-owned airline flying and commence a restructuring process before it seeks a “strategic equity parner”. SAA has not made a profit since 2011.

Minister P J Gordhan says the rescue plan will “help to restructure and reposition the entity into one that is stronger, more sustainable and able to grow and attract an equity partner”.

Gordhan continues: “This is not a bailout. This is the provision of financial assistance in order to facilitate a radical restructure of the airline.”

The airline is believed to have attracted the attention of Middle East-based airlines and, in more recent months, Ethiopian Airlines and the Virgin Group.