Expatica news

South African Airways seeks state bailout, again

South Africa’s struggling national airline is again seeking government support, two years after it was granted five billion rands ($444 million) in loan guarantees, it emerged this week.

The request was disclosed after loss-making state-owned South African Airways failed to submit its annual report to parliament by a Tuesday deadline.

“SAA has made an application for an additional going concern guarantee,” Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown told parliament, without disclosing a figure.

In 2012 the government extended a two-year guarantee of five billion rands in exchange for a vast restructuring.

When that guarantee was approved, irate opposition parties accused the government of wasting taxpayers’ money, while some companies complained that it was distorting the market

Eighty years after its creation, SAA is battling with an ageing fleet and a weak national currency.

Air traffic across the continent is soaring and SAA has tried to build from its traditional European routes, but with mixed success.