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GOVERNMENT BACKS SAA’S FLEE RENEWAL PROGRAMME
22 May 2012
WHILE the government has yet to divulge what level of financial support it will lend national carrier, South African Airways, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, last week backed the carrier’s fleet renewal programme and promised financial aid.
The airline told parliament in February this year it would need approximately R6-billion from the government and attributed losses for the 12 months ending March to high operating expenses, particularly fuel costs. (SAA warns of losses, capital requirement – TIR 360° e-news, February 20, 2012)
The figures follow record profits of R442-million and R782-million for the past two years. In addition to new aircraft, the capital injection would also be used to facilitate its expansion strategy.
Although Mr. Gigaba said details of the recapitalisation were still being worked out, he denied SAA needed a bailout and said an upgraded fleet was critical to the long-term sustainability of the airline. He added that current operating conditions and costs meant support for the airline by its shareholder – the government – was essential.
"It is our firm view that, given the current global environment, all airlines need shareholder support… The dual challenge of a depressed global economy and high fuel prices means that shareholder support for SAA to procure a modern and fuel efficient fleet is vital if this company is to remain competitive.
“SAA has not come to us and said we are in the red, please help us out with money," he added and explained that the government was driving a new African aviation strategy "aimed at focusing the state-owned airlines on opportunities in the continent and on promoting regional integration".
|SA Express Bailout Signs Of Merger ?
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|Department of Perfomance Monitoring and Evaluation
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