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What’s old is new again: South Africa mulls restructured national airline

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What’s old is new again: South Africa mulls restructured national airline
Photo Credit: AlexLMX/iStock/GettyImagesPlus

PRETORIA - The South African Government has moved to shut down South African Airways and is working on a business case to form a new national airline.

In a statement, the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) said the government and unions were working together on a business model that dealt with what a future national carrier could look like.

The DPE said the new airline would be funded through various options, including equity partners and the sale of non-core assets. However, the state would continue to be the biggest shareholder.

“It will not be the old SAA, but the beginning of a new journey to a new restructured airline, which will be a proud flagship for South Africa,” the DPE said.

South African Airways (SAA) has been surviving for years with government bailouts.

All its flights have been grounded since South Africa closed its borders and went into a five-week nationwide Covid-19 lockdown in March.

Last month the government refused to pay 10 billion rand (US$531m) in emergency aid to the company, claiming resources had been stretched by the coronavirus pandemic.

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