South African Airways

Since LARA’s report on South African Airways on 19 March, the airline has asked the South African government for a third extension to gain more time to revitalise itself.

The airline has struggled financially for the past few months with issues with management, aircraft and competition from rivals. This led to it being placed under the care of a business rescue firm run by Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana in 2019.

However, the partners have had to request a further extension from the Government for their turnaround plan as they faced issues with union disputes and withheld funds. The severe impact of the coronavirus lockdown has led to minimal travel options for the airline and a decrease in passenger demand.

South African Airways has had to restrict its regional African routes as well as international connections, forcing most services to be grounded. Currently, it only operates domestic shuttle routes between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

In order to rescue the airline, it may have to make significant staff cuts and ground a sizeable percentage of its fleet.

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