SA Express pressured by rising fuel price

SAA's brother airlines SA Express suffers major financial difficulties after 2013's first petrol price hike. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - SA Express is taking strain due to the rising cost of fuel, its chief executive Inati Ntshanga said on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, consumers were hit with what is probably the first of several fuel price hikes for 2013.

The price of petrol went up by 41 cents a litre, while diesel rose by almost 18 cents.

The airline admitted it was facing tough times financially.

It said its goal for the year is to work closer with its brother South African Airways (SAA) and to remain sustainable. 

Ntshanga said while the airline was staying afloat and providing a good service, business was not necessarily booming.

“It’s borderline. We have to watch every penny we make in the business and we have to tighten our belts.”

Following the demise of 1Time Airlines and Velvet Sky, Ntshanga said at the moment the airline was not concerned it may have to close up shop.

“If the prices of fuel continue to rise we’ll all be afraid.”

He added if that were to happen, SA Express may be forced to offer fewer flights. 

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)