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Gordhan to make announcement on future of SA Express

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has not ruled out a possible merger with the national carrier and low-cost airline Mango.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan briefs the media ahead of his budget vote debate in Parliament on 15 May 2018. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says an announcement on the future of SA Express is imminent.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee is due to discuss the regional airline's financial status on Wednesday.

Gordhan has not ruled out a possible merger with the national carrier and low-cost airline Mango.

Speaking at Parliament on Tuesday, Gordhan said that even though improvements had been made in recent weeks to stabilise the airline, two technical incidents in recent days were concerning.

Last week, an engine on a flight from East London to Johannesburg malfunctioned mid-flight, while this week, another incident was reported at Walvis Bay in Namibia.

Gordhan says after a late night meeting on Monday, two people were sent to engage with the airline's technical team yesterday, to understand what was behind the problems.

“In the next 24 hours or hopefully less, we will take a final decision on how and what steps we need to take to ensure that SA Express becomes a stable entity.”

Gordhan says that by merging the regional airline with SAA and Mango, it will ensure economies of scale, avoid duplication on routes and ensure that the right aircraft are used to service them.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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