‘SA Express quietly bleeding away’

The embattled airline has said it needs a bailout of least R1.74 billion to keep its aircraft flying.

FILE: A general view of a SA Express plane. Picture: Facebook.com.

JOHANNESBURG - While eyes remain on South African Airways (SAA) and the massive debt the carrier faces, some sectors have highlighted that SA Express also needs to be monitored closely.

The embattled airline has said it needs a bailout of least R1.74 billion to keep its aircraft flying.

At the same time, reports suggest SAA needs R21.7 billion between now and 2021, this includes an R12.1 billion government bailout.

Managing Editor at SA Flyer Magazine Guy Leitch says SA Express is quietly bleeding away.

“[And] costing the taxpayers another R1.7 billion in an additional bailout. That’s really, at this stage, where the problem lies because SAA has a turnaround strategy that’s being implemented. The progress is being made. But SA Express is floundering.”

SAA is expected to require billions in public funds as it tries to make the long haul into financial health.

It has emerged that SAA, which faces almost crippling debt, will be looking at several aggressive cost-cutting measures.

Some of these measures reportedly include selling off its catering arm “air chefs” and outsourcing or selling SAA cargo.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)