[LISTEN] SAA wants to reclaim Africa’s No. 1 airliner spot

SAA, which has not generated a profit since 2011, survives on state guarantees and is regularly cited by credit ratings agencies as a drain on the government purse.

CAPE TOWN – Ethiopian Airlines replaced South African Airways as the largest airline in Africa, but SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana is optimistic, saying they’re aiming to regain the number one spot.

SAA, which has not generated a profit since 2011, survives on state guarantees and is regularly cited by credit ratings agencies as a drain on the government purse.

“The fact that SAA was the number one before and we’ve been in that position before. We let it slip as South Africans, but this is business and we’re focused on bringing SAA to the number one spot on the continent again.”

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told an investor conference in New York last week that there is no need for the state to run an airline it cannot afford.

Jarana says there’s a panic in the market after Mboweni's statements.

Listen to the audio for more.

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