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Govt rejection of further funding spells end for SAA, says expert

Aviation expert Guy Leitch believes government’s refusal of further funding for the airline will lead to it being permanently grounded.

FILE: SAA planes. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - It appears to be the official beginning of the end for South African Airways (SAA).

Aviation expert Guy Leitch believes government’s refusal of further funding for the airline will lead to it being permanently grounded.

"If government turns off the taps now as it seems to me they have no option to do, then the airline is not going to be able to pay salaries at the end of this month. It's already used R3.5 billion it got from the Development Bank and R2 billion of post-commencement funding it got earlier, so it's completely out of money."

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has rejected the SAA business rescue practitioners’ request for a further R10 billion.

Without money, Leitch adds the business rescue plan won’t work.

"I'm afraid that despite the enormous cost to the economy and the enormous loss of jobs involved, it looks like the end of the airline."