SouthAfrica: Government Says It Has Received Unsolicited Proposals For New National Airline

The South African Government on  Tuesday said it had received unsolicited proposals from private sector funders, private equity investors and potential partners for a new national airline based on struggling South African Airways (SAA).

SAA has been under a form of bankruptcy protection since December, and its administrators earlier this month proposed a restructuring plan for which the government had to find at least 10 billion rand ($580 million) of new funds.

Government has expressed its intent and commitment to fundamentally restructure and transform SAA into a viable, sustainable and competitive national carrier. The broader aviation industry and the passenger air transport sector specifically, is essential for servicing and growing economic sectors, including tourism, business connectivity and cargo carriage.

In a statement released by the Department of Public Enterprises: “Government is intent on pursuing credible proposals for investment and strategic partnerships with the private sector, as well as equity participation for employees.”

Government’s view of a new airline is one having an efficient and modern aircraft fleet; offering “the right routes” at competitive prices; and a motivated, productive and skilled workforce. The new airline must be “customer centric, lean, technology savvy, digitally native and agile to service all market segments” and have an empowered board of directors with appropriate aviation experience.

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