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South African Airways asks government for cash

South African Airways (SAA) has asked the country’s government for a 13 billion rand ($970 million) capital injection to allow the airline to continue operating.

The board of the state-owned carrier made the plea to the South African parliament on Friday (August 4). SAA said it needs the cash to cover operating costs and meet its debt repayments.

The airline presented a financial plan to the parliament’s finance committee, which was also attended by finance minister Malusi Gigaba. SAA said the company could return to profit by 2019 under its new plan.

Gigaba later told the committee that he would consider all financing options for SAA and would make an announcement during his budget statement in October.

South African Airways has been losing money for the last seven years and has been run by acting CEO Musa Zwane since November 2015.

The airline has been struggling for years and has only managed to remain solvent thanks to the South African government’s $350 million guarantee on its debt. Last year, SAA paid $64 million in interest payments on its debt.


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