South Africa's Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan is considering an independent board to run the already financially stricken South African Airways (SAA). SAA has been in a form of bankruptcy since December 2019 and has suspended commercial flights since March due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
South African Airways Airbus A330 resting at Pinal Airpark. Photo by Cole McAndrew | AeroNewsX
Last week it was made clear that SAA's rescue plan involves reducing its fleet, redundancies and a commitment of over 10 billion rands (600 million USD) from the government. However, the government is still trying to secure the aforementioned 10 billion rands needed to rescue SAA.
South African Airways is wholly owned and run by the South African government but Gordhan says that the airline needs strategic partnerships and a board of professional aviation managers.
"Don't ask me or anybody else to run the airline. We are not aviation experts," Pravin Gordhan said in an interview with eNCA. He added: "An airline business cannot be handed over to a bunch of amateurs, but we need to bring on board the necessary expertise from across the country or if need be from outside the country to run the airline."