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South African Airways

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South African Airways

Old 3rd Aug 2017, 13:26
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South African Airways

Good Morning All:

Just read this on the BBC which is sad to read about a once viable airline now in financial trouble


South African Airways 'is on verge of bankruptcy' - BBC News

South African Airways (SAA) has run out of money and is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, according to information given to the country's parliament.
It is thought the national carrier may soon be unable to pay salaries.
The cash-flow statement shown to MPs and seen by the BBC paints a picture of an airline haemorrhaging cash.
It says that matters may improve by October, but only if it gets a 792m-rand (£45m) bailout from the government.
Even then, the situation is expected to deteriorate again by December with a forecast cash outflow in that month of £38m.
The airline has lost money in each of the past seven years. Acting chief executive Musa Zwane, who has led the company for the last 18 months, has been trying to put together a recovery plan since January.
"Essentially insolvent"
Last month, the Treasury paid out £125m to settle a loan from Standard Chartered Bank‚ which the bank had refused to extend.
South Africa's Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, has disclosed that SAA asked the Treasury in March for a £560m recapitalisation. He is expected to give an answer by October.
Alf Lees, the deputy finance spokesman of the opposition Democratic Alliance, said: "Essentially they are insolvent and should have filed for liquidation.
"We believe that the directors are in breach of the South Africa companies act by continuing to trade recklessly knowing that SAA will not be able to meet its financial commitments and without any guarantee that the shareholder (the South African government) will be prepared to continue to bail them out."
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 13:56
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they (SAA) sold the CPT-LHR slots a few years ago for £mmm's and the company had until then a superb name and loyal customer base.

I flew LHR-CPT about 2004/5 on a RR 747-400 in Business class it was sublime - didn't want to get off the a/c.

From my RSA pals I heard that the top of the heap at SAA were as corrupt as a rotten granadilla

So, dont they just write another cheque? (Mr Zuma, although he's clinging by his teeth to power right now)
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 19:26
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Once such a great airline, very sad to have watched its steady decline...
There used to be at least 3 SAA/SAL Jumbos a day in LHR now just a lonely 330!

Years of mismanagement and more recently corruption will probably see it go very soon.
Whats happened to those million raised by the LHR slots that were sold? Used to built lavish Bollywood style mansions in posh SA suburbs no doubt and allowing the politicians to drive in brand new AMGs?
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 19:40
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Not all blame on politics and corruption. Let us not overlook the effects of the rise of Gulf and Asiatic carriers on the old traditional operators.
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 23:17
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Originally Posted by Chronus View Post
Not all blame on politics and corruption. Let us not overlook the effects of the rise of Gulf and Asiatic carriers on the old traditional operators.
Nope, that doesn't wash! The primary reason will be the incompetence in many layers of SAA, because positions have been filled by those that don't have the qualifications or expertise to fill them. The accompanying 'fingers in the till', when no one is looking, won't have helped either.

It is a popular pastime in independent Africa to blame all ills on someone else. No, in the case of SAA, the home-grown corruption and nepotism is entirely to blame. The priority of those who have been undeservingly ported into positions of influence and power is to get their snouts well in to the trough and go at it like there is no tomorrow.
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 23:58
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This happens when an airline with substantial pensioned retirees has to compete with start-ups that don't have the burden.

We will see "re-regulation" in our lifetime.
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Old 4th Aug 2017, 00:36
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Don't hold your breath.
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Old 4th Aug 2017, 02:19
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An African version of Alitalia, no need to worry though, the government will just write out another cheque.

There are too many snouts in the trough to allow the gravy train to come to a halt. All the kickbacks, overpriced contracts and jobs for the boys mean that the politicians will simply declare it as a strategic national asset which must be kept going in the public interest.

Any bailout funds will certainly include a percentage to be routed into private bank accounts.
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Old 4th Aug 2017, 05:10
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Copy and paste this thread to "Only in Africa"
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Old 4th Aug 2017, 15:55
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T....I....A
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Old 4th Aug 2017, 17:59
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Acting CEO Musa Zwane and SA Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is all the information you need!
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 05:54
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They're following in the footsteps of Air Rhodesia sorry Air Zimbabwe. Nothing left of that carrier.
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 10:24
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Be very sad to see if they do go.The first flight I ever made was as a starry eyed 10 year old on a SAA Boeing 707 from LHR to JNB .Fostered a lifelong interest in aviation. SAA survived a lot of flak that was thrown its way, it maintained a large European network flying `round the bulge` refuelling at Ilha do Sal enroute to London, Lisbon, Rome, Athens, Frankfurt and others. Its Pilots were ex military and highly trained as were its engineers. It was the best airline in Africa, and yes the Pretoria Govt put a lot of money in, as opposed to today when they just screw it..

Its fallen a long way, but it will survive, only to just limp along and contract even further from what it could and should have been. Very sad
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 10:41
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I think I would suggest that SAA is a piece of critical infrastructure for South Africa - and possibly even Southern Africa. It's easy to talk about letting Alitalia go bust because there is no shortage of competition able to provide air transport at short notice - that doesn't apply so much in SAA's case. Perhaps SAA might be allowed to go bust in 5 years time but right now I think the Govt has little choice but to pump in extra cash for now
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 20:24
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An African version of Alitalia, no need to worry though, the government will just write out another cheque.
An African version of Air India, although in the case of AI, the rot set in much earlier, and it suffers from unrelenting government interfering. AI's fall from greatness started in the late 1970s.
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 08:11
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I recently flew from Johannesburg to Perth on a South African Airways A340. Never again! Horrendous! I hear the 1980's have called and asked for their cabin back.
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 18:19
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I have every sympathy, similar experience from LHR to CPT on similar equipment. That was a good few years ago. SAA slogan should be `Always getting Worse`
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 07:30
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You may be right as regards some (older) long haul aircraft but the newer A330s are quite good as are their A320s. I have flown with SAA on regional flights a dozen times in the last year - all flights were reasonably on time with professional and pleasant crews, meals etc.
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 11:37
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Originally Posted by MrBernoulli View Post
...in the case of SAA, the home-grown corruption and nepotism is entirely to blame. The priority of those who have been undeservingly ported into positions of influence and power is to get their snouts well in to the trough and go at it like there is no tomorrow.
When I was learning to fly in SA in the 1990s, almost all of the home-grown commercial pilot students were sons or nephews or friends of friends of current SAA pilots. And of course they were all male and white. Nepotism was absolutely rife under apartheid.
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 12:00
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And very much so since, I would think ! In any event, does anyone really think that the ANC will allow SAA to go bust ?
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