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Monday, 22 April 2024 19:34

SAA looking for minority investors and more capital after equity deal fails.

By Loni Prinsloo.

South Africa is seeking potential minority investors, access to capital markets, and loan financing for South African Airways to expand more rapidly following the collapse of a previous equity deal, the national flag carrier's interim Chairman Derek Hanekom said.

Hanekom said the airline had to revise its expansion plans after talks were scrapped and has now delayed opening more international routes to London, Frankfurt, and North America.  

The South African government had planned to sell 51% of SAA to the Takatso group—made up of closely held Global Airways and private equity firm Harith General Partners—before the deal was called off last month.

The transaction would have resulted in an R3 billion cash injection for the airline, which had previously emerged from lengthy bankruptcy proceedings following years of state bailouts.  

"If we are able to get capital from whatever source, then we may be able to expand more rapidly," Hanekom said on eNCA.

The airline is currently growing at a slow but sustainable rate, with no government subsidies, he added.

Within the next financial year, SAA will grow its fleet from 13 to 21 aircraft, Hanekom said.

He said the airline has added several routes into Africa and some international routes to Sao Paulo and Perth, Australia. Hanekom also said that the search for permanent executives for SAA and some of its units is underway.