SAA would undergo a radical restructuring process that would ensure its financial and operational sustainability, said Pravin Gordhan, Public Enterprises Minister.

The Minister, in a statement on Sunday noted that “there is no other way forward”.

SAA has been through difficult challenges over the years and more particularly in the past few weeks, following a strike initiated by NUMSA and SACCA. The strike damaged the airline’s operations and reputation, while finances further deteriorated.

“SAA, therefore, cannot continue in its current form,” the Minister said, noting that, as the South African government was committed to a viable, sustainable, profitable national airline, various options were being explored.

Further, there have been discussions with lenders to secure the necessary funds to cover the airline’s operational and structural transition over the next few months.

Gordhan emphasised that it was “our collective responsibility as South Africans to support SAA in its efforts to restore sales confidence among its customer base and rebuild revenues in the shortest possible time”.

He also reassured customers and encouraged them “to buy tickets with confidence”.

The SAA board and management would also intensify its marketing campaigns to rebuild confidence in the airline and undertake bold measures to increase the airline’s market share, the Minister stated.