Discussions are ongoing over the future of South African Airways (SAA) after the government declined to offer the country’s national carrier further financial support.
Bloomberg reports the airline’s administrators now believe that the prospect of a successful turnaround is unlikely, and adds the carrier is now looking at mass lay-offs.
SAA suspended all international operations last month until the end of May in response to the coronavirus crisis, which has further exacerbated the carrier’s already uncertain position.
The 86-year-old airline was placed in bankruptcy protection in December before entering into business rescue arrangements in late-January, which included a preliminary funding agreement with the South African government and the country’s banking sector.
Many of the airline’s operator partners told TTG in January they would stand by the airline and South Africa itself through and beyond SAA’s turmoils.
However, Bloomberg on Saturday (18 April) reported SAA was preparing to offer nearly 5,000 staff severance deals.
In a statement cited by Bloomberg, South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprises said: "There are discussions with the unions on alternatives to the current South African Airways business model, success of the business rescue process, and the best possible outcome for the airline’s employees."
SAA declined to comment when approached by TTG on Monday (20 April).