The South African government is considering a business model which would see South African Airways (SAA) winded down and replaced with a new state-owned airline.
Speaking to the City Press, public enterprises spokesperson Richard Mantu said the department was looking at how this new national carrier could remain competitive and offer safe and high-quality service.
He said the new airline would have a different structure to SAA, and would be focused on staff efficiency and strong leadership.
Mantu added the new airline should be a catalyst for investment, job creation, and economic growth – and that the government must continue to play a role in its operations.
“Airlines around the world are failing, but with the correct vision, leadership, business, and operating model, as well as funding and implementations, the new national carrier will be well-positioned to take to the skies again and contribute to the South African and African economy,” Mantu said.
Mantu said the creation of this new airline would require the implementation of an effective corporate structure, as well as strong and experienced management.
It would have to be staffed at competitive rates to allow it to compete in the post-COVID-19 environment, he added.
“It is essential to build a strong leadership coalition which is robust and strong enough to find solutions, and establish the foundations of a new airline, with a growth path in this uncertain environment, that is in the best interest of our nation and all of its citizens,” Mantu said.