The legal process for the merging of South African Airways (SAA) and SA Express has been started by the Department of Public Enterprises, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
SAA is currently under the authority of the Treasury and Department of Finance, but will be moved back under the Department of Public Enterprises and merged with SA Express into a single national carrier.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said the details of the merger would be revealed once the legal framework for the transfer was in place.
“Once the legal framework has been approved to transfer the airline back to the Department of Public Enterprises, the details of a possible merger with SA Express can be concluded and explained publicly,” said Gordhan.
SAA has been losing money for the past 10 years, with only its Mango subsidiary turning a profit in the past decade.
SA Express is in an even worse spot, and is currently completing its re-certification process following the grounding of its aircraft in May 2018.
The grounding was due to a failure to comply with safety regulations.
The SA government bailed out SAA to the tune of R13.7 billion in 2017, and aims to turn the state-owned airline into a profitable business following the SA Express merger and transfer to the Department of Public Enterprises.