I DON’T WANT to write about SA Airways, potentially the turnaround situation of the century if we could invest in it, anymore. But I did notice the sterling results from Comair/ British Airways despite the difficult economic environment and pressure on air travel.
If Comair can still make a profit in current circumstances why can’t SAA, with its Government subsidy and near monopoly at airports and on air routes?
Not long after I called SAA boss Khaya Ngqula – the latest drug lord – two weeks ago another SAA flight crew was busted trying to bring cocaine into London. Allegations are yet to be proved in court, but it’s embarrassing when South Africa’s national carrier becomes better known for drug running than anything else.
But maybe there’s hope. Ngqula is on “special leave” while various allegations made against him are investigated by KPMG. I don’t think he’ll be coming back. And Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s comment about another R1,6bn bail-out for SAA in his Budget was pretty scathing.
Maybe it’s time to let SAA loose and allow another airline to buy it and turn it into a real airline. Then list it on the JSE.