South African Airways cancels 'a few domestic flights' -spokesman

Deserted counters are seen as South African Airways (SAA) workers downed tools on Friday in a strike over wages and job cuts, at Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town, South Africa, South Africa, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African Airways (SAA) has cancelled “a few domestic flights,” the state airline’s spokesman Tlali Tlali said on Tuesday, adding that a statement would be issued shortly.

SAA is running short of cash after the government failed to provide 2 billion rand ($137 million) of emergency funding it promised when the airline entered a form of bankruptcy protection last month.

SAA said on Monday that flights were operating normally.

The airline’s business rescue practitioners held talks with the government at the weekend to try to find a solution on the funding gap but failed to reach a breakthrough.

On Sunday, the public enterprises ministry said it was talking with the National Treasury to raise funds for SAA.

Last week, a senior trade union official said SAA might have to suspend some flights and delay salary payments if the government didn’t come up with a plan to provide the 2 billion rand soon.

The airline is one of several South African state entities, including power company Eskom, mired in financial crisis after nearly a decade of mismanagement.

($1 = 14.5682 rand)

Reporting by Alexander Winning; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis

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