Johannesburg – Struggling state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) lost more than R10.4 billion in the past two financial years, documents sent to lawmakers and seen by Reuters showed.
SAA, which has not made a profit since 2011 and is dependent on government bailouts to remain solvent, suffered a crippling strike last month which pushed it to the brink of collapse.
The airline has not publicly published its financial reports for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years and has suffered concerns about whether it will be able to continue operations for at least 12 months.
But a copy of an SAA financial report for the year ending in March 2018 showed a R5.4 billion loss, with the company’s liabilities exceeding its assets by around R13 billion.
A separate presentation showed that SAA had made a loss of more than R5 billion in the year ending March 2019. Both documents were sent to lawmakers on parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
An SAA spokesman asked for questions to be submitted by email but did not immediately provide responses.
Government officials have been holding urgent talks on SAA’s future in recent days.
The public enterprises ministry, which oversees SAA, said on Sunday that the airline needed "radical restructuring" to ensure its financial and operational sustainability.