The End For South African Airways? Airline is Collapsing and Government Says a New Airline Will Take Their Place

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The End?

Despite clinging on to life for the past few months, South African Airways is seemingly just days away from their end.

The airline, which is almost a century old, seems to have reached the end of the runway. The airline employees are being given the choice to terminate their contract, or liquidate the airline. Now, it seems that a deal has been reached that will see SAA closed down and liquidated, and a new airline will be formed. Workers were given until today to sign the agreements. All of the 4,700 employees need to sign the agreement to terminate their contracts; if they do not, the BRP’s will be forced to undertake immediate liquidation procedures.

Like most businesses in the aviation industry, our current situation has strengthened the hits on South African Airways. Unfortunately this likely won’t be the last airline that we’ll see go down under in the next while.

While many airlines have received government assistance during this pandemic; SAA wasn’t so lucky. It isn’t clear why the government chose not to, but they have confirmed that the new airline will provide jobs for many that lost them due to the airlines closure. The airline has been unable to fly domestic flights sinc March 27, when the government suspended travel.


It is currently unknown with what will happen to the airlines colourful aircraft. They may be sold off to interested buyers in the future, but it is likely they’ll be transferred to the new airline the government has promised.

10,071 Workers Will Lose Their Jobs

This includes both direct and indirect employees. Wishing nothing but the best for all of those men and women.


How do you think this situation will evolve?

Do you think the government can ensure the success of the next airline?

Do You Think The Government Will Be Able To Create A Successful Airline from the downfall of SAA?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


Something needs to happen. Hope they make a right decision.

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It is pretty much confirmed that they’re going under; and it would have likely still happened without this pandemic. The real question is how the government will ensure the success of the next airline.

What do you think is the right decision to make?

Lol. I think its pretty clear why the government chose not to. SAA hasn’t made a profit since ~2012, and they weren’t really taking any real steps to attempt to correct their failure. They should’ve parked the A340s years ago, and downsized as a whole. I think they are attempting to be too big than they can be; I doubt South Africa needs its own “big” carrier. Tourists are more likely to want to fly there on an airline from their home country, rather than booking with South African.

I admire their desire and attempt to succeed in a market that doesn’t really need them on this scale, but their business strategy is not sustainable in the long run, as we’ve seen.

I’ll certainly miss them, but I’m also not at all surprised that they’re going under. Its always sad when such an old airline with so much heritage goes under.

I think the new airline will have success if it does what South African did, but on a smaller scale. Airlink should’ve been integrated into SAA instead of contracting for them, and the long-haul fleet and network need to be downsized.

It’ll be interesting to see where the A330s go since there is fairly little demand for more aircraft in airlines’ fleets currently. The A340s will sadly have to go live in the desert from now on, though.


ill miss it. they have a very nice livery :(

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As with many airlines, the Pandemic shut it down, alongside some other issues. I hope the next airline has a better reputation.

RIP Springbok 295.

You bring up some fair points, and I’m sure this contributed to a multitude of reasons why this occurred.

Indeed! I loved their colourful liveries; it represents the culture quite well.


Me too! Their livery was one of my favorites.

I hope to see a new take on the beautiful “Springbok” of South Africa for the livery of this new airline. SAA’s best livery was the SAL and later SAA “Springbok” scheme.

The majestic Suid Afrikaanse Ludgiens livery. And RIP to Springbok 295’s 159 victims.


Yep, that’s the one.

It looked even better on the 707 and their smaller props like the DC-4.


I assume you mean this one, right? I’ve never heard of this livery before, but I absolutely love it! I’d be happy to see a rendition of it.

It would probably be smart to sell them, but nobody is buying anytime soon… It’s definitely an interesting point!

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No, I meant the one that @Gtmkm98 posted. Its the Sud Afrikaanse Lugdiens livery, circa the 1960’s. The titles were changed to South African Airways in the '70’s and '80s.

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Suid Afrikaanse Ludgiens fell with Apartheid, and so did the livery.

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Once the government takes over a airline things are bound to go bad.

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Another nice livery, with the classic retro style.
Another option for the government would be to use the same name, aircraft and planes, but to ‘renovate’ the program. Not sure how well this would go, but it would save money. I’m sure they’ve probably considered it.

It will definitely be interesting to see how this situation evolves! I’m curious to see how the government handles it.

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That’s not necessarily true. The Russian Government controls 51% of Aeroflot and it appears to be doing fine.

However, a government taking control of an airline may mean that things are already bad at the airline and must be corrected via government intervention.

It was always government-owned. A lot of people believe the service was better with Apartheid, but I cannot give my opinion, as I was not even alive during that time, and aside from the airline, things were very bad.

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Ehh… I just think it is better for hte airlines to control themselves