South African Airways (SAA), SA Express and Mango are to be merged, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday.
Briefing media at the Imbizo centre in Parliament on board appointments of State-owned companies (SOCs) in the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) portfolio, Gordhan said there are plans to merge the three airlines.
Gorhan said currently, the three airlines fly to the same destinations.
“Bringing the airlines together and rationalising their routes and important. Rationalising the kind of aircraft needed at a particular time and day – that’s the experience we’re beginning to learn from airlines around the world.
“It’s that synergy and savings. Our net guess is that by putting the airlines together, we can go through a transition period where there are going to be difficulties.
“If you have something dysfunctional and [you] try to sell it, you will get little for it. The real challenge is putting the right people in the right places both on boards and management teams, and having the right oversight,” he said.
The Minister announced the appointment of a new SA Express board, chaired by Mmakeaya Magoro Tryphosa Ramano.
He said the new board has a mix of aviation experience, audit and accountancy backgrounds, among others.
The Minister said an intervention team at the airline, which has been in “dire straits for some time”, has been put in place.
In December 2014, government announced the move of SAA from DPE to National Treasury.