Green shoots are beginning to show at the national airline SAA with all but one domestic and one regional route now already profitable, deputy finance minister Mondli Gungubele said in parliament on Wednesday evening. He was speaking in support of a R5bn bailout for the struggling state-owned airline, a move strongly opposed by most opposition parties. The bailout, which is provided for in the Special Appropriation Bill, was finally adopted by the National Assembly. An allocation of R1,249m has also been made to the other loss-making state-owned airline SA Express. The new board and management of SAA, he told MPs, had established a firm basis for a sustainable turnaround of the airline and initial positive results were already emerging. The only domestic route that was not profitable at gross profit margin level was the Port Elizabeth route. “Now that the margins have returned, SAA is increasing frequencies in the domestic market — Joburg to East London and the Johannesburg to Cape ...

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