After reading the fantastic Comair results last month and all the negative articles on SAA, I was wondering what the investment return is for both airlines. Comair made just over 5% profit in 2017, a lot of it not aircraft related. The International Air Transport Association said 2017 was one of the most profitable years in the airline business, with companies making an average of 5%. Normally airlines seem happy to make 2.5% profit on turnover. So the government has to make some hard calls. Unfortunately their cookie jar is rather empty. If they pull the plug on SAA now, they lose R19.1bn. To get to the 2020 profit scenario (we have all heard this before) they need R21.7bn. If they invest R21.7bn and get a 2.5% return on their current R30bn turnover, that is a profit of only R750m. That means the return on the R21.7bn investment is 3%. For the entire R40.8bn, the return is only 0.1%. If SAA magically earned profit of 5%, which is very good in the airline industry, the return will b...

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