It is surely not a new idea, but it seems to me that we should be reading more about the merits, or at least the demerits, of a merger between SAA and Comair.

The government has admitted the possibility of private equity in a new SAA, which is meant to rise from the debris of the old. At the same time, Comair has indicated it cannot survive on present volumes, worsened by the lockdown. Why can a case not be made to put the two together?

There are good management and survival skills in Comair. SAA is in sore need of those skills. Of course, air travel is no place for a state-owned entity. But if the ANC is bent on rescuing something from SAA I would have thought a deal with Comair has to merit consideration.

Presumably the obduracy of the usual suspects is the problem. And maybe resistance from the Competition Commission. Yet a new policy path of this type is exactly what is required if our economy is to survive the double whammy of reduced income and increased borrowings.

One might have hoped that at least Covid-19 would provide the shock therapy necessary to bring light to those who prefer the dark. What more will it take? Food riots?

Barry Hay
Parktown North

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