Derided at home and loved abroad. That is the nature of the fix SAA finds itself in as, for the umpteenth time, it has to beg the government for billions of rands to remain a going concern. But while the perpetual bailouts sought by SAA have become a burden on the National Treasury, outside South Africa's borders the airline has a significant market share of African skies, servicing some 25 routes. It enjoys a dominant perch in countries such as Angola, Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe - where it is the market leader in tourist and business travel and cargo movement. For these countries, among others, SAA is the de facto national airline. With its 10 daily flights into Zimbabwe, SAA controls about 30% of that country's aviation market. It is the preferred airline for travel on the Harare-Johannesburg route and last year alone carried about 370000 passengers - making it SAA's most lucrative route in Southern Africa. It has long since elbowed out Zimbabwe'...

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