Public Enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan. File picture: ANA
CAPE TOWN - Pravin Gordhan said on Sunday that conversations and discussions around the merger of South African Airways (SAA), SA Express and Mango will continue this week with other ministers. 

It was reported last week that the Public Enterprises Minister plans to merge the failing airlines into one unit. 

“Bringing the airlines together and rationalising their routes are 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,” he said.

“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,” the minister said.

Ghordan, while speaking to eNCA, informed South Africans that a number of government departments would be involved in the process. 

“That is a discussion I am starting this week with departments like Treasury. We need to look at the evaluations already done by consulting firms almost eighteen months ago. We must ask which areas we can rationalise, use one another’s resources,” said Gordhan.

“That is a discussion I am starting this week with departments like Treasury. We need to look at the evaluations already done by consulting firms almost eighteen months ago. We must ask which areas we can rationalise, use one another’s resources,” the minister said.

Leadership with the airlines have already been cooperating with government to make sure that the airline’s operations and services continue, with as little disruptions as possible. 

“Long before we started the discussion, this has been in action. SA Express is grounded and SAA management has really come to the party to take on passengers and take on other flights and put on certain flights that they would not traditionally do. That is a great example of working together,” he said.

TWITTER UPROAR 

When news first broke that SA express had been grounded by the South African Civil Aviation Authority,  Twitter users showed their disdain and absolute frustration over the entire incident.

The hashtag #SAAExpress trended all day on Twitter and users were mainly concerned about what will happen if they have flights scheduled and paid for already. 

Most users were concerned about refunds. 

Users have long been unhappy with SA express and said was about time that the suspension happened. 

Here are what users had to say:





- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE