JOHANNESBURG – International travel agency Flight Centre Travel Group has stopped selling tickets on South African Airways (SAA) flights after a travel insurance firm said it would no longer cover SAA tickets against insolvency.
State-owned SAA failed to pay staff full salaries this month and has said it has almost no cash left after a week-long strike.
Flight Centre said in a letter to clients dated November 28 that its preferred travel insurance provider and their underwriters were no longer willing to cover SAA under their Travel Supplier Insolvency benefit "due to doubts concerning to long-term viability of the airline".
"In light of the above developments and continuing concerns regarding SAA, Flight Centre Travel Group South Africa has made a decision to no longer sell SAA, until such time as we have obtained certainty in the market," the letter read.
Travel Insurance Consultants said in a statement on its website that its re-insurers had instructed the company to exclude SAA from its insolvency coverage.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's government has taken a harder line on SAA recently, saying that repeated government bailouts must come to an end.