Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) said on Wednesday it might never recover if a strike by labour unions goes ahead this week, underscoring how close the state-owned company is to collapse.
Unions representing around 3 000 of SAA's 5 000-strong workforce said on Wednesday that cabin crew and other workers at SAA would go on strike on Friday over the airline's refusal to give in to salary hikes and its plan to cut more than 900 jobs.
SAA has not made an annual profit since 2011, is without a permanent chief executive and has yet to file results for the two most recent financial years because of concerns about its viability as a business.
It is being supported by repeated government bailouts, but Finance Minister Tito Mboweni wants ailing state firms to cut costs to help him rein in ballooning budget deficits.
SAA's acting CEO Zuks Ramasia said in a statement that the airline had made overtures to unions to resolve a wage impasse and get their buy-in for a turnaround plan.