Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has informed its clients that it will stop selling South African Airways (SAA) tickets. Picture: Flickr.com

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has informed its clients that it will stop selling South African Airways (SAA) tickets.  

Andrew Stark, FCTG MD for Middle East and Africa, said it was the first time that the company had to issue a stop-sell on SAA.

“Following mixed messages from the government about whether the airline will be bailed out and the decision from insurance companies to exclude SAA from their insolvency cover, we have had to make an immediate move to mitigate the risk to ourselves and our clients,” he told eTNW.

SAA, which hasn't made a profit since 2011 and is dependent on government bailouts to remain solvent, suffered a crippling strike this month which pushed it to the brink of collapse.

The strike and subsequent cancellation of bookings at South African Airways (SAA) resulted in a "sudden deterioration" of the national carriers' financial position, the department of public enterprises has said. 

Government is now working on "immediate actions" to ensure cash-strapped SAA survival, the department of public enterprises said on Wednesday, warning the airline could not "continue as is".

The estimated daily loss of the strike sat at about R50-million per day. 

The airline needs to secure more than R2-billion of working capital to continue operations, but commercial banks won't lend SAA more money without additional state guarantees.

Under the direction of public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, focus would be on the short-term stabilisation of SAA, which would include support from all stakeholders.

The department added that other areas of focus would be addressing governance and leadership issues, including appointing an "effective" management team.