The government minister responsible for South African Airlines has admitted the business simply cannot carry on as it is.
Saying that a full and rigorous restructuring was needed, and would have to happen regardless of strike threats, the government has finally accepted that it just cannot keep sinking billions of Rand into the airline almost every year, just to stop it going under.
Nobody is talking about doing this without negotiating how it’s done, but between the government and airline managers, they’re determined to do what has to be done to make the airline viable.
Without some serious changes to its fleet and a rationalisation of its network, the airline is going to struggle to change, never mind being chronically over manned and taking a rigorous approach to cost cutting.
Quite how it’s going to get past unions who want no change at all remains to be seen.