Up, up ... and away: corruption-riddled SAA was once a source of pride

With a history that is book-ended by the Nazi sympathisers present at its birth and the allegations of corruption killing it slowly and painfully, SAA was nonetheless once a source of national pride, thrilling exploits and tragedy on a grand scale

10 May 2020 - 00:00

“How can it be said there is no money in aviation?” asked US aviation pioneer Jimmy Doolittle. “That’s where I left all of mine.” SA’s taxpayers, confronted yet again with South African Airways’ licked-clean begging bowl, might agree. The airline has soaked up billions upon billions of rands in state aid, which has done very little to keep the air flowing under its wings.

Meanwhile, the circus carousel that is upper management spins faster than a turbofan at full power as CEOs arrive full of hope, only to pull the ejection handle as soon as they learn that the best way to turn around a bankrupt, jealous, staff-bloated, state-owned legacy airline is to have nothing to do with it at all...

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