South Africa Raises Bailout for Stricken Airline to $1.1 Billion

South Africa almost doubled the level of funding for the national airline to 16.4 billion rand ($1.1 billion), cash that will go toward supporting a restructuring plan for the technically insolvent carrier, Bloomberg News reported. The bailout will be used to service and pay debt previously guaranteed by the state over the “medium term,” Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in his budget speech in Cape Town on Wednesday. The amount compares with 9.2 billion rand earmarked for South African Airways in October. “It is the very sincere hope of many that this intervention will lead to a sustainable airline that is not a burden to the fiscus,” Mboweni said. SAA has been a drain on the National Treasury for several years and has racked up losses of more than 32 billion rand over the past decade. Read more