Aviation Analyst Guy Leitch says the decision by three travel insurance companies to stop covering tickets issued by South African Airways (SAA) against uncertainty over the longevity of the national carrier could just force government’s hand in saving it.

The decision by Santam’s Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC) to drop SAA prompted Australian travel agency Flight Centre Travel Group to stop selling tickets for the airline this week.

The company that administers Hollard Travel Insurance had also excluded SAA.

The national airliner continues to struggle with an unprofitable route network, ageing and inefficient aircraft, and a bloated workforce.

Reuters reported that the Airline has not made any profit since 2011.

Leitch says SAA’s liabilities exceed its assets by a significant amount.

SAA declined to comment.

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