International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor says the challenges facing South African Airways (SAA) will be of greater concern if they affect tourism numbers and its membership in the Star Alliance. She says it is up to government to bring back all state-owned companies into orderly practice and that the work is already being done.

Pandor was speaking to the SABC on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Her comments follow SAA’s cancellation of dozens of domestic and international flights in a bid to cut costs and because of low demand.

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SAA needs a R2 billion cash injection from government to continue its operations while undergoing a business rescue process.

“Well, I think we mustn’t lose the tourist numbers and of course, the Star Alliance and there is the ability to make sure that those who have bookings on other airlines. What’s great about South Africa is that we have the infrastructure, and we have a large number of airlines that fly into the country. So, there’s a collaboration possibility which will diminish the negative impact of this situation,” adds the minister.