South African finance minister Trevor Manuel has called on Singapore Airlines (SIA) to buy into flag carrier South African Airways (SAA). He was quoted by local media while on a visit to Singapore on 2 August.

SIA, along with Star Alliance partner Lufthansa, considered acquiring a stake in SAA in 1999 - but instead, a 20% shareholding went to Swissair's parent SAirGroup. This was then sold back to SAA earlier this year by the bankrupt carrier for a fraction of the original price.

SIA declines to comment but says its "strategic goal of growing into a global group of airline and airline-related companies remains unchanged". SIA has been buying into other international carriers for years, with limited success. It bought 25% of Air New Zealand (ANZ) in 2000, but its stake was cut to just over 4% this year after ANZ was renationalised to save it from collapse.

Source: Flight International