South African Airways' chief financial officer Richard Forson has resigned, increasing concerns about the finances of the airline and its state-owned parent company Transnet.

Government sources say Forson's departure relates directly to his disastrous currency hedging strategy, aimed at protecting SAA from the effects of a weakening South African rand in 2001-2.

The rand's unforeseen and rapid recovery in 2003 means that SAA could end up taking a R6 billion ($837 million) charge at the end of this year. The airline was obliged to ask for a government guarantee in August against almost half of the charge.

Source: Flight International