South Africa's finance minister has told the country's parliament that discussions are being held with investors with a view to freeing flag-carrier South African Airways from state support.
Tito Mboweni said, in a medium-term budget policy statement on 30 October, that SAA would probably never be self-sufficient as it stands.
"[The airline is unlikely to ever generate enough cash flow to sustain operations in its current configuration," he told parliament.
"I am pleased to learn that there are conversations involving SAA and potential equity partners, which would liberate the fiscus from this SAA 'sword of Damocles'."
Mboweni said that the government, instead of funding "ordinary workers" travelling on old rail services from townships, had "essentially chosen to subsidise the middle-class and wealthy" who could afford to fly.
"Which then begs the question," he said. "How long are we going to be on this flightpath? Forever? I think not."