South African Airways needs cash injection or flights at risk - union

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 15 (Reuters) - State-owned South African Airways (SAA) urgently needs the government to provide the 2 billion rand it promised the airline last month or it could have to suspend some flights and delay salary payments, a senior trade union official said on Wednesday.

SAA entered a form of bankruptcy protection last month in an effort to rescue the company and 10,000 related jobs. At the time it was promised 2 billion rand from the government and 2 billion rand from lenders.

But unions briefed by the specialists appointed to turn around the carrier were told on Wednesday that the government had not yet been able to provide its portion of the funds, complicating a recovery plan, National Transport Movement president Mashudu Raphetha told Reuters.

Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, who are jointly overseeing SAA’s business rescue, said in a statement: “We remain hopeful that a mechanism can be found to unlock the liquidity constraints.” (Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Sandra Maler)