South African Airways (SAA) is to "go through a radical restructuring process which will ensure its financial and operational sustainability", the public enterprises department announced on Sunday.
SAA had been through difficult challenges over the years, and more particularly in the past few weeks, the department said in a statement.
The strike initiated by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) caused immense damage to the reputation, operations, and the deterioration of the finances of SAA.
"SAA, therefore, cannot continue in its current form. The airline group will now go through a radical restructuring process which will ensure its financial and operational sustainability. There is no other way forward," the department said.
Government was committed to a viable, sustainable, profitable national airline. In pursuance of this, various options were being explored. Over the past few days there had been intense discussions with lenders to secure the necessary funds to cover the operational and structural transition over the next few months.
"It is our collective responsibility as South Africans to support SAA in its efforts to restore sales confidence among its customer base and rebuild revenues in the shortest possible time.
"We therefore reassure customers and encourage them to buy tickets with confidence. SAA is determined to remain open for business. Management is also committed to ensure financial sustainability going forward."
The SAA board and management would intensify its marketing campaigns to rebuild confidence in the airline and would take bold initiatives to increase its market share, the department said.