South Africa’s Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi told parliament on Wednesday that the country’s embattled national airline SAA should not be allowed to go under.

Buthelezi said in Cape Town that in spite of the airline’s inability to make profit, the airline should be kept flying.

South African Airlines has asked Treasury to help fund a 13 billion rand ($981 million) bailout to keep planes flying as government also mulls a private equity partner for the airline.

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