South African Airways suspends its operations amid lack of funding

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South African Airways Airbus A340-600 landing at Perth Airport © Montague Smith on wikimedia

Ailing airline South African Airways (SAA), in “business rescue“-modus as from December 2019, has suspended its flight operations. The struggling South African flag carrier – loss-making for over a decade, despite multiple state bailouts – failed to get the necessary funding to continue its operations.

The future of the airline remains unclear, despite progress that was made, announced both business rescue practitioners Siviwe Dongwana and Les Matuson yesterday (29 September), adding that they couldn’t exclude the sale of the business and/or the assets of the airline.

Meanwhile, a number of companies indicated their willingness to provide some of the funding to bail out South African Airways. The business rescue practitioners and the South African Government are continuing discussion to mobilize the remaining funding.

SAA’s rescue plan requires around 600 million USD, around 48 million USD is required to pay back creditors and 131 million USD is planned to resume operations.

Another 119 million USD is required to compensate the 2,700 employees – around 60% of SAA’s workforce – that will leave the airline on a voluntary basis.

After restructuring, South African Airways plans to resume operations with a fleet of six aircraft employing 1,000 people.

 

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