Wind down or liquidation are SAA options


South African Airways (SAA) faces wind down or liquidation after specialists appointed to save the state-owned airline said they ran out of funds.

SAA has been fighting for survival since entering a form of bankruptcy protection in December. Its fortunes deteriorated further when the coronavirus pandemic forced it to suspend commercial flights.

It offered severance packages to the workforce of about 5000 after government said it would not provide more funds for rescue efforts.

Business rescue specialists Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana said in a notice to affected parties a wind down process depended on staff accepting termination of employment.

The specialists will alternatively “have to make urgent application for an order discontinuing business rescue proceedings and placing SAA into liquidation,” the notice said.

“The practitioners do not have sufficient funds available to continue honouring SAA obligations to its employees beyond 30 April,” it added.

South Africa’s state enterprises ministry reiterated this week it wanted a financially viable and competitive airline to emerge from the SAA rescue process.

SAA has not been profitable since 2011 and received over R20 billion in bailouts in the past three years, a drain on public resources at a time of weak economic growth.