SA Express liquidation hearing postponed again

0

The airline’s interim liquidators are still trying to see if a suitable buyer can be found for the airline.

Gallo Images / Grant Duncan Smith

  • Regional state-owned airline SA Express has been in temporary liquidation for nearly two years.
  • The return date for an application for liquidation has been extended until July of this year.
  • SA Express was placed in provisional liquidation in April 2020, after its business rescue process failed.

The return date of a liquidation request from state-owned regional airline SA Express (SAX) has been extended again, this time to July 4 of this year.

The airline’s interim liquidators are still trying to see if a suitable buyer can be found for the airline.

At the end of July 2021, the return date was extended until January 11 of this year. The reason given at the time was that two unions had appealed to the Constitutional Court to try to save the airline. The SA National Metalworkers Union and SA Cabin Crew Association wanted the Constitutional Court to force the National Assembly to debate whether SAX should be allowed to become insolvent.

Both unions argued that in the absence of parliamentary oversight, a state-owned enterprise cannot be definitively liquidated by a court. The Constitutional Court, however, ruled in October last year that it could not hear the unions’ request because the case fell outside its jurisdiction and mandate to hear directly.

SA Express was placed in provisional liquidation in April 2020, after its business rescue process failed. In the second half of 2020, Fly SAX, made up of a group of former SAX employees, was announced as the preferred bidder to purchase the airline. At this stage, it relied on financing to be obtained via a crowdsourcing platform.

However, in May 2020, Fly SAX submitted a revised offer to the provisional liquidators, after the latter found that Fly SAX had violated the terms and conditions of the sale process because “no funds were forthcoming”.

In January 2021, a court ruling postponed the date to determine whether SAX should be put into liquidation to April 29, 2021, which was then postponed to July 28, 2021. The aim was to allow more time to try to save the airline company.

The government has provided SAX with more than R 1.2 billion in urgent financial assistance for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

The national carrier South African Airways (SAA) emerged from the commercial bailout in April 2021 after a period of around 16 months. The due diligence of the strategic partner chosen by SAA, the Takatso consortium, is still ongoing. It is expected that the consortium, made up of Global Aviation, which operates low-cost airline LIFT, and African infrastructure investment firm Harith, will need to invest around R3 billion in SAA over a three-year period. year.

The low-cost subsidiary of SAA Mango is currently in business rescue, looking for a buyer. A call for expressions of interest was launched to rescuers towards the end of 2021.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.