South African Airways on Friday exited business rescue after 17 months. SAA was placed under administration in December 2019, and its longstanding financial woes worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. All operations were mothballed in September 2020.
Its administrators said in a statement that they had filed a notice of “substantial implementation” of a business rescue plan with South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.
That meant they had “effectively discharged the business rescue and handed over the operations of SAA back to its board and executive team”, adding SAA was now solvent.
The airline is one of a handful of South African state companies that depend on government bailouts, placing the budget under huge strain at a time of rapidly rising debt.
The public enterprises ministry said government was in the final stages of negotiations with a preferred equity partner for SAA.
“A purchase and sale agreement should be concluded in the next few weeks. This will enable capital, and much-needed technical and commercial expertise to be brought in to ensure a competitive flag carrier emerges,” it said in a statement.
Neither the administrators nor the public enterprises department said when SAA might resume flights. — Reported by Alexander Winning, (c) 2021 Reuters