South African Airways Enters “Business Rescue” Position
By Harvey Chipkin
South African Airways’ board has voted to place the carrier into a ‘business rescue” bankruptcy protection program. Lenders will provide about $137 million in government-guaranteed financing to allow the carrier to continue to operate. The government will provide a similar amount. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said the move is the “optimal mechanism” to restore confidence in SAA, to safeguard the airline’s good assets and help to restructure and reposition the entity into one that is “stronger, more sustainable and able to grow and attract an equity partner.” SAA has not earned a profit in nearly a decade and has had several bailouts in recent years. According to a statement, the airline will work to publish a new provisional timetable and will publish details shortly. The subsidiary low-cost carrier Mango Airlines will continue to operate as usual.