SAA survival in the balance

Business rescue practitioner claims canning of operations discussed, but government fighting to keep the national airline flying

Meetings were held ahead of Sunday’s deadline on whether government will grant SAA a R2bn bailout. File photo. Image: The Times / Alon Skuy

Government has given undertakings to return to SAA’s business rescue practitioners within a week on a way forward for the embattled airline.

SAA’s business rescue practitioner Les Matuson told TimesLIVE that high-level meetings had been held on Saturday with public enterprise, trade and industry, and treasury officials.

The meetings were held ahead of Sunday’s deadline on whether government will grant the embattled airline a R2bn bailout.

Matuson said that various options on SAA’s future were discussed in Saturday’s meeting as well as other meetings held during the week, including the cessation of all operations.

“No one wants that. Everyone involved in these meetings wants to save SAA and jobs. People see the potential in the airline.

“Government has indicated that they will provide clarity within the next seven days on exactly how they see SAA’s future.”

SAA cancels domestic, international flights as strike looms

He said everything would be done not to cancel any flights.

“I cannot say 100% that tomorrow the flights will cease. We are going to try hard not to cease the flights. Government is definitely not keen to see us doing this even if they have to give us guarantees.

“There is a meeting tomorrow [Sunday] with all those concerned to keep SAA flying.”

Matuson said if operations come to a halt all passengers would be re-accommodated on other flights.

“No one will be left stranded. But again this [ceasing of operations] is not what government is looking for.”

BY GRAEME HOSKEN – TimesLIVE

 

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