Business rescue practitioners shoot down SAA plan to fly under lockdown

SAA will not necessarily be operating from mid-June, its business rescue practitioners cautioned on Wednesday.
SAA will not necessarily be operating from mid-June, its business rescue practitioners cautioned on Wednesday.
Image: SAA

SA Airways' joint business rescue practitioners (BRPs) on Wednesday shot down an  “unvetted” statement issued by the airline the previous day saying it was ready to resume domestic flights from mid-June.

The carrier said on Tuesday that it was retaining its domestic schedule, between Johannesburg and Cape Town, and was “looking forward to welcoming and serving our customers once again”, once flights were permitted. 

SAA also said it was cancelling planned scheduled flights on regional and international routes.

The business rescue practitioners said the statement was released in violation of communications protocols put in place so that “unvetted” releases were not issued.

The position around the cessation of flights remains as is until SAA has a better sense of what the level 3 lockdown means in terms of domestic air travel,” they said in a statement.

“The airline also needs to consider what the opening of the skies will mean from a commercial and load factor perspective. SAA’s future funding also remains a key variable in all of the above considerations.”

According to the practitioners, the SAA statement created an “unfair expectation on our relevant stakeholders, including SAA’s customers as well as employees, who are on unpaid absence as a result of the travel ban which led to the halting of the company’s operations and compounded its financial distress”.

The BRPs' focus is on the publication of the Business Rescue Plan as outlined in the Scopa [Standing Committee on Public Accounts ] update on 15 May 2020.”

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