Creditors accept SAA rescue plan, Philip Saunders appointed interim CEO
JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has reported that the majority of creditors have voted in favour of the business rescue plan for South African Airways (SAA) and named veteran aviation executive Philip Saunders as the interim chief executive of the beleaguered national carrier.
“The Interim CEO will be Mr Phillip Saunders, an experienced airline executive with a strong commercial background, and he will work closely with the interim board to appoint an interim management team that must implement a fundamental restructuring of SAA led by the new interim board,” said the DPE in a statement.
The DPE said at a meeting convened by the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) for SAA today, 86 percent of creditors voted to support a business rescue plan for the airline.
“The priorities for the DPE are now to give effect to funding commitments by the government for the business rescue plan, appoint a new, and reconfigured interim board for SAA,” said the DPE.
The DPE said it welcomed the vote in favour of a business rescue plan for SAA and applauded creditors and all stakeholders for realising that a new, restructured, competitive airline, born out of the old, was the best option to immediately take back to the skies and preserve the brand of a national carrier.
“The DPE believes that the favourable vote is a much better outcome for creditors and SAA employees than liquidation, and the government remains confident that the implementation of the business rescue plan will balance the rights and interests of all parties,” it said.
In supporting the plan, the government had committed to mobilising the necessary resources to fund the transition including the Voluntary Severance Packages (VSPs) agreed with the unions, and meet the minimum requirements of the Labour Relations Act and Basic Conditions of Employment Act.