JOHANNESBURG - Parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises said on Friday it had met executives at South African Express Airways to probe its financial problems which had led to the nationwide grounding of flights over a legacy debt of around R71 million.
"The committee hopes for a speedy and sustainable agreement between SA Express and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA)," chairman Khaya Mgaxa said in a statement.
ACSA on Thursday confirmed it had suspended the state-owned airline from landing and taking off from its runways due to the non-payment of airport fees over a period of time.
ACSA said confidentiality prevented it from disclosing exactly how much SA Express owed it, but added that its executives had for several months been meeting with the airline to settle the outstanding payment for passenger service charges, landing and parking fees.
On Friday, parliament's public enterprises committee, which is currently on an oversight tour to familiarise itself with the operations and challenges faced by state-owned firms, said SA Express interim CEO Siza Mzimela attributed the grounding of flights to historic challenges including a weak balance sheet, frozen credit lines, liquidity challenges, long outstanding debt and a significant monthly cash bill.