SA Airlink seeks to interdict BRPs from convening creditors meeting
JOHANNESBURG – SA Airlink has filed a court application seeking to interdict the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) from convening a creditors meeting to vote on a business rescue plan for South African Airways (SAA).
The privately-owned regional airline also seeks to have the cash-strapped SAA placed under provisional liquidation and contends that there is no reasonable prospect of rescuing SAA.
SA Airlink is an SAA code-share and franchise business partner, and has been observing developments at SAA since the State-owned carrier was placed in business rescue in December.
This comes as the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) to interdict the creditor’s meeting on Thursday through the courts.
SAA rescuers have scheduled a creditors meeting for 25 June to vote on the proposed business rescue plan which projected that only 1 000 employees would be retained and no less than R2.8 billion to rehabilitate the national carrier.
The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on Monday said though it had not been cited as a respondent in the SA Airlink application, it will approach the court seeking to intervene with the intention to oppose the application.
The DPE also said that it would also oppose the application by Numsa and Sacca should they approach the courts to stop the creditors’ meeting.
“As we approach the final week to either endorse or reject the business rescue plan by the BRPs, it is disturbing that a competitor of SAA, which is 100 percent privately owned, as well as two labour unions, who should be acting in the best interest of their members, are seeking to destroy SAA by forcing a liquidation through the courts,” the DPE said in a statement.
“Government, as the sole shareholder of SAA, supports the business rescue plan where it results in a viable, sustainable, competitive airline that provides integrated domestic, regional and international flight services.”
The DPE reiterated that the government had availed R5.5bn to the BRPs to augment the revenue of SAA as the primary function of a business rescue process is to develop a rescue plan in a manner which maximises the likelihood for it to continue to exist on a solvent basis.