South African Airways has entered formal business rescue proceedings, its board of directors has confirmed.
The government is supporting efforts to secure the embattled flag carrier’s future while maintaining operations.
SAA has been plagued by financial and operational struggles for several years, without long-term stable leadership.
Minister Pravin Gordhan of South Africa’s department of public enterprises on Thursday (5 December) confirmed the government’s involvement in the rescue procedures, stressing a proposed restructure would safeguard the airline’s assets and restore confidence in the carrier.
On Friday, the airline confirmed in a statement the proceedings were under way.
“The board of directors of South African Airways has announced the notice of commencement of business rescue proceedings was filed with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) on 5 December 2019,” said SAA.
“The company is officially in business rescue. The CIPC has processed the appointment of the business rescue practitioner Les Matuson from Matuson Associates in South African Airways’ voluntary business rescue process.”
SAA’s existing lenders have pledged an initial £50 million to the effort, which will be matched by the South African government.
The Foreign Office has warned British travellers to be aware of the situation, and keep in touch with their travel provider.
“South African Airways is undergoing a business rescue process which may lead to changes to their timetable,” said the FCO. “Check with your airline or tour operator before travelling.”