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SAA in limbo as state considers bailout

The airline is unable to publish its financial results until it receives clarity from government.
A South African 747 aircraft stands on the tarmac at London Heathrow Airport's Terminal Four. Image: Reuters

South African Airways said it’s waiting for the government to tell it whether it will provide the national carrier with the money needed to keep flying, rendering it unable to publish its results for the year through March.

“SAA cannot finalise its annual financial statements within the prescribed time until the going concern status is confirmed,” the carrier said in a document submitted to lawmakers on Monday and circulated by the main opposition Democratic Alliance. To do this SAA would require additional equity or loan guarantees, which the government hasn’t committed to giving, it said.

Read: Is SAA trading under insolvent circumstances?

SAA’s woes are making travel industry skittish

SAA last made a profit in 2011, and successive plans aimed at turning it around have failed. While Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has said the airline will undergo a “radical restructuring” to ensure its financial and operational sustainability, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s preference is for the airline to be shut down.

Preliminary analysis done by Bain Consulting last year showed SAA will need to cover liabilities of between R35 billion and R48 billion if it is liquidated, while it would only be able to realise R5 billion to R6 billion from selling its assets. The National Treasury will have to settle R15.3 billion in bank debt and creditor guarantees prior to the airline being shut to avoid possible cross-defaults on other Treasury-backed loans, it said.

In October the government said it will repay SAA’s outstanding government-guaranteed debt of R9.2 billion, support that Mboweni said the country couldn’t afford and had to end. But the airline said it needs additional working capital to keep operating, including a R2 billion loan facility to enable it to pay November salaries and other creditors — and that matter remained unresolved as of November 25.

SAA also revealed that its net loss widened to R5.4 billion for the year through March 2018, from R5.3 billion the year before, as revenue fell 4.5%. Those results had also been delayed due to uncertainty over whether it could continue operating.

A corporate plan last updated in February forecast that the SAA would lose R5.1 billion in the year through March and R1.9 billion in the current fiscal year, before it reverted to profit in fiscal 2021. The airline’s finances have taken a hit since then, with a week-long wage strike by workers forcing the cancellation of a number of flights.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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It’s only possible to be this generous with other people’s money.

Cabinet and the unions should be compelled to put their pensions into SAA if they want to keep it flying.

See how different the decisions will be when they have skin in the game

Fire Pravin.

He knew all along!!!!

MMMmmm, funny how i was branded a troll when i pointed out that gordhan is a disaster waiting to happen … … …

thank you guys for catching up … … …

chapter 1 Eskom – DC = direct current
AC = alternating current
ANC = absolute no current

chapter 2 Saa – ANC = absolute no currency

chapter 3 = ???

African Nation Collapses?

Perhaps this is an outragous idea but… maybe SAA should drop their pricing so that they’re competitive.
I mean, sure, retrenching people instead of giving them raises and providing performance based (read none or negative) bonuses instead of blanket blank cheques would help. But anyone willing to go at least 8hrs and a transfer or 2 out of their way, solely to pay 1/3rd of the price, seems to be saying something.

Cyril will conk in again.

No guts.

The main problem that government has is: How do we bailout SAA without the rating agencies finding out?

Next they’ll try bribing the agencies…
Cyril will offer them a SA Buffalo farm safari!

“SAA cannot finalise its annual financial statements within the prescribed time until the going concern status is confirmed,”
It is quite obvious that it is not a going concern. Why don’t they just publish the financial statements and state that fact?
This government lives in the world of fantasy. In how many other countries can an airline magical survive without making a profit since 2011?
What benefit is SAA to ordinary South Africans besides keeping a few ANC cadres in jobs and using taxpayers money?

End of comments.





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