The South African government has received more unsolicited interests from private sector funders, private equity investors and partners for a future restructured South African Airways (SAA) and its subsidiaries.
In a statement released by the Department of Public Enterprises, “As at the beginning of August the government – through the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), had received more than 10 unsolicited interests for SAA and its subsidiaries Air Chefs, South African Airways Technical and Mango Airlines.”
According to the Business Rescue Plan the new South Africa Airways restructuring requires R10,4 Billion South Africa Rand. The airline is set to resume operations in January 2021 with 1000 employees and almost 90 pilots.
“As the sole shareholder on behalf of government, the DPE had been busy assessing the interests from the several unsolicited local and international Strategic Equity Partners (SEPs) as part of the implementation of the Business Rescue Plan, which was published at the end of June 2020,” the statement added.
According to various South African publications, Rand Merchant Bank has been appointed as an adviser to help the government assess offers for stake in SAA.
NEW AIRLINE AND CHARACTERISTICS
The new airline will be established to support key economic sectors in South Africa including tourism and solidifying of the Southern African country as an African gateway to international markets.
SAA has been returning aircraft to lessors in the past few months including the Airbus A350 fleet that was delivered as recent as the first quarter of 2020. The DPE aims to see the new airline operate a hybrid modern fleet acquired on competitive rates resulting in cost effectiveness.
Leading to its demise, SAA operated a wide network from its Johannesburg hub to West, East, Central Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The DPE would want to see the new airline operating:
- A network structure that allows for connectivity at hubs, while maintaining elevated aircraft utilization.
- Connecting Africa to the world, economic hubs whilst maintaining diplomatic connectivity,
- A right sized and motivated workforce,
- A customer-centric airline designed to be lean, technology savvy, digitally native and agile to service all customer segments.
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