The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has welcomed the publication of a revised business rescue plan for South African Airways (SAA) and has urged creditors, employees and stakeholders to vote in favour of the plan next week.
As the shareholder on behalf of government, the DPE says the plan is “the most expeditious option for the national carrier to restructure its affairs, its business, debts and other liabilities, resulting in the emergence of a new viable, sustainable and competitive airline that provides integrated domestic, regional and international flight services”.
The appointed business rescue practitioners (BRPs) have scheduled a creditors meeting for July 14 to vote on the business rescue plan.
A vote in favour of the business rescue plan by 75% of the voting interests is required to carry the vote.
In supporting the plan, government has committed to mobilise the necessary resources to fund the transition, which includes voluntary severance packages (VSPs) and the incentivisation of those employees at the lower rung of the remuneration scale to ensure they are compensated with minimum benefits.
The DPE acknowledged that “a new, restructured, competitive airline, born out of the old, is the best option” to immediately take back to the skies, and also welcomed the endorsement of the VSPs by the National Transport Movement, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, the Aviation Union of Southern Africa, Solidarity, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association and representatives of non-unionised managers and ground staff.
Meanwhile, the SAA Pilots Association (Saapa) has denied that it had any objections to the VSPs offered to its individual members.
The DPE had earlier expressed concern about about Saapa's position, stating that the union had not accepted the VSPs.