South African Airways Technical (SAAT) has reinstated aircraft maintenance services to some of its customers.
The development follows a decision taken by SAAT to suspend maintenance services to four of its airline customers in September owing to outstanding payments on services already rendered.
SAAT has since reached an agreement with at least two of its customers and will continue to have discussions with two others as the entity seeks to find a resolution and settlement on these matters, SAAT CEO Adam Voss explains in a statement.
“The decision we took to suspend services to our customers was not taken lightly. We had to protect our commercial interests which extend to the wellbeing of our employees who were adversely impacted by the cash flow challenges we experienced, resulting in payment of 25% of their salaries for the month of September,” Voss elaborates.
South African Airways (SAA) is one of the airlines that was impacted by the suspension of the aircraft maintenance service and the airline has since made a payment to SAAT. Its suspension of services was lifted last week.
Another customer, Mango Airlines, has reached an agreement with SAAT, making it possible to lift the suspension on Mango Airlines to start work on their fleet as of October 2. The aircraft affected returned to service on October 3 to transport passengers.
“We all appreciate that the aviation landscape has changed drastically due to the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak globally. We know that many of our customers were not able to trade and generate much-needed revenue to pay for services rendered. As part of recovery strategy and a way forward, we agreed with these customers that SAAT will receive upfront payment for services that must be rendered,” Voss says.
Discussions are ongoing with all affected customers to find solutions on how to address the legacy issues that resulted in the suspension of the maintenance services.
SAAT also confirms that it is in discussions with its labour unions to arrange for the payment of the balance of salaries for the month of September.