Cash-strapped SAA to ask lenders for R16bn

State-owned South African Airlines is seeking secured and unsecured funding with a 3 to 15 year duration.

A South African airways flight takes off as another one is parked in a bay on the tarmac on 25 May, 2010 at the Johannesburg O.R Tambo International airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's cash-strapped national carrier plans to raise R16 billion from banks and other financial institutions, a newspaper notice showed, days after saying it could pay its debts.

State-owned South African Airlines is seeking secured and unsecured funding with a 3 to 15 year duration and wants to start drawing down the amount within two weeks of signing the loan agreement, it said in the notice published in the Sunday Times newspaper.

"Three drawdowns are envisaged starting end October," the firm said, adding that bidders could submit proposals for part or all of the required funding from Monday until 16 September.

"South African Airways requires funding to meet its working and capital requirements as well as to consolidate its current debt portfolio," the airline said.

The airline's spokesperson Tlali Tlali could not immediately comment when reached by Reuters.

Hong Kong's tax authorities last week threatened to ground SAA planes if the airline did not provide financial statements by 6 September.

The airline has failed to submit financial statements for the past two years, with results for 2015/16 held back by Treasury's refusal to grant the loss-making carrier 5 billion rand in additional guarantees.

The opposition Democratic Alliance on Friday called for a parliamentary meeting to work out how to prevent the airline from missing payments to creditors, but SAA has said it was able to pay its debts.