SA Express in financial crisis

In its latest audited statements, the airline says it urgently needs more capital to pay its debts, and to re-fleet.

 South African Express says it needs urgent capital to continue operating. Picture: Twitter/@flySAExpress

CAPE TOWN - It's not only the national airline that needs more money to stay in the sky. It's smaller, regional counterpart South African (SA) Express says it also needs urgent capital to continue operating.

The audited financial statements of the regional airline for 2015/16 have been tabled in Parliament.

Last week it was revealed in the National Assembly that Cabinet is considering a R10 billion bail out to keep South African Airways (SAA) from defaulting on its loans.

Following hefty losses in 2014, SA Express surprisingly registered a post-tax profit of R16.9 million for the 2015/16 financial year.

But this was largely due to it being able to extend the repayment of a R121 million loan to 2023.

In its latest audited statements, the airline says it urgently needs more capital to pay its debts, and to re-fleet.

In June, the airline's executives told MPs that it was again expected to fall into the red when its 2016-2017 figures are audited.

The Democratic Alliances' (DA) Natasha Mazzone said: "We need to make sure they can pay their debt firstly and secondly that we can get this airline on some kind of trajectory that sees them running at a clean profit going forward."

MPs will be grappling with the figures at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee later this week.

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)