SA Express won’t fly without financial support from govt, CEO says

Speaking exclusively to Eyewitness News on some of these issues, Mokholo highlighted serious financial challenges that the company is facing.

Picture: SA Express

JOHANNESBURG – SA Express acting CEO Matsietsi Mokholo says the airline will not be able to fly unless it receives financial support from government.

Mokholo was speaking at SA Express's offices in Johannesburg on Wednesday for the first time since the announcement last week that all planes have been grounded amid serious safety concerns for thirty days.

The civil aviation authority suspended the airline's operating permits following an audit which uncovered severe cases of non-compliance.

Speaking exclusively to Eyewitness News on some of these issues, Mokholo highlighted serious financial challenges that the company is facing.

There were 17 findings in the Civil Aviation Authority's audit into SA Express, of which five were categorised as serious level one findings.

Mokholo says they have already been working on these issues but one of them requires intervention from government regarding its going concern and liquidity.

“Our lenders had already raised concerns but it is clear that we’ll not be able to be airborne on our own without some kind of support from government.”

However, Mokholo doesn't want to use the term "bailout".

“I’d not want to use this common term of bailout but it is financial support. It is equity.”

Mokholo has also raised several issues around governance, leadership stability and staff shortages which contributed to the decision to ground the airline.

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