Can SAA raise enough cash from assets sale to pay off its debts?

SAA's business rescue practitioners are under pressure to raise enough money to pay severance packages to the national carrier’s 4,708 employees.

FILE: Parked SAA planes. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - If the mass retrenchments proposal by the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) at South African Airways (SAA) gets the green light, the airline would have to sell off its assets to pay off its debts.

Business rescue practitioners, Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, are under pressure to raise enough money to pay severance packages to the national carrier’s 4,708 employees.

But how much could the broke airline actually raise?

Matuson and Dongwana’s plans depended on the successful sale of SAA assets. The airline had been relying on government bailouts for years.

SAA owns some of its aircraft and is the proprietor of SA Technical and low-cost airline Mango. But aviation expert Guy Leitch doubts that it would be enough.

“There won’t be any money left to pay retrenchments packages to the employees, it certainly seems to me. SAA owns very few of its aircraft and almost all of them are leased,” he said.

Unions and government were still considering the proposal.