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The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has confirmed that the majority of creditors have voted in favour of the business rescue plan for South African Airways (SAA).
“The Interim CEO will be Mr Phillip Saunders, an experienced airline executive with a strong commercial background, and he will work closely with the interim board to appoint an interim management team that must implement a fundamental restructuring of SAA led by the new interim board,” said the DPE in a statement.
An experienced airline executive with a strong commercial background, Saunders will work closely with the interim board to appoint an interim management team that must implement a fundamental restructuring of SAA, led by the new interim board.
Saunders's appointment follows the vote in favour of a business rescue plan for SAA on Tuesday.
The DPE said at a meeting convened by the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) for SAA today, 86 percent of creditors voted to support a business rescue plan for the airline.
“The priorities for the DPE are now to give effect to funding commitments by the government for the business rescue plan, appoint a new, and reconfigured interim board for SAA,” said the DPE.
The DPE said it welcomed the vote in favour of a business rescue plan for SAA and applauded creditors and all stakeholders for realising that a new, restructured, competitive airline, born out of the old, was the best option to immediately take back to the skies and preserve the brand of a national carrier.
“The DPE believes that the favourable vote is a much better outcome for creditors and SAA employees than liquidation, and the government remains confident that the implementation of the business rescue plan will balance the rights and interests of all parties,” it said.
Meanwhile SAA business rescue practitioners have clarified that they need R10 billion to fund the new airline. Earlier it was reported that R16 billion was needed with deadlines given.
SAA creditors have approved the embattled airline’s business rescue plan, with a protracted process of almost 7 months to approve the deal.
Government now has to find the money to fund the new airline and needs to commit at least R10 billion that will be required to pay for start-up operations and pay laid-off workers’ severance packages.
This is a developing story.