'SAA business rescue a better option than liquidation and catastrophic collapse'
Beleagured national carrier South African Airways (SAA) announced on Friday that it is officially under business rescue.
The move's been welcomed by the Airlines Association Of Southern Africa (Aasa) as a means to provide some security and clarity for the industry.
Aasa chief executive officer (CEO) Chris Zweigenthal says the other option on the table was liquidation, which could have meant a "catastrophic collapse" of SAA, in turn affecting the operation of other airlines.
It gives an opportunity for the business rescue practitioner to see if there's a way out for South African Airways and also obviously from the perspective of the other airlines who are co-dependent on SAA for some of the services, to be able to adapt and prepare for whatever comes out of that business rescue process.Chris Zweigenthal, CEO - Airlines Association of Southern Africa
SAA Technical provides maintenance not only to the airline itself but also to Comair, kulula and Mango. It also provides administrative and disbursement services to Airlink and SA Express.Chris Zweigenthal, CEO - Airlines Association of Southern Africa
We must also realise there are other airlines within the industry, like CemAir, who are not directly impacted but I think the entire network of about seven airlines provides a big service to the customers within South Africa.Chris Zweigenthal, CEO - Airlines Association of Southern Africa
Zweigenthal says although the outcome of SAA's business rescue is difficult to predict, ideally the airline would be resuscitated in possibly a restructured and refinanced environment.
If it arrives back in another form or if they find a way out in its current form that would be great, but it obviously has to be a going concern and has to be financially viable.Chris Zweigenthal, CEO - Airlines Association of Southern Africa
For more insight into the future of the South African airline industry, take a listen: