The High Court of South Africa in Johannesburg granted an order to place the state owned regional airline, South African Express Airways (SA Express) under provisional liquidation.
This follows the urgent court application filed to the Johannesburg High Court on March 25, 2020 by the appointed business rescue practitioners of SA Express, Phahlani Mkhombo and Daniel Terblanche to temporarily liquidate the airline after the government denied them post-resumption funding.
According to iol.co.za, the carrier is the first state-owned entity to be placed under provisional after the failure of its business rescue process.
The decision comes after the airline had being placed under business rescue, a form of bankruptcy protection, in February 2020 and the suspension of operations due to COVID-19 on March 18, 2020.
In a media release dated March 17, 2020, the carrier stated that it was going to utilise the suspension period to review its current network and streamline operations for improved efficiency.
“This decision will impact both SA Express customers and staff in the following manner:
• All customers will be accommodated on alternative flights
• All non-critical SA Express staff will be placed on compulsory leave during this time,” read the statement.
On the 30th of March, 2020, SA Express announced that its interim CEO Siza Mzimela had resigned after only 18 months and that Ms Thuli Mpse had been appointed as Acting CEO effective April 1 2020.
“In just 18 months and against incredible odds, the Board and Management, made huge strides to restore the airline. All malfeasance that led to the corrosion of governance structures was eradicated,” said the airline.