Airlink files suit to have SAA provisionally liquidated

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South Africa’s regional carrier, Airlink, has filed an urgent petition with the Gauteng High Court in which it is seeking to have South African Airways creditors banned from voting on a turnaround plan, and have the bankrupt carrier liquidated, Swiss  airline intelligence provider, ch-aviation, has revealed.

Ch-aviation, in a report dated June 22, 2020, added that Airlink claimed it was owed at least ZAR700 million rand (USD40.4 million) in unpaid revenue by SAA for flights it operated on SAA’s behalf prior to and during SAA’s entry into business rescue.

“The two airlines had a franchise agreement that ran from August 2000 to March this year after which time Airlink chose to sever the agreement in favour of independence,” read the report.

“While a Gauteng High Court initially dismissed Airlink’s bid to sue the state-owned carrier, it has not relented in its efforts to recover the monies it is owed.”

The report added that in this latest court application, scheduled to be heard on June 23, 2020, Airlink has asked for the court to bar a June 25 meeting in which creditors will vote on whether or not to accept SAA’s turnaround plan.

“Airlink argues the plan prejudices concurrent creditors, which include itself, to the benefit of SAA’s shareholder, the Department of Public Enterprises, which will then own an unencumbered business, funded by concurrent creditors, but still commercially insolvent. It also argues that the plan is impractical and unworkable given the current realities of the global aviation industry.”

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