The business rescue practitioners were appointed last December, and given three months to produce a viable plan for the continued existence of the SAA.
In their request for time extension, the officials – known as the SAA Business Rescue Practitioners –said they needed more time to consult with the airline’s lenders, creditors, the shareholder (government) and unions on the draft plan before the final one is submitted to the authorities.
They also cited their ongoing engagements with the government, which has asked them to consider “a proposed restructured plan” to be included in their draft plan – and not to abandon the SAA as a company.
The practitioners’ first draft business plan envisaged the dismantling of the airline. It sent out letters to its 5,000 workers to get their views on this line of thought.
But as expected, the workers, through their unions, took the rescuers to court to stop the SAA from being dismantled and thereby create more unemployment in a country already reeling from the vice.
The court ruled in the workers’ favour against the rescuers’ plan to dismantle the cash-strapped airline, without providing a solution for its continued existence.