With all efforts being made to save the embattled SA Express, the announcement that the airline’s liquidation hearing will be moved to 04 July 2022 has been welcomed.After nearly four years in which it has faced major instability, the news that the South African Express (SA Express) liquidation hearing will be moved to 04 July 2022 has been welcomed. “SA Express is currently in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. This airline was polluted by state capture, as is shown in the first section of the Zondo Commission report – when instead of funds being used to keep it operating, they were diverted to corrupt individuals. “That was then, but this is now, and all members of the rescue team are confident that if it can be efficiently, safely, and ethically run, this vital element of SA’s transport infrastructure can be saved – and it will fly again,” commented Chris Hart, who is the executive chairman of Impact Investments Africa. IIA is leading the charge on fundraising efforts to enable SA Express to re-establish itself as a viable business. Two days ago, the Board of South African Airways (SAA) released a statement welcoming the publication of the first part of the Report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector. The report was handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa on 04 January 2022. “Consonant with its fiduciary responsibility and legal obligations under the Public Finance Management Act, the Board will take whatever actions required to recover any assets lost or monies misappropriated from SAA. “As it remains focused on the current and future strategic vision of the business, the Board commits that the findings and recommendations of the Commission will be immediately implemented throughout all levels of the company. This, it is believed, will foster a culture of transparency, accountability and ethical conduct within the SAA group,” it was noted in the Board’s statement.
A brief timeline of events leading to now24 May 2018 – The South African Civil Aviation Authority grounds the airline due to “serious safety risks”
23 August 2018 – Flights resume airworthiness certificates were issued for a portion of the airline’s fleet13 February 2020 – SA Express enters business rescue 18 March 2020 – All operations are suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic 28 April 2020 – An application is submitted to the Pretoria High Court for the liquidation of the airline November 2020 – Moveable assets of the company are sold via an online auction