In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, it became evident that the aviation industry is deeply affected. Among the most affected is South African Airways, which is close to being placed in liquidation. With all thoughts now on post COVID-19, South Africa is now seeking to create a new national airline to replace the dying state-owned carrier.
The state has stated that the ideal replacement for South African Airways should have both public and private owners, be in position to maintain the country’s trade connections and make a profit.
It is believed that the plan for a new airline has the backing of the carrier’s close to 5,000-strong workforce.
Works to effect a recovery plan for the loss-making airline had been on before the COVID-19 crisis resulted in all the aircraft being grounded. After the SA government refused to provide a bailout package, the airline administrators started on the process of liquidating it and eventually asked all employees to “agree to severance packages”.
An industry in crisis
As is on the global scene, South Africa’s aviation industry is sinking in crisis by the coronavirus pandemic. Various airlines are seeking solutions to the bigger problems they’ve accumulated during the closure of flights.
SA Express has been placed in provisional liquidation, while low-cost operator Comair is selling assets and is in talks with lenders to shore up a precarious financial position. FlySafair is calling for the state to waive fees while planes are unable to fly to help the industry shore up cash reserves.
Dubai’s government recently announced that it is ready to inject equity into Emirates Airlines following the coronavirus pandemic. This is after the Middle East’s largest carrier has grounded nearly all of its flights due to global restrictions on travel.
Uganda Airlines had planned for an expansion of the regional route network, as well as the intercontinental destinations on which operations of the wide-body fleet were premised. This is less likely to happen as per arrangements because the airline is facing difficult decisions over the delivery timetable for its A330-800 neo fleet.