SAA unions force further delay to business plan publication

South African Airways’ rescuers are seeking creditors’ approval for a further postponement to the deadline for publishing a business plan for the embattled flag-carrier.

South African Airways’ rescuers are seeking creditors’ approval for a further postponement to the deadline for publishing a business plan for the embattled flag-carrier.

The rescue practitioners have previously secured four extensions to deadlines for publishing a plan – the most recent to 8 June – since SAA entered the rescue process in December last year.

But three unions, representing the majority of SAA personnel, have sent a letter to the practitioners seeking a further postponement to 15 June.

A draft business rescue plan has already been distributed to employees and creditors, and had been awaiting the inclusion of submissions from the respective workers’ and creditors’ committees following consultations scheduled for 4 June.

The practitioners state that there have been “meaningful engagements” with the creditors’ committee regarding the draft plan, but that the employees’ committee wanted instead to consult via the ‘leadership compact’ which was unveiled on 1 May by the government’s department of public enterprises.

“This consultation has not occurred,” the practitioners add.

Legal representatives for the three unions – NUMSA, cabin crew association SACCA, and pilot group SAAPA – have objected to the business plan’s being published on 8 June, and have sought the extension.

“The practitioners thought it would not be appropriate to proceed with the publication of the business rescue plan without conveying the request of the unions that represent a majority of the SAA employees,” the practitioners state.

“Should such request be approved the practitioners will do everything possible to limit the negative impact of the extension of the publication date.”

They point out that any extension “will not stop” the practitioners from taking necessary measures to conserve cash and protect the interests of the airline.