South African Airways Seeks Investors and Loans for Expansion Amidst Failed Equity Deal

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Interim Chairman Emphasizes Need for Capital to Accelerate Growth Plans

In the wake of a collapsed equity deal and subsequent setbacks, South African Airways (SAA) is actively seeking minority investors, access to capital markets, and loan financing to fuel its expansion ambitions, according to interim Chairman Derek Hanekom.

In an interview with local broadcaster eNCA, Hanekom revealed that discussions for a potential 51% sale of SAA to the Takatso group, comprising Global Airways and Harith General Partners, fell through last month. The anticipated deal, which would have injected R3 billion into the struggling airline, was intended to provide a much-needed financial boost following years of state bailouts and a protracted bankruptcy process.

Hanekom expressed optimism about securing alternative sources of capital to expedite SAA’s growth trajectory, which has been constrained by the recent setback. “If we are able to get capital from whatever source, then we may be able to expand more rapidly,” he stated.

The airline, which has managed to sustain modest growth without government subsidies, has revised its expansion plans in light of the failed equity deal. Plans to open new international routes to key destinations such as London, Frankfurt, and North America have been delayed as a result.

Despite the challenges, SAA remains committed to incremental growth, with Hanekom revealing plans to increase the fleet size from 13 to 21 aircraft within the next financial year. He highlighted recent expansions into African markets and the addition of international routes to Sao Paulo and Perth, Australia, as evidence of the airline’s strategic focus.

Furthermore, Hanekom disclosed that efforts to appoint permanent executives for SAA and its subsidiaries are underway, signaling a commitment to stabilizing leadership within the organization.

The search for investors and loan financing comes at a critical juncture for SAA, as it seeks to navigate a complex landscape marked by financial constraints and operational challenges. Despite the recent setback, Hanekom remains hopeful that with the necessary capital infusion, SAA can regain momentum and realize its growth potential in the competitive aviation industry.

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