14 more SAA aircraft to be returned to lessors, leaving only 9 for use

File image.

This comes after the airline had initially returned 17 aircraft in their first batch.

The South African Airways is set to return its next batch of 14 aircraft back to their lessors this month amid its business rescue process, according to Aviation Central.

This comes after the airline had initially returned 17 aircraft in their first batch, Fin24 reported. Now in the second batch, SAA will return 14 aircrafts to multiple countries in Europe.

Here’s a list of the aircraft and where they will be going to:

Airbus A320 – 200

  • ZS-SZB : 14 July 2020 – Slovenia
  • ZS-SZC : 14 July 2020 – Slovenia
  • ZS-SZD : 14 July 2020 – Slovenia
  • ZS-SZF : 14 July 2020 – France
  • ZS-SZG : 14 July 2020 – Estonia
  • ZS-SZH : 14 July 2020 – France

Airbus A330-300

  • ZS-SXI : 15 July 2020 – France
  • ZS-SXK : 15 July 2020 – France
  • ZS-SXJ : 15 July 2020 – France
  • ZS-SXL : 15 July 2020 – Netherlands
  • ZS-SXM : 15 July 2020 – TBA

Airbus A330-200

  • ZS-SXU : 10 July 2020 – Spain

Airbus A350-900

  • ZS-SDC : 10 July 2020 – Spain
  • ZS-SDD : 10 July 2020 – Spain.

This leaves SAA with only nine aircraft. They are three A319, four A320 and two A350-900.

It was reported that the government and unions have reached an agreement to retain an additional 1,000 employees at SAA, which doubles the number of workers who will not be retrenched to kickstart a new airline. But with SAA only retaining nine aircraft,  it’s not clear what work these workers will do.

Instead of being retrenched as part of the rescue plans for the restructured airline, these workers will be placed on temporary suspension through the department of labour’s training lay-off scheme, otherwise known as the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (Ters), not to be confused with the Covid-19 Ters.

It provides an alternative to retrenchments, while giving employees an opportunity to upskill and allowing the company to offload a large number of its remuneration obligations through economic recessions.

This means only 2,700 workers will be laid off if the final SAA rescue plan is accepted by creditors.

The employees will receive voluntary severance packages which, among others, will include one week of pay for every year of completed service, one-month notice pay, accumulated leave paid out and a 13th cheque.

Meanwhile, the department of public enterprises (DPE) called on creditors and stakeholders of SAA to vote in support of the airline’s business rescue plan.

“As the shareholder on behalf of government, the DPE believes the approval of the business rescue plan would help creditors and employees to be co-creators of a new airline and ensure a strong base is maintained for the growth of the local aviation industry,” the department said.

With the airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) set to meet the creditors on Tuesday, 14 July 2020, the department said that 75% in votes was needed to be carried in favour of the rescue plan.

The department also welcomed the endorsement of the voluntary severance packages by the National Transport Movement (NTM), the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), the Aviation Union of Southern Africa (AUSA), Solidarity, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) and representatives of SAA non-unionised managers and ground staff.

However, earlier this week, Sacca and Numsa threatened to go to court to challenge a possible liquidation of SAA after the government indicated it would no longer provide further funding for the embattled airline.

According to the department, the SAA Pilots Association (Saapa) will put forward a case that their proposals will bring cost savings of R290 million to what is being proposed in the current business rescue plan.

READ NEXT: SAA business rescue plan delayed till 14 July, says DA

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