SAA Technical restores services for airlines after brokering pay deal

SAA Technical Services has reinstated SAA and Mango's services
SAA Technical Services has reinstated SAA and Mango's services
Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images

South African Airways Technical has reinstated aircraft maintenance services to South African Airways and Mango, after reaching an agreement that the  airlines will pay in advance for maintenance work. 

Both SAAT and Mango are SAA subsidiaries. SAA’s planned charter flights will continue this week and were not impacted by the suspension, SAAT began work on Mango's fleet on Friday. The airlines were two of four customers that South African Airways Technical (SAAT) had suspended maintenance services to.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with at least two of our customers and will continue to have discussions with two others as we seek to find a resolution and settlement on these matters,” said SAAT CEO, Adam Voss in a statement on Sunday.

Voss explained that the technical services provider had suspended the services to its the airlines to protect its commercial interests as well as the wellbeing of its employees who were only paid 25% of their salaries in September. With regards to the salaries, SAAT is in discussions with labour unions on how it will pay the balance.

Voss said SAAT has also reached an agreement with the airlines that it will receive an upfront payment for services. 

On Sunday SAA Group spokesperson, Tlali Tlali said SAAT's request for payments in advance was meant to keep it debt-free.

Meanwhile, the DA wrote a letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to alert it of the government’s decision to provide SAA with a R10.5 billion bailout for the ailing airline. The DA said that the bailout is counter to the government’s commitments outlined in the Letter of Intent it had sent to the IMF.

The fund approved South Africa’s request for $4.3 billion for a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) loan to assist it in dealing with the impact of Covid-19, in July. 

“We request that the Fund trigger its funding requirement for ‘full transparency and accountability’ on the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) loan it extended to South Africa,” said the DA’s finance spokesperson, Goerdin Hill-Lewis in a statement on Sunday.

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