An offer to merge with SA Express (SAX) was made earlier in 2017 by Fly Modern Ark SA, which plans to launch its own regional airline within the next six months. An original offer was made in February to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and then again to her department in May, but after talks with Department of Public Enterprises officials nothing came of them. Fly Modern Ark founder Theunis Crous said the company was still open for negotiations. The offers were made before the financially fragile state-owned airline faced the threat of liquidation for a debt of R87.3m to Solenta Aviation, which lodged its application for winding up in the High Court in Johannesburg last week. SAX plans to oppose the application, as it is contesting the amount owed. In response to questions as to whether the department was considering the offer by Fly Modern Ark, spokesperson Richard Mantu said the department, in partnership with the Treasury, "is currently developing an optimal corporate str...

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