Banks agree on R3.5bn lifeline for SAA in principle
Airline CEO sees no reason why the national carrier can’t access funds as its operations are now in good shape
Commercial banks have in principle approved R3.5bn of the funding SA Airways (SAA) requires to keep operating until April, according to CEO Vuyani Jarana. Speaking on the sidelines of the India/SA Business Summit in New Delhi at the weekend, Jarana said he sees “no reason why” the government and the banks won’t continue to back the airline as it has been delivering on the targets it has set. “They can see we are executing under very difficult conditions.” The airline, which received R5bn from the government in October, requires R21.7bn in funding to implement its turnaround plan by 2021. In addition to the R3,5bn, it must raise a further R4bn in March as well as re-finance or pay back R9,2bn in maturing loans. SAA sources say the banks that in January approved in principle funding totalling R3.5bn, still have to get internal approvals for the credit lines from their respective risk committees. This may yet prove an obstacle, as banks have been unwilling to lend to SAA since July 201...
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