New Bids Invited for Stricken South African Express

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A new bidding process for the rescue of provisionally liquidated South African Express will open this week based on a re-evaluation of the airline's "intangible assets," according to the legal representative of the provisional liquidators, ch-aviation.com reported. This comes ahead of a liquidation court hearing of the state-owned regional airline now set for July 4, 2022, after it was postponed seven times since the airline was provisionally liquidated in April 2020. It had been placed in bankruptcy protection on February 6, 2020, due to financial pressures that resulted from poor management and state capture. The South African government had provided ZAR1.5 billion rand (USD100 million) to the airline during the 2018/19 financial year to address solvency and liquidity problems, but its liabilities on provisional liquidation extended to more than ZAR900 million (USD60.1 million). Several incidents of corruption at the carrier, including kickbacks for a ground-handling contract and suspect airport contracts, were uncovered during South Africa's Zondo Commission into state capture. Despite several attempts, FlySAX, a special purpose vehicle created by former employees intent on saving the SA Express brand, failed to raise the balance of ZAR26 million (USD1.7 million) of the ZAR50 million (USD3.3 million) purchase price of the airline. Read more.