South African Airways Exits Administration After 17 Months

South Africa's struggling national airline South African Airways (SAA) on Friday exited a local form of bankruptcy protection called business rescue after roughly 17 months, Reuters reported. SAA was placed under administration in December 2019, and its long-standing financial woes worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. All operations were mothballed in September 2020. Its administrators said in a statement that they had filed a notice of "substantial implementation" of a business rescue plan with South Africa's Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. That meant they had "effectively discharged the business rescue and handed over the operations of SAA back to its board and executive team", adding SAA was now solvent. The airline is one of a handful of South African state companies that depend on government bailouts, placing the budget under huge strain at a time of rapidly rising debt. The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), the ministry responsible for SAA, said the government was in the final stages of negotiations with a preferred equity partner for SAA. Read more.