South African Airways (SAA) has welcomed today’s ruling by the High Court in Johannesburg that SAA does not owe funds to Airlink beyond SAA’s business rescue (BR) process.
In its ruling, the High Court upheld two previous judgements on the same matter – by the Supreme Court of Appeal and the High Court in 2020.
Airlink argued that payment owed for flown and un-flown tickets before SAA went into business rescue in 2019 should not be treated as “pre-commencement debts” under the business rescue process, which would make Airlink a concurrent creditor under the BR plan.
In the latest judgement today, the court again found that Airlink’s claims have no merit, and the application was dismissed with costs. As per previous rulings, the court found that Airlink was aware that it was a concurrent creditor and was also aware that it had to submit a claim under the business rescue process.
SAA Interim CEO, Professor John Lamola, said, “We welcome the judgement and hope this finally lays this matter to rest. SAA’s journey through business rescue was both painful and necessary.
Prof Lamola added, “The airline you see today is a very different one that has had to rebuild itself from the ground up. Today’s judgement is another step in helping us conclusively turn the page on that chapter as we move toward becoming a more sustainable, resilient business, with a new route on the horizon.”