Both South African Airways (SAA) and Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) are keeping quiet about SAA’s overdue payments to Acsa.
Moneyweb asked both companies to confirm that SAA has deferred payment of R50 million in Acsa invoices due for payment on December 31, to January 31.
This was stated in an internal SAA document Moneyweb saw, that dealt with SAA’s immediate liquidity risk following CitiBank’s cancellation of SAA’s R250 million short-term banking facility on December 24.
National Treasury on Sunday confirmed CitiBank’s cancellation and said it was working with SAA to ensure that it has sufficient liquidity.
SAA did not respond to any of the questions Moneyweb sent it on Sunday morning.
Acsa said it is “not in a position to disclose details on financial records or account status of any airline, as this is confidential client information.” The company however added that it can “confirm that South African Airways is satisfactorily servicing and maintaining their account within the realm of Airports Company of South Africa’s credit risk appetite and prevailing credit terms.”
This comes after Acsa in early December, grounded low-cost airline Skywise due to outstanding fees. Skywise subsequently disclosed that it owed Acsa R4 million and asked for leniency as it expected to generate good income over the holiday season.
Acsa did not relent and Skywise has not resumed operations yet.
Skywise at the time complained of being treated unfairly and asked whether SAA was getting preferential treatment.
In the SAA document it was stated that the finance team was “managing non-critical creditor payments in order to ensure liquidity for the next two weeks.” It was further stated that following the cancellation of the CitiBank facility, SAA “will have not free cash available on 15 January.”
SAA stated that urgent discussions are taking place with domestic financial institutions for further secured bridging finance.
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