SAA Technical reaches agreement with its airline customers, reinstates services

This followed a decision taken by the SAA subsidiary to suspend maintenance services to four of its airline customers in September due to outstanding payments on services already rendered.

JOHANNESBURG – South African Airways Technical (SAAT) on Sunday said it had begun to reinstate aircraft maintenance services to some of its airline customers after reaching an agreement with two of its customers.

This followed a decision taken by the SAA subsidiary to suspend maintenance services to four of its airline customers in September due to outstanding payments on services already rendered.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with at least two of our customers and will continue to have discussions with two others as we seek to find a resolution and settlement on these matters,” said SAAT CEO Adam Voss.

The aircraft maintenance company said an agreement was reached between its customers including national carrier SAA, Mango Airlines, Air Chefs, and SAA Cargo.

Low-cost carrier Mango this week said it reached an agreement with SAAT after the maintenance company suspended its services due to non-payment.

Mango was forced to use a leased aircraft to continue its operations in a bid to avoid leaving customers stranded.

“Another customer, Mango Airlines, has reached an agreement with SAAT making it possible to lift the suspension on Mango Airlines to commence work on their fleet as of Friday. The aircraft affected returned to service on Saturday, 3 October, to transport passengers.”

Voss said the decision to suspend services to their customers was not taken lightly.

“We had to protect our commercial interests which extend to the wellbeing of our employees who were adversely impacted by the cashflow challenges we experienced, resulting in payment of 25% of their salaries for the month of September,” he said.

SAAT apologised to all its employees for the inconvenience and said it was in discussions with labour unions to arrange for the payment of the balance of salaries for September.

“We all appreciate that the aviation landscape has changed drastically due to the impact of COVID-19 outbreak globally. We know that many of our customers were not able to trade and generate much-needed revenue to pay for services rendered. As part of the recovery strategy and a way forward, we agreed with these customers that SAAT will receive upfront payment for services that must be rendered,” Voss said.

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