South African Airways May Not Be Liquidated After All

South Africa’s government does not want South African Airways (SAA) to be liquidated. The state-owned carrier has been…

South African Airways May Not Be Liquidated After All

South Africa’s government does not want South African Airways (SAA) to be liquidated. The state-owned carrier has been heading towards a collapse amid the global health crisis. However, today’s news means that there could be a twist of fate for the airline.

Following an incredibly tough month, there is finally some positive news for South African Airways. Photo: Getty Images

Ongoing issues

The operator filed for a form of bankruptcy protection in December, following a prolonged period of financial struggles. It has not been profitable for nine years and has already received over a billion rand ($1.07 billion) in bailouts in the past three years.

This level of monetary support has been met with a mixed response. Several politicians and citizens feel that it is a waste of public funds. With SAA already in a bad state, the pandemic has further added salt to its wounds.

South African Airways, Flight Cancellations, Cash Worries
Despite the downturn in passenger activity seeming to be the final straw for SAA, there is still hope. Photo: Getty Images

Strong backing

However, South African public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan spoke to a parliamentary committee about what the government has planned for SAA. According to Reuters, he said that talks are ongoing with rescue specialists in charge of the airline on how best to save it.

“In our view, if this wind-down process the business practitioner team seem to be on at the moment continues as they proposed, it will not serve the original objective that we set for the business rescue process,” Gordhan said, as reported by Reuters.

“That is also a matter of contention between the shareholder and the business rescue practitioners.”

Ultimately, Gordhan affirms that the state wants to see SAA restructured into a new airline. Additionally, he expressed that there should be no fire sale of essential assets, nor should there be any movement towards liquidation. Altogether, he feels that there could be many alternative solutions.

Aviation, 2019, Strikes
South African Airways’ members of staff are facing uncertainty. Photo: Getty Images

Promising statements

Even though the restructuring sounds like a daunting task, it could be done quicker than expected. According to CNBC Africa, former SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana believes the process can be completed in just two weeks.

This progress could hopefully bring some positive news for SAA’s employees, which have been facing layoffs. Moreover, two of their trade unions are seeking court action to try to block the redundancies. This issue is due to be officially discussed at a hearing tomorrow.

Even though there were reports that the government will not pump more money into SAA, it does not want to see its flag carrier die. Therefore, it is open to looking at other options to ensure that the company survives.

Simple Flying reached out to South African Airways for comment on its situation. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What are your thoughts on what the airline is going through? Do you see it recovering amid the current crisis? Let us know what you think of the predicament in the comment section.

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Baby Born On Nigeran Repatriation Flight Operated By Emirates

An Emirates Boeing 777 was forced to divert back to its Dubai, where it originated. The flight repatriating…

Baby Born On Nigeran Repatriation Flight Operated By Emirates

An Emirates Boeing 777 was forced to divert back to its Dubai, where it originated. The flight repatriating Nigerians to Lagos was caught up in a medical emergency when a passenger gave birth on board the flight.

A baby boy was born on an Emirates flight bound for Nigeria earlier today. Photo: Getty Images

Now and again, a baby is born on a flight, although it remains a relatively rare occurrence. We last reported on an in-flight birth in February when a baby boy was born on a Qatar Airways Boeing 777 flight. It seems as though another baby has been born on a Boeing 777 flight from the middle east, however. The event took place on a repatriation flight to Lagos.

Flight EK783

Before the current situation, flight EK783 was a daily Emirates Boeing 777 flight from Dubai to Lagos in Nigeria. The trip last operated regularly on the 22nd of March, over a month ago. However, today the flight was due to run as a one-off. The purpose? To repatriate Nigerian citizens to Lagos.

The flight initially departed from Dubai at 10:55 local time this morning. However, it was back on the ground just 33 minutes later at 11:28. Shortly after takeoff, one of the passengers onboard the flight went into labor. The Nigerian publication Vanguard states that she gave birth to a boy, and is now being cared for in a Dubai Hospital.

Emirates, Repatriation Flight, Baby Born
The flight touched back down in Dubai around 30 minutes after departure. Photo:

The Nigerian Tribune reports that Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, commented:

“One of the passengers, a lady had a baby on the flight, or went into labour on the flight. So, the plane had to turn back. But I am happy to say that mother and child are doing very well. They are in hospital and the [lagos] arrival time has been rescheduled to 7.00 p.m.”

Replacement aircraft

The aircraft in question, A6-EPM, has remained in Dubai since the baby was born. However, the majority of passengers were moved into a replacement Boeing 777 aircraft, A6-EGO. The plane took off at 15:09, around four and a quarter hours after the original departure.

It seems as though the replacement flight was less eventful as it arrived in Lagos at 19:29, seven hours and twenty minutes following its Dubai Departure.

Emirates, Boeing 777, Cabin
A replacement 777 was used to complete the trip to Lagos. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

What happens when a baby is born on a flight?

According to The Points Guy, most of the time, children born in flight will be given their parent’s nationalities. However, there are a few exceptions, such as being born in US airspace. Just Landed states that:

“Children of foreigners born in Dubai don’t have rights of local citizenship and automatically assume the nationality of the parents.”

As such, one would imagine that the baby gets the citizen of its parents in this case.

In some cases, babies born on flights are given free flights, perhaps for life, or until they turn 18. This provides a nice little PR boost for airlines. However, such policies aren’t advertised by airlines. They, understandably, don’t want to encourage births on flights.

What do you make of the events on today’s Emirates flight to Lagos? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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