SAA is selling R33-billion worth of planes

South African Airways is selling a fleet of Airbus A340 aircraft worth R33 billion which are still in active service around the world.

The struggling airline has listed a tender proposal requesting a bid for nine A340 aircraft – four A340-600s and five A340-300s – as well as 15 spare engines and four auxiliary power units.

According to Simple Flying, a number of the aircraft listed for sale are still in active service, flying regularly to France, the United States, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, and Cape Town.

The registrations and models of the aircraft which are up for sale are listed below:

  • ZS-SNC – A340-600
  • ZS-SNG – A340-600
  • ZS-SND – A340-600
  • ZS-SNF – A340-600
  • ZS-SXH – A340-300
  • ZS-SXG – A340-300
  • ZS-SXF – A340-300
  • ZS-SXE – A340-300
  • ZS-SXD – A340-300

Based on Airbus’s 2011 price list, a single new Airbus A340-300 is priced at $238 million, while the A340-600 is priced at $275 million.

This means that the total value of the aircraft listed for sale by SAA (based on the cost of new Airbus A340 models) is around R33 billion.

The tender for these aircraft was listed on 10 January, and potential buyers have until 30 January to submit bids for the Airbus fleet.

Once SAA sells these aircraft, its fleet of active Airbus A340s will be significantly reduced – it will only have two A340-300s and five A340-600s left.

Business rescue

South African Airways is in serious trouble, as it is still waiting for a R2-billion bailout from the National Treasury to aid in its turnaround strategy.

The airline was placed under business rescue in December 2019, and the government said the company would not be able to continue in its current form.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan previously stated that the liquidation of SAA would be a disaster, as it would have led to the immediate grounding of the airline.

“Business rescue will allow the airline to operate in an orderly manner. It keeps SAA’s planes and passengers flying. It also protects as many jobs as possible and the interests of the airline’s lenders,” Gordhan said.

Now read: Treasury struggles to fund SAA bailout

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SAA is selling R33-billion worth of planes