South African Express Airways SOC Ltd, known as South African Express or simply SA Express, was a state-owned airline based in South Africa that started operations on 24 April 1994, but had to cease operations on 28 April 2020. Although the airline was operationally independent of South African Airways, its flights were incorporated within the strategic alliance with South African Airways. The airline had its head office at Airways Park, Jones Road, next to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.[2]

South African Express
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded24 April 1994 (1994-04-24)
Ceased operations28 April 2020 (2020-04-28)
HubsO.R. Tambo International Airport
AllianceStar Alliance (affiliate; 2006–2020)
Fleet size24
Parent companyGovernment of South Africa
HeadquartersO.R. Tambo International Airport
Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa
Key peopleSiza Mzimela (acting CEO)[1]
Mpho Selepe (CFO)

History edit

A former SA Express Bombardier Dash 8-Q300 in old colors

On 24 May 2018 the South African Civil Aviation Authority grounded the airline due to "serious safety risks". They reported it could be months before the airline was operational again.[3][4] Flights resumed on 23 August, following the issuance of airworthiness certificates for a portion of the airline's fleet.[5]

On 13 February 2020, South African Express entered the Business Rescue process, a local form of bankruptcy protection.[6] On 18 March 2020, the airline suspended all operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 28 April 2020, the business rescue practitioners submitted an application to the Pretoria High Court for the liquidation of the airline.[7] The court approved a provisional liquidation,[8] with stakeholders being given until 9 June 2020 to voice objections before a final dissolution of the company.[9]

In November 2020, the moveable assets of the company such as the eight Bombardiers, spare parts and furniture were to be sold via an online auction managed by GoIndustry DoveBid Africa.[10]: 20  The non-moveable assets such as the routes, landing rights and existing licences would be sold to FlySax, a consortium consisting of a key investor and ex-SA Express staff.[10]

Corporate affairs edit

Ownership edit

The holding company is South African Airline Holdings (Proprietary) Limited,[11] which is wholly owned by the Government of South Africa.

Business trends edit

South African Express is loss-making, and its accounts have been qualified by the auditors since 2012/13; the 2016/17 accounts remain unaudited (as at July 2019) and have been subject to parliamentary questions.[12] Figures that had been made available were disputed, and the previously published accounts were withdrawn in November 2011 after accounting errors that dated back several years were discovered.[13] Some fuller reports have been published since then, although figures are frequently restated in the following year's Report. Available figures (for years ending 31 March) are:

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Turnover (Rm) 1,857 n/a 1,640 2,022 2,296 2,562 2,594 2,391 2,310
Net profit/loss after tax (Rm) * −186.9 −365.9 0.7 −10.0 −169.4 16.9 −234.0
Number of employees (at year end) 839 n/a 1,026 1,090 1,136 1,188 1,127 1,036
Number of passengers (m) 1.5 1.4 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.4 1.3
Passenger load factor (%) 67 64 61 65 65 62 64
Number of aircraft (at year end) n/a 24 24 24 22
Notes/sources [11][14] [13][15] [16] [16] [17] [17][18] [18] Unaudited

Notes: Profitability figures for 2008/09 are not shown above(*), as they are believed to have been restated since the publication of the Annual Report.[13] Revised figures for 2010/11 are from press reports in April 2013; the financial statements for 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 were audited, but received a qualified audit opinion.[16][18][12]

Destinations edit

South African Express served the following destinations (as of January 2020):[20][21] All flights had been suspended by 18 April 2020.[22]

  Democratic Republic of the Congo
  South Africa

Fleet edit

SA Express Bombardier CRJ200
SA Express Bombardier Q400

Current fleet edit

The South African Express fleet consisted of the following aircraft as of February 2020:[23]

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers[23] Notes
Bombardier CRJ200 10 50
Bombardier CRJ700 4 70
Bombardier Q400 10 74
Total 24 0

Historical fleet edit

The airline fleet previously included the following aircraft:

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sudden departure of South African Express' Inati Ntshanga adds to uncertainty". Business Day. South Africa.
  2. ^ "Legal Archived 2 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine." SA Express. Retrieved on 6 February 2011. "Street Address: 4th Floor Offices, West Wing, Pier Development, Johannesburg International Airport"
  3. ^ "Could be months before SA Express is off the ground again, says aviation body". Fin24. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  4. ^ "SACAA suspends SA Express flights over safety concerns". Moneyweb. 24 May 2018.
  5. ^ "South African regional SA Express cleared to restart flights". Air Transport World. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  6. ^ Graham Dunn (13 February 2020). "SA Express confirms Business Rescue restructuring move". Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Court bid to liquidate SA Express". eNCA. 28 April 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  8. ^ Meyer, Dan (28 April 2020). "Nearly 700 jobs to be lost as SA Express undergoes provisional liquidation". The South African. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  9. ^ Mahlaka, Ray (3 May 2020). "Unpaid SA Express workers told to fend for themselves as airline nears liquidation". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Wing your way to the SA Express sale". Sunday Times (South Africa). 25 October 2020.
  11. ^ a b "SA Express 2008–09 Annual Report" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "SA Express irregular, fruitless & wasteful expenditure: hearing with Minister & Deputy Minister". Parliamentary Monitoring Group. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  13. ^ a b c "SA Express troubles come to light". Business Day. South Africa. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  14. ^ "SA Express 2008–09 Financial Performance" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  15. ^ "SA Express Annual Report 2012" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  16. ^ a b c "SA Express Annual Report 2013". SA Express. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  17. ^ a b "SA Express Annual Report 2015" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  18. ^ a b c "SA Express Annual Report 2016" (PDF). SA Express. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  19. ^ "SA Express faces bleak situation - parliamentary committee". Fin24. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Route Network". Fly SA Express.
  21. ^ Destinations and fleet. "SA Express". Domestic Flights South Africa. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  22. ^ "SA Express suspends operations amid COVID-19 outbreak". 18 March 2020.
  23. ^ a b "Fleet". SA Express. 11 February 2020.
  24. ^ "South African Express Airways Fleet Details and History – Just Aviation". Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.

External links edit

  Media related to South African Express Airways at Wikimedia Commons