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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Nico Resignation: SAA Clarifies Media Statement


"South African Airways (SAA) wishes to clarify a previous media statement following the resignation of Mr Nico Bezuidenhout, the chief executive of Mango Airlines. The clarification relates to a paragraph in the said media statement on SAA sub-leasing 10 aircraft, at a significantly discounted cost to Mango Airlines, while continuing to pay the market related premium to the lessor. SAA did sublease a number of aircraft to Mango from time to time over different periods between 2006 and 2016. SAA acquired 10 new A320 aircraft during FY2015, while Mango increased its capacity by acquiring some of the aircraft that exited the SAA’s fleet in FY2015. The value of the sub leases to Mango fully recovered SAA’s aircraft lease cost for FY2015 over the balance of the lease period. Owing to a recent unrelated consideration of this very issue, the SAA Board is confident in its assertion regarding the cost of aircraft sub-leases. During March 2016, the SAA Board, with the assistance of external advisors, analysed these lease agreements with Mango and satisfied itself that all such agreements had been concluded on a full cost recovery basis. These aircraft were accordingly not leased at a discount. SAA cannot comment on the recent arbitration between SAA and South African Airways Pilots Association (SAAPA) which is private."

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