The dispute relates to a Gauteng High Court application to have South African Express liquidated over R87.3 million rand in unpaid leasing debts due on three E145s aircraft the airline wet-leased from Solenta between October 2016 and June 2017.
SA Express has always maintained that this was a matter of contractual dispute and did not warrant an application for liquidation hence the referral for arbitration to avoid a long drawn out court process.
In 2017 SA Express leased aircraft from Solenta Aviation to supplement its fleet. The airline contended that the grounding of the leased aircraft by Solenta was a clear breach of the lease agreement between the two parties and constituted a repudiation of the lease contract.
SA Express is happy to be vindicated by Monday’s ruling.
SA Express Interim CEO Siza Mzimela said: “It is unfortunate that the dispute had to drag on for such a prolonged period of time, but we are just relieved that the matter is now behind us and we can now focus on the core business of restoring SA Express’s fortunes as we continue on our quest to reclaim the airline’s mettle as a leader in the local and regional aviation industry”, Mzimela said.
The ruling coincides with the airline’s celebration of its key performance milestone — the reopening of its second largest base, Cape Town.
About SA Express: SA Express was established on 24 April 1994, on the eve of South Africa’s new democratic dispensation. As a regional airline, SA Express offers seamless connectivity between primary and secondary domestic destinations in South Africa and five other SADC countries. Its unblemished safety record over 24 years is among the reasons that the airline continues to be regarded as a leading regional carrier on the African continent.
Issued on behalf of: Madikwe Mabotha
Divisional Manager: Communications, PR and CSI
South African Express Airways SOC Ltd
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(m) 081 710 3321