Cash strapped national carrier South African Airways (SAA), is planning to return 19 out of its 40 dry-leased aircraft and is renegotiating the terms of the leases on some of the units it wants to retain, a leaked draft business rescue plan shows.
According to the plan, the embattled airline has suspended the leases and is in the process of negotiating the terms of the return of the following aircraft: seven A319-100s dry-leased from Castlelake (three), Marlborough Finance, Genesis Aircraft Services, Stellar Aircraft Leasing, and Air Lease Corporation (one each), one A330-200 dry-leased from Avolon and three A340-300s dry-leased from Natixis Lease.
In addition, SAA has already agreed on the return of the following aircraft: three A340-600s dry-leased from AerCap and five A330-200s dry-leased from Aircastle (four) and Aviation Capital Group (one).
In addition, the leases on two B737-300(F)s from GECAS expired, and the aircraft were returned. As such, South African Airways no longer operates any in-house freighter aircraft.
The bankrupt state-owned carrier has also negotiated a reduction in lease rates for its remaining dry-leased aircraft and said that the “amendment and finalisation of lease agreements [is] suspended, [pending] clarity on future of SAA”. The aircraft are: 10 A320-200s dry-leased from GECAS, Goshawk (three each), CMB Financial Leasing, and Standard Chartered Aviation Finance (two each) and five A330-300s dry-leased CMB Financial Leasing (two), Airborne Capital, Aergo Capital, and Seraph Aviation Management (one each).
SAA’s business rescue practitioners said that the retention of the carrier’s newest aircraft, four A350-900s (two leased from Air Mauritius and two from Avolon via a sublease from Hainan Airlines) would be “dependant on the future route network of the airline”.
SAA owns a further five A340-300s and four -600s, all of which are up for sale.