South African Airways gets extension to file accounts in Hong Kong

South African Airways

South African Airways

South African Airways said on Monday it has been granted a three-week extension to submit financial statements to Hong Kong or risk losing the lucrative Asian route.

The state-owned carrier, which has failed to publish annual statements for the past two years and is in danger of defaulting on its debt, was initially given a Sept. 6 deadline by Hong Kong.

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The deadline has now been pushed back to Sept. 30, SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali said.

“We are confident that we will meet all outstanding requirements. It is extremely unlikely that SAA’s service on this route will be terminated,’’ Tlali said.

The airline has been surviving on state guarantees of around 14.4 billion rand ($1 billion).

It has been singled out amongst other state companies by ratings agencies as a major risk to the country’s investment grade status.

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Its results for 2015/16 have been held back by the Treasury’s refusal to grant the loss-making carrier 5 billion rand in additional guarantees.

The airline has said it planned to raise 16 billion rand from lenders.

The main opposition party, Democratic Alliance, said on Monday it planned to challenge Friday’s reappointment of Dudu Myeni as SAA’s chairwoman.

The party accused her of being responsible for the crisis at the airline.

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