Bombardier-Dash-8-Q-402NG ZS-YBY South African Express.Photo. Photo: Alan Wilson.

MIAMI – Assets of South African regional carrier SA Express (XZ), previously a South African Airways (SA) partner airline, are being offered for sale through an online auction as the airline face towards liquidation.

The airline was placed in provisional liquidation on 28 April, but a final liquidation order has been deferred until early September. the sale includes XZ’s Bombardier CRJ200 jets.

South African Express Canadair CRJ-200 Regional Jet_Volpati 1. Photo: Wiki Commons

What assets is XZ looking to sell?

Go-Dove, the online auction platform that the liquidators decided to use to sell the company assets and aircraft, is seeking expressions of interest for several assets of the airline that, it states, are “immediately available for negotiation”.

The site is advertising the sale of the business in its entirety but it is also inviting offers from purchasers for specific assets as well as investment offers from potential equity partners.

In addition, according to the auction site, the carrier is selling: Bombardier CRJ 200 jets, engines spare parts, GSE, specialized tooling, workshop and support equipment, licenses (Operating, AMO, ATNS, ICASA, etc), IT Infrastructure, and all other intangible assets required to operate an airline in Southern Africa.

South African Airways A340-600
South African Airways A340-600

SA Express history in a nutshell

SA Express was a state-owned regional airline based in South Africa.

It first started operations in 1994, with a fleet made up of Bombardier Dash 8-Q300. The carrier started its partnership with South African Airways and a few years later it renewed its fleet with Bombardier Q400, CRJ200, and 700.

During May 2018, however, the airline was grounded due to an issue from South African Civil Aviation Authority regarding a report showing “serious safety risks.”

After three months, in August 2018 XZ restarted its operations following the issuance of airworthiness certificates for a portion of the airline’s fleet.

SA Express CL600-2B19 ZS-NMJ. Photo: Wiki Commons

The end for the airline

On February 13, 2020, South African Express entered the Business Rescue process, a local form of bankruptcy protection; however, on March 18, 2020, the airline suspended all operations due to the Coronavirus pandemic and its spread around the world.

On April 28, 2020, the business rescue practitioners submitted an application to the Pretoria High Court for the liquidation of the airline.

The court approved a provisional liquidation, with stakeholders being given until June 9, 2020, to voice objections before a final dissolution of the company.

The provision was extended until early September to let the liquidators find any parties interested in the airline assets.