Lawyers for South African Express (EXY, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) have confirmed the court hearing for the final liquidation of the state-owned regional carrier has been postponed for the seventh time - to July 4, 2022.

A virtual hearing on January 11 in the Gauteng Local Division of the South African High Court had already been postponed from July 28, 2021.

The airline was provisionally liquidated in April 2020. Its material assets have been auctioned off and its licenses and certifications have expired.

Despite this, trade unions representing SA Express employees in October 2021 made an unsuccessful attempt to stave off the final winding-up by taking the matter to the South African Constitutional Court. However, the country’s highest court said it was not within its jurisdiction and mandate to decide whether a state-owned enterprise like SA Express could be liquidated in the absence of parliamentary oversight.

This followed a failed rescue bid in 2020 by the preferred bidder, Fly SAX, a special purpose vehicle created by former employees, to save the airline’s brand. Fly SAX, in May 2021, made a revised offer based on raising ZAR150 million rand (USD10.4 million) through crowd-funding.

According to Fin24, asset manager Impact Investment Africa executive chairman Chris Hart now is leading the crowdfunding efforts, previously spearheaded by Uprise.Africa under the helm of former SkyWise co-chairperson and co-owner Tabassum (Tabz) Qadir.

Provisional liquidator Aviwe Ndyamara was not immediately available for comment.