South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the sale of five A340-300s and four A340-600s, as well as 15 spare engines and four APU units.

According to tender documentation seen by ch-aviation, the A340-300s are ZS-SXD (msn 643), ZS-SXE (msn 646), ZS-SXF (msn 651), ZS-SXG (msn 378), and ZS-SXH (msn 197). The airline is also selling the following -600s: ZS-SNC (msn 426), ZS-SND (msn 531), ZS-SNF (msn 547), and ZS-SNG (msn 557). According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the -300s are between 15.6 and 22.3 years of age, while the -600s are between 16.1 and 17 years old.

The tender also covers three CFM International CFM56-5C4/P engines and twelve Rolls-Royce Trent 556 engines, as well as four Honeywell Aerospace GTCP331-350 APU units.

The carrier said that all the aircraft, engines, and APUs are serviceable with the exception of A340-300 ZS-SXH which "is only available for teardown".

If the sale is successful, South African Airways will retain three A340-300s and five -600s in its fleet.

Potential bidders have until January 30, 2020, to submit offers for any of the assets. The offers will remain valid for 180 days.

Besides the Airbus quadjets, SAA's widebody fleet also includes six A330-200s, five A330-300s, and three recently delivered A350-900s.

The sale of A340s is one of many actions undertaken by South African Airways to improve its notoriously woeful financial standing. In December, the carrier entered bankruptcy protection with the government and commercial lenders each committing to inject an extra ZAR2 billion rands (USD140 million). However, president of National Transport Movement labour union Mashudu Raphetha told Reuters that the government has yet to provide its share of the injection. In turn, the capital made available by the banks has already been used by the cash-guzzling airline.

Raphetha warned that if the government does not contribute its share by January 19, the airline might be forced to cancel flights and delay salary payments.

Separately, SAA said it will appeal the recent ruling by Zimbabwean High Court ordering it to pay USD877,435 dollars in outstanding "meteorological weather fees" to the country's Environment, Water and Climate Ministry for a period between 2006 and 2014.

"SAA's legal representatives in Zimbabwe have filed an appeal against the judgment in the Supreme Court. There will, therefore, be no action that can be taken against SAA, until the determination of the case by the Zimbabwean Supreme Court," spokesperson Tlali Tlali told Tourism Update.