South African Express (SA Express) is to appeal a Gauteng High Court judgement handed down on February 6 which has placed the regional carrier into business rescue. The application was brought by global logistics company Ziegler SA in January, which is owed ZAR11.3 million (USD770,000), as it believes the airline is technically insolvent and is unable to pay its debts.

"Considering the content of the judgment, it is clear that the court went over and above what it was required and granted orders not sought by the applicant," the airline said in a statement. "The court has also not made any order on whether the matter was urgent or not, in circumstances when the urgency was specifically opposed."

"The company has instructed its attorneys to apply for leave to appeal, which will be filed as soon as it is considered and settled by senior counsel."

SA Express is set to receive ZAR164 million (USD11.2 million) from the government during FY2020/21, in addition to the ZAR1.2 billion (USD82 million) it received in February 2019, which was then topped up in September last year with another ZAR300 million (USD20.5 million) hand out.

On January 29, SA Express issued a press release saying that South African Airways (SAA) had failed to pay revenues it was owed as a consequence of the flag carrier’s own business rescue status. A day earlier, SAA said that it had been given access to an additional ZAR3.5 billion rand (USD240 million) from the state-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa, to help it avert its collapse.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, SA Express operates a fleet of 21 aircraft, although many are deemed to be inactive - ten CRJ200(ER)s, eight inactive; two CRJ700(ER)s, one inactive; and nine Dash 8-400s, five inactive.