South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) administrators have been given until May 29 to devise and present a turnaround plan. Business Rescue Practitioners (BRP) Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana said in a statement on March 26 that creditors had acceded to their request to have the deadline pushed back by three months from late March.

"We confirm that a further extension for the publication of the plan from March 31, 2020, to May 29, 2020, has been approved by the requisite majority of the creditors holding voting interests in the Company," they said.

The BRPs, in their letter to creditors last week, cited the difficult circumstances SAA found itself in; namely the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had had on its business as well as the need for lengthy redundancy talks with labour unions.

In line with President Cyril Ramaphosa's plan to curb the coronavirus's spread, SAA, as with other South African carriers, grounded itself on Tuesday for a period of three weeks until April 16 at the least. While the suspension of flights presents a serious threat to SAA's already imperilled bottom line, the BRPs have reaffirmed their commitment to turning the stricken airline around.

A spokeswoman for the BRPs, Louise Brugman, told Tourism Update that while variable costs – such as fuel and parking fees – had been reduced following the grounding of flights, fixed costs remained the same. “The latter includes salaries, which we will pay at the end of the month,” she said.