Virgin Australia secures US Chapter 15 recognition
May 22, 2020
Virgin Australia has secured recognition from the US Bankruptcy Court for its voluntary administration process, under Chapter 15 of the US bankruptcy code. This protects the carrier's US assets from creditors and allows Australia's courts to preside over all claims. The petition was filed in New York on 29 April, the carrier said today in a disclosure to the Australian Securities Exchange. "Formal recognition of the Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd voluntary administration process in Australia has now been granted, recognising the administration proceeding under Australia's Corporations Act as a foreign main proceeding as defined in Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code." The filing of the petition triggered the application of an automatic stay on creditor action against any assets Virgin Australia entities in administration have or may have in the USA, administrator Deloitte says on its website. It adds: "The automatic stay also prohibits any attempts to collect on claims and prohibits the commencement of any proceedings against Virgin Australia in the US. All claims will be addressed in the main Australia proceeding." "Generally, a chapter 15 case is ancillary to a primary proceeding brought in another country, typically the debtor's home country," according to an article by the US Courts posted on its website. "As an alternative, the debtor or a creditor may commence a full chapter 7 or chapter 11 case in the United States if the assets in the United States are sufficiently complex to merit a full-blown domestic bankruptcy case." Under the US Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 7 relates to liquidation and Chapter 11, rehabilitation or reorganisation.

Source: Cirium

Ryanair praises EU's Covid-19 flying guidelines
May 22, 2020
Ryanair has welcomed new European Union guidelines aimed at minimising coronavirus transmission when flights resume, and has reiterated its opposition to proposals by the Irish and UK governments to introduce "ineffective and un-implementable" quarantine measures. The Irish budget carrier, which plans to reinstate 40% of its normal flying schedule across 90% of its network from 1 July, says the guidelines issued on 21 May by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will "allow Europe's tourism industry to restart in July and August". Ryanair praises EASA's decision to include the wearing of medical face masks by passengers throughout their journey as one of its recommended measures, noting that this reflects its own health protocols. The airline said earlier this month that temperature checks and face masks would be the "cornerstone" of a "healthy return to service". EASA also recommends physical distancing "wherever feasible", although it stops short of requiring airlines to leave middle seats vacant. Instead, the agency says that when it is not possible to keep passengers 1.5m apart, airlines should implement "additional risk mitigation measures such as hand hygiene [and] respiratory etiquette". Ryanair is urging the Irish and UK governments to abandon plans to introduce 14-day quarantine measures for international arrivals, which it describes as "ineffective and un-implementable". "Requiring international arrivals to quarantine only after they have used multiple public transport providers to get from the airport to their ultimate destination has no basis in science or medicine," states Ryanair Group chief executive Michael O'Leary. He adds: "We strongly urge Europe's governments, especially those in Ireland and the UK, to mandate the wearing of face masks for airline, train and London underground passengers, as this is the best and most effective way to limit the spread of Covid-19 in public transport environments where social distancing is not possible."

Source: Cirium

Government puts R10bn aside for SAA in medium-term
May 21, 2020
South Africa’s government has provisionally set aside R3.8 billion ($212 million) for troubled flag-carrier South African Airways and another R164 million for SA Express in the current fiscal year. Department of public enterprises deputy director general Kgathatso Tlhakudi gave the figure during a 20 May presentation before the parliamentary portfolio committee on public enterprises. Tlhakudi pointed out that the budget allocated by the treasury is “under strain” owing to “unplanned spending” to cope with the coronavirus crisis, and that it “will look different in a couple of weeks”. But he highlighted a transfer of R37 billion to state-owned enterprises this year, with the vast majority to electricity utility firm Eskom. The figures also included R3.8 billion to South African Airways in 2020-21, part of a R9.9 billion sum set aside for the medium term. SAA’s allocation includes R4.3 billion for 2021-22 and R1.77 billion for 2022-23. The flag-carrier has been undergoing a business rescue process since December last year, and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has been hoping to create a new, more sustainable airline from SAA. Tlhakudi also mentioned that R164 million had been put aside for regional operator SA Express – which is facing liquidation – mainly to cover liabilities emanating from the early return of leased aircraft.

Source: Cirium


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