Potential Buyers Sought For SA Express Bombardier CRJ200s

At the end of May, we reported that provisional liquidators of SA Express were requesting more powers from the South African government to allow them to sell assets for cash. It looks like those liquidators are trying to gauge public interest, as the regional airline’s Bombardier CRJ200 jets are now listed on a popular South African auction website.

CRJ200 SA Express
According to Airfleets, SA Express currently has a fleet of six CRJ200s and one CRJ100. Photo: Hansueli Krapf via Wikimedia Commons

Available through online auction

According to FlightGlobal, SA Express has been under provisional liquidation since the end of April. However, the decision for a final liquidation order has been put off until the beginning of September.

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That hasn’t stopped liquidators from placing a listing on the liquidity services website Go-Dove (also known as GoIndustry DoveBid). The listing is requesting expressions of interest for the following ‘items’:

  • Sale of the business in its entirety as a going concern
  • Investment as an equity partner
  • Purchaser for part or all of the assets

The listing goes on to note the significant assets up for sale, which includes:

  • Bombardier CRJ 200 jets
  • Engine spare parts and retables
  • GSE, specialized tooling, workshop and support equipment
  • Licenses (Operating, AMO, ATNS, ICASA, etc.), IT Infrastructure, and all other Intangible Assets Required to Operate and Airline in Southern Africa
SA Express
Liquidators of the state-owned airline had requested a court order to extend their powers. Photo: SA Express

The website’s ‘Special COVID-19 conditions’ notes the following:

  1. The Buyer recognizes that the world is currently amidst a pandemic, which may affect how business gets done and cause some difficulty in viewing and collection to assets, amongst others.
  2. Sellers may have to introduce and modify the rules of engagement relating to the sale and access to various sites. All buyers agree that they will adhere to the regulations and rules set by Government and the Sellers and furthermore agree that the Buyer cannot use this to withdraw from sales.
  3. The Buyer recognizes that there might be a delay in the collection of assets and/or access to site, which will impact loading time and collection efforts.

Looking for a Bombardier CRJ200?

If you’re in the market for a used CRJ200, website flyradius.com reports that the price of a used CRJ200, like any other aircraft, varies widely depending on the year built, hours flown, and overall condition.

However, as recently as 2016, the website had reported that used Bombardier CRJ200 pricing ranged from $1.5 million to $4 million. Of course, given the current economic climate and the conditions faced by airlines around the world, those numbers may be even lower.

Air Canada
The CRJ200 has a core part of many regional fleets, serving remote and rural communities. Photo: Air Canada

Within SA Express’ fleet, there is one CRJ-200BER – which is designated as a ‘hot-and-high’ variant that is designed to operate out of airports at a higher altitude and/or in high temperatures. This aircraft joined the fleet in 1997 straight from the factory.

Airfleets shows another four CRJ-200ER aircraft and one CRJ-200LR. Most of the jets are 22 years old, with several having previously flown with US operators Atlantic Coast Airlines and Independence Air. The CRJ-200 is configured for 50 passengers, with the ER variant having a range of 2,275km and the LR capable of 2,936km.

With the challenging situation around the world right now, do you think there will be any parties interested in the airline as a whole, one or several aircraft, or aircraft parts? Let us know your thoughts.