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SAA could cut more than 900 jobs

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The airline has not made an annual profit since 2011 and is grappling with severe funding difficulties and an inefficient and ageing fleet of airplanes.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s struggling

state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) could cut more

than 900 jobs as it restructures to stem severe financial

losses, the airline said in a statement.

SAA said it had started consultations with its more than

5,000 staff and was talking to labour unions.

The airline has not made an annual profit since 2011 and is

grappling with severe funding difficulties and an inefficient

and ageing fleet of airplanes.

South African officials have been searching for an investor

to take a stake in the airline, but their efforts have so far

been unsuccessful.

“We urgently need to address the ongoing loss-making

position that has subsisted over the past years. That is why we

are undergoing a restructuring,” said SAA acting-Chief Executive

Zuks Ramasia.

“No final decision will be taken until the consultation

process is concluded. However, it is estimated that

approximately 944 employees may be affected.”

South Africa’s struggling state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) could cut more than 900 jobs as it restructures to stem severe financial losses, the airline said in a statement. File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

In a dramatic fall from grace over the past decade, SAA has

lost its place as Africa’s biggest airline and a symbol of

patriotic pride to become a source of frustration for taxpayers.

Analysts have long said its workforce should be cut to bring

it in line with regional competitors.

“We urgently need to address the ongoing loss-making position that has subsisted over the past years. That is why we are undergoing a restructuring,” said SAA acting-Chief Executive Zuks Ramasia. Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA)

REUTERS