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
“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
“No final decision will be taken until the consultation
process is concluded. However, it is estimated that
approximately 944 employees may be affected.”
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.