Sun. Oct 20th, 2019

SAA pilots demand competent leadership team for airline

SAA pilotsSAA pilots have demanded a competent leadership team be put in place under the threat of legal industrial action.

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The South African Airways Pilots’ Association (SAAPA) say they are considering industrial action if a competent leadership team is not appointed.

SAAPA reacted with to the appointment of Zuks Ramasia as interim CEO of the floundering national carrier, with ‘profound distress and concern.’

Former CEO Vuyani Jarana resigned abruptly earlier this month, claiming the airline’s turnaround strategy was being systematically undermined.

“Whilst SAA made some progress under outgoing CEO Vuyani Jarana, some of the most crucial issues remain unresolved. As a result, our airline has been rendered all but dysfunctional,” SAAPA chairperson Captain Grant Black said in a statement issued to the press on Monday.

“The simple truth is that SAA will not survive unless critical operational and technical deficiencies are immediately addressed by a competent leadership team. SAA needs an interim CEO with the appropriate experience and financial acumen to successfully run a major airline. Unfortunately, Ms. Ramasia is not that person.

“Furthermore, many members of the current executive management team in place predate the appointment of Mr. Jarana as CEO. It is the same team that navigated SAA into its current untenable position.”

SAAPA revealed they have addressed the board in writing asking them to address issues with the leadership of SAA. The association are deeply concerned about the future of the airline under Ramasia and what they described as an underperforming management team.

“Significantly, we are canvassing SAA Pilots Association members on the appropriate action to take. At this stage, we cannot rule out embarking on lawful industrial action – for the first time in our 80-year history – to force the necessary changes at SAA,” Black went on.

“SAA pilots will not sit back while the cycle of deterioration is allowed to continue. Like other unions, we have been forced to draw a line in the sand and to prepare to take action.”

The pilots of SAA say they are deeply invested in the future of the airline and have its best interests at heart.

“The pilots of SAA perform an essential role in the airline, and the success of SAA is crucial to us. We are prepared to fight for the future of the airline that so many of us have dedicated our professional lives to.”

SAA have requested an R4-billion bailout package from government in order to keep its planes in the sky.

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