Johannesburg – South African Airways (SAA) on Wednesday pleaded with their customers and stakeholders to “bear with them” as they were experiencing operational delays and flight cancellations due to industrial action by members of their cabin crew.
Around 200 flight attendants have gathered outside the SAA head office in Kempton Park in protest against low international meal allowances. They are demanding an increase of their meal allowance from $130 (R1,699) to $170 (R2,217) for overseas trips.
The airline said flights departing from coastal cities early Wednesday morning had been impacted and options had been considered to accommodate passengers affected by the cancellations.
“The required number of cabin crew members are currently not available to enable SAA to operate all of its flights,” SAA said in a statement.
“The strike action follows a notice of industrial action by one of the labour unions representing its cabin crew members, the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA).”
SAA said the some domestic outbound flights from Johannesburg were delayed, but all flights departing from Cape Town and Durban left on time.
Former SA cricket star Herschelle Gibbs, who was stranded at OR Tambo International Airport was seen checking the timetables along with other passengers.
SAA said it regrets the inconvenience to all its customers and it was “exploring ways in conjunction with its partners to facilitate the accommodation of its passengers on later flights or on partner flights.”
“Other travel options and/or flight details will be communicated as soon as final arrangements have been confirmed,” the airline said.