JOHANNESBURG – Embattled South African Airways (SAA) on Monday informed all its 5 146 employees that the state-owned airline was embarking on a restructuring process that could result in job losses.
Acting chief executive, Zuks Ramasia said the airline had commenced a consultation process with all employees in line with section 189 of the Labour Relations Act. The act requires an employer to consult with recognised labour unions and keep abreast employees who may be affected by the restructuring process.
Although the process may lead to retrenchments, Ramasia said SAA hoped to minimise the impact while offering support to those who would be directly affected.
She said the airline had faced numerous challenges over the past few years culminating in the current grave situation.
The challenges include, funding and liquidity challenges; inability to borrow indefinitely without repaying debt; high interest costs on loans; volatile and fluctuating fuel price; currency volatility; insufficient revenue and cash generation in relation to operating cost; ageing fleet which is expensive to maintain and is fuel inefficient, making it difficult for SAA to compete in the market place; and aggressive international and regional competition for revenue stimulation and network optimisation.