File image: SAA. (IOL).

CAPE TOWN - National airline carrier, South African Airways will reportedly rent out its pilots and cabin crew to foreign airlines. 

SAA CEO, Vuyani Jarana is said to be evaluating measures and considering the possibility of leasing out the company’s pilots and cabin crew to airlines that are struggling with a shortage of flight staff, reports Business Tech. 

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali told AFP News that Jarana’s main objective is to safeguard SAA employees and also to bring SAA back to a positive financial performance. 

Meanwhile, trade union The Solidarity is working hard at saving the embattled carrier. 

Solidarity has not shelved its plans to file an application to have SAA placed under business rescue, Solidarity deputy chief operating officer Werner Human said on Tuesday.

The union initially wanted the matter to be heard in the High Court in May, but changed its plans when the troubled airline received a R5 billion bailout from the government in order to cover its immediate costs.

Commenting on possible job cuts at the national carrier, Human on Tuesday said the priority should be to set the company on a sound financial footing. 

“It is unsettling to talk about job losses in a country that is battling high levels of unemployment. We would like to see a sustainable SAA,” he said.

But he said the union wanted to proceed with plans to put the airline under business rescue.

“The application is ready. We are finalising a few things. It is definitely not off the table. We will make an announcement very soon,” said Human.

Commenting on SAA’s financial woes, he said the airline should seek a strategic partner. “Only that will solve SAA’s problems. Any plan that does not involve a strategic partner is unlikely to work.”

Human was commenting on statements made by SAA chief executive Vuyani Jarana on Johannesburg radio station Talk Radio 702.

During the interview, Jarana said lay-offs as part of a restructuring process were inevitable.

“We are looking at everything. It is under consideration. As we look at procurement benefits, restructuring the staff and the head count is inevitable,” he said.

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE