SA pilots' plan to save South African Airways

The South African Airways Pilots Association has a plan to save SAA R313 million over three years.

In a statement on Wednesday, The South African Airways Pilots’ Association (Saapa) reaffirmed their support for chief executive Vuyani Jarana’s (pictured) efforts to turn SAA around. 

Saapa chairperson Grant Back said that Jarana has made some important and crucial interventions: 

“A few executives and managers have been suspended and terminated. Procurement contracts are being reviewed, reassessed and renegotiated. 

“He has also begun to address the issues at SAA Technical and in Operations, and we trust that he will continue to take action to ensure the right people and processes are put in place to address these issues.”

The pilots of SAA are willing to play their part in turning the airline around, including voluntarily reducing pilot headcount and salary increases, and are invested in saving SAA. According to Back, by implementing these measures, Saapa will realise cumulative saving over three years that will amount to R313 million by the end of the 2019/2010 financial year. 

“We believe that SAA can be saved and can be an African leader once again. This can be achieved through calm, rational engagement and the unimpeded implementation of the strategy to return SAA to success.” 

Back also said that SAA can succeed if the board and leadership is prepared to focus on the real problems at SAA. 

“The brutal truth is that SAA needs to hire the best managers who must be held accountable. It must also take drastic action to increase revenue and address costs that are out of line with international benchmarks, no matter how politically difficult it may be. Emerging from this turbulent period will require all of us to pull together in the best interests of the airline and the people of this country.”