Having climbed the ranks from a cabin crew member to acting CEO, Zuks is ready to retire.
On Thursday, 26 March, financially-strapped South African Airways (SAA) announced the early retirement of acting CEO Zuks Ramasia with effect from 14 April 2020.
Her retirement follows the airline’s announcement that it is concerned about its balance sheet with the travel restrictions being put in place due to the spread of Covid-19.
In a statement, SAA acting chairperson Thandeka Mgoduso thanked Zuks for her leadership, “passionate commitment” and “selfless contribution” during her 27 years at SAA. “Her journey was truly an example of how a number of women are progressively moving up the ranks in previously male-dominated industries.”
Zuks started as a cabin crew member in 1992, rose to the ranks of senior cabin crew member, then safety and emergency procedures trainer, before taking up her first management position at crew movement in 2000.
In December 2005, she was appointed as head of SAA’s global operations control centre before she was appointed as general manager for operations in 2012. In June 2019, she was appointed acting CEO and was also appointed as chairperson of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa in October 2019.
Her appointment came after the South African airline had been placed in business rescue, and following the resignation of prior CEO Vuyani Jarana. The business rescue process now faces additional challenges, as SAA has been forced to ground flights as the Covid-19 pandemic spreads.
She has advocated for the aviation industry through her various international directorial roles at the Coordination Services and International Air Transport Association Operations Committee.
According to the statement, Zuks made an “indelible mark” on those she worked with at SAA, inspiring and mentoring several employees. She especially motivated women in their aviation careers and was “unflinching” in her commitment towards the transformation of the industry.