South African Airways (SAA) CEO, Vuyani Jarana, has said that he may be considering leasing out the company’s cabin crew and airplane docking spots to foreign airlines. This will be done in an effort to cut costs for the struggling airline. This measure may also help fight the global shortage of flight staff.
Speaking to Associated Free Press News, SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali, said that Jarana’s key objective is to protect SAA’s employees as well as return the airline to positive financial status.
Leasing out the airline’s cabin and crew means that there will be no mass retrenchments, which would be immensely unpopular with both government and the public. This would also help other major airlines avoid cancellations, as was the case with Ryanair, who had to cancel thousands of flights from November because of an admin error that led a shortage of pilots.
Speaking to BusinessTech, National Treasury director-general, Dondo Mogajane, said that SAA needs a R5-billion cash injection within the current financial year to help it meet its financial obligations. He added that this cash injection would not come from government, as it had already pumped R20-billion into the state-owned enterprise.
Instead, other avenues will need to be considered to help cover the shortfall. Mogajane also said that the National Treasury may be willing to consider selling a stake in the airliner to a private equity partner.
In May, Pravin Gordhan, Minister of public Enterprises, announced that this would include the merger of SAA, SA Express and Mango, as all three currently fly to the same destinations.
“Bringing the airlines together and rationalising their routes is important. Rationalising the kind of aircraft needed at a particular time and day – that’s the experience we’re beginning to learn from airlines around the world,” he said.