SAA set to cut pilot, flight attendant jobs

Six months into the job of running loss-making South African Airways‚ CEO Vuyani Jarana is mapping out a punishing austerity plan.

Jarana‚ who faces the daunting task of turning around the national carrier‚ said layoffs and other cuts were unavoidable as he contended with a draining cost-to-income ratio of 108%.

“SAA cannot carry the same workforce‚ whether it is pilots‚ cabin crew or administration‚” he said. “We have to make some tough decisions to save the airline. There cannot be sacred cows when it comes to SAA.”

He declined to put a number to the job losses‚ but two sources familiar with his plan said SAA was likely to cut between 1‚000 and 1‚500 people via a combination of layoffs and voluntary redundancies to bring its employee-per-aircraft ratio in line with regional competitors.

The numbers include about 300 flight attendants‚ according to one of the sources.

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