Wednesday 26 April 2017 – Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has confirmed that several South African Airways (SAA) flights operating from its network of airports across the country have either been cancelled or delayed indefinitely. Header image credit: Jan Bornman, HeraldLive.
“We are monitoring the situation at all our airports and working with stakeholders to minimise disruptions to airport operations where possible,” said ACSA Spokesperson Nangamso Jacobs.
Passengers and the travel trade are advised to contact South African Airways for flight-specific information and queries on +27 (0)11 978 1111 or 0861 606 606.
The South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) members went on strike over meal allowances, which they claim have remained stagnant for the past six years.
Crew members are given a meal allowance of R1 711 ($131) per day and are demanding a minimum increase of R352, whereas the airline offered an increase of R84.90 during negotiations on Tuesday, which some SACCA members have described as “peanuts”.
Today’s strike by cabin crew employed at SAA, which has caused the cancellation of 32 flights, and has left thousands of passengers stranded at airports throughout the country, is a symptom of a much deeper crisis at the beleaguered parastatal. A court interdict this afternoon finally put an end to the strike.
“The fact is that Dudu Myeni, who behaves less like a chairperson, and more like a ‘corporate warlord’, has run the national airline into the ground, and bankrupted South African Airways,” said Alf Lees, the Democratic Alliance Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance.
A staggering loss of R4.5 billion is projected for 2016/17, which adds to the R1.5 billion loss in 2015/16 and R5.6 billion loss in 2014/15.
A total of R19.1 billion worth of government guarantees have apparently already been exhausted, which means that South African Airways will likely need a further bailout long before the end of the 12-month “going concern” period claimed by the national airline’s directors and verified by external auditors in 2016.
“The fact is that South African Airways is now in a crisis which affects the sovereign credit rating of South Africa. I have, therefore, written to the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim, requesting him to schedule an urgent meeting with South African Airways on 04 or 05 May 2017 in Parliament. We cannot sit back and allow things to continue like this; we have to step in and stop the rot at South African Airways,” Lees said.