South African Airways interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thomas Kgokolo says as the airline regains its momentum, it will be able to create more job opportunities.
He has confirmed that SAA has released some staff members who were part of a training scheme that has since ended.
“But our long term objective is that as we ramp up the airline as we add more capacity more frequency within our network, we will then provide opportunities within the market to create more employment.
It is very regretful and it is not something as a CEO one is pleased about. We do not get excited about removing people from their jobs because we understand the impact on their families and communities. But we had to ensure that we save the base of SAA and we give it a chance of survival.”
In the video below, unions react to possible job cuts:
Kgokolo also said the rising oil prices aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are likely to cause an increase in airfares.
SAA has just reintroduced its route between Johannesburg and Durban after a two-year break.
Flights on the route were halted because of SAA being placed under business rescue, as well as the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The airline resumed operations four months ago by reintroducing flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Addressing the media in Durban as they welcomed the first flight between Durban and Johannesburg, Kgokolo said the rising oil prices might pose a threat to SAA’s operations.
“Our aircraft run on fuel, so it’s something we need to look at. We know for sure that our cost base is going to increase. So it will require us as management through the board as well to look at our cost structure to make sure that we run sufficient frequencies, making sure that if a particular frequency gives us the right numbers from revenue.”