Sunday, 30 November 2008

SAA Stands To Lose R62mil Per Day!

Yet again our national airline finds itself with trouble on its hands. A strike by workers which started yesterday threatens to cost the airline R62 million per day. Almost a quarter of the airline's staff are expected to down tools across all departments.

The airline has stated that it has a contingency plan in place but I am less than confident in SAA's ability to manage itself. The cause for the strike appears to be apparent unilateral changes made to employment conditions. If this is indeed true I am left to wonder whether those in management at SAA do not understand the trade union movement or whether they in fact care! A strike in 2006 cost the airline R150-million!

In court papers SAA stated that it was concerned about the image being portrayed to the international community with the Confederations Cup in 2009 and the FIFA World Cup in 2010 just around the corner. A little late in the day for concerns about international image!

Is it time for the national airline to be privatized? Even in this economic climate this may be just the change that's needed.


Capetonian said...

I'm not sure about the R62m a day figure. Remember, this strike involves Voyager staff and flight reservations staff. While in the 1970s such a staff would have cost plenty, in today's world most reservations are made online, and if it's not possible ot make Voyager upgrades the airline might actually score in the short term. The risk is more a reputational one. CAVEAT - if the cabin crew and pilots join in the strike, then you can expect SAA's R62m a day losses to realise.

Arthur said...

@Capetonian - Thanks for your comment. As far as I can ascertain, the strike is extending to the crew and pilots so SAA can expect to make significant losses. Your point regarding Voyager upgrades is well made - time well tell!

Gerri said...

That is a big figure. A lot of companies around the world are feeling the pinch.

Anonymous said...

I agree with ways this will cost SAA that kind of money.

SAA Flights said...

I would love to see the actual figures from this. Did you see that their website also went down. they reckon that cost them a few million as well