SOUTH AFRICA : Airways staff launch strike three weeks after flights resume



Union members in South Africa have complained about working conditions less than three weeks after the national carrier resumed bankruptcy proceedings.

This year, South African Airways (SAA) emerged from a 17-month business rescue with hundreds of jobs slashed and a fleet reduced from 46 to six planes.


The country’s Airways remained grounded for a year-and-a-half and only resumed services at the end of September.

However, the remaining staff is unsatisfied with the company, prompting action from their representatives.

On Tuesday, Staff and unionists protested outside the airline’s offices in Johannesburg.


“Many of the old SAA’s problems have been carried over into the new airline,” said a joint statement by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association.


According to the union,  workers placed on a “training layoff scheme” were not called back to work while others’ salaries and employment benefits were slashed.

SAA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


South Africa Airlines, once Africa’s second-largest, had survived for decades on government bailouts and was shedding routes even before the pandemic hit.

It was rocked by a crippling strike in November 2019, with workers demanding higher wages and protesting against planned job cuts. This placed the airline under a state-approved business rescue plan the following month.


The Airline Company signed a cooperation agreement with Kenya Airways two weeks back to create a pan-African airline for a long-term plan.

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