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SAA pilots threaten to down tools and call for Ramasia’s removal

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South African Airways (SAA) pilots are threatening to down tools, following last week’s announcement of the airline’s new chief executive, Zukisa Ramasia.

According to the pilots’ union, the newly appointed interim chief executive Zukisa Ramasia is not the right person to lead the SAA and the pilots have threatened to stage strikes in a bid to “force necessary changes” at the airline.

The South African Airways Pilots Association described the recent developments at the struggling airline as a “cause for profound distress and concern”, which require a competent leadership team.

The union added: “SAA needs an interim CEO with the appropriate experience and financial acumen to successfully run a major airline. Unfortunately, Ramasia is not that person.”

Ramasia is a former general manager of operations at the airline. She was appointed as acting CEO ten days ago, following the resignation of Vuyani Jarana after only two years in the hot chair.

The association said it would seek the views of its members on the next appropriate action over the matter.

“At this stage, we cannot rule out embarking on lawful industrial action for the first time in our 80-year history to force the necessary changes at SAA,” the body said.

Last week, the South African Cabin Crew Association and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa staged lunchtime pickets at airports around the country, demanding Jarana’s reinstatement.


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