South African Airways Struggles To Remain Viable

By Jens Flottau
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

SAA posted a 1.25 billion rand loss in its fiscal year 2011-12 and is expected to have remained in the red in 2012-13 (the fiscal year ended March 31). It has gone through another round of management turmoil following the resignation of CEO Siza Mzimela in October 2012. As Mzimela wrote in a letter to the staff, her decision was “not a random move,” and shortly thereafter the majority of SAA's board of directors resigned in what many have interpreted as a clash between the board and the Ministry of Public Enterprises.

Mzimela will be replaced by Monwabisi Kalawe, who currently runs a food services company and who worked for Airports Company South Africa earlier in his career.

Large parts of Kalawe's agenda have already been defined. Gigaba expects South African to set up a holding company that includes SAA, its low-fare division Mango and South African Express, a regional carrier that has so far been operating separately and which has also been in a severe cash crunch since late last year.

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