The South African Airways Pilots’ Association said it supported calls by two other unions for strong, accountable leadership at South African Airways, which faces a two-day strike from tomorrow that will cripple the airline.

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Photo: Twitter.

“The employees of SAA did not put the airline into the financial mess it is in,” the SAAPA said, “SAA’s management team did. We therefore reject any attempts by management to renege on its commitments to the employees of the company.”

After SAA was reported to be looking at cutting 900 jobs at the airline, and an agreement on a wage increase could not be reached, the strike was announced. It was reported at midday Thursday in various media outlets that SAA had proposed a new wage deal in a bid to avert the strike.

The SAAPA, in its statement, repeated demands it said it had made in August, for the appointment of “an appropriately qualified CEO with experience in the aviation industry, and for a skills audit to be completed by an independent agency.”

Since the departure of former CEO Vuyani Jarana, the unions have repeatedly asked for new leaders, but the “pleas have fallen on deaf ears and, as a result, the airline has sunk deeper into the abyss. SAA is broke because of the political interference of the Dudu Myeni-era and the continued mismanagement of the airline since her departure.”