South African Airways Rejects Report Carrier to Cut 1,000 Jobs

  • Sowetan newspaper cites unions as saying SAA planning job-cuts
  • Airline seeks to cut costs as part of plan to return to profit

The logo of South African Airways sits on the tailfins of Airbus Group NV A340, left, and A330-200 aircraft parked at O.R. Tambo International airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers

South African Airways Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana rejected a report that the state-owned carrier plans to fire at least 1,000 workers as it seeks to cut costs and return to profitability.

“That’s not correct,” Jarana said in an interview on Monday with the Johannesburg-based 702 radio station. “We are not anywhere near close to getting to know how many people we need to retrench.”

A report by the Johannesburg-based Sowetan newspaper cited a South African labor union as saying the national carrier intends to fire at least 1,000 people. SAA’s net loss widened more than threefold to 5.6 billion rand ($464 million) in the 2017 financial year and the company may not be able to operate as a going concern, South Africa’s Auditor-General said earlier this month.

There’s no resolution to cut jobs, Jarana said. “When there are jobs to be on the line, the unions and myself will discuss.”

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