SA Express CEO admits airline also dealing with staff shortages

Acting CEO Matsietsi Mokholo says SA Express has been dealing with several growing and simmering challenges, including financial constraints, leadership stability and governance issues.

Picture: SA Express

JOHANNEBSURG – SA Express acting CEO Matsietsi Mokholo says the airline has experienced major staff shortages recently, which may have contributed to its maintenance issues and ultimately the grounding of its aircraft.

Mokholo was speaking at SA Express's offices in Johannesburg on Wednesday for the first time since the announcement last week that all planes have been grounded amid serious safety concerns for thirty days.

Speaking exclusively to Eyewitness News on some of these issues, Mokholo says their technicians will be transferred to South African Airways (SAA) for supervision and training until they obtain their permits again.

Mokholo says SA Express has been dealing with several growing and simmering challenges, including financial constraints, leadership stability and governance issues.

While Mokholo says they've already ground seven aircraft themselves, the Civil Aviation Authority grounded the entire operation, which gives the company a chance to reflect and correct a number of issues.

Mokholo says they have also been dealing with some major staff shortages.

“We lost a number of technicians in critical areas. We lost engineers, we even lost pilots.”

SA Express cannot use their technicians to maintain the planes and therefore they will be transferred to SAA.

“So that they’re supervised under SAA but with that, it will be also training.”

Mokholo says they will also need financial support from government to get back up and running again.

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