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SAA expresses disappointment as pilots threaten to strike

On Thursday pilots warned they would embark on industrial action if the airline refused to meet their demands.

FILE: An SAA aircraft. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – South African Airways (SAA) said the threat of a pilot strike contradicts the position adopted by both parties.

On Thursday pilots warned they would embark on industrial action if the airline refused to meet their demands.

They want the national carrier to be restructured as a matter of urgency. The SAA Pilots Association has already delivered a memorandum of demands to management. They want unexperienced top executives to be fired and replaced by qualified personnel.

The association's captain John Hartly said: “The last thing we want to do is to go on a strike. The pilots of SAA have never been on strike in the 80 years of SAA’s history. There are lots of meetings taking place.”

SAA’s Tlali Tlali has expressed disappointment at the announcement of a pending strike.

“This has the potential to hurt the airline’s commercial interests and it may not be able to recover from this. Management has taken steps to enable recovery for the business as soon as possible.”

Should the strike go ahead, more than 500 pilots will not report for duty.