SAA Technical to cut jobs – 1,200 employees expected to go

South African Airways’ plane-maintenance division is cutting jobs to help navigate the crisis that’s gripped the air-travel industry throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The restructuring is unavoidable in light of reduced demand from its airline customers, SAA Technical said in a statement.

While the state-owned company didn’t specify how many employees would be affected, Derek Mans, a representative of the Solidarity union, said about 60% of a total workforce of just over 2,000 could be eliminated.

The move comes more than a year after SAA, the national carrier and SAA Technical’s main customer, last flew a commercial flight.

The airline has been mired in bankruptcy proceedings and its own major job-cuts plan, while international travel restrictions to contain the spread of Covid-19 have hampered efforts to resume even a partial service.

Mango Airlines, another member of the SAA group, is also in difficulty. The low-cost carrier was briefly suspended from flying Wednesday by the country’s airports operator over the non-payment of fees.

The airline eventually settled part of its debt after emergency talks.

Read: Mango resumes flights as feud with South Africa Airports reveals deteriorating financial position

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SAA Technical to cut jobs – 1,200 employees expected to go