South African Airways CEO resigns airline’s future uncertain

South African Airways

The chief executive officer of South African Airways, Vuyani Jarana, has just tendered his resignation.

Vuyani complained of lack of government support for the struggling airline that has been recording losses for several years and requiring loans and government guarantees to keep flying.

In a resignation cited by Reuters News, dated 29th of June, Vuyani complained about the bureaucracy mitigating in the execution of the needed reforms at the airline and the dependency of the airline on bailouts.

“The strategy is being systematically undermined, and as the Group Chief Executive Officer, I can no longer be able to assure the board and the public that the LTTS (long term turnaround strategy) is achievable.”

“We have not been able to obtain any further funding commitment from government, making it very difficult to focus on the execution of the strategy,” he said.

From the look of things, it seemed Vuyani was not seeing light at the end of the tunnel for the struggling airline. This is because SAA needs about $1.9 billion to clear its ‘peculiar mess’ characterized by a backlog of debt burdens. The airline has only received $342 million which has been used to pay some of its debt backlogs.

The government’s lack of seriousness will only complicate matters for SAA.