- South African Airways CEO Vuyani Jarana has pledged to donate R100 000 of his own money to charity if he fails to turn around the struggling airline
- Despite the challenges facing the beleaguered state-owned airline Jarana is confident the company can be saved
- Jarana said the airline was fixable in terms of ratios, revenues and expenses
The new CEO of South African Airways Vuyani Jarana has made an incredibly bold – and some would say foolish – pledge to donate R100 000 of his own personal money to charity if he fails to turn around the fortunes at the struggling state-owned airline.
Jarana accepted a challenge from the Free Market Foundation (FMF) to donate R100 000 of his own money to charity if he fails in his attempt to return the beleaguered airline to profitability in the next three years.
Jarana said despite the challenges facing the company he was confident that the airline was fixable in terms of ratios, revenues and expenses.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the pledge between Jarana and the FMF’s executive director Leon Louw will see one of the men donating R100 000 to a charity once the three year period runs out on 31 March 2021.
The gentleman’s agreement between Louw and Jarana excludes SAA subjecting itself to a business rescue plan or any form of privatisation.
EWN.co.za reported that Jarana pointed out that travel in Africa was on the increase and SAA as a national airline was in a prime position to take advantage of this explosive growth if it could position itself correctly.
Jarana has already warned that job losses and other painful cost-cutting measures would have to be implemented in order to save the struggling airline.
SAA reportedly needs a cash injection of around R21 billion over the next three years just to remain open and flying.
Jarana announced that as part of the turnaround strategy, jobs at Air Chefs would be cut first. Air Chefs is SAA’s catering division and has already started consulting with unions and other stakeholders on the matter.
SAA has stated that retrenchment remained its least favoured option and would only take place as a last resort.
Jarana warned that as a company SAA was faced with an unsustainable cost-to-income ratio of 108% and said job losses across almost all departments would be inevitable.
Jarana and the new SAA board have taken their time to assess the numerous challenges facing the company and have come up with a strategy which they hope will return SAA to its former glory.
SAA’s spokesperson Tlali Tlali said the new leadership at the airline had not blindly embarked on the responsibility of rescuing the airline.
Tlali shared Jarana’s optimism about SAA being saveable.
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