- South African Airways (SAA) currently owes its technical staff R90 million in wages and is waiting for funding to pay them
- The technical staff claimed to have received half of their pay and decided to stage a protest at the SAA Kempton Park offices
- The embattled SAA airline is also in need of a R10.5 billion bailout in order to recommence activities
Embattled airline South African Airways (SAA) owes its technical staff R90 million and is currently waiting for funding to pay them. Staff members held a demonstration on Monday in Kempton Park, claiming they had only received half of their pay.
The staff members said that management had gotten their pay in full. The staff also claimed that they were informed at the very last minute that they would only be receiving 25% of their salaries when they usually received 50%.
In December, the airline put a pause on all operations and proceeded to seek bankruptcy protection. Administrators for SAA said they needed R10.5 billion to recommence activities, while Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is only prepared to provide guarantees on R4 billion to R5 billion on the amount given.
A report by BusinessTech stated that the funding for the money spoken about by the finance minister has an unclear source at the moment. To add to this, there has not yet been a bailout agreement.
According to DailyMaverick, SAA needs the funding to implement their business rescue plan which proposes (among other things) retrenchment packages and the recommencement of flights early next year.
In similar news, Briefly.co.za recently reported on doctors talking about travelling safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel using any form of public transport poses risks for contracting Covid-19. One should always weigh up the risk of travel versus the benefit of the trip.
Transmission of Covid-19 between passengers in the aircraft cabin is low as most planes have HEPA filters (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters). These block 99.7% of airborne microbes. Cabin air is circulated vertically from ceiling to floor and refreshed every two to three minutes. Regulations require that cabins are wiped down with antimicrobials between flights.
Check airline policy on their website on cleaning procedures of the cabin. There is usually no/limited food or beverage service to limit contact between customers and crew. If you are able to, sit next to the window as aisle seats have more people moving past and therefore, theoretically a higher chance of infection.
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