South African Airways Wants to Send Pilots to Other Airlines
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
After years of financial losses, South African Airways is trying to cut costs by offering pilots and cabin crew to major global carriers. Bloomberg reports that SAA’s Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana did not reveal how many pilots and flight attendants could lose their jobs or be transferred, but in an interview he explained measures including eliminating destinations within Africa and reducing capacity or cutting half the flights from the airline’s Johannesburg base to London.
The airline hasn’t generated a profit since 2011 and has a three-year turnaround plan. SAA has explored options to transfer pilots to rival airlines Kenya Airways and Air Mauritius, as well as Emirates, Turkish, and Ethiopian Airlines, Jarana told Bloomberg. Jarana said these transfers will create new partnerships and help the airline shrink, with the possibility of staff returning if SAA can generate a profit. However, the CEO does not plan to leave Star Alliance, the global airline alliance of which SAA is a member, along with United Airlines.
This all comes at time when airlines are actively seeking pilots to combat a pilot shortage. The global shortage of pilots was a one of the factors that caused Emirates to cut flights and, in April, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, the airline’s CEO Tim Clark said Emirates was short at least 100 pilots. Within the next 20 years, North American airlines will be in need of over 100,000 new pilots, and the shortage is expected to reach over 2,000 by 2025, according to a report by Statista. The report also noted that Republic Airways’ 2016 bankruptcy was in part due to lack of qualified pilots and that last year Europe’s biggest low-fare airline, Ryanair, canceled more than 2,000 flights because it did not have enough pilots.
Featured image of a South African Airways Airbus A340-300 by Mayall/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees