Monday, June 24, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: New SAA plan to be made public in late July/August as Ethiopian, Kenya Airways send out feelers.

SAA logoMonwabisi Kalawe has outlined his first steps taken as the new South African Airways (SA) boss stating that he was aiming for a late July/early August public announcement of his airline's tentative Turnaround Plan #9, currently undergoing South African Cabinet scrutiny.

Speaking to Bloomberg at the recently ended Paris Air Show 2013 held at Le Bourget, Mr Kalawe said he was targeting July or early August to reveal details to stakeholders, including tourist groups concerned that service to Cape Town may be curbed; a reference to SAA's decision to axe its Cape Town - London Heathrow flights last year.
Monwabisi Kalawe, CEO SAA
Monwabisi Kalawe
I’m not able to discuss its contents but it’s a pragmatic and well-considered document which I fully support,” he said at the Paris Air Show. “SAA, in my view, is not in crisis. It’s an organization in distress, but it’s got pockets of excellence.

Additionally, Mr Kalawe said he would meet with Star Alliance's CEO, Mark Schwab, to discuss how SAA actually benefits from its membership of the alliance while at the same time, considering calls to explore potential "win-win relationships" with both Ethiopian Airlines (ET) and Kenya Airways (KQ), all of whom have been bearing the brunt of the Gulf carrier onslaught.

On his tenure at the troubled South African national carrier, Mr Kalawe said that his chief aim would be to deliver stability and to “reignite pride” in the brand but claimed it was "too early" to say how SAA’s problematic leadership structure will be modified.