South African Airways’ aircraft maintenance division is cutting jobs to help weather the crisis that plagued the airline industry throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Restructuring is inevitable given the decline in demand from its airline customers, SAA Technical said in a statement.
Although the state-owned company did not specify how many employees would be affected, Derek Mans, a representative of the Solidarity union, said about 60% of a total workforce of just over 2,000 could be eliminated.
The move comes more than a year after SAA, the national carrier and main customer of SAA Technical, last performed a commercial flight.
The airline has been mired in bankruptcy proceedings and its own major job-cutting plan, while restrictions on international travel to contain the spread of Covid-19 have hampered efforts to resume even partial service.
Mango Airlines, another member of the SAA group, is also in difficulty. The low-cost carrier was briefly suspended from flights on Wednesday by the operator of the country’s airports for non-payment of fees.
The airline has finally settled some of its debt after emergency talks.
Read: Mango resumes flights as dispute with South Africa airports reveals deteriorating financial situation