Why is SAA always running at such a huge loss and forever requesting 'bail outs' from the government?
The reason appears to be quite simple: they have too many people working for them and the business simply cannot afford it!
Many of these SAA employees fall into the 'protected employees' category, (those that simply have a job and do very little to substantiate their worth. In fairness, SAA also had them during the apartheid days), and our Employment Act prevents the SAA from simply 'getting rid' of surplus or unnecessary staff.
In any business it is vitally important to keep one's staff numbers to an absolute necessary minimum. This would be in line with the principle of keeping one's overall overheads to a minimum.
A website search was conducted of some random airlines (listed below) in order to gauge the total number of employees at that airline, measured against their total number of aircraft in the fleet. I simply divided the total number of employees by the total number of aircraft in the fleet which in turn indicated how many employees in the airline are employed PER AIRCRAFT in the fleet.
It must be noted that the research was not conducted in depth and some of the numbers below reflect from 2010 - 2012.
Interestingly enough, when attempting to download SAA's 2010 Annual Report, when clicking on it, nothing happens!
Have a look at the 'shock and horror' below:
1) QANTAS (Australian) - 32,500 employees with a total of 252 aircraft = 129 employees per aircraft
2) American Airlines - 87,897 employees with a total of 618 aircraft = 142 employees per aircraft
3) Delta Airlines - 106,216 employees with a total of 722 aircraft = 147 employees per aircraft
4) British Airways - 36,832 employees with a total of 238 aircraft = 154 employees per aircraft
5) United Airlines - 115,149 employees with a total of 710 aircraft = 162 employees per aircraft
6) South African Airways - 55,500 employees with a total of 58 aircraft = 957 employees per aircraft
Numbers above are subject to change depending on latest figures.
Based on the above no amount of 'turn around' strategy will sort SAA out! They simply need to get rid of unnecessary people and trim their business!