South African Airways has lost its chief executive in a row over mounting debt and lack of government support for the state-owned airline.
Vujani Jarana announced his resignation from the carrier having joined in November 2017 with a mandate to turn around the loss-making airline’s fortunes. Prior to Jarana joining the carrier, SAA had seven chief executives in five years. Jarana will quit at the end of August.
In a letter, the former telecoms executive said his turnaround strategy was “being systemically undermined” and said there had been no further promise of government funds beyond a £274 million cash injection last year to fund creditors. “I spend most of my time dealing with liquidity and solvency issues,” he said in the letter.
As well as its debts, SAA is hampered by an inefficient fleet and several loss-making routes. The airline has not made a profit since 2011 and Jarana said government funds of £1.2 billion agreed as part of a turnaround plan had not been forthcoming.
SAA said the search for a successor “will immediately commence”.