Four flights cancelled‚ more delayed as cabin strike hits SAA

South African Airways Acting Chief Executive Officer Nico Bezuidenhout Demonstrates Airliner Catering Stripping Operation
SAA travellers are warned of disruptions in air travel today. Image by: Getty Images
Travellers are warned of disruptions in air travel today as a cabin crew strike takes hold. Four South African Airways flights had to be cancelled this morning and others delayed‚ affecting routes between Johannesburg and Cape Town‚ Port Elizabeth and East London.

This was confirmed by SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali.

The South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) secretary general Mpho Moikangoa said the union was striking over meal allowances which had remained stagnant for the past six years.

Moikangoa said negotiations with SAA were unsuccessful on Tuesday afternoon as the airline was offering an increase of R84.90 whereas the union wanted nothing less than R352.

Crew members are given a R1711 ($131) meal allowance per day.

“We spend 20 days out of the country and the hotels we sleep in are expensive and we can’t afford breakfast at times. We are forced to eat at places like McDonald’s‚” said Moikangoa.

The union represents 1300 of the 1700 airline crew members at SAA.

SACCA deputy president Christopher Shabangu said cabin staff have numerous grievances‚ but had chosen to highlight the allowance issue first.

In a statement released last night‚ SAA advised passengers to keep track of flight information on social media platforms and on the airline’s website.

“The airline will ensure that all changes are published timeously and day of travel support will be provided to customers who may experience flight delays or cancellations that may occur during this period‚” SAA said.

“The airline is doing everything possible to find common ground and/or a settlement on matters that are currently under discussion. Negotiations are ongoing and the company remains optimistic that the strike action could be averted.”

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