Treasury can sort out the soapie at SAA‚ departing Mango CEO says

South African Airways (SAA) can be fixed but what is required is strong management‚ outgoing Mango chief executive officer Nico Bezuidenhout said on Friday.

Bezuidenhout‚ who has acted as CEO of parent company SAA‚ resigned to join London-listed low-cost carrier Fastjet.

He has been with the airline since it launched a decade ago.

Bezuidenhout – who tendered his resignation on Thursday‚ effective July 31 – told Radio 702 on Friday that the frontline people at South African Airways have always managed to stay focussed.

“I think continued management instability will take its toll. I think we have got all the ingredients of the soap opera at SAA. SAA can be rescued and can be fixed but what is required is strong management‚” Bezuidenhout told Radio 702.

He said everybody knew what needed to be done. “I think under the leadership of the Treasury we will see changes.”

Bezuidenhout said SAA played an important role in the South African economy and it had to be sorted out. “Those wheels sometimes turn slowly‚” he said.

Bezuidenhout had butted heads repeatedly with SAA board chairwoman Dudu Myeni‚ who is a close friend of President Jacob Zuma‚ and when asked if he had clashed with her‚ he replied: “It is fair to say that.”

Since 2012‚ the airline has had more than five CEOs or acting CEOs and has been relying on government guarantees to keep flying.

However‚ he said the reason for leaving was a career decision as he was not pushed to leave.

— TMG Digital

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