Cape Town – South African Airways (SAA) has more employees
per aircraft than most other airlines, but is not the most inefficient, a
Sake24 investigation shows.
The spotlight has again fallen on SAA's inefficiency
following its recent request for an additional R5bn in government assistance
and the board’s resignation.
The number of workers per aircraft is a simple measure of an
airline's efficiency. SAA, with just over 10 000 employees and 61 aircraft,
according to its 2011 annual report, therefore has 164.8 employees per aircraft
compared to Kenya Airways with 104.7, Ethiopian Airlines with 126, Qantas in
Australia with 109, American Airlines with 86.7 and United Airlines with 71.
Comair, which operates British Airways and kulula.com in
South Africa, has 74 per aircraft.
These figures are reflected in the airlines' latest
available annual reports or websites, or were ascertained from enquiry. Last
year SAA's staff costs were R4.417bn.
Yet, in terms of this measure, SAA is not the most
inefficient. Air India, with 221 workers per aircraft current holds this
position, according to Business Today.
On its website it's clear that its referring to Business
Today and not Businesstoday, at http://www.indiatodaygroup.com/, an Indian
business news page. Observers say it has a large number of superfluous staff
members appointed through political interference.
Air India, like SAA, is a state-controlled airline currently
being bolstered by taxpayers' money to prevent its going bankrupt.
Flightglobal airline newspaper Flightglobal says that in
April the Indian government approved a R5.8bn eight-year bailout package for
Air India, aimed at returning the airline to profitability by 2018.
For more business news in Afrikaans, go to Sake24.com.