SAA pilots a midair strike

SAA boss Dudu Myeni (left) and President Jacob Zuma. (Sbusisiwe Magwaza)

SAA boss Dudu Myeni (left) and President Jacob Zuma. (Sbusisiwe Magwaza)

FIFTH COLUMN

  October 16 2015

Morale is at an all-time low. The guys seem to be taking strain from the insults hurled at us by SAA’s boss, Dudu Myeni. Chris from SA Express said, if this thing goes south, he might have to take his kids out of private school. Clyde chimed in to say it definitely looked as if something was “going down”. He’s a great copilot, but he should think before he speaks.

  November 17 2015

Wolf Meyer resigned today or, rather, reached an agreement with the board to step down or, rather, got fired. I don’t know the man, but I think he had it coming with a name like that. Airwolf maybe, but Wolf Meyer? The man never stood a chance.

  November 19 2015

Clyde said he’s disappointed by the lease negotiations with Airbus taking so long. He said he was hoping for an Uber-type set-up so we could “do our own thing”. I told him that would mean everyone would have a landing strip in their front yard. He said he hadn’t thought it through yet.

  November 23 2015

Captain Harty sent out an email to address concerns about him, saying, even if SAA pilots flew for free, the airline would still not make a profit. A lot of guys are worried about the effect that might have on their bonuses. Captain Harty explained the statement wasn’t meant literally; he was just trying to make a point.

  November 25 2012

Clyde came to work drunk today. He said he watched Flight. He said Denzel Washington was “brilliant”. Just after take-off he asked me what I thought of a midair strike. I told him, if it’s over Syria, I’m for it. He said no, he meant pilots striking mid-air in protest.

  November 26 2015

Bill from SA Airlink told me apparently Dudu and President Zuma are “besties” – maybe more. He said he won’t be surprised if they belong to the Mile High Club. Bill reckons, if that’s the case, Myeni is “in it for the long run” because there’s an unwritten rule stating members of the Mile High Club can’t fire each other. If that’s true we’re screwed.

  November 29 2015

According to reports, SAA’s losses increased from R2.5-billion to R4.7-billion in a year. This is a little disconcerting. Chris said the whole thing is going pear-shaped; he’s thinking of jumping ship. Clyde said technically he’ll be jumping plane. I might have to look at my options. SAA is pissing my pension down the drain. Chris said he might join BA if he can swing a visa.

  November 30 2015

I started at MyCiti bus today. The pay is not that great, but it’s nice to get a break from chicken and beef. I had a Gatsby for lunch. Clyde checked into rehab. He said he’s enjoying it but he misses the highs, whatever that means. I told him I’ll make him my MyCiti copilot if he stays sober.

  Hansie Smit is a freelance journalist

 
JS Smit

JS Smit

JS Smit is a Cape Town-based freelance writer. Formally trained as a copywriter, he took a break from ads in 2010 to write a blog for the Mail & Guardian's Thought Leader and since 2015 has written for the Mail & Guardian. Read more from JS Smit

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