How would an aviation-wide sympathy strike affect SA? Dramatically, according to this study

2019-11-18 14:22
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The South African Airways (SAA) industrial action is at an "impasse", with unions now calling for a secondary "sympathy strike". 

Analysts are speculating that the current strike is the beginning of the end for the national carrier South African Airways. It has consistently been dogged by financial woes and bailouts.

A study commissioned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and conducted by Oxford Economics shows exactly what's at stake in terms of jobs affected and the economic consequences - and the possible implication of a sympathy-wide strike. 

At the start of the strike on Friday, 15 November Comair confirmed it had contingency plans in place. In comment to Traveller24 today, the aviation company confirmed its kulula and British Airways flight operations were continuing despite the industrial action at South African Airways Technical.

LATEST UPDATE: Certain domestic carriers see flights delays of up to five hours due to SAA strike

“Contingency plans are in place to mitigate any impact the SAAT strike may have on Comair’s fleet availability and flight schedule. We are accommodating affected passengers where possible. We cannot confirm numbers,” says Susan Van Der Ryst, Corporate Communications Head.

“NUMSA has been issued two certificates of non-resolution for disputes pertaining to both Comair's ground and cabin crew. Before embarking on a strike, NUMSA has to conduct a secret ballot of its members, and thereafter give Comair 48 hours' notice. The ballot has not yet taken place and Comair has not yet received notice. Comair has contingency plans in place, should our ground and/or cabin crew opt to exercise their right to strike.”

Traveller24 has contacted domestic carriers service by SAAT to confirm delays as well as contingency plans in place should a sympathy strike go ahead, and is awaiting a response. (More to follow)

READ: 'My last flight with them was R50bn ago' - South Africans react to SAA strike  

The Aviation sector contributes an estimated $9.4bn to South Africa's GDP, with the Air Transport industry including transport and its supply chain making up $5.2bn of this figure.  

From aircraft manufacturers to employees at airport restaurants, the industry supports some 472 000 jobs in totality, and in context, SAA employees make up about 1% of that with some 5 149 employees. An estimated 944  of those jobs will be cut as the national carrier announced n Monday, 11 November that it is embarking on a restructuring process.

Here the IATA-Oxford Economics study takes a look at the overall importance of this sector, measuring three specific areas - It takes into consideration the jobs and spending generated by airlines and their supply chain, the flows of trade, tourism and investment resulting from users of all airlines serving the country, and the city pair connections that make these flows possible.

All provide a different but illuminating perspective on the importance of air transport - (Infographic and data: IATA - Oxford Economics). 

The social and economic impact of the commercial a

"Air transport facilitates flows of goods, investment and people and the economy can be seen from the spending of foreign tourists and the value of exports(though note these figures include all modes of transport). The most important benefits from air transport go to passengers and shippers and the spillover impacts on their businesses." 

The social and economic impact of the commercial a

Air transport generates benefits to consumers and the wider economy by providing speedy connections between cities. These virtual bridges in the air enable the economic flows of goods, investments, people and ideas that are the fundamental drivers of economic growth.

The social and economic impact of the commercial a

IATA’s measure of how well a country is connected to economically important cities around the world is shown above. The map shows South Africa’s connectivity at a regional level and how it has evolved. South Africa’s connections to the Middle East have grown the fastest over the last five years.

Air transport generates benefits to consumers and the wider economy by providing speedy connections between cities. These virtual bridges in the air enable the economic flows of goods, investments, people and ideas that are the fundamental drivers of economic growth. 

The social and economic impact of the commercial a

This map shows South Africa’s connectivity at a regional level and how it has evolved.

South Africa’s connections to the Middle East have grown the fastest over the last five years. Air transport generates benefits to consumers and the wider economy by providing speedy connections between cities. These virtual bridges in the air enable the economic flows of goods, investments, people and ideas that are the fundamental drivers of economic growth. 

The social and economic impact of the commercial a

If Air transport’s unique contribution is the bridges it creates between cities, then the flows of goods, people, investment and ideas that stimulate economic development must flow unimpeded to maximise their contribution to consumers and the wider economy. How freely goods and people flow across borders remains crucial in this regard. 

The social and economic impact of the commercial a

(Compiled by Selene Brophy)

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