South African Airways (SAA): Navigating Turbulent Skies
Dr Thabo Mosala & Claire Beswick
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Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand
In April 2010, Siza Mzimela was appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) of the government-owned South African Airways (Pty) Ltd (SAA). She was the seventh CEO to be appointed since 1993. As far back as 2007, the South African government had issued the airline with an ultimatum – ‘get your affairs in order or you are on your own’. Yet the airline was still in a financially disastrous position. Mzimela knew that she had to come up with a workable strategy for SAA, and wondered what the organisation had to do to turn itself around.