South African has “nobody to fly its A350’s”

There is deep concern in South African aviation circles over the way the national authorities are trying to fast track inexperienced pilots into flying the airlines newly leased A359’s.

Sources in the country are saying there isn’t a single qualified or sufficiently experienced pilot or inspector to operate or oversee the aircraft and the the authorities are trying to force through certification of the most likely candidates despite the lack of experience.

A senior SAA pilot told the South African Sunday Times that providing theoretical Airbus training to inexperienced inspectors who could not fly jets was pointless

One likened the scenario to a nurse telling a brain surgeon what to do.

The leased in aircraft are expected to stay for around three years – the original source appears to have been Hong Kong Airlines.

They’re to be flown on the JFK routes from Johannesburg.

SAA has received yet another huge bailout and is nowhere near operating at a profit. A seemingly impossible task of trying to bring cost control and discipline at the airline, has seen it absorb some fifty billion Rand (US $3.4 billion) over the last 5 years.