Three senior personnel have been named by troubled local airline SA Express as part of its recovery strategy.
The airline, which falls under Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Department of Public Enterprises, appointed Bongani Tshabalala as its technical general manager and Essery Hamilton as safety division manager. At the same time Madikwe Mabotha was named divisional manager for communications, public relations and corporate social investment.
Government news agency SAnews reports the appointment are part of the airline’s “drive to attract and retain the best talent suited to the SA Express transitional process”.
Tshabalala was previously head of department: flight technical and maintenance standards at the national carrier SAA. He has more than 20 years of aviation experience.
Tshabalala also worked for Comair and AirQuarius and according to SAnews he also worked with local and international civil aviation authorities.
Hamilton’s experience was gained with the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).
Mabotha is a former chief director of communications at the Department of Higher Education and Training, with a career spanning over two decades in media and communications.
SA Express Interim chief executive, Siza Mzimela, welcomed the appointments as milestones in the airline’s critical recovery phase.
“The board, management and the entire staff at SA Express have been working tirelessly these past few months to ensure restoration of the airline’s credibility as well as close the market gap left by the May grounding. Therefore, attracting and selecting the requisite skills and talent is going to be catalytic in achieving the business goals we have set ourselves,” she said.
In May, the CAA announced the suspension of SA Express’s air operator certificate and the certificates of airworthiness (CoA) of nine of 21 aircraft operated by the airline.
The CAA reinstated its Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) certification in June.