The former acting CEO of South African Airways, Zuks Ramasia, has been appointed the new head of the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (Barsa), from April 17.

SAA, which is currently in business rescue, announced last week that Ramasia will go into “early retirement” in April at her own request. She is also the chair of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa and a director on the board of Aviation Co-ordination Services. 

Ramasia takes over at Barsa from June Crawford, whose term ends in April. Crawford will continue to serve on the board.

News of her appointment comes two days after Transnet announced that the former interim CEO of SA Express, Siza Mzimela, will head up its freight rail operations. The SA Express board on Monday announced that Mzimela would be leaving pursue other opportunities.

In her new role at Barsa, Ramasia will provide a voice for local and international airlines operating in South Africa, and represent its members on industry forums to deal with matters affecting the industry.

The greatest challenge facing the airline industry at the moment is how it will weather the upheaval caused by countries locking their borders and cutting down on domestic travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

As Fin24 reported on Thursday, that the International Air Transport Association projects that the impact of the pandemic on the SA airline industry could amount to 10.7 million fewer passengers transported and a loss of R40 billion in revenue.

Barsa says it is working with all roleplayers in the industry, including Airports Company SA, the ATNS and the Department of Health to tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic in a coherent manner. According to its chair Carla da Silva, Ramasia’s expertise and years of experience in the industry would ensure that Barsa’s involvement in the aviation industry continues to grow.


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