South African Airways is formally seeking a new chief executive to pursue an alternative strategic course after the collapse of its privatisation effort.

The airline is advertising for five senior management positions – including the chief – having been led, for the past three years, by an interim team.

South Africa’s government had been negotiating a revised privatisation deal with a consortium, Takatso Aviation, which had originally agreed to take a 51% share of SAA.

But the two sides were unable to reach a new pact and the process was terminated in mid-March.

As a result, Takatso will not be appointing its own SAA managers.

SAA A330-c-Alan Wilson Creative Commons

Source: Alan Wilson/Creative Commons

Talks to sell a majority share in SAA to private consortium Takatso ended in March

“The board has deemed it necessary to have a properly constituted and permanent executive team to pilot the airline’s strategic plan into the future,” says the carrier.

Chair of the interim board Derek Hanekom says filling the management posts is a “positive and decisive step” intended to provide “organisational stability” and a “predictable direction” for SAA’s expansion.

He adds that interim chief executive John Lamola supports the measure as a natural step in the airline’s development.

Along with a chief executive the airline is seeking a chief commercial officer, a head for SAA Technical, a chief human capital officer, and chief of Air Chefs. Applications remain open until 26 April.