Air Zimbabwe's striking pilots have called for the dismissal of some of the carrier's top managers and board members, stating they lack the aviation expertise to restructure the carrier (The Herald, 13-Apr-2011). In a report submitted to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communication, the pilots also alleged that the airline was overstaffed, with an "unusually high number of unjustified supporting staff". They stated the current aircraft to employee ratio is one aircraft to 280 employees. They also recommended restructuring at management and board level and called for a skills audit. They demanded that the retrenchment process be completed "so that the airline stops bleeding by paying non-productive personnel".
Air Zimbabwe's striking pilots claim carrier is overstaffed
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Finnair and TAP Portugal: their location based long haul niche strategies compared
Both Finnair and TAP are based in peripheral corners of Europe: Finnair in the extreme northeast and TAP in the southwest. Both are based in countries with relatively small populations, but they have developed networks that capitalise on their geographic location to carry connecting traffic from across Europe and elsewhere to long haul destinations in other continents.
TAP's main long haul market is Upper South America (primarily Brazil), but it also has a secondary long haul niche in Africa. Finnair's main long haul market is Northeast Asia, with an additional presence in South and Southeast Asia. Both also operate to the US. On short haul, LCC competition has been a bigger threat to TAP than to Finnair, but cost savings are important to both.
TAP and Finnair have similar traffic volumes, unit costs and average trip lengths. Moreover, both have struggled to generate sustainable profitability. This report compares and contrasts Europe's two leading independent exponents of the location based long haul niche strategy. Both are set to accelerate their long haul growth.