Tourism industry concerned amid SAA strike

SAA says the strike cost R104-million in just two days.

JOHANNESBURG - The tourism sector is bracing for a bumpy ride. The strike at SAA is shaking things up, with several airlines getting increasingly jumpy.

They say a secondary strike would be a disaster, hurting the industry at the worst possible time.  

SAA says the strike cost R104-million in just two days.

You could buy a lot of Christmas presents with that kind of money, but it seems 'ho ho ho' is turning into 'no no no'.

READ: SAA says some workers back at work despite ongoing strike

Travel agents say their customers are getting nervous.

Some are only flying in a few weeks' time, but with the strike, those plans are up in the air.

"I do think the question mark is there in terms of 'Do I book? Do I not book? What is going to happen to my travel for the next month, or the coming week? So definitely, I do think there's an element of uneasiness and uncertainty," said Kim Taylor, Flight Centre Customer Experience Director.

And it could get worse.

READ: The struggles of strike-hit SAA

A secondary strike would affect several other airlines.

They've now responded... warning that the economy will take a knock.

"We could land up having an airline industry, and aviation industry, that's effectively derailed, and not able to do the job it's there to do," said Chris Zweigenthal, Airlines Association of South Africa.

The tourism sector pumps nearly R140-billion into the economy each year and the festive season is a crucial period.

But if this strike spreads ... who knows... even Santa may miss his flight.
 

Source
eNCA