Acting CEO of South African Airways Zuks Ramasia will enter into early retirement from April, the airline said in a statement issued on Thursday.
"The Board of Directors at South African Airways (SAA) announced today that it has accepted the request from Ms Zuks Ramasia, SAA Acting CEO, for early retirement. Her last date of employ will be 14 April 2020," the statement read.
The board said it would announce an "interim successor" in due course. The national carrier entered into business rescue in December 2019, it recently announced it would suspend flights throughout the 21-day lockdown period which kicks off on Thursday at midnight. Several other airlines such as Comair's British Airways and Kulula.com and FlySafair have similarly suspended their flights for the period, Fin24 previously reported. The national lockdown was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, in an effort to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 disease, which is now a pandemic.
Ramasia has spent 27 years at the airline, and was appointed acting CEO in June last year, after Vuyani Jarana resigned. Ramasia started her career at SAA as a cabin crew member in 1992, and took up her first management position in 2000, the statement read. Ramasia has also previously held the position of head of SAA global operations control centre. Before taking on the role as acting CEO, Ramasia was the general manager of operations.
Ramasia is known for her contribution to the "the fight against women discrimination and gender inequality" in aviation industry, SAA said.
"Ramasia made an indelible mark on those she worked with at SAA, inspiring and mentoring several employees in their quest for aviation career advancement. She especially motivated women in their aviation careers and was unflinching in her commitment towards transformation of the industry," the statement read.
Ramasia has been responsible for the appointment of other women leaders at the airline. This includes, among others, Daicy Demas as the first woman airport manager at OR Tambo International Airport, in Johannesburg, and Siyabonga Sithole as the first woman airport manager at King Shaka International Airport, in Durban.
"In recognition of her contribution and influence as a leader, Ramasia was a finalist in the 2019 Standard Bank Top Women Awards," the statement read.