Tunisia: The CEO of “TunisAir” sacked

Amid a deep financial crisis and disputes with the unions, the CEO of the Tunisian national airline, “TunsiAir”, Olfa Hamdi, was dismissed from his post, according to an announcement on Monday from the Tunisian Ministry of Transport and logistic.

Olfa Hamdi, international expert in major project management, had been appointed at the beginning of January 2021. She quickly found herself in conflict with the influential central union, the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) and in the midst of a crisis unprecedented financial situation, which left the company unable to pay the salaries of its civil servants or to honor its commitments to its suppliers.

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The coronavirus pandemic and the airline crisis that followed, further complicated the situation of TunisAir, which was the subject, last week, of a precautionary seizure carried out by the Turkish company “TAV Tunisia” on its bank accounts.

The protective seizure, which aimed to recover 8 million euros out of a total debts of 20 million euros, was lifted following an agreement, signed last Friday between the “Tunisair” group, the Office of civil aviation and airports (OACA) and the Turkish company “TAV Tunisia”.

In view of the situation, the Tunisian Minister of Transport and Logistics, Moez Chakchouk, had recently declared that “Tunisair” was in an “extremely difficult” state, government action is required, otherwise the carrier will not survive.

State intervention is essential to overcome this phase before even thinking of a restructuring plan, he said, noting that a rescue plan will be put in place shortly.

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Note that because of the health crisis, the number of passengers transported during the second quarter of 2020 by “Tunisair”, of which only three planes are operational, fell by 97% compared to the same period of 2019.

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