On Friday, the Labor Court rejected an application by two trade unions to obtain an interdict against retrenchments at the South African airline.

This follows after the business rescue practitioners announced earlier that several flight routes will be canceled to cut costs.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) argue that SAL’s administrators are trying to expedite retrenchments beyond a mandatory 60-day consultation.

The airline has confirmed that retrenchments are inevitable, but maintains that all obligations to staff will be met.

Judge Graham Moshoana said in his ruling that SAA did not have retrenchments in mind and therefore the obligation to consult under section 183 (1) of the Labor Relations Act was not a consideration.

SAA has been put out of business after the airline has suffered more than R10 billion in losses over the past two years. A strike last year gave the airline a further blow and lost the airline more than R50 million daily.

The business rescue practitioners announced last week that from 1 March the airline will suspend several international routes and local routes for Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth.