On February 22, 2021, chief executive officer of Tunisair Olfa Hamdi was removed from the office by the country’s Ministry of Transport and Logistics. The firing comes just over a month after Hamdi was appointed to revive the indebted national carrier.
“The Ministry of Transport and Logistics informs that it has been decided to relieve Mrs. Olfa Al-Hamdi from her duties as the General Director of Tunisian Airlines,” the Transport Ministry announced in a statement on Facebook.
The news about the CEO dismissal came after Hamdi’s disagreement with Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) against the lack of a reform plan and fears of privatization.
Additionally, the seizure of Tunisair bank account by Turkish airport operator TAV has also contributed to the unrest regarding the state-owned airline’s future.
On February 19, 2021, staff members of state-owned Tunisair held a protest over the seized assets, demanding the government to clear the plans of restructuring and save the national airline from closure.
In response to the protests, “the precautionary seizure, aimed to recover €8 million, against a total debt of €20 million, was lifted,” the TAP News Agency confirmed. Following the agreement, the protests were cancelled.
Currently, Tunisair employs approximately 6,500 people and has a fleet of 29 aircraft, of which 22 are grounded. The fleet mainly consists of Airbus A320-200s as well as Boeing 737-600 aircraft, according to the Tunisair official webpage.
AeroTime News reached out to Olfa Hamdi and the Tunisia’s Ministry of Transport and Logistics for comment and did not receive a response at the time of publication.