Phil Parsons, a senior captain with the grounded SAA, like many of his colleagues, is in the airline’s waiting room. There are 4,500 people with him.

From that group, only 1,000 may be re-employed when SAA takes to the air again. He hopes to be back in the cockpit, but only 40 white pilots, who once dominated that job, will be hired back. Of the 350 SAA pilots, only 88 may be retained...

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