Tunisair CEO fired after dispute with union

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Tunisia’s prime minister on Monday fired Olfa Hamdi, the CEO of national carrier Tunisair, the government said, amid a deep financial crisis in the company.

Hamdi’s dismissal comes after a disagreement with the UGTT union, which said that Hamdi was not qualified to reform the company.

Hundreds of Tunisair workers protested on Friday against the lack of a reform plan aty the company and over the freezing of company accounts by an airport operator.

The government, union and foreign lenders have urged reforms at state-owned Tunisair. The airline has a higher proportion of staff to planes than almost any other aviation company and requires expansive state subsidies.

The UGTT opposes any reform plan that would involve privatising the company but says it wants reforms to make it more profitable. 

Employees of the Tunisian national airline Tunisair shout anti-government slogans during a rally last Friday to protest after freezing Tunisair accounts over a debt dispute with a Turkish airline company, at the head office of Tunis Air, in Tunis, Tunisia. EPA-EFE/MOHAMED MESSARA