The Tunisian government said today, Monday, that it has sacked the director of Tunisian Airlines, Olfa Hamdi, amid a deep financial crisis for the company, and after a dispute with the powerful labor union.

The dismissal came after sharp criticism from the Labor Union against Al-Hamdi, who described him as not qualified to reform the company, which suffers from great financial difficulties, and that its chairmanship of the national carrier aims only to sell it.

Hundreds of company employees protested on Friday, threatening a general strike due to the absence of an immediate reform program and the freezing of the company’s bank accounts by the Turkish company TAV, before it was lifted a day later.

The Tunisian government, the Syndicate, and foreign lenders agree on the need to implement urgent reforms to the state-owned Tunisian Airlines.

The airline’s employee-to-aircraft ratio is the highest among airlines in the world.

The company, whose fleet does not exceed 28 aircraft, of which 15 are currently in operation, has about 8 thousand employees.

The UGTT opposes any reform plan that includes privatizing the company, and says it wants reforms to boost its profitability.