Tunisair (TU, Tunis) will take delivery of two of its three A330-200s on order from Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) during the middle of next year. Outlining her plans for the struggling carrier, managing director, Salwa Sghaïer, said cn 1631 and cn 1641 would arrive in May and June of next year allowing the carrier to expand its network to include longhaul flights to North America akin to that of local rival, Syphax Airlines (SYA, Sfax).

On her appointment to the hot chair earlier this year, Sghaïer was tasked with continuing unpopular labour and spending cuts started by her predecessor, Rabah Jrad.

The Managing Director has vowed to forge ahead with 1'700 in job cuts aimed at reducing the airline's wage bill by USD5.7million despite opposition from the country's powerful unions.

In the wake of intense pressure from government to wean the airline off its dependency on the national fiscus, Tunisair management has repeatedly blamed the airline's poor financial performance on its bloated workforce which sits at 8'500 employees catering to its fleet of 30 aircraft.

The situation was exacerbated by the Arab Spring of 2011 when 800 employees at Tunisair Catering, Tunisair Handling, Tunisair Express (UG, Tunis), and Tunisair Technics were absorbed into Tunisair Holdings.