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Aviation News

Cabinet replaces Zuma ally as head of national airline

By: Reuters     Updated 6 hours ago South Africa's government has named Johannes Bhekumuzi Magwaza as chairperson of loss-making State-owned airline South African Airways (SAA), replacing Dudu Myeni, who was an ally of President Jacob Zuma, the finance minister said on Thursday. In all six board members were replaced, Finance... 

Europe aviation agency advises suspending use of Kobe Steel products

By: Reuters     18th October 2017 Europe's aviation regulator has advised aircraft manufacturers to suspend using parts from Kobe Steel until their legitimacy can be proved, following revelations about data cheating at the Japanese company. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said the concern was not serious enough at this... 

Mango strike continues, Solidarity and airline resume wage talks

By: African News Agency      18th October 2017 Trade union Solidarity will on Wednesday return to the negotiating table with South African low-cost carrier, Mango Airline amid an ongoing pilots’ strike over wage hikes. Mango airline’s flight crews downed tools at 5 am on Monday morning after wage negotiations with Solidarity collapsed.... 

PIC has not ruled out investing in SAA

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 South Africa's Public Investment Corporation, one of the continent's largest asset managers, has not ruled out investing in struggling state-owned airline SAA, its chief executive said on Tuesday. "We are not closing the door on SAA," CEO Dan Matjila told parliament's finance committee, adding... 

PIC has not ruled out investing in SAA

Mango airline pilots go on strike

By: African News Agency      16th October 2017 Mango airline’s flight crews downed tools at 5 am on Monday morning after wage negotiations collapsed. Solidarity, which represents 95% of the pilots at Mango airline, said wage hike talks with Mango’s management on Sunday collapsed. As a result the union, which also represents flight captains... 

Tears and joy on Britain’s St. Helena as 'world's most useless airport' finally opens

By: Reuters     16th October 2017 One of humanity’s most isolated outposts joined the 21st century on Saturday when the British island of St. Helena, home to "the world's most useless airport", welcomed its first commercial flight. As the inaugural plane from Johannesburg touched down on the forbidding volcanic outcrop in the... 

Tears and joy on Britain’s St. Helena as 'world's most useless airport' finally opens

African airlines to incur $800m loss for 2017

By: Anine Kilian     13th October 2017 Although the global airline industry is expected to post a $31-billion net profit this year, African airlines will once again incur losses of up to $800-million. Southern African Development Community airlines are expected to incur a combined $350-million loss, of which about $100-million will be... 

Africa’s State-owned airlines underperforming

By: Anine Kilian     13th October 2017 State-owned airlines in Africa are not operating at the capacity they should be, says Boeing sub-Saharan Africa MD Miguel Santos. Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s forty-seventh annual general assembly, in KwaZulu-Natal, he noted... 

Aviation industry key to supporting tourism sector

By: Anine Kilian     13th October 2017 Aviation plays a central role in supporting the tourism sector, with over 54% of international tourists now travelling by air, KwaZulu-Natal economic development, tourism and environmental MEC Sihle Zikalala said at the Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s forty-seventh annual general... 

SAA given brief reprieve on maturing debt

By: Reuters     13th October 2017 South Africa's State-owned airline SAA has been given until the end of October to settle R5-billion of maturing debt to domestic lenders, although the relief may be extended a further two years, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said in a report to parliament on Friday. The debt had originally been... 

Urgent action required to address airline industry skills crisis

By: Anine Kilian     13th October 2017 Southern African airlines will face a potentially crippling shortage of skills, while also failing to hit employee transformation targets, if governments do not fix basic and tertiary education, the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has warned. Speaking at the AASA’s forty-seventh... 

Airbus says has not found any suppliers affected by Kobe scandal

By: Reuters     13th October 2017 Airbus does not buy products directly from Japan's Kobe Steel but is investigating whether any of its suppliers are affected by a cheating scandal, an Airbus spokesman said. "So far we have not identified any suppliers that procure materials from Kobe Steel for parts fitted on our aircraft," he... 

Boeing passenger jets have falsely-certified Kobe Steel products-source

By: Reuters     13th October 2017 Boeing Co, the world's biggest maker of passenger jets, has used Kobe Steel products that include those falsely certified by the Japanese company, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Boeing does not as yet consider the issue a safety problem, the source stressed, but the... 

Embraer to open Johannesburg aviation training centre

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2017 Aviation systems engineering and manufacturing firm Embraer will open an aviation training centre at the OR Tambo International airport, in Johannesburg, in the first half of next year. The facility will be the first of its kind in Africa to provide this range of training for qualified pilots,... 

Transport megaprojects stand on four legs – Gautrain CEO

By: Keith Campbell     10th October 2017 The successful implementation of transport infrastructure megaprojects rests on four equally important “pillars”. So affirmed Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe to the recent sixth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Conference, in Pretoria. These pillars are: political... 

Transport megaprojects stand on four legs – Gautrain CEO
Photo by Duane Daws
Gautrain CEO Jack van der Merwe

SAA, unions ink wage agreement

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th October 2017 National airliner South African Airways (SAA) and trade unions Uasa and the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa have signed the revised wage agreement for workers at maintenance arm SAA Technical (SAAT). The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), which had also signed... 

AfDB delays vote on financing for Côte d'Ivoire Airbus purchase

By: Reuters     5th October 2017 The board of directors of the African Development Bank on Wednesday delayed a vote on a $296-million financing package for Côte d'Ivoire national airline Air Cote d'Ivoire's purchase of five new Airbus A320s, the bank said. The board discussed the proposed deal, but bank officials said no vote... 

SAA tables revised wage offer 

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th October 2017 State-owned airliner South African Airways (SAA) has placed a revised wage offer on the table, with trade unions, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), Uasa and the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa), set to make a decision on the matter this week. This... 

Parliament looks into legality of bailout to SAA

By: African News Agency      4th October 2017 Parliament’s standing committee on finance on Tuesday asked for advice on the legality of National Treasury’s R3 billion bailout to South African Airways (SAA) after the opposition submitted a letter claiming it was in breach of public finance rules. Alf Lees, the deputy finance spokesman for the... 

Parliament looks into legality of bailout to SAA

Strike looms at South African Airways

By: African News Agency      4th October 2017 South African Airways (SAA) warned on Tuesday, that its operations may be disrupted after one of the labour unions served the embattled airline with a notice of intention to embark on industrial action at its aircraft maintenance unit. This comes after the airline’s maintenance subsidiary, SAA... 

Strike looms at South African Airways

Govt bailouts won’t help SAA, says former finance minister Trevor Manuel 

By: African News Agency      3rd October 2017 Former South African finance minister, Trevor Manuel, said on Tuesday that government bailouts would not help the country’s state-owned airline to escape its troubles, insisting that South African Airlines (SAA) needed to get serious about its corporate governance. This comes after the South... 

Govt uses National Revenue Fund to bail out SAA

By: African News Agency      29th September 2017 The South African government on Friday approved the transfer of funds from the National Revenue Fund (NRF) to troubled national carrier South African Airways (SAA) to allow the airline to meet its debt obligations to Citibank and avoid a default. SAA has to meet its repayment obligations on a... 

Govt uses National Revenue Fund to bail out SAA

Fastjet to raise cash to fund South Africa, Mozambique growth

By: Reuters     29th September 2017 African budget airline Fastjet Plc said on Friday it would raise not less than $44 million, in part through a placing, to fund expansion in South Africa and Mozambique. Fastjet plans an accelerated bookbuild to raise gross cash proceeds of $28 million and would sell 60 million shares to Solenta... 

Airports Company achieves its best-ever profits

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2017 Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) achieved a profit of R2-billion for the 2016/2017 financial year (FY), it announced recently, up from R1.9-billion for the FY 2015/2016. “This is probably the best set of results we’ve presented in the history of the company,” affirmed CEO Bongani Maseko at... 

Move to single-pilot operation would undermine air safety, says aviation expert

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2017 Proposals that airlines could move single-pilot operation, in place of the current system of pilot and co-pilot (more formally, Captain and First Officer), in order to reduce costs, are most ill-advised, affirmed Comair crew resource management specialist Michael Bowyer (himself a pilot). He was... 

SAA cuts back on domestic, regional flights

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th September 2017 Effective October 29, South African Airways (SAA) will reduce its daily Port Elizabeth and East London flights, along with some of its flights to Central Africa, as it continues to monitor route performance. The State-owned airliner on Wednesday said it had made some capacity adjustments to align... 

SAA cuts back on domestic, regional flights

South Africa in talks with Citibank on State airline debt

By: Reuters     26th September 2017 South Africa is in talks with Citibank on how to settle a R1.8-billion ($135-million) loan to the State airline due end September after the lender said it would not roll over the debt again, Treasury Director General Dondo Mogajane said on Tuesday. "We owe Citibank about R1.8-billion. We had an... 

Myeni approached PIC for R6bn for SAA – reports

By: African News Agency      25th September 2017 Controversial South African Airways (SAA) board chairwoman Dudu Myeni appears to be involved in the “planned raid on pensioners’ money” to prop up SAA and other bankrupt state-owned enterprises (SoEs), the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday. The DA had noted the media report that Dudu Myeni had... 

Myeni approached PIC for R6bn for SAA – reports
Photo by Duane Daws
The face of SAA's failure: chairperson Dudu Myeni seeks R6-billion to prop up the failing State-owned enterprise

Gigaba denies Treasury looking at PIC to bail out struggling SOEs

By: African News Agency      25th September 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Monday, rubbished claims that he would use funds from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to bail out South Africa’s failing state-owned enterprises. Responding to reports last week that Treasury was looking to tap into the PIC, which manages public service... 

Gigaba denies Treasury looking at PIC to bail out struggling SOEs
Photo by Duane Daws
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Kenya Airways asks State to help it with growing competition

By: Reuters     22nd September 2017 Kenya Airways has started talks with the government, seeking its help in coping with competition from foreign carriers operating flights to its Nairobi hub, its chairman said on Thursday. The airline, part-owned by the state and Air France-KLM, is restructuring its finances to cut huge debts and... 

Local unit of helicopter group introduces electronic aid for pilots, maintainers

By: Keith Campbell     22nd September 2017 Following authorisation by the South African Civil Aviation Authority, Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa (AHZA) has now released its Fleetkeeper product to the South African market. Fleetkeeper is an electronic flight folio and electronic technical logbook. South Africa is one of the the first... 

Building the safety case for operating drones beyond visual line of sight

By: Dylan Slater     22nd September 2017 Applications that can benefit from using drones are increasing worldwide, almost daily, but commercial users of drones are being scuppered by highly generalised legislation, which is difficult to understand and expensive for operators to implement. A much-contested application – and one that is... 

Building the safety case for operating drones beyond visual line of sight

Airports company reports its most profitable year ever 

By: Keith Campbell     18th September 2017 Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) achieved a profit of R2-billion for the 2016/17 financial year, it was announced on Monday, up from R1.9-billion for the financial year 2015/16. “This is probably the best set of results we’ve presented in the history of the company,” affirmed CEO Bongani... 

Airports company reports its most profitable year ever
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Terminal buildings at OR Tambo International Airport, from the runway side. (The aircraft is an Embraer ERJ-145 of SA Airlink)

Two pilots are safer than one – aviation expert 

By: Keith Campbell     15th September 2017 Proposals that airlines could move single-pilot operation, in place of the current system of pilot and co-pilot (more formally, Captain and First Officer), in order to reduce costs, are most ill-advised, affirmed Comair crew resource management specialist Michael Bowyer (himself a pilot) on... 

Two pilots are safer than one – aviation expert
Photo by Airbus
Airliners should always have a pilot and co-pilot: two unidentified Airbus test pilots on the flight deck of an A320

Future of Denel’s aero engine and manned aircraft businesses clarified

By: Keith Campbell     15th September 2017 South African defence industrial group Denel has a clear plan for the future of Turbomeca Africa (TMA), which it is in the process of buying off Safran Helicopter Engines (Safran HE), part of France’s Safran S/A aeroengines group. Hitherto, TMA (originally established in 2002) was a joint venture... 

Treasury to give SAA R10bn in special appropriation

By: African News Agency      13th September 2017 National Treasury has agreed to give South African Airways a special appropriation of R10-billion by the end of September, director general Dondo Mogajane told MPs on Wednesday. “It will be for R10-billion, we have decided, because that will cover everything,” he said during a briefing on the... 

Treasury to give SAA R10bn in special appropriation

Comair shows strong profit growth in tough conditions

By: News24Wire      12th September 2017 Comair issued its annual financial results on Tuesday, reporting a 54% increase in profits to R297m and a 28% increase in cash generated by its operations. Comair operates under its low-cost airline brand, kulula.com, as well as under the British Airways livery, as part of its British Airways... 

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