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Aviation News

Commercial aviation activity in South Africa seems to be recovering

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 5 hours ago The latest edition of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa's Commercial Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) shows an upward trend, reported the index's author, independent economist Dr Roelof Botha. But he warned that caution was still necessary. "Aviation activity is quite... 

Rolls-Royce starts manufacture of the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has started manufacturing the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades. These are for its UltraFan demonstrator power plant, which will be unprecedentedly efficient and sustainable. A full set of UltraFan blades will have a diameter of... 

Denel upgraded by Fitch Ratings as it closes aerostructures business

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group has Denel welcomed the recent decision by Fitch Ratings to affirm its long- and short-term ratings for the group, and to upgrade its outlook. Fitch affirmed Denel’s national short-term rating at “B(zaf)” and its national long-term rating also at... 

State-owned airlines struggling in financial turbulence

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 Two of South Africa’s State-owned airlines continue to experience tough times as they try to recover from their current deep financial crises. They are national flag-carrier South African Airways (SAA) and the completely separate regional operator SA Express. SAA is now in business rescue, and... 

Organisers aim high for defence and aerospace expo

By: Halima Frost     21st February 2020 Despite various challenges in South Africa, as well as in other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) Expo organisers hope to host a successful event this year, says AAD exhibition director Leona Redelinghuys. These difficulties include... 

Organisers aim high for  defence and aerospace expo
AIMING HIGH The Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo will showcase South African Air Force’s capabilities in an ever better air show this year

Development Bank's R3.5bn bailout of SAA may be depleted by early March – Gordhan 

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has said that the R3.5-billion in emergency funding that South African Airways received from the State-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa earlier in the year may be depleted by early March. Gordhan was addressing a joint sitting of Parliament's... 

Development Bank's R3.5bn bailout of SAA may be depleted by early March – Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Mboweni moots referendum on rescuing State-owned companies on Twitter

By: African News Agency      17th February 2020 After a short hiatus from Twitter, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is once again posting prolifically, using the platform at the weekend to call for a public debate, possibly a referendum, on the use of taxpayers' money to bail out failing State-owned enterprises. "We must develop a democratic... 

Mboweni moots referendum on rescuing State-owned companies on Twitter
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Flight Centre resumes sales of SAA tickets

By: Bloomberg     14th February 2020 Flight Centre Travel Group, one of South Africa’s largest booking companies, said it will lift a moratorium on sales of the national airline’s tickets that it imposed in November because of concerns over its solvency. Travel Insurance Consultants, Flight Centre’s preferred insurer, reinstated... 

Latest Airbus airliner gains certification from both Europe and the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus has announced that its A330-800 widebody airliner has been jointly certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration. This joint Type Certification followed 132 flights totalling 370 test flying hours,... 

Latest Airbus airliner gains certification from both Europe and the US
Photo by Airbus
The Airbus A330-800

Court dismisses bid to halt SAA job cuts as airline has not 'contemplated dismissals'  

By: News24Wire      14th February 2020 The Johannesburg Labour Court has dismissed a joint urgent application by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association to halt job cuts at South African Airways, ruling the airline had not contemplated dismissals.  The unions lodged the interdict... 

Court dismisses bid to halt SAA job cuts as airline has not 'contemplated dismissals'

Airbus signs memorandum with new African airline for major airliner order

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 Airbus has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Green Africa Airways for 50 A220-300 airliners. Green Africa Airways is a Nigerian carrier, based in Lagos. This is the biggest African order to date for the A220 and one of the biggest orders worldwide for the type. “We... 

Airbus signs memorandum with new African airline for major airliner order
Photo by Airbus
A computer-generated image of an A220-300 in Green Africa Airways livery

Ramaphosa announces far-reaching actions to boost power generation ‘outside of Eskom’ 

By: Terence Creamer     13th February 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced far-reaching and practical interventions to address South Africa’s growth- and confidence-sapping electricity crisis, including several steps to “significantly increase generation capacity outside of Eskom”. He also warned, however, that... 

Ramaphosa announces far-reaching actions to boost power generation ‘outside of Eskom’
President Cyril Ramaphosa

SA Express under bankruptcy protection

By: Reuters     13th February 2020 State airline SA Express is under a form of bankruptcy protection known as business rescue, a spokesperson for the airline said on Thursday. Her comments come after SA Express lost a court battle with a contractor, logistics firm Ziegler, earlier this month. 

Local airline group Comair experiencing strong business headwinds

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th February 2020 South African private-sector airline group Comair issued, on Thursday, a “Further Trading Statement” on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s SENS news service. Comair operates the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low-cost carrier brands. The Thursday release was a follow-up to a previous... 

Local airline group Comair experiencing strong business headwinds
Photo by Comair
Costing money – Comair’s first Boeing 737 MAX 8, which has been grounded for almost a year now

Union suspects there could be a 'secret plan' to sell SAA 

By: News24Wire      13th February 2020 A key union at South African Airways has said it suspects there may be a "secret plan" to sell the cash-strapped flag carrier and that "someone could be waiting in the wings" to buy the heavily indebted state-owned airline. National spokesperson for the National Union of Metalworkers of South... 

 Union suspects there could be a 'secret plan' to sell SAA

Unions file urgent court application to block job cuts at SAA 

By: News24Wire      11th February 2020 Trade unions the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and South African Cabin Crew Association have filed a joint urgent application in the Johannesburg Labour Court to stop the business rescue practitioners of South African Airways from taking any steps to cuts jobs until they have... 

Unions file urgent court application to block job cuts at SAA

Rolls-Royce has started making the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th February 2020 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Tuesday that it has started manufacturing the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades. These are for its UltraFan demonstrator power plant, which will unprecedentedly efficient and sustainable. A full set of UltraFan blades will have a... 

Rolls-Royce has started making the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

SAA business rescue team defends plan to cut airline’s routes 

By: Bloomberg     10th February 2020 Administrators for South Africa’s loss-making State airline have defended their decision to cut routes as part of a turnaround plan, after objections from President Cyril Ramaphosa, government and labour unions. South African Airways (SAA) will halt service to nine international cities, including... 

SAA business rescue team defends plan to cut airline’s routes

Regional airline SA Express objects to business rescue ruling by court 

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th February 2020 State-owned regional airline SA Express has reacted strongly to the ruling by the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday that it be placed in business rescue. The airline stated in a press release on Friday that it was seeking further legal advice on the matter. The company headed its release “SA... 

Unions slam SAA route cancellations, warn of 'devastating' impact on jobs 

By: News24Wire      7th February 2020 Two key unions at flag carrier South African Airways have slammed plans by the airline's business rescue practitioners to cancel a number of routes to save costs. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association said in a joint statement, "This will... 

 Unions slam SAA route cancellations, warn of 'devastating' impact on jobs

Airbus reaches legal settlements to end bribery and compliance probes

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th February 2020 Europe-based major aerospace group Airbus has issued a brief press release, concerning its negotiations with regulators and law enforcement agencies in three countries. The release stated in full:  

SAA hacks its route network to try and become viable again 

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th February 2020 The Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) for State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) announced major changes to the airline’s route network on Thursday. “In line with SAA’s commitment to conserve cash, and create a viable platform for a successful future, key measures need... 

SAA hacks its route network to try and become viable again

SAA to scrap all domestic routes apart from Joburg, Cape Town 

By: News24Wire      6th February 2020 South African Airways is cancelling all of its domestic routes apart from Johannesburg to Cape Town, the joint Business Rescue Practitioners of South African Airways announced on Thursday. The BRPs also announced that it is exploring the sale of some of the embattled airline's assets, and has... 

 SAA to scrap all domestic routes apart from Joburg, Cape Town

Denel reports it has almost finished closing its aerostructures division 

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th February 2020 Denel reported on Thursday that the closing down of “the greater part” of its aerostructures business had reached “an advanced stage”. It gave the assurance that it had taken “major steps” to minimise job losses within the group. The business was being closed because it was not sustainable for... 

Denel reports it has almost finished closing its aerostructures division
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Denel Aerostructures workers assembling a fuselage top shell for an Airbus A400M military airlift aircraft, back in 2013

SA Express must go into business rescue, court rules

By: News24Wire      6th February 2020 The department of public enterprises has confirmed a court ruling that SA Express must be placed into business rescue.  Earlier in January, transport and logistics company Ziegler filed an urgent court application to place SA Express under business rescue, in an effort to recover around... 

 SA Express must go into business rescue, court rules

Air freight: African sector does well, but rest of world performs poorly

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th February 2020 The African air freight sector bucked the global trend last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported. While, globally, air freight was down for the year, in Africa it showed a strong rise. Measured in freight-(metric) ton-kilometres, global air cargo demand declined... 

Air freight: African sector does well, but rest of world performs poorly
Photo by Bloomberg
Cargo being loaded on to a freighter aircraft

Video: Zero emissions transport future will require more copper, platinum 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th February 2020 Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines co-chairperson Robert Friedland this week told delegates at the Investing in African Mining Indaba that the world was shifting towards zero emissions transportation and that this will likely result in shortages of 'green' metals, like platinum and copper. He... 

Video: Zero emissions transport future will require more copper, platinum
Ivanhoe Mines co-chairperson discusses the global move away from internal combustion engines towards electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd

Development Bank says R3.5bn SAA loan may have saved airline from liquidation 

By: News24Wire      4th February 2020 The Development Bank of Southern Africa says it’s R3.5-billion loan to South African Airways was necessary to ensure that the business rescue of the national carrier continues and to avoid the airline's liquidation. The bank's leadership is briefing Parliament's oversight committee on finance.... 

 Development Bank says R3.5bn SAA loan may have saved airline from liquidation

Regional airline Airlink changes its relationship with SAA

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2020 South African private-sector airline Airlink, which, has had a franchise agreement with State-owned flag-carrier South African Airways (SAA) since 1997 – which is currently under business rescue – recently announced that the two airlines had replaced that franchise agreement with a new commercial... 

Further postponement announced in Boeing 737 MAX return to service

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2020 US aerospace giant Boeing has reported that its 737 MAX single-aisle airliner would remain grounded for longer than the company had hoped. The grounding of the aircraft was imposed after two fatal crashes, in late 2018 and early 2019, which killed a total of 346 people. A system fitted to the 737... 

IMF says South Africa has no fiscal space, must push reforms

By: Bloomberg     30th January 2020 South Africa has no fiscal space left and must implement strong budget consolidation and state-owned company reforms to ensure its debt sustainability, the International Monetary Fund said. The October medium-term budget policy statement showed gross government debt would surge to 80.9% of gross... 

IMF says South Africa has no fiscal space, must push reforms

SAA to cancel more flights as part of cost-cutting initiatives

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th January 2020 The Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) for State-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) are continuing their efforts to develop a business rescue plan for the company, while cutting its costs and achieving further operational efficiencies. The assurance was given in a media release issued on... 

SAA to cancel more flights as part of cost-cutting initiatives

SAA cancels dozens of local and international flights in cost-cutting drive 

By: News24Wire      30th January 2020 Embattled state airline South African Airways has cancelled dozen of local and international flights for February as it seeks to cut costs and conserve cash.  The announcement comes two days after the flag carrier's business rescue practitioners confirmed that the Development Bank of Southern... 

 SAA cancels dozens of local and international flights in cost-cutting drive

Long haul ahead for SAA after funding lifeline

By: Bloomberg     30th January 2020 South African Airways (SAA) finally secured the funding it needs to keep flying for at least a few more months, yet there’s still a long way to go before the state carrier can claim to be stable. The loss-making airline was put into a local form of bankruptcy protection late last year and its... 

SA Express demands revenues held by SAA

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th January 2020 South African State-owned regional airline SA Express on Wednesday charged State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) with unlawfully retaining monies that belong to the regional operator. “Now that SAA has received funds, the regional airline trusts that finally paying these... 

SA Express demands revenues held by SAA
Photo by SA Express
A Bombardier CRJ700 regional jet airliner of SA Express

SAA gets R3.5bn in emergency funding from DBSA 

By: Reuters     28th January 2020 Cash-strapped state carrier South African Airways (SAA) will receive R3.5-billion of emergency funding from the government-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa, the airline's business rescue practitioners said on Tuesday. SAA is fighting for its survival after it entered a form of bankruptcy... 

SAA gets R3.5bn in emergency funding from DBSA

Airbus reports agreement with authorities regarding various charges against it

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th January 2020 Europe-based major aerospace group Airbus issued a brief press release on Tuesday, concerning its negotiations with regulators and law enforcement agencies in three countries. The release stated in full: “Airbus confirms that it has reached agreement in principle with the French Parquet National... 

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