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Aviation News

Major airframe and aeroengine groups jointly conduct 100%-sustainable fuel test flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th July 2022 Brazil-based major aerospace group Embraer has announced that it has partnered with US-based major aeroengine group Pratt & Whitney (P&W) to successfully test-fly an Embraer E195-E2 airliner with one of its P&W GTF engines running on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The test flight was... 

Public Enterprises considering legal action over 'false and distorted' reports on SAA process

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th July 2022 The South African Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on Monday affirmed, in a press release, that it was “seeking legal advice on action to be taken on the leakage of official information and the peddling of false and distorted information” on the process of selecting a strategic equity... 

Photo of an SAA aircraft

South Africa’s Airlink signs codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th June 2022 South African regional airline Airlink has entered a codeshare agreement with major Middle East-based international airline Qatar Airways, it was announced on Monday. This will allow the customers of both airlines to book connecting flights with a single reservation, so opening Qatar’s global... 

South Africa sued over sale of national airline in $3 deal

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2022 South Africa’s government and national airline are being sued by a little-known investment firm, which wants the sale of a majority stake in the carrier scrapped and re-run due to a lack of transparency. This year’s acquisition of 51% of South African Airways by the Takatso Consortium -- made up... 

Sasol signs agreement with aircraft company to develop sustainable aviation fuels

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd June 2022 South African chemicals and energy company Sasol signed, on Wednesday, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German aircraft manufacturer Deutsche Aircraft, on developing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) technology. The MoU is specifically focused on the development of technologies for green... 

New mindset at SAA will lead to a profit being turned in future, says CEO

By: Donna Slater     22nd June 2022 The mindset of South African Airways (SAA) has changed with its restructuring and the airline will turn a profit at some point, states SAA CEO John Lamola. In an interview with CNN international business correspondent Richard Quest on the Quest Means Business show on June 20, Lamola said SAA was... 

Iata calls for governments to strengthen regulations on the air transport of lithium batteries

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st June 2022 On Tuesday, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) again called for governments around the world to strengthen their enforcement of safety regulations concerning the air transport of lithium batteries. At its 78th annual general meeting, being held in Doha, in Qatar, Iata also called... 

FlySafair to add new routes across Africa after rival’s collapse

By: Bloomberg     21st June 2022 South African airline FlySafair plans to add at least ten new routes across sub-Saharan Africa to take advantage of a gap in the market left by the collapse of domestic rival Comair. The closely held carrier will fly to capital cities such as Nairobi, Lusaka and Maputo alongside holiday... 

Iata calls for State support for the production of sustainable aviation fuels

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st June 2022 Governments must urgently implement large-scale incentives for the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has urged. Iata is the global representative body of the airline sector and is currently holding its 78th annual general meeting... 

Iata calls for the world’s governments to learn lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st June 2022 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the representative body for the global airline industry, has urged the world’s governments to learn the lessons from their attempts to contain and combat the Covid-19 pandemic by means of travel restrictions and border closures. These... 

Iata reports an improved financial forecast for the world’s airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th June 2022 The world representative body of the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has upgraded its forecast for the sector’s financial performance this year. This is the consequence of an accelerating recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The industry globally looks set to... 

UK quasi-airship design to go into production following agreement with Spanish airline

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th June 2022 UK low carbon aviation technology company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) announced last week that Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum had signed an aircraft reservation agreement for ten of the former’s Airlander 10 hybrid aircraft. The airline is scheduled to start operations with the type in 2026.... 

An artist’s impression of an Airlander 10 in Air Nostrum livery
Photo by HAV
An artist’s impression of an Airlander 10 in Air Nostrum livery

Three SA airports voted best in Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th June 2022 South Africa is home to the three best airports in Africa, according to the latest Skytrax’s 2021/22 World Airport Survey, announced on Thursday. Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) was voted as the best airport in Africa, followed by King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) at number two and... 

The latest Airbus airliner has made its first flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th June 2022 The Airbus A321XLR single-aisle airliner successfully executed its maiden flight on Wednesday afternoon, the Europe-based major aerospace group has reported. The suffix -XLR stands for extra-long range, and the aircraft is the latest member of the A320neo family to be developed (-neo standing for... 

An image of an aircraft taking off
Photo by Airbus
The first A321XLR takes off on its first flight

Southern African airlines in Catch-22 as costs rise amid fragile demand

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th June 2022 To all practical intents and purposes, the Covid-19 pandemic hit Southern Africa just over two years ago. The pandemic and the measures adopted by the region’s governments to try and counter it have had a severe impact on the Southern African airline industry (and indeed on all sectors associated... 

Magazine cover image

Iata wants more information on skills situation in aviation worldwide, including South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th June 2022 The representative body of the worldwide airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has announced that it has extended the deadline of its Global Skills Survey until June 24. So far, more than 400 air transport industry professionals had participated in the survey. Iata... 

Comair placed in provisional liquidation by high court

By: News24Wire      14th June 2022 Kulula.com and local British Airways operator Comair was placed in provisional liquidation by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The liquidation is necessary for Comair to preserve its fleet of aircraft, valued at about R3.5-billion, for the benefit of creditors, according... 

Kulula airlplane

Airbus and Japanese airport group sign MoU on hydrogen fuel for aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th June 2022 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus and Japanese company Kansai Airports have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly investigate the use of hydrogen as an aircraft fuel at Kansai’s three airports. The latter’s airports are Kansai International Airport, Kobe Airport... 

Sustainable aviation fuels can be a potential green industry in South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     10th June 2022 Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) can contribute to a 65% reduction of emissions in the aviation industry by 2050, and South Africa has an excellent resource base to produce like-for-like replacements for fossil fuel-derived fuels that can be used with existing equipment and aeroplanes, says... 

Worldwide, air passenger demand continued strong recovery in April

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th June 2022 The global representative body of the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has reported that air passenger traffic worldwide continued a strong recovery trend in April, driven mainly by international travel demand. This was despite the war in Ukraine and travel... 

Comair to be liquidated 

By: News24Wire      9th June 2022 Comair's business rescue practitioners have lodged a court application on Thursday to convert the business rescue proceedings into liquidation proceedings. This is because the company could not raise the necessary funding to continue with operations. In a notice, published on Thursday, the BRPs... 

British Airways plane

Comair fails to get money, business rescue practitioners believe it can't be saved

By: News24Wire      9th June 2022 Comair could not raise the necessary funding to continue with operations, its business rescue practitioners (BRPs) announced on Thursday. In a notice, published on Thursday, the BRPs advised creditors that they no longer believe there is a reasonable prospect that the company can be rescued. 

Photo of a Kulula branded aircraft

US carrier starts year-round service between Cape Town and New York/Newark

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th June 2022 On Tuesday major US carrier United Airlines inaugurated its new year-round, thrice-weekly, direct service between Cape Town and Newark Liberty International Airport, in the US State of New Jersey, which serves both the nearby New York City (in New York State) and as one of United’s hub airports.... 

Commission meets with domestic airlines to fill Comair void, avoid price gouging

By: Donna Slater     3rd June 2022 The Competition Commission has called on major airlines in South Africa to help bring capacity into the market following a decision by Comair to suspend all British Airways and kulula.com flights, with immediate effect on May 31. Comair’s decision to suspend the flights will significantly reduce... 

Comair suddenly suspends flights of both its airline brands, owing to lack of funds

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st June 2022 South African private-sector airline group Comair, founded in 1946, suddenly announced on Tuesday night (the press release being timed at 8 PM) that it was suspending all flights operated by both its brands with immediate effect. Comair’s brands are British Airways in South Africa and Kulula, the... 

Image of a Kulula aircraft at the OR Tambo airport

Forum says OR Tambo jet fuel shortage to be largely resolved by month-end

By: Schalk Burger     27th May 2022 The Jet Fuel Forum (JFF) has said the jet fuel shortage at OR Tambo International Airport should largely be resolved by the end of the month, as additional fuel will be made available to airlines whose suppliers are currently unable to fulfil their contractual obligations. On May 24, the JFF said... 

Airbus launches a fifth zero carbon flight research centre, in its fourth home country, the UK

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2022 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has announced that it has set up a Zero Emission Development Centre (ZEDC) in the UK. The ZEDC, which is located at Filton, near Bristol, in England, has already started work. Filton is also the home of one of the company’s main airliner wing... 

Ethiopian Airlines orders yet more Boeing 777 Freighters

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2022 Ethiopian Airlines has ordered five Boeing 777F dedicated air cargo aircraft, both companies announced on Wednesday. This latest order followed a previous order for five 777-8F freighters, announced in March this year. Ethiopian already operated nine 777Fs. The operator’s fleet also included... 

ACSA reports high passenger network recovery across all airports

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd May 2022 The aviation sector is showing some promising signs of recovery, following two years of Covid-19 restrictions that severely impacted on the global industry. This year expected to be a year of steady rebound and renewed activity, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) says. 

Major US airline seeking approval for direct Washington DC to Cape Town route

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th May 2022 On Wednesday, major US carrier United Airlines announced in Chicago, in the US State of Illinois (where it is headquartered), that it had applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for approval to operate three direct flights a week between the US capital, Washington DC, and South... 

Transnet increasing supply of jet fuel to ORTIA as railway line repairs start  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th May 2022 State-owned Transnet says it is increasing the supply of jet fuel through the National Multi-Product Pipeline from Durban inland, while repairs to the railway line that is also used to transport fuel to Gauteng get under way following damage from the floods in KwaZulu-Natal in April. Currently,... 

Humans to continue to be involved in autonomous drone flights

By: Donna Slater     13th May 2022 As drone users think of new ways to deploy drones, there is a requirement to use them beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and autonomously. However, humans are still needed to conduct behind-the-scenes activities, said software and aircraft designer Fixar drones sales manager Ronald Schultz.  

South Africa sets plans to cash in on revived national carrier

By: Bloomberg     12th May 2022 South Africa’s government has retained special voting rights in the country’s national carrier even after selling a majority stake, and will be given R3-billion in preference shares that can be redeemed through future cashflow. That means the state stands to benefit should new owner, the Takatso... 

Rigid and strict medical evaluations excluding vulnerable entrepreneurs in drone sector

By: Donna Slater     12th May 2022 A challenge to entering the drones industry as an entrepreneur or business person, especially to people from disadvantaged backgrounds, is the necessity to pass in-depth medical examinations, says drone specialised services company Ntsu Aviation founder Sam Twala. Drone pilots applying for a... 

Takatso welcomes Treasury’s support for SAA deal

By: Schalk Burger     12th May 2022 The Takatso Consortium on May 12 said it welcomed Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s public support for its acquisition of a 51% interest in South African Airways (SAA), signalling a firm commitment from government to conclude the transaction. Takatso would inject R3-billion into the airline... 

Airline sale for R51 keeps it a financial burden for South Africa

By: Bloomberg     11th May 2022 South Africa’s decision to sell a majority stake in the country’s loss-making national airline for R51 represents an ongoing financial risk to the state as the terms were skewed heavily toward the buyer, the National Treasury said. The finer print of the deal that saw the Takatso Consortium take... 

South African Airways plane

SAA remains a financial burden for South Africa, Treasury warns  

By: Bloomberg     10th May 2022 South Africa’s decision to sell a majority stake in the country’s loss-making national airline represents an ongoing financial risk to the state as the terms were skewed heavily toward the buyer, the National Treasury said. The finer print of the deal that saw the Takatso Consortium take a 51%... 

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