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Aviation News

Govt commits to provide SAA with R10.5bn – administrator 

By: Reuters     18th September 2020 South Africa has pledged R10.5-billion to South African Airways, one of the administrators of the ailing state-owned airline said on Friday. The administrators took control of SAA in December after almost a decade of financial losses and have been trying to keep it afloat as the coronavirus... 

Unions threaten legal action if government does not commit to saving State-owned airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th September 2020 Two trade unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), have jointly announced that, together, they are going to challenge in court the liquidation of State-owned airlines South African Airways (SAA) and South African... 

ATNS launches virtual Aviation Training Academy

By: Donna Slater     18th September 2020 With Covid-19 restrictions, Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) is piloting virtual training through its Aviation Training Academy. ATNS’ Aviation Training Academy offers aviation training to several countries in Africa since it was certified as a training institution in 1996.  

Initiative to accelerate technology strategies amid aerospace industry decline

By: Mamaili Mamaila     18th September 2020 The Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI) plans to continue building technology strategies with industry for long-term implementation amid the industry’s decline of late. 

Initiative to accelerate technology strategies amid aerospace industry decline
EVEN ODDS Although there are “pockets of excellence”, the local aerospace industry is very small and focuses almost exclusively on exports

BRPs report government has failed to supply promised funding for SAA

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th September 2020 The joint business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for financially-embattled State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) reported on Thursday that the government had failed to supply the funding it had promised to finance the implementation of the airline’s business rescue plan.... 

Numsa union accuses Comair business rescuers of bullying employees 

By: African News Agency      17th September 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa on Thursday accused the business rescue practitioners at Comair of attempting to blackmail employees into signing away their rights ahead of a crucial creditors meeting tomorrow. In a statement, Numsa said the practitioners had not consulted... 

Numsa union accuses Comair business rescuers of bullying employees

Numsa blasts Comair business rescue practitioners & will not sign collective agreement

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th September 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Thursday accused the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for private-sector airline group Comair of trying to blackmail employees into giving up their rights, ahead of a crucial meeting of the company’s creditors on Friday. The union... 

Iata urges African countries to test international travellers for Covid-19 not quarantine them 

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the representative body for the world’s airlines, has urged African governments to implement testing for Covid-19 in place of quarantine measures when re-opening their economies. “Testing provides a safe alternative to quarantine and a... 

SA Express employees form entity to bid for takeover of the airline

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th September 2020 Employees of embattled State-owned airline South African Express Airways (SA Express) have taken initiative to incorporate a special purpose vehicle (SPV) as an acquiring entity to bid for the airline. The SPV will be owned by a public limited company, Fly SAX, with the employees as owners.  

SA Express employees form entity to bid for takeover of the airline

Industry’s wings seemingly clipped

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 South Africa’s economy is hanging by a thread and this has presented massive challenges for the local aerospace industry, says aircraft design organisation Aerodesigns Africa director Murray Spoelstra. 

Industry’s wings seemingly clipped
GLOBAL SIGHTS SET Similar to the local automotive industry that is manufacturing for European countries, so must there be opportunities to manufacture aircraft under licence for foreign companies

Level playing field key to moving industry forward

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 Transformation should be a top priority among the issues that need to be addressed in manufacturing for the aviation industry, says maintenance solutions provider Dynamic Aerotech technical operation and research director Mulalo Neluheni. 

Level playing field key to moving industry forward
OPEN UP THE INDUSTRY While there is scope for black people with potential to thrive in this space, this needs to take into account the whole value chain in the aerospace industry

Association laments sector decline

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 The aerospace manufacturing sector is in a “freefall” and there does not appear to be any parachute in sight, says industry body Commercial Aerospace Manufacturing Association of South Africa (Camasa) co-chairperson Themba September. 

Association laments sector decline
AIRING IT OUT In its efforts to ensure that the sector returns to its former glory, Camasa has participated in the process of drafting a sector masterplan

Initiative plans to accelerate tech amid industry decline

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 The Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI) plans to continue building technology strategies with industry for long-term implementation amid the industry’s decline of late. “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been extremely severe on the aerospace industry, owing to the lockdown on air... 

Initiative plans to accelerate tech amid industry decline
EVEN ODDS Although there are “pockets of excellence”, the local aerospace industry is very small and focuses almost exclusively on exports

SAA business rescue practitioners say progress on aircraft leases, but 'dire' financial state

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th September 2020 The Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) for State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways issued, on Thursday, an update notice on the business rescue process. The business rescue plan for the airline was published on July 28. In their update, the BRPs stated that they were busy... 

Air transport body calls for start to planning for distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) – the representative body of the global airline industry – has urged governments to start planning now for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, when they become available. This planning should include the air transport sector as well as other... 

Air transport body calls for start to planning for distribution of Covid-19 vaccines
Photo by Iata
Alexandre de Juniac

United Airlines announces nonstop Johannesburg-New York service

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th September 2020 US carrier United Airlines has announced that it will initiate a new, nonstop, service between Newark Liberty International Airport in the US state of New Jersey and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. Newark is one of the three airports that serve New York City and is a hub for... 

United Airlines announces nonstop Johannesburg-New York service
Photo by United Airlines
A Boeing 787-10 of United Airlines

Two unions demand investigations into senior SAA Technical officials

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th September 2020 In a joint statement, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have demanded urgent investigations into two high-ranking individuals at South African Airways Technical (SAAT). SAAT is the specialist maintenance, repair and... 

New Seychelles airline to launch as cargo carrier, due to pandemic

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th September 2020 Private-sector start-up airline Seychelles International Airways (SIA) has announced that it will commence operations on September 10 as a cargo-only carrier, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will initiate its services with a four-engined Airbus A340-600, it announced in a press conference,... 

Union reports Comair agrees to start paying medical aid contributions again

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th September 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) announced on Monday that the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) overseeing South African private-sector airline group Comair had agreed to immediately reinstate medical aid for the airline’s workforce. This followed Numsa’s threat to... 

Numsa approaches Labour Court about Comair salaries, medical aid standstills

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th September 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) has approached the Johannesburg Labour Court for an urgent interdict to compel the management of airline Comair to pay outstanding salaries and continue making medical aid contributions on behalf of employees. A hearing has been scheduled... 

Brazilian aerospace group announces job cuts, in part because of Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th September 2020 Brazilian-based major aerospace group Embraer announced on Thursday that it was cutting its worldwide workforce by 4.5%, in part due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also because of the effects of US company Boeing cancelling its partnership with the Brazilian enterprise. In Brazil,... 

Brazilian aerospace group announces job cuts, in part because of Covid-19
Photo by RKC
An Embraer E190-E2 airliner, pictured in South Africa on a demonstration tour

Business rescue plan calls for Comair to be downsized and delisted

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd September 2020 A business rescue plan for South African private-sector airline group Comair has been published and the group’s creditors have until September 18 to examine and decide whether or not to support the plan. Comair operated the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low cost carrier brands and... 

Airline body calls for international borders to be reopened

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has urged governments around the world to work together to reopen borders and restore global connectivity. The association, which is the representative body for the global airline industry, also called on governments to continue to support... 

Iata reports stabilisation in global air cargo demand, but at lower levels than in 2019

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st September 2020 In its latest report on air cargo, the representative body of the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), reported that the data showed that demand was stable but at a lower level than for last year. Because of the continued lack of belly hold cargo space on... 

Iata reports stabilisation in global air cargo demand, but at lower levels than in 2019
Iata CEo Alexandre de Juniac

OR Tambo International Airport expects passenger numbers to significantly increase next month

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th August 2020 OR Tambo International Airport (OR Tambo) will probably handle more than 210 000 passengers next month. That is the estimate of the airport’s management. The currently operating airlines have booked more than 2 500 take-off and landing slots at the airport (which is owned and operated by the... 

More local laser R&D needed

By: Tracy Hancock     28th August 2020 South Africa is not placing enough focus on laser research and development (R&D), especially in the private sector, but there is hope, says the director of the Laser Research Institute (LRI) within the Physics Department at Stellenbosch University Dr Pieter Neethling. “Laser and photonics R&D is... 

More local laser R&D needed
PRIVATE PARTICIPATION Getting private-sector companies to fund laser research and development at local universities is expected to change the landscape dramatically

Iata urges Africa to implement single air transport market and ICAO biosafety guidance

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th August 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has urged African governments to boost the post-Covid-19 recovery of their aviation sectors and wider economies by speeding up the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM). Iata, which is the representative body of the... 

Unions blast DPE and SAA over severance package uncertainty and lack of salaries

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th August 2020 Two trade unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), have fiercely attacked the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and the management of financially-beleaguered State-owned national flag carrier South African... 

Etihad Airways participating in Boeing/Nasa research programme

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th August 2020 Abu Dhabi airline Etihad Airways announced on Wednesday that one of its Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft was participating in the US ecoDemonstrator programme. This programme is a collaboration between the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), Boeing, and French aerospace... 

Etihad Airways participating in Boeing/Nasa research programme
Photo by Etihad
Etihad’s Boeing 787-10 airliner being employed for the tests.

Interprovincial travel allowed, four more airports to reopen, says Mbalula

By: News24Wire      25th August 2020 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced on Tuesday that four more airports have been permitted to operate under Level 2 travel regulations. A total of 18 airports are now be able to operate. 

Iata stresses need for airline passengers to wear face coverings

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th August 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the representative body for the global airline industry, has urged all air passengers to comply with instructions and wear face coverings during their journey. The wearing of such coverings is one of the major recommendations of the... 

Public Enterprises department reports unsolicited investor interest in SAA 

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th August 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises reported on Monday that the South African government had, by the start of this month, received more than ten unsolicited offers of interest in South African Airways and its subsidiaries. SAA is the State-owned national flag carrier, and its subsidiaries are... 

Public Enterprises department reports unsolicited investor interest in SAA

Rolls-Royce announces new partnership with revolutionary rocket engine company

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th August 2020 UK-based industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has concluded a new strategic partnership agreement with privately-held British company Reaction Engines. The purpose of the partnership agreement is to develop high-speed propulsion systems for aircraft and to apply Reaction... 

Lufthansa announces expansion of its repatriation flight programme

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th August 2020 Germany’s Lufthansa Group announced on Thursday that it was expanding its repatriation flight programme between Germany and South Africa and between Switzerland and South Africa. The Germany flights will be operated by Lufthansa itself and will be between Frankfurt and both Johannesburg and Cape... 

Boeing wins first new order for 737 MAX in many months

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th August 2020 US aerospace group Boeing on Thursday announced a new order for its troubled 737 MAX single-aisle airliner. The type is currently still grounded after two fatal accidents in late 2018 and early 2019 killed a total of 346 people. Flight control software developed specifically for the MAX, known as... 

Boeing wins first new order for 737 MAX in many months
Photo by Boeing
A Boeing 737 MAX 8, now apparently being called a 737-8

South Africa starts talks with potential buyers of State airline 

By: Bloomberg     20th August 2020 South Africa’s government has started talks with private entities interested in buying into the country’s insolvent national carrier, which needs at least R10-billion rand to resume operations. A team from the Department of Public Enterprises and advisers from FirstRand Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank... 

South Africa starts talks with potential buyers of State airline

OR Tambo International Airport is ready for the resumption of domestic leisure travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th August 2020 The management at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) has given the assurance that it is ready and able to handle domestic air passengers, now that the country has moved to Level 2 of the national lockdown, allowing domestic leisure travel. OR Tambo is owned and operated by the... 

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