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Aviation News

Boeing reports 'clear and steady progress' on returning 737 MAX to safe operations

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th May 2019 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing announced on Thursday night (South African time) that it had concluded the development of updated software for its 737 MAX single-aisle airliner type, as well as the associated simulator testing and engineering flight test. The updated software is for... 

UAV without conventional flaps, ailerons or elevators takes flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th May 2019 British major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems (BAES) announced on the first day of this month that its MAGMA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) had become the first aircraft ever to be manoeuvred in flight using “blown air”. The MAGMA has been designed and developed by University of Manchester... 

17-year-old pilot’s Cape-to-Cairo project to inspire other teenagers

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th May 2019 An ambitious project to stimulate interest among high school pupils in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in general, and in aviation in particular, has reached an advanced stage of development. It is the “U-Dream Cape 2 Cairo” project, which involves some 20 teenagers in the... 

Canadian aircraft manufacturer sees significant potential in Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th May 2019 Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace, part of the Bombardier group, sees a lot of promise in the African market. “Africa is a very dynamic market, for sure,” says the company’s Airline Marketing Manager: Middle East and Africa Arnaud Brun-Khoobeelass. “It’s a market that offers... 

737 MAX woes reflected in Boeing’s first-quarter results

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th May 2019 US aerospace and defence giant Boeing, with the release of its results for the first quarter of this year, has assured that it is working with aviation regulators and customers around the world to ensure a safe return to service of its troubled 737 MAX, the fourth generation of its hitherto... 

Boeing did not disclose 737 MAX alert issue to FAA for 13 months

By: Reuters     6th May 2019 Boeing did not tell US regulators for more than a year that it inadvertently made an alarm alerting pilots to a mismatch of flight data optional on the 737 MAX, instead of standard as on earlier 737s, but insisted on Sunday the missing display represented no safety risk The US planemaker has been... 

SAA launches direct service to Guangzhou, China

By: Simone Liedtke     6th May 2019 State-owned airline South African Airways will start direct flights between Johannesburg and Guangzhou, China, on September 18. Giving customers access to the heart of China’s export-led manufacturing industries is another part of the airline’s strategy of enhancing its route network. 

Rolls-Royce developing advanced aero engine technologies

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd May 2019 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce gives a high priority to research and development (R&D), particularly with regard to aeroengines. “We are focused on pioneering the power that matters and are at the forefront of research into the future of flight,” affirms Rolls-Royce VP Customers:... 

BAE Systems successfully flies UAV without conventional flaps, ailerons or elevators

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd May 2019 British major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems (BAES) announced on Wednesday that its MAGMA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) had become the first aircraft ever to be manoeuvred in flight using “blown air”. The MAGMA has been designed and developed by University of Manchester researchers and... 

BAE Systems successfully flies UAV without conventional flaps, ailerons or elevators
Photo by BAE Systems
The MAGMA UAV

SAA agrees debt rollover deal in principle – CEO 

By: Reuters     30th April 2019 State-owned South African Airways has reached an agreement in principle with lenders to roll over $642-million of debt, its CEO said on Tuesday, giving him room to execute a turnaround aimed at weaning the airline off government bailouts. President Cyril Ramaphosa has made a point of supporting... 

SAA agrees debt rollover deal in principle – CEO

Durban, Richards Bay ports to receive two new helicopters in June

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th April 2019 The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) will, in June, take delivery of two new helicopters to service the Ports of Durban and Richards Bay. Italian company Leonardo manufactured the AgustaWestland AW109SP helicopters, valued at around R250-million, at its plant in Vergiate, Italy.  

Durban, Richards Bay ports to receive two new helicopters in June
AgustaWestland AW109SP helicopter

FAA to convene summit of global regulators on 737 Max safety

By: Bloomberg     26th April 2019 The US Federal Aviation Administration next month will brief international aviation regulators on the agency’s work evaluating when the Boeing 737 Max can return to service, which some countries have signaled they intend to decide on their own. The FAA called the May 23 meeting “to provide... 

Rolls-Royce affirms the importance of the African market

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th April 2019 Africa is a important market for the aeroengines business of renowned British industrial technology company Rolls-Royce, the company’s VP Customers: Africa Kevin Evans tells “Engineering News”. “We see Africa as a large and growing market, one of strategic importance to us.”  

Boeing suspends outlook as 737 Max uncertainty clouds future

By: Bloomberg     25th April 2019 Boeing's earnings missed analysts estimates for just the second time in five years as executives grapple with one of the worst crises in the planemaker’s century-long history. The manufacturer abandoned its 2019 financial forecast as it deals with the aftermath of two deadly crashes of its 737... 

Closure of Blantyre Airport’s main runway has forced changes to SAA operations

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th April 2019 South African Airways (SAA) announced on Wednesday that, because of the closing of the main runway of Malawi’s Chileka International Airport in Blantyre, also with effect from Wednesday (April 24), and until July 24 this year, the national flag carrier would not be able to operate services to... 

Closure of Blantyre Airport’s main runway has forced changes to SAA operations
Photo by Bob Adams/Creative Commons
A Bombardier Q400 airliner of SA Express

Africa’s air cargo sector needs trade and aviation liberalisation to reach full potential

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th April 2019 In early February, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its global air freight data for the whole of 2018. Although worldwide demand, measured in freight (metric) ton kilometres (FTKs) rose by 3.5% in comparison to 2017, it was far below 2017’s 9.7% growth. And demand... 

Africa’s air cargo sector needs trade and aviation liberalisation to reach full potential

Kenya airports body sees land at $10bn on revaluation

By: Bloomberg     12th April 2019 Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) expects its land holdings to be worth more than one-trillion shillings ($9.9-billion) after a revaluation is concluded in a month, CEO Jonny Andersen said. “Since we’ll have a different balance sheet, we can go to the banks and ask for completely different financing... 

Denel to stop manufacturing parts for Airbus A400M aircraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th April 2019 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced at the end of last month that it had reached a mutual understanding with Europe-based major aerospace and defence group Airbus to cease Denel’s manufacture of components for the Airbus A400M military airlifter aircraft, “subject... 

Long-running trade dispute between aerospace giants ends with victory for Airbus

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th April 2019 Late last month the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Appellate Body found that the US had failed to end some of the subsidies awarded by Federal, State and local authorities to aerospace giant Boeing, and to stop the damage these subsidies were causing to Boeing’s Europe-based arch rival... 

Rolls-Royce, European aviation regulator, agree accelerated inspections for new engine

10th April 2019 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Wednesday that it had agreed an accelerated inspection programme for its Trent 1000 TEN turbofan engines with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This stems from the company’s work to address the earlier than expected deterioration... 

Rolls-Royce, European aviation regulator, agree accelerated inspections for new engine
Photo by Rolls-Royce
The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 production line

Govts must create policy for businesses to invest to improve living standards, says Jarana

By: African News Agency      9th April 2019 Governments must create a policy and legal framework for businesses to invest to improve the living standards of society, create jobs and grow economies, said Vuyani Jarana, South African Airways chief executive. “There has to be a constant realignment between government policy, business... 

How flawed software and excess speed doomed an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX

By: Reuters     8th April 2019 Minutes after take-off, the pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX were caught in a bad situation. A key sensor had been wrecked, possibly by hitting a foreign object, according to four aviation experts and two US officials who were briefed on the flight data. 

Boeing CEO gives assurance that 737 MAX control system problem will be solved

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th April 2019 US major aircraft manufacturer Boeing has given the assurance that it will terminate the risk posed in its Boeing 737 MAX airliners by the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, which is installed in these aircraft. This operates automatically and was intended to remove the danger of... 

Boeing CEO gives assurance that 737 MAX control system problem will be solved
Photo by Bloomberg
The Ethiopia crash site

Aerospace Development Corporation affirms its ownership of Ahrlac aircraft design

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th April 2019 In a statement issued on March 26, South African private-sector company Aerospace Development Corporation (ADC) clarified that it, and not the Paramount Group, is the original equipment manufacturer, design authority and manufacturer of the Ahrlac aircraft. (Ahrlac is an acronym for Advanced High... 

Airbus signs agreement to sell hundreds of airliners to China

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th April 2019 Europe-based global aerospace giant Airbus and the China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) signed, late last month, a General Terms Agreement (GTA) for the purchase, by Chinese airlines, of 300 Airbus airliners. These will be composed of 290 A320-family single aisle air craft and ten... 

Max disaster pits Boeing against Ethiopia's prized carrier

By: Bloomberg     4th April 2019 African air disasters always used to lead to the same conclusion – with the airline blamed for poor maintenance, ancient planes or poorly trained pilots, and often a combination of all three. But when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed near Addis Ababa last month, a curious thing happened:... 

Max disaster pits Boeing against Ethiopia's prized carrier
Photo by Bloomberg
The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crash site

SAA launches more nonstop charter flights to Maldives

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd April 2019 South African Airways (SAA) has launched additional nonstop charter flights to the Maldives from April to October. By flying direct to the southern part of the Maldives, SAA can reduce the flying time from 16 hours (via the Middle East), to only seven hours.  

Boeing says more time needed to finish 737 Max software fix

By: Bloomberg     2nd April 2019 Boeing says it needs more time to finish a software upgrade for its grounded 737 Max jetliners as company engineers update a stall-prevention system linked to two fatal crashes in five months. The planemaker said last week it would submit final paperwork for the revamp to the Federal Aviation... 

Denel to end manufacture of parts for Airbus A400M aircraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st April 2019 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced over the weekend that it had reached a mutual understanding with Europe-based major aerospace and defence group Airbus to cease Denel’s manufacture of components for the Airbus A400M military airlifter aircraft, “subject to... 

Denel to end manufacture of parts for Airbus A400M aircraft
Photo by Airbus
An A400M takes off from an unpaved airstrip

Boeing crash fallout widens on TUI profit hit, passenger lawsuit

By: Bloomberg     29th March 2019 Boeing faced widening fallout from the crisis over its 737 Max jets, as travel giant TUI warned the grounding of the aircraft will cut its profit and the estate of a passenger who died in this month’s crash in Ethiopia sued the planemaker. Boeing, based in Chicago, has been under intense scrutiny... 

Boeing was close to software fix before second 737 Max crash

By: Bloomberg     28th March 2019 Boeing was agonisingly close to a software fix for its 737 Max jetliner when an Ethiopian Airlines jet plunged to the ground March 10, the second deadly crash in less than five months. The US planemaker, working with regulators, has spent months refining the feature since flight data from the... 

Boeing readies 737 MAX software fix as families wait for crash report

By: Reuters     26th March 2019 Boeing Co will provide airlines that have bought the 737 MAX with free software upgrades, the US manufacturer said on Monday, as Ethiopian Airlines told Reuters it expected a preliminary crash report this week or next. Any fixes to the MAX software, the focus of investigations in two deadly... 

Local company ADC stresses it, not Paramount, owns the Ahrlac military aircraft design

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th March 2019 South African private-sector company Aerospace Development Corporation (ADC) on Tuesday clarified that it, and not the Paramount Group, is the original equipment manufacturer, design authority and manufacturer of the Ahrlac aircraft. (Ahrlac is an acronym for Advanced High Performance... 

Local company ADC stresses it, not Paramount, owns the Ahrlac military aircraft design
Photo by Aerospace DEvelopment Corporation
An Ahrlac aircraft under assembly

Crisis-hit Fastjet secures another extension on its loan agreement

By: Reuters     26th March 2019 Cash-strapped regional Africa airline Fastjet said on Monday it has reached an agreement to further extend the repayment date on its unsecured loans. Fastjet in June had entered agreements with Annunaki Investments and SSCG Africa Holdings, following which the airline lent $5-million from its... 

Boeing invites pilots, regulators to briefing as it looks to return 737 MAX to service

By: Reuters     25th March 2019 Boeing said it invited more than 200 global airline pilots, technical leaders and regulators for an information session on Wednesday as it looks to return the 737 MAX to commercial service. The meeting is a sign that Boeing's planned software patch is nearing completion, though it will still need... 

Mboweni questions need to hold onto State assets 

By: Bloomberg     25th March 2019 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said a discussion must begin on whether the government needs to retain control of all the assets it owns given the poor state of the national finances. Mboweni has asked Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan for a list of noncore State assets and has been... 

Mboweni questions need to hold onto State assets
Photo by Reuters
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Boeing makes safety change, Indonesian airline cancels order 

By: Reuters     22nd March 2019 Indonesian airline Garuda said on Friday it would cancel a $6-billion order for Boeing 737 MAX jets, citing concerns over passenger confidence, as Boeing tried to quell safety worries by making a previously optional cockpit warning light compulsory. National carrier Garuda is the first airline to... 

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