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Aviation News

Comair switches line maintenance of its airliners from Lufthansa Technik to SAA Technical

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd March 2022 South African private sector airline group Comair has announced that, as a pre-emptive precaution, it has transferred the line maintenance of its fleet to South African Airways Technical (SAAT) from the South African operation of Lufthansa Technik. This was because the South African Civil... 

Intergovernmental dispute reinstituted to aid Delta Air Lines’ application, says Maynier

By: Schalk Burger     18th March 2022 Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier says he will continue to apply the necessary pressure to secure a triangular route for US airline Delta Air Lines between Atlanta, Georgia, in the US, and Johannesburg and Cape Town. Delta had applied to operate a triangular... 

Comair air operation certificate restored and group phasing services back in

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th March 2022 Comair will restart flight operations on Thursday, following the reinstatement of the group’s Air Operator’s Certificate by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), the company stated late Wednesday night. Comair operates the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low-cost carrier... 

Comair grounding: Competition Commission warns airlines not to exploit passengers

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th March 2022 South Africa’s Competition Commission has warned the country’s operating airlines against the ‘price gouging’ of passengers left stranded by the grounding of airliners operated by Comair, and so urgently seeking seats on alternative operators. Comair operates the British Airways in South Africa... 

Drones successful in deterring railway cable theft syndicates 

By: Donna Slater     15th March 2022 Johannesburg-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operator and developer UAV & Drone Solutions (UDS) proposes that government departments and State-owned entities (SOEs) use, to a far greater extent, the services it provides to curb critical infrastructure theft and vandalism. Cable theft for... 

An image of a drone and stolen cables
UAV & Drone Solutions provides eyes in the sky, day or night, to deter infrastructure criminals and identify areas of concern

Comair's fleet grounded indefinitely

By: Reuters     14th March 2022 South Africa's civil aviation regulator grounded Comair's planes indefinitely on Sunday over unresolved safety issues, in a move that also affects low-cost airline Kulula and British Airways, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. A spokesperson for the South African Civil Aviation Authority... 

A Kukula aeroplane

Air cargo, passenger demand slowed month-on-month in January

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th March 2022 The International Air Transport Association has reported that the growth in both air cargo and air passenger traffic in January decelerated, in comparison to December last year. (Iata is the global representative body for the airline industry.) Regarding air cargo, globally, in January this was... 

Cape Town International Airport reporting recovery in both passenger and air cargo traffic

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th March 2022 Public-private partnership Cape Town Air Access has reported that Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) last month registered its highest number of international air passengers since the restoration of international air travel in October 2020. A total of 125 861 international passengers passed... 

South African airlines welcome re-establishment of country’s essential air services councils

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th March 2022 The announcement that the South African government had appointed new air services councils was welcomed by the local commercial aviation sector on Thursday. There were two such councils, the International Air Services Council and the (domestic) Air Services Licensing Council. These councils were... 

Concrete progress on historic fighter restoration project with building of workshop structure

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th March 2022 The project to rebuild South Africa’s only Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft has reached an important milestone, with the erection of the structure for the new workshop required to reconstruct the aircraft. This was marked with a small celebration held on Saturday, March 5, which was the 86th... 

The newly erected structure of the restoration workshop
Photo by Creamer Media's Rebecca Campbell
The newly erected structure of the restoration workshop

Kenya Airways sees Russia’s invasion inflating air ticket costs

By: Bloomberg     7th March 2022 Kenya Airways said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will result in airlines increasing ticket prices after crude oil surged, while uncertainty may reduce demand for travel. “We have started seeing many of the airlines taking action on this to ensure that they are able to keep on flying,” commercial... 

Airlink announces new domestic route

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th March 2022 South African private sector regional airline Airlink has announced that it is to inaugurate a new service, linking two of South Africa’s coastal cities. The route will be operated every day except Saturdays and will provide a direct link between Durban and Gqeberha (previously, and better known... 

Iata reports improved commercial aviation safety last year

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd March 2022 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has announced that the safety performance of the world’s commercial airline industry had improved strongly in several areas last year, in comparison to 2020. Iata is the representative body for the global airline industry and it released the its... 

War in Ukraine unlikely to cause long-term disruption to air travel recovery, says Iata

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st March 2022 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the global representative body of the airline industry, does not believe that the current Russia-Ukraine War was likely to affect long-term growth in the commercial aviation sector. “In general, air transport is resilient against... 

Cabinet welcomes conclusion of purchase and sales agreement for SAA

By: News24Wire      24th February 2022 Cabinet has welcomed the conclusion of the sales and purchase agreement for South African Airways by the Department of Public Enterprises and Takatso Consortium. Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday that the next step in the deal to sell 51% of the government's stake in SAA was left to... 

South African Airways plane

Sale process for Takatso's majority stake in SAA is done, regulatory approval now needed

By: News24Wire      24th February 2022 The sale and purchase process of a majority stake in South African Airways (SAA) has now been concluded and signed by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and its strategic equity partner for the airline, the Takatso Consortium. According to a statement issued by the Presidency on Thursday,... 

South African Airways plane

Progress made in disposal of stake in airline SAA

By: Reuters     24th February 2022 The South African government said on Thursday that further progress had been made in the disposal of 51% of shares in national airline South African Airways to the Takatso Consortium. A cabinet statement read: "The Sales and Purchase process has now been concluded and signed by the Department of... 

Minister reiterates ‘tough love’ approach to SOE fiscal dependence 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd February 2022 Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has reiterated his commitment to clamp down on State-owned entities (SOEs) that are draining the fiscus with bailouts. Delivering his Budget 2022 speech on February 23, he pointed out that more than R308-billion had been directed towards bailing out failing SOEs. 

An SAA aircraft

Kenyan operator becomes launch customer for new Airbus freighter aircraft conversion

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th February 2022 Kenya-based specialist air cargo operator Astral Aviation will be the first carrier to operate the Airbus A320P2F freighter aircraft. The suffix P2F means ‘passenger to freighter’ and means that the aircraft are standard airliners which are being converted into dedicated freighters. The P2F... 

Tourism, cargo to benefit from United Airlines' increased flights to Cape Town

By: Yvonne Silaule     15th February 2022 The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape have welcomed US airline United Airlines' decision to provide year-round flights between New York and Cape Town from June. The airline's flights between the two destinations had previously been on a seasonal basis. 

Rolls-Royce partners with Luxaviation to pursue electric air mobility ventures

By: Donna Slater     14th February 2022 Vehicle propulsion systems manufacturer Rolls-Royce and luxury jet and helicopter service provider Luxaviation Group have agreed, through a memorandum of understanding (MoU), to collaborate on developing advanced air mobility (AAM) solutions. Both companies share a vision of AAM solutions,... 

An artists impression of a vertical take-off and landing facility
An artists impression of a vertical take-off and landing facility

Lufthansa introduces brand new leisure airline to the South African market  

By: Yvonne Silaule     11th February 2022 The Lufthansa group has introduced a new leisure airline Eurowings Discover to the South African market. The new airline will start direct flights from Frankfurt, Germany, to the Kruger National Park, from November. 

Iata launches online portal to help standardise aircraft ground handling

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th February 2022 The representative body of the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has launched an online platform to help airlines more efficiently implement the Iata Ground Operations Manual (IGOM). This manual is the globally recognised standard for ground handling of... 

Africa’s transport sector to strongly benefit from AfCFTA

By: Schalk Burger     11th February 2022 The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to increase intra-African trade in transport services by nearly 50% by 2030, the latest estimates by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) show. The estimates contained in the ‘Implications of the AfCFTA for demand for... 

US carrier extends its direct service between New York and Cape Town

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th February 2022 Major US carrier United Airlines has announced that it will expand its current seasonal direct service between New York and Cape Town to a year-round service. Provided it receives government approval, it will offer three flights a week between the two cities, starting in early June. The airline... 

A United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Photo by United Airlines
A United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Regional airline to restart services between Durban and Mbombela

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th February 2022 South African private sector airline Airlink has announced that it will restart its scheduled service between Durban and Mbombela (Nelspruit) on April 4. The service will be operated by the company’s Embraer regional jets (Airlink operates both the ERJ135 and ERJ140 models). “Mbombela and Durban... 

Airline body’s latest survey shows sector continues its recovery

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th February 2022 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has communicated that airline Chief Financial Officers and heads of cargo surveyed over the period December 2021 and January 2022 have reported that pressure on the profitability of their companies had reduced during the fourth quarter of last... 

UK engineers have developed new way to power insect-like micro-UAVs with flapping wings

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd February 2022 Researchers in the Faculty of Engineering in the University of Bristol, in England, in the UK, have developed a new technology to propel micro-uncrewed air vehicles (UAVs) which, like birds and insects, use flapping wings to fly. Any aircraft, no matter how small, that uses flapping wings to fly... 

A pair of Laza-powered micro-ornithopter wings
Photo by University of Bristol
A pair of Laza-powered micro-ornithopter wings

Boeing launches new freighter with its greatest-value-ever order for cargo aircraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd February 2022 Global major aerospace group Boeing has announced the launch of a freighter version of its new-generation 777X family of large widebody airliners. The dedicated freighter will be based on the 777-8 model of the 777X family, and so is designated 777-8 Freighter (777-8F), and will be the world’s... 

International airline and airport associations call on EU States to lift travel restrictions

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st February 2022 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) and Airports Council International (ACI) Europe have jointly issued a call to the governments of European Union (EU) States to follow the new EU travel regime, which came into effect on Tuesday. The new EU regime advises the abolition of all... 

Air Seychelles again certified by international safety audit

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st February 2022 Air Seychelles, the national flag carrier for the Indian Ocean island group country, has announced that it has again been certified under the Iata Operational Safety Audit (Iosa). Iata is the International Air Transport Association and is the representative body of the global airline industry.... 

Airbus avails previous generation Beluga’s for private oversized air cargo charter

By: Donna Slater     27th January 2022 Aircraft manufacturer Airbus is making its fleet of iconic whale-shaped Beluga Super Transporter (ST) aircraft available to private clients for abnormal air freight transportation requirements. Airbus’ five-strong BelugaST aircraft fleet, which has been the backbone of the company’s inter-site... 

An image of an Airbus BelugaST
The Airbus Beluga Super Transporter, tail number 3

International airline body calls for countries to more rapidly lift travel restrictions

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th January 2022 The representative body of the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has called on governments to more rapidly ease the restrictions they imposed on travel, to try and counter the Covid-19 pandemic. This was because the disease was moving from pandemic to... 

Iata reports world air passenger traffic last year improved in comparison to 2020

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th January 2022 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) – the representative body of the global airline industry – has reported that air passenger traffic for the whole of last year, while still significantly down on the figure for 2019 (the last full year before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic)... 

Air cargo records strong year with December performance

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2022 The International Air Transport Association’s (Iata’s) data for global air freight markets shows that full-year demand for air cargo increased by 6.9% in 2021, compared with 2019 (pre-Covid-19 levels) and 18.7% compared with 2020 following a strong performance in December 2021. This was the... 

Seychelles’ flag carrier to increase number of flights to and from Johannesburg

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st January 2022 Air Seychelles announced on Friday that it was going to increase the number of its flights between its home base at Seychelles International Airport at the country’s capital of Mahé, and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, starting early next month. With effect from February 3, the... 

French energy group joins UAE green hydrogen aviation fuel project

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st January 2022 French global major energy group TotalEnergies has joined United Arab Emirates (UAE) sustainable and clean energy company Masdar and Germany’s Siemens Energy, in a project to use green hydrogen to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The three groups signed the collaboration agreement on the... 

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