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Aviation News

Airlink to resume services to Nampula in Mozambique

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th August 2021 South African private-sector regional airline Airlink announced on Thursday that it would restart its direct service between Johannesburg and Nampula in Mozambique. The service would recommence on September 16. Bookings had already been reopened for the route, which had been suspended in March... 

US helicopter company has released advanced vertical take-off aircraft design concepts

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th August 2021 Renowned US helicopter manufacturer Bell Textron this week unveiled design concepts for future high-speed vertical take-off and landing (HSVTOL) aircraft. These design concepts make use of technologies being developed by the company, which is part of the Textron group. HSVTOL technology would... 

An image of three HSVTOL design concepts
Photo by Bell Textron
Three HSVTOL design concepts

Iata statistics show Covid-19 affected its six regions differently

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2021 In percentage terms, Africa suffered the third worse fall in air passenger numbers last year, the Iata World Air Transport Statistics document, published on Tuesday, has shown. Iata is the International Air Transport Association, the representative body of the global airline industry. African air... 

Iata statistics confirm depth of airline industry crisis last year

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2021 The release on Tuesday of the International Air Transport Association’s (Iata’s) “Iata World Air Transport Statistics” report, covering 2020, has confirmed with hard data the depth of the crisis that afflicted the global aviation industry last year, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Iata is... 

Delta restarts Johannesburg-Atlanta flights

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd August 2021 Major US carrier Delta Air Lines has reinstated direct flights between Atlanta, in the US state of Georgia, and Johannesburg. Atlanta is where the airline is headquartered, and the reinstitution of the direct link between the two cities comes 15 years after the route was originally established,... 

Recovery in air passenger demand remains weak, reports Iata

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th July 2021 Air passenger demand remains well below the levels experienced before the Covid-19 pandemic, although there has been a minor improvement in both international and domestic air travel numbers, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) reported on Wednesday. Iata is the representative body... 

Global air transport body reports continued strong air cargo demand

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th July 2021 During the first half of this year (1H21), the global air cargo market recorded its strongest semester of growth since 2017. This was reported by the International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body of the global airline and air cargo industry, when it released, on... 

Iata adds environmental sustainability to its range of aviation training courses

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th July 2021 The global representative body of the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), announced on Monday that it had added an environmental sustainability training programme to its range of training initiatives. The new programme is being delivered in cooperation with... 

Mango Airlines to enter business rescue

By: Reuters     26th July 2021 South African Airways (SAA) subsidiary Mango Airlines will enter a local form of bankruptcy protection known as business rescue, SAA's interim chief executive Thomas Kgokolo told eNCA television on Monday. The budget carrier is the fourth South African airline to be placed under business rescue... 

Rolls-Royce marks major step forward in hybrid-electric aircraft propulsion project

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th July 2021 UK-based industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced late last week that the generator and associated power electronics for the aerospace world’s most powerful hybrid-electric aircraft power and propulsion system had been delivered to its recently renovated Testbed 108 in Bristol in the UK.... 

Embraer reports its commercial aircraft delivery and backlog figures for the second quarter

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd July 2021 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer on Wednesday reported its commercial aircraft deliveries and order backlogs during the second quarter of this year (2Q21). The company’s commercial aircraft business is divided into airliners and executive (business) jets. During 2Q21, Embraer delivered 14... 

An image of an Embraer E190 airliner of South African airline Airlink
Photo by Airlink
A standard Embraer E190 airliner of South African airline Airlink

Iata head warns of effects of blocking of airline funds by a number of African countries

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st July 2021 The global representative body of the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has highlighted the problem of countries blocking the repatriation of funds by international airlines. This was a particularly severe problem in Africa, Iata director-general Willie Walsh... 

Aerospace group Embraer announces major order from Canadian airline

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th July 2021 Brazilian aerospace and defence group Embraer has announced that it has received a $5.82-billion order from Canada’s Porter Airlines for 30 E195-E2 jet airliners, with options for another 50. The announced value of the contract assumes all the options will be exercised and that the aircraft will... 

Boeing wins new order for freighter versions of its 737-800 airliner

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th July 2021 Commercial aircraft leasing and financing group BBAM has placed a firm order for 12 more Boeing 737-800BCF freighter aircraft. BCF stands for Boeing Converted Freighter and indicates that the aircraft will be converted from standard 737-800 airliners into dedicated freighters. BBAM had previously... 

Comair extends its voluntary flight suspension due to prolongation of Level 4 lockdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th July 2021 South African private-sector airline group Comair announced on Tuesday that it was extending its voluntary suspension of scheduled flights by both its brands until August 31. Comair’s brands are British Airways (operated by Comair) and low cost carrier Kulula.com. This decision follows South... 

Iata ready to help airlines with their post-pandemic training and retraining challenges

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th July 2021 With the end of the Covid-19 pandemic now in sight, the global aviation industry has major re-training and training requirements to address, International Air Transport Association (Iata) senior VP commercial products and services Frédéric Leger has pointed out. He was addressing the second day... 

Iata head criticises governments over handling of air travel under Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th July 2021 International Air Transport Association (Iata) director-general Wille Walsh has criticised governments for their behaviour towards international air travel, as the Covid-19 pandemic begins, in many countries, to be brought under control. Governments were not being transparent or coherent... 

Flight Centre Travel Group to reward employees with shares

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th July 2021 ASX-listed Flight Centre Travel Group has unveiled a global retention programme which will see it give 1.9-million company shares to sales and support staff who continue their careers with the group during its expected recovery phase. The new Global Recovery Rights (GRR) programme will be offered... 

Global air transport body says signs of recovery in sector but warns it is fragile

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th July 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the global representative body of the airline industry, is seeing some encouraging signs of recovery in the industry. “There is some optimism about the airline industry, but [also] reasons to be cautious,” Iata senior economist Ezgi... 

Air Seychelles announces its two new acting senior executives

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th July 2021 Republic of Seychelles national flag carrier Air Seychelles announced on Wednesday that a new acting CEO and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) had been appointed to the airline. The appointments had been recently made by the country’s Ministry of Transport. The new acting CEO is airline Captain Sandy... 

Comair suspends Kulula, BA flights for three weeks

By: Schalk Burger     2nd July 2021 South African airline Comair on July 2 announced it was suspending all scheduled Kulula and British Airways (BA) flights operated by Comair for three weeks. Flights will be suspended from Monday, July 5 and Comair plans to restart services from July 30, subject to regulations being eased and... 

Airlines Association of Southern Africa announces its new CEO

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd July 2021 The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has announced that Wrenelle Stander will replace Chris Zweigenthal as the organisation’s CEO. Stander’s appointment will take effect in the middle of this month. Zweigenthal is retiring after 19 years in the post. “Wrenelle, whose career includes... 

Wrenelle Stander
Photo by AASA
Wrenelle Stander

Airbus also gets major order from United Airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st July 2021 The same day (Tuesday) that it announced a huge order for Boeing 737 MAX airliners, major US carrier United Airlines also announced a major order for yet more single-aisle airliners, only this time from Airbus. The Airbus order is for 70 Airbus A321neo aircraft (neo standing for ‘new engine... 

Artist’s impression of an A321neo in United colours
Photo by Airbus
Artist’s impression of an A321neo in United colours

Rolls-Royce and Shell sign MoU on helping achieve net-zero carbon emissions in aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st July 2021 UK industrial technology group (and renowned aeroengine manufacturer) Rolls-Royce and Anglo-Dutch global major energy group Shell have signed an agreement to increase the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and so progress the decarbonisation of the aviation industry. The conclusion of the... 

Boeing wins huge 737 MAX order from United Airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th June 2021 US aerospace giant Boeing and major US carrier United Airlines jointly announced on Tuesday that the latter had ordered another 200 737 MAX single-aisle airliners from the former. The order includes 150 737-10s, the latest version of the 737 MAX, which only recently made its maiden flight. The... 

DPE assures that all regulatory and due diligence requirements for sale of SAA will be done

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th June 2021 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has issued a statement affirming that the statement made by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on June 11, regarding state-owned national flag carrier South Africa Airways (SAA), was “consistent” with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s comments on the... 

US opens $500m fund for relatives of Boeing 737 MAX victims

By: Reuters     23rd June 2021 A $500-million US fund to compensate relatives of 346 people killed in two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes has opened, the claim administrators told Reuters on Tuesday. The fund, which opened on Monday, is part of a settlement with the US Justice Department. Boeing Co in January agreed to pay... 

Kenya Airways and Delta Air Lines expand their codeshare agreement

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd June 2021 Kenyan national flag carrier Kenya Airways and major US carrier Delta Air Lines have announced that they have expanded and enhanced their codeshare agreement. As a result, Delta will be able to increase the number of African destinations that it can offer its passengers while Kenya Airways... 

Kenya Airways subsidiary using drones to support wildlife census

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st June 2021 Kenyan national flag carrier Kenya Airways’ subsidiary Fahari Aviation participated in the Tsavo Ecosystem Wildlife Census, which was coordinated by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the recently created Wildlife Research and Training Institute, with financial support from the Kenyan... 

Latest version of Boeing 737 MAX has made its first flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st June 2021 The largest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX single-aisle airliner family, the 737-10, made its maiden flight on Friday. The aircraft took off from Renton Field, in Renton, in the US state of Washington and landed two hours and 31 minutes later at Boeing Field, in Seattle, also in Washington state.... 

The Boeing 737-10 makes its maiden take-off
Photo by Boeing
The Boeing 737-10 makes its maiden take-off

Tough times not yet over for African airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th June 2021 Around the world, light is now visible at the end of the Covid-19 pandemic tunnel (although the distance to the end of the tunnel varies greatly from country to country). One of the economic sectors that will be most relieved by this is the airline sector, and not least its African, Southern... 

Tough times not yet over for African airlines

Rolls-Royce announces net zero emissions plans

By: Donna Slater     17th June 2021 Power and propulsion engineering company Rolls-Royce has announced its plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, at the latest. The company’s actions and the development of new low-carbon technologies will enable the users of such products to, in turn, lower their carbon emissions,... 

PIC says it is not involved in SAA deal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th June 2021 The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has clarified that its funds will not be used by a private sector consortium to acquire a 51% private equity stake in South African Airways (SAA). The State-owned investment manager says it is not involved in the acquisition, nor are the assets it... 

Empowered consortium Takatso to own 51% of SAA 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th June 2021 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has revealed the new strategic equity partner of State-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) – black-owned consortium Takatso. Takatso, which is Sotho for aspire, comprises Pan African infrastructure development fund manager Harith General Partners... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Airlink announces new service to East Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th June 2021 South African private-sector regional airline Airlink has announced that it will start scheduled services to Entebbe International Airport in Uganda. The service will start on July 19 and will be operated four times a week. “Entebbe, which is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, serves... 

Bidvest inks deal to dispose of airport handling services unit

By: Irma Venter     4th June 2021 National Aviation Services (NAS), Colossal Africa and a consortium comprising the current BidAir Services executive management team have signed an agreement to acquire BidAir Services from the Bidvest Group.  The closing of the acquisition is subject to the fulfilment of final requirements from... 

South African aircraft maintenance company wins US certification

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd June 2021 Corporate and VIP aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, Execujet MRO Services, has been certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Execujet MRO Services is based at Lanseria International Airport, northwest of Johannesburg, in Gauteng province. The certification... 

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