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Aviation News

Iata reports African air travel recovery weaker and slower than previously expected

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st October 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the global representative body of the airline industry, has had to downgrade its passenger traffic forecast for Africa for this year. This is because the recovery of the African aviation sector has been weaker than expected. The association now... 

South African airline Airlink to restore three more routes to Mozambique

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th October 2020 South African private-sector airline Airlink announced that it was adding three more destinations in Mozambique to its regional network, which is being reactivated following the phasing out of national lockdowns instituted in Southern Africa to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. The new destinations... 

The Embraer E190 is Airlink’s flagship airliner type
Photo by Airlink
The Embraer E190 is Airlink’s flagship airliner type

Airbus sets up partnership with fuel cell company to apply the technology to aviation 

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th October 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus announced on Thursday that it had entered into a strategic partnership with German hydrogen fuel cell developer and manufacturer ElringKlinger. This was part of Airbus’ zero-carbon emission aviation initiative. ElringKlinger has been active in the... 

Airbus sets up partnership with fuel cell company to apply the technology to aviation

Airlink to resume services between Johannesburg and Windhoek

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th October 2020 South African private-sector domestic and regional airline Airlink has announced that it will launch direct flights between Johannesburg and Windhoek (the capital of Namibia) on October 26. This follows the commencement, earlier this week, of flights between Cape Town and Windhoek and between... 

One of Airlink’s flagship Embraer E190 airliners
Photo by Airlink
One of Airlink’s flagship Embraer E190 airliners

Airlink announces agreement with Qatar Airways and new route to Mozambique

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th October 2020 South African private-sector airline Airlink has signed an interline agreement with major intercontinental airline Qatar Airways. This will establish seamless connectivity between the two carriers, giving Airlink customers access to Qatar’s global network and Qatar’s passengers access to... 

Airlink restores aerial connectivity between South Africa and Zambia

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th October 2020 South African private sector airline Airlink has resumed scheduled air services between Johannesburg and the Zambian cities of Lusaka and Ndola. This marks the aerial reconnection of the two countries, following lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The flights between Johannesburg and the... 

Global airline, airport, bodies urge coordinated Covid-19 testing to allow air travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th October 2020 The representative bodies of the world’s airline and airport industries, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) and Airports Council International (ACI) respectively, have issued a joint appeal to governments on reopening borders and preventing the collapse of the aviation sector.... 

UK ‘pseudo-satellite’ UAV passes critical tests in simulated environment

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th October 2020 UK-based global major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems (BAES) has reported that the PHASA-35 solar-electric powered high altitude long endurance (HALE) uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) has successfully completed essential tests, known as ‘soak’ tests. The UAV is a joint project involving... 

An artist’s impression of the PHASA-35 operating in the Stratosphere.
An artist’s impression of the PHASA-35 operating in the Stratosphere.

South African helicopter company helping fight locust swarms in Kenya

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th October 2020 South African helicopter operator BAC Helicopters is playing a crucial role in fighting the current locust plagues afflicting Kenya. These are part of a much wider series of swarms that are endangering harvests over an large area, ranging from the Arabian Gulf (more usually known as the Persian... 

A Bell 206L-4 LongRanger of BAC Helicopters in north-west Kenya.
Photo by BAC Helicopters
A Bell 206L-4 LongRanger of BAC Helicopters in north-west Kenya.

SAA rescue practitioners assessing options of winding down versus liquidation

By: News24Wire      9th October 2020 No meaningful progress can be made at South African Airways until the Department of Public Enterprises has signed a firm joint venture agreement with an experienced and strategic equity partner, according to a recent presentation to the African National Congress. SAA's creditors will be updated... 

SAA rescue practitioners assessing options of winding down versus liquidation

Southern Africa airlines association calls for clear, consistent polices on international flights

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th October 2020 The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has warned the governments of the region that the continuation of “inconsistent and arbitrary” air travel restrictions (to counter the Covid-19 pandemic) were endangering economic recovery and future growth. As a result, almost five-million jobs... 

Lufthansa has restarted flights to Cape Town, restoring its South African flight schedule

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th October 2020 German national flag-carrier Lufthansa has resumed scheduled, twice-weekly, air services between Frankfurt and Cape Town. The first of the resumed flights touched down at Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) on Thursday morning, being greeted with a ceremonial water salute. The airline has... 

Airbus’ flapping wingtip demonstration project has successfully completed Phase 2

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th October 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus reported on Wednesday on the achievement of a new milestone by its AlbatrossONE technology demonstration project. Inspired by the wonderful aerodynamics of the very far ranging Albatross seabird, the AlbatrossONE project is using a small-scale,... 

The AlbatrossONE UAV in flight, with the hinged wingtips clearly visible
Photo by Airbus
The AlbatrossONE UAV in flight, with the hinged wingtips clearly visible

Iata calls for continued government support for the world’s airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th October 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body of the global airline industry, has urged governments to continue supporting airlines through the coming northern winter season. This is because the world’s airlines are forecast to burn up cash totalling $77-billion... 

Alexandre de Juniac
Photo by Iata
Alexandre de Juniac

South Africa told to look to Ethiopia to rescue its airline

By: Bloomberg     6th October 2020 South Africa should act to preserve its insolvent national airline and seek to partner the carrier with Ethiopian Airlines Group, according to a study commissioned for ruling-party lawmakers. The assessment, obtained by Bloomberg, was prepared by African Aviation Services and dated October 4. It... 

Ethiopia bans flights over dam for security reasons - aviation chief

By: Reuters     5th October 2020 Ethiopia has banned all flights over its giant new hydropower dam on the Blue Nile for security reasons, the head of its civil aviation authority said on Monday. Ethiopia is locked in a dispute with Egypt and Sudan over its $4-billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Cairo has said could... 

SAA Technical reinstates aircraft maintenance to some customers

By: Simone Liedtke     5th October 2020 South African Airways Technical (SAAT) has reinstated aircraft maintenance services to some of its customers. The development follows a decision taken by SAAT to suspend maintenance services to four of its airline customers in September owing to outstanding payments on services already rendered. 

Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines partner on 40th humanitarian delivery flight

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd October 2020 Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines recently launched their fortieth humanitarian delivery flight, when the airline’s new 787 Dreamliner departed Everett, Washington carrying more than 20 000 pounds of humanitarian supplies. The shipment, including supplies for healthcare and family needs, will be... 

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines recently launched their fortieth humanitarian delivery flight
Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines recently launched their fortieth humanitarian delivery flight

Iata warns of massive job losses in African aviation sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd October 2020 Industry organisation the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has warned that the damage being done to the African aviation industry and on economies by the shutdown of air traffic owing to the Covid-19 pandemic has deepened. According to new data published by the Air Transport Action... 

ATNS implements new airspace efficiency procedures

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st October 2020 Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) is implementing an airspace management efficiency initiative, known as the Gauteng Airspace Performance-Based-Navigation Plan (GAPP), to assist in the recovery of the industry post the Covid-19 pandemic. The organisation says it continues to engage with... 

Ministers clarify details of border opening approach

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st October 2020 The Ministers tasked with immigration, tourism, health, transport and international relations and cooperation have confirmed that three airports will be opened and operational for international air travel – OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports. This while 18 borders will be... 

Ministers clarify details of border opening approach

SAA to go under care and maintenance until funding found  

By: Reuters     30th September 2020 Struggling state-owned airline South African Airways will be put under "care and maintenance" until funding discussions are completed, the airline's administrators said on Tuesday. A company's assets can be put under care and maintenance in order to keep them in good condition when they are not... 

SAA to go under care and maintenance until funding found

SA Express employees opt for crowdfunding platform to raise takeover funds

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th September 2020 After announcing their intention to form a special purpose vehicle to bid for SA Express, the employees of the State-owned airline have formed a public interest company called Fly SAX that will use the first equity crowdfunding platform in South Africa to raise funds. Uprise.Africa is a digital... 

Emirates flights to King Shaka International to resume, says MEC

By: Yvonne Silaule     28th September 2020 Airline Emirates will soon resume flights to the King Shaka International Airport, in KwaZulu-Natal,  MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube said on September 28. Flights were previously suspended as a result of the Covid-19-related lockdown in South... 

National Treasury seeks conditions on SAA loan guarantees  

By: Bloomberg     28th September 2020 South Africa’s National Treasury wants strict conditions attached to any guarantees it provides for loans to the country’s embattled state airline, according to two people familiar with the matter. Treasury and Department of Public Enterprises officials met Saturday to discuss ways to restart... 

South African Airways Techical suspends services to parent over nonpayment

By: Reuters     28th September 2020 South African Airways' maintenance subsidiary has withdrawn services to its parent after the struggling airline failed to pay money owed to the unit, an SAA spokesman said on Saturday. Administrators took control of SAA in December after almost a decade of financial losses, and have been trying... 

Iata signs agreement with UN counter-terrorism agency

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body of the global airline industry, and the United Nations (UN) Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) have signed, in a virtual ceremony, a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation in regard to the UN Countering... 

Airlink airline restarting regional operations in early October

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2020 South African private-sector airline Airlink has announced that it will start phasing back in its regional flight network, with effect from October 5. It also announced that it will soon institute a new regional route, to Mozambique. On October 5 the airline will restart operations between... 

An Embraer E190 of Airlink
Photo by St Helena Tourist Authority
An Embraer E190 of Airlink

Significant step forward in clean aviation with hydrogen-powered flight in the UK

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2020 Anglo-US company ZeroAvia has successfully carried out the world’s first flight of a ‘commercial-grade’ aircraft powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The aircraft is a modified Piper Malibu, a single-engined six-seater (comprising, usually, one pilot and five passengers). The flight took place at... 

ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered Pipe Malibu takes off on its first flight. Note the specially-assigned and symbolic registration of G-HYZA
Photo by ZerpAvia
ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered Pipe Malibu takes off on its first flight. Note the specially-assigned and symbolic registration of G-HYZA

Iata calls for planning to start for distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th 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... 

World airline body calls for pre-flight Covid-19 testing of air passengers 

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the global representative body of the airline industry, is calling for the testing of all air passengers for Covid-19 before they embark on their flights. It is urging “the development and deployment of rapid, accurate, affordable,... 

Alexandre de Juniac
Photo by Iata
Alexandre de Juniac

Public funding for SAA undermines government credibility and endangers State finances

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd September 2020 The government’s undertaking to reprioritise State funding in order to finance State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) and so prevent its liquidation represented a defeat for the National Treasury (NT) and undermined the credibility of the government, Intellidex analyst... 

Airbus unveils zero-emissions airliner concept designs

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd September 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has released three concept designs for hydrogen-powered zero carbon-emission commercial aircraft. It was examining these designs in a programme it called ZEROe, which was the precursor to the group’s recently announced plan to develop and... 

An artist’s impression of the three ZEROe concept designs, with the BWB in the lead, the turbofan design in the rear and the turboprop design in front
Photo by Airbus
An artist’s impression of the three ZEROe concept designs, with the BWB in the lead, the turbofan design in the rear and the turboprop design in front

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

21st September 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. Since August 18, when the country moved to Level 2 of the lockdown, the number of cases has plateaued at... 

Comair’s business rescue plan has been approved 

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st September 2020 The proposed business rescue plan for private sector airline group Comair was approved by a decisive majority on Friday. Comair operates the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low cost carrier brands. The preferred investment consortium for the group is composed of several former members... 

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... 

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

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... 

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