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Aviation News

SAA getting ready to restart domestic flying

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2020 State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is making preparations for the resumption of domestic air flights, between Johannesburg and Cape Town. It is seeking to be operationally ready for the the restart of this route in the middle of next month, should this be authorised.... 

BRPs granted leave to appeal interdict against retrenchments at SAA

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2020 The Labour Court, sitting in Johannesburg, has granted the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) for financially-beleaguered State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) leave to appeal against the whole of a Labour Court judgment handed down on May 8. In that judgment, the court... 

Leading aerospace journal suggests that the A380 Superjumbo is doomed

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2020 Renowned British aviation weekly Flight International has opined, in its latest edition, that the Airbus A380 Superjumbo airliner is already “heading for the scrapyard”, even though it entered service only a little more than ten years ago. This was despite its popularity with passengers, for whom... 

An Airbus A380 of British Airways over Table Bay, with part of Cape Town in the background
Photo by British Airways
An Airbus A380 of British Airways over Table Bay, with part of Cape Town in the background

Airline group Comair announces options for ticket holders

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd May 2020 South African private-sector airline group Comair, which is currently under business rescue, and its business rescue practitioners (BRPs), announced on May 22 the options open to those holding tickets for flights with the group. Comair operates the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low... 

African airline sector hammered by anti-Covid-19 flight restrictions

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd May 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body for the global airline industry, reported at a media briefing on May 21 that, on May 12, airline flight departures in Africa were 94% lower than they had been on January 1. The entire African airline sector had... 

Global airlines body welcomes European proposals for safe re-starting of air travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st May 2020 The global representative body of the airline industry, the International Air Travel Association (Iata), has welcomed the issuing, in Europe, of the Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol. This has been jointly drawn up by the European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) and the European Centre for... 

Comair not factually insolvent, but, without revenues, lacks cash to meet costs

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th May 2020 The business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for private-sector airline group Comair have confirmed that the company is not factually insolvent. In their first formal meetings, on May 19, with the company’s creditors and employees, the BRPs highlighted the importance of distinguishing between... 

Civil Aviation Authority faces financial crash if aviation lockdown goes on too long

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th May 2020 The South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) has warned Parliament that it could survive only seven months if the national lockdown and ban on air transport (instituted to counter the Covid-19 pandemic) continued. With almost no civil flying happening, the authority was earning no income.... 

Airports Company concerned about state of airline sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th May 2020 Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) was concerned about the sustainability of the world’s airlines. The global commercial aviation sector was being hit very hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures being taken to counter it, which had seen massive decreases in commercial air traffic... 

ACSA warns of Covid-19 impacts and that it might need government guarantees

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2020 The State-owned Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has warned the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the efforts to counter it would significantly affect it. The company’s Corporate Plan for the 2020/2021 to 2022/2023 financial years had... 

Unions attack SAA business rescue practitioners, management 

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2020 Three unions representing employees of financially embattled State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) have attacked the airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) and its senior management. They are the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the SAA... 

Gordhan and SAA business rescue practitioners trade barbs over rescue plan

By: African News Agency      15th May 2020  MPs on Friday heard from South African Airways's business rescue practitioners that a lack of funding severely hampered their work, while Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan questioned their spending decisions and their future objectives for the stricken national carrier. Siviwe Dongwana,... 

Boeing launches initiative to give people the confidence to resume flying

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th May 2020 Global major US aerospace group Boeing has launched a Confident Travel Initiative to help restore commercial air travel following the Covid-19 pandemic. Severe flight restrictions and national lockdowns by many countries have devastated commercial air passenger travel around the world. Boeing... 

Project launched to facilitate essential air cargo supplies to South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th May 2020 A South African business development company, ‘tvg&associates’ (TVG), has launched a project to coordinate the air transport of essential medical supplies to the country, using charter operations. This initiative, dubbed Operation Warhorse, is supported by the South African Association of Freight... 

International bioeconomy development group to expand its South African initiative 

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th May 2020 The international bioeconomy development and promotion organisation, RSB, hopes to launch a Bioeconomy Initiative Platform in South Africa later this year. This platform has been shaped with inputs from business, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government. It will function as an... 

Local travel agents warn airlines about passenger ticket refunds 

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th May 2020 The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata), while expressing understanding for South Africa’s beleaguered airlines, has cautioned that they must comply with the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). The airline, travel and tourism sectors have been severely hit by the country’s lockdown... 

World airline body opposes countries imposing quarantine for international travellers

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th May 2020 The representative body for the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has opposed the introduction by some countries of quarantine for arriving international travellers. These measures were part of those countries’ efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.... 

Alexandre De Juniac
Photo by Iata
Alexandre De Juniac

Blimps posited to monitor Covid-19 prevention measure compliance

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2020 Unmanned aerial systems, such as small blimps, could be used as novel airborne measures to monitor people in terms of physical distancing and other Covid-19 prevention measures, says University of Johannesburg (UJ) Institute of Intelligent Systems Professor Qingguo Wang. He explains that a... 

Blimps posited to monitor Covid-19 prevention measure compliance

Unions Numsa and Sacca strongly denounce SAA BRPs

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th May 2020 Two of the trade unions which represent employees at the financially embattled State-owned airline South African Airways (SAA), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have condemned “in the strongest terms” the decision by... 

SAA rescue team to appeal court ruling on layoffs 

By: Reuters     11th May 2020 Administrators trying save South African Airways will appeal a court ruling that ordered them to halt a layoff process, one of the administrators Siviwe Dongwana told Reuters. The Labour Court's decision to side with two trade unions in its judgment on Friday was a major blow to the... 

SAA rescue team to appeal court ruling on layoffs

SAA to continue operating repatriation and cargo flights

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th May 2020 State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) has assured that it had no plans to stop operating on May 8. It would continue to honour all its current commitments to provide air transport services to its customers, as well as any other requests that it might receive. It continued... 

Rolls-Royce highlights Covid-19 impact on its civil aerospace business

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th May 2020 UK-based industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has warned that the scale of the disruption to the civil aerospace sector caused by the Covid-19 pandemic (and the measures taken by many countries to counter it) would result in a smaller market in that sector, which would take several years to... 

Union warns of possibility of legal action regarding Comair business rescue

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2020 Trade union UASA has expressed concerned at the news that local private-sector airline group Comair had applied for business rescue. The airline operated the British Airways in South Africa brand and the Kulula low cost carrier brand. The airline group stated it had done so because the halt in... 

Airline and tourism bodies call for international support for African travel and tourism sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2020 International financial institutions, international donors and country development partners have been urged to act to support Africa’s travel and tourism industry. This appeal has been made jointly by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the World Travel and Tourism Council... 

Umlani Bushcamp game tracker Abed Ndlovu with elephant, Limpopo province, South Africa
Photo by Umlani Bushcamp
Umlani Bushcamp game tracker Abed Ndlovu with elephant, Limpopo province, South Africa

Ethiopian Airlines ready to be saviour to fellow African carriers

By: Bloomberg     6th May 2020 Ethiopian Airlines Group is prepared to come to the rescue of stricken carriers around Africa, even as the continent’s biggest airline deals with its own mounting losses and grounded planes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Talks are underway with the government of Mauritius about the revival of the... 

Global airline body proposes measures to allow safe resumption of air travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th May 2020 The global representative body for the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has highlighted that, to date, the evidence suggested that the risk of passengers infected with Covid-19 passing the disease on to other passengers in an airliner was low. This was the... 

Bestfly secures long-term contract for Angola oil, gas shuttle services

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th May 2020 Angolan fixed wing and rotary aircraft operator Bestfly has secured a three-year contract to support oil and gas company ExxonMobil’s requirements to ferry staff from Luanda to its main oil logistics base at Soyo. The contract includes the option of a two-year extension. 

The Bestfly ATR 72-600 used for the long term oil and gas contract
The Bestfly ATR 72-600 used for the long term oil and gas contract

Comair files for business rescue

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th May 2020 South African private-sector airline group Comair announced on May 5 that it was going into business rescue. This was to protect the company’s interests and those of its stakeholders. Comair operated the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low cost carrier brands. This was a consequence of... 

Comair files for business rescue

Global airline and postal agencies urge governments to act to keep air mail flowing

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th May 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) have jointly highlighted that current air capacity for post and parcels was inadequate. They called on governments around the world to act to enable the despatch of mail by air. Because of the severe travel... 

Airbus announces modification to allow airlines to take cargo on their passenger decks

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th May 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has announced that it has developed a modification that allows its A330-family and A350-family widebody airliners to safely carry cargo pallets on their passenger decks, in place of seats. The pallets can be secured to the cabin floor seat tracks,... 

Cargo pallets locked on to cabin floor seat tracks on an Airbus airliner
Photo by Airbus
Cargo pallets locked on to cabin floor seat tracks on an Airbus airliner

SAA says government exploring funding options

By: Bloomberg     4th May 2020 South African Airways’ (SAA's) administrators extended a deadline for workers to agree to severance packages after Minister for Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan said he needs time to explore funding options for the bankrupt state-owned carrier. The business-rescue team led by Les Matuson and... 

SAA says government exploring funding options

Iata urges governments to keep air cargo flowing

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st May 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has called for greater coordination between governments to ensure that air freight continues to flow during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Air cargo operations continue to be hampered by permit approval delays, lack of ground support and... 

World’s airline and shipping sectors appeal to govts regarding flights for seafarers

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st May 2020 A joint appeal has been issued to governments by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) for urgent steps to be taken to enable crew change flights for seafarers. As with commercial aviation aircrews, although on different timescales,... 

Global airline and airports associations call for urgent government support for the sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th April 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) – the representative body for the global airline industry – and Airports Council International (ACI) – which represented the world’s airports – issued a joint appeal to governments on April 30 to rapidly provide financial support to airlines and... 

Comair warns that it is in a very difficult financial position thanks to lockdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th April 2020 South African private-sector airline group Comair issued a cautionary statement on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Stock Exchange News Service (SENS) on April 30, warning about the impact on its business of the national lockdown and halt to all scheduled air services to, from and within South... 

A Comair Boeing 737-400, in the colours of British Airways
Photo by Comair
A Comair Boeing 737-400, in the colours of British Airways

Boeing reports significant impacts on business from Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th April 2020 US aerospace and defence giant Boeing has reported that its revenues for the first quarter this year (1Q20) were 26% lower than in the same period last year (1Q19). The 1Q20 revenues were just under $16.91-billion as against the 1Q19 figure of just under $22.92-billion. Using Generally Accepted... 

A Boeing 777 in the colours of Angolan airline TAAG
Photo by Creamer Media
A Boeing 777 in the colours of Angolan airline TAAG

Coronavirus causes logistics and supply chain nightmares for industry

By: Simone Liedtke     30th April 2020 A 10.6% decline in March alone for total freight volumes is considered the most significant monthly decline that the company has on record, which goes back to January 2008, vehicle tracking company Ctrack has found. For the year to March, however, there was a reduction of 7.1% in total freight... 

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