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Aviation News

South African Airways aims to resume flights in July or August

By: Reuters     14th May 2021 South African Airways aims to resume flights in July or August, but the restart date will depend on how the COVID-19 pandemic progresses and whether the airline can resolve a pilot dispute, its chief executive said on Friday. State-owned SAA, which was put into administration in December 2019,... 

Boeing issues repair plan in step to returning Max to flight

By: Bloomberg     13th May 2021 Boeing sent the first of two planned service bulletins to 737 Max operators Wednesday, providing instructions to repair an electrical issue that has grounded scores of new jets for more than a month, said people familiar with the matter. The first notice for airlines covers a small number of the... 

Iata to prioritise sustainability, safety and digitalisation as industry rebuilds

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th May 2021 The Covid-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on the industry, but  airlines have done well to pivot their business way from passengers to air freight in a short space of time. The outlook also seems to be improving, trade association the International Air Transport Association (Iata) CEO... 

Willie Walsh
Willie Walsh

Kenyan, South African airlines sign interline agreement which links their networks

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th May 2021 Kenya Airways – that country’s national flag carrier – and South African private-sector regional airline Airlink have concluded an interline agreement. This will give passengers seamless access to the networks of both operators, when booking flights with either one of these airlines. “As global... 

Iata predicts lower losses but continued pain for aviation sector this year

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2021 The world’s airlines will this year continue to make tens of billions of dollars of losses, and burn through an even greater amount of cash, as a result of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has reported. However, things will be much less bad than... 

Iata welcomes G20 guidelines for restart of international tourism

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th May 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) – the global representative body for the airline industry – has welcomed the agreeing, by the Tourism Ministers of the Group of 20 countries (G20), of the ‘Rome Guidelines for the Future of Tourism’. The association urged the G20 governments to... 

Air cargo demand hits record high, Iata reports

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th May 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) – the global representative body of the airline industry – has reported that global air cargo demand during March reached the highest level recorded since Iata started collecting such data in 1990. Demand in March was 4.4% higher than in March... 

Airlink restarts services to game lodges

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd May 2021 South African private–sector regional airline Airlink announced on Monday that it was restarting operations linking Nelspruit’s Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) and Skukuza Airport to three safari lodge airstrips, situated at Arathusa, Londolozi and Phinda Private Game Reserve.... 

SAA exits administration after 17 months

By: Reuters     1st May 2021 South Africa's struggling national airline South African Airways (SAA) on Friday exited a local form of bankruptcy protection called business rescue after roughly 17 months. SAA was placed under administration in December 2019, and its long-standing financial woes worsened during the Covid-19... 

ACSA, Mango Airlines reach agreement on outstanding debt

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th April 2021 Airport management company Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) says it has lifted the suspension on Mango Airlines with immediate effect. ACSA confirmed that it had earlier on April 28 suspended Mango Airlines from using its airports owing to outstanding debt. 

Egyptian airline receives new Airbus aircraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th April 2021 Egyptian low cost airline Air Cairo on Monday took delivery of its first Airbus A320neo single-aisle airliner. The aircraft was handed over at the Airbus facility in Hamburg, Germany. “The A320neo family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines, Sharklets and... 

Air Cairo receives its first A320neo in Hamburg
Photo by Airbus
Air Cairo receives its first A320neo in Hamburg

‘Flying taxi’ market expected to attract considerable investments in coming years

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th April 2021 Market research commissioned by electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company Horizon Aircraft indicates that there will be rapid and considerable growth in investment in the urban air mobility (UAM) market by private equity and venture capital investors. The data was gathered by market... 

Artist’s impression of the Cavorite X5 in vertical flight mode, with its wings open to allow its lift fans to operate
Photo by Horizon Aircraft
Artist’s impression of the Cavorite X5 in vertical flight mode, with its wings open to allow its lift fans to operate

NAS, Colossal Africa to acquire BidAir Services 

By: Irma Venter     26th April 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... 

Hassan El-Houry and Cingashe Motale
Hassan El-Houry and Cingashe Motale

Airlines industry sees reduced losses in 2021, but much work ahead

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st April 2021 Industry association the International Air Transport Association (Iata) says net airline industry losses are likely to reach $47.7-billion for this year. This is an improvement on the estimated net industry loss of $126.4-billion in 2020. 

Airlink expands Southern African regional flight offering

By: Simone Liedtke     20th April 2021 Independent Southern African regional airline Airlink will expand its network next month with the launch of its Johannesburg-Livingstone flights. The flights are intended to provide travelers with direct access to one of Southern Africa’s most popular tourist attractions – The Victoria Falls. 

Airbus A400M completes helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification

By: Donna Slater     19th April 2021 Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has successfully conducted a major helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification campaign using its A400M new-generation airlifter, thereby also completing the majority of its development and certification objectives. Airbus’ Defence and Space division aims to... 

An Airbus A400M refueling two French Air Force H225M helicopters mid-air
An Airbus A400M refueling two French Air Force H225M helicopters mid-air

New interim SAA CEO wants to make the airline something SA can 'be proud of'

By: News24Wire      19th April 2021 Thomas Kgokolo, newly appointed interim CEO of South African Airways, says he accepted the job as it is an opportunity to use his experience and skills to rebuild a sustainable airline that all South Africans can be proud of. SAA has been in business rescue since December 2019 and the rescue... 

New interim SAA CEO wants to make the airline something SA can 'be proud of'

Crucial component for new Airbus airliner completed and moved to final assembly facility

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th April 2021 The first centre wing box (CWB) for the Airbus A321XLR has been delivered to Hamburg, Germany, from Nantes, France, where it was assembled. The A321XLR is the latest version of the A320neo (for new engine option) family, a new-generation development of the company’s A320 single-aisle airliner... 

The A321XLR CWB at Nantes, before transport to Hamburg.
Photo by Airbus
The A321XLR CWB at Nantes, before transport to Hamburg.

Still no sign of money to top up partial payment of SAA Technical staff

By: News24Wire      12th April 2021 Attempts by the management of South African Airways Technical (SAAT) to work towards the improvement of the partial payment of March salaries continued until Saturday morning, but were unfortunately unsuccessful, employees were told in a letter at the weekend. This was after meetings were held... 

 Still no sign of money to top up partial payment of SAA Technical staff

Airlink suspends flights to Polokwane following de-categorisation of airport

By: Donna Slater     7th April 2021 Privately-owned and independent regional airline Airlink has suspended its Polokwane services with immediate effect owing to the Polokwane airport being de-categorised to CAT2 on April 7, which is below the minimum level required for scheduled commercial air services. Airlink, in a statement,... 

New Iata director-general takes office

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st April 2021 Former International Airlines Group (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh became the International Air Transport Association’s (Iata’s) eighth director-general on Thursday, succeeding Alexandre de Juniac. Iata is the representative body of the global airline industry. Walsh was elected to the post at Iata’s... 

Willie Walsh
Willie Walsh

Iata supports African Union on reopening continent’s civil aviation sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st March 2021 The representative body for the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has affirmed its support for the African Union’s (AU’s) campaign to safely restart commercial aviation across the continent. The campaign is called ‘Saving Lives, Economies and... 

Boeing wins huge order for its 737 MAX

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st March 2021 US operator Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest low-cost carrier, has ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX airliners and taken options for 155 more. The deal covers both the 737 MAX 7 and 737 MAX 8 versions of the single-aisle airliner, and takes the airline’s total order book for the type to 200 737... 

Boeing 737 MAXs in Southwest airline colours
Photo by Boeing
Boeing 737 MAXs in Southwest airline colours

Air transport body reports increasing confidence in air travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th March 2021 The representative body of the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has reported that its latest opinion poll, conducted from a sample of recent travellers, showed that their confidence in the resumption of air travel was growing. They were also frustrated... 

Airlink to increase services to Maputo and Lubumbashi

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th March 2021 South African private-sector regional airline Airlink announced on Thursday that it was, with effect from April 1, increasing the number of flights on two of its regional services. The routes concerned are between Johannesburg and Maputo, Mozambique, and Johannesburg and Lubumbashi, in the... 

SAA business rescue practitioners confirm incident involving SAA aircraft on Brussels flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th March 2021 The business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for South African Airways (SAA) have issued a statement confirming that there had been an ‘Alpha Floor’ incident involving one of the airline’s aircraft on February 24. The aircraft, unidentified in the statement but reported to be an Airbus A340, was... 

Trump’s DoT blocked safety rule deemed critical in 737 Max probe

By: Bloomberg     25th March 2021 Nine days after the first of two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes in 2018, the US Transportation Department (DoT) quietly shelved a major initiative aimed at improving safety at aircraft manufacturers. Now aviation regulators are resurrecting the measure -- which enjoys broad support by industry and... 

Mind the gap: Where the 'extra' R3.5bn for SAA's rescue will come from and how it will be spent

By: News24Wire      24th March 2021 In February, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said South African Airways's business rescue practitioners had asked government for an additional R3.5-billion, which caused a bit of a stir. SAA's rescue practitioners, on the other hand, maintained that the money had already been allocated as part of... 

 Mind the gap: Where the 'extra' R3.5bn for SAA's rescue will come from and how it will be spent

Kenyan company is certified to operate commercial UAVs in the country

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th March 2021 Kenyan uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) – also known as a remotely-piloted aircraft system (RPAS) or a drone – operator Astral Aerial Solutions has been authorised to start commercial UAV operations in the East African country. Astral Aerial Solutions is a subsidiary of dedicated Kenyan air cargo... 

DPE concerned about delays in revival of SAA, says deputy minister

By: News24Wire      18th March 2021 The Department of Public Enterprises is concerned about the delays in the "revival" of South African Airways, as the airline has been under business rescue for over a year with no resolution, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Phumulo Masualle told the National Council of Provinces. He... 

Ethiopian aviation services company announces expansion plans and restructuring

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th March 2021 Ethiopian aviation support company Krimson has initiated the second phase in its development programme, to expand its operations and enlarge its customer base. The company, based at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, was founded in 2015. It currently provides aviation communication, charter... 

SAA, rescue practitioners blasted by parliamentary accounts committee

By: News24Wire      16th March 2021 The management of South African Airways (SAA) and the State-owned airline's business rescue practitioners were blasted by some members of Parliament for not being ready to report to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday about progress made to date. In a letter dated 15... 

Air charter operator reports dramatic increase in interest from mining companies 

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th March 2021 UK-based international aviation charter broker Air Charter Service (ACS) has reported that the past year has seen dramatic increases in workforce logistics charter flight bookings by energy, hydrocarbon and mining companies. ACS has offices in 27 countries around the world (including South... 

Comair to resume services between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th March 2021 South African private-sector airline group Comair has announced that its British Airways (in Southern Africa) brand will restart scheduled operations between Johannesburg, South Africa, and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, on May 13. Bookings for these flights may now be made. (Comair also operates the... 

Iata identifies key issues for airlines, governments for reopening air travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th March 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has appealed to the world’s governments to work with the global airline industry – for which Iata is the representative body – to prepare for the restart of international air travel, once it has been determined that national borders could be... 

International airline body reports strong recovery in air cargo sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th March 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has reported that the V-shaped recovery in global trade and manufacturing drove a similar V-shaped recovery in the global air cargo sector during the last quarter of last year. (Iata is the representative body of the global airline industry.) In... 

Air transport body’s latest poll reports increasing confidence in air travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th March 2021 The representative body of the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has reported that its latest opinion poll, conducted from a sample of recent travellers, showed that their confidence in the resumption of air travel was growing. They were also frustrated... 

Iata director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac
Photo by Iata
Iata director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac
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