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Aviation News

SAA begins retrenchment process

By: African News Agency      10th March 2020 South African Airways (SAA) has issued notice to all 4 700 of its employees that it intends to begin consultations on retrenchments, the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for the troubled national carrier said on Monday. "The joint BRPs today announced that SAA has issued a notice advising its... 

Parliamentarians pleased with anti-Covid-19 measures at Acsa airports

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th March 2020 The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health has commended the procedures that have been adopted by Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) at OR Tambo International Airport (east of Johannesburg) to respond to Covid-19, the novel coronavirus disease which has rapidly spread around the world, and... 

An airline takes off from OR Tambo International Airport
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An airline takes off from OR Tambo International Airport

Ethiopian draft report blames Boeing for 737 MAX plane crash – sources

By: Reuters     9th March 2020 A draft interim report from Ethiopian crash investigators circulated to US government agencies concludes the March 2019 crash of a Boeing Co 737 MAX was caused by the plane's design, two people briefed on the matter said Friday. Unlike most interim reports, this one includes a probable cause... 

Ethiopian draft report blames Boeing for 737 MAX plane crash – sources

Public Enterprises unhappy with business rescue process for SA Express airline

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th March 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) issued a statement on Friday expressing its concern about the direction that the business rescue process for State-owned regional airline SA Express was taking. “[T]he Business Rescue Practitioners [BRPs] are planning to ‘ground’ the airline without... 

A Bombardier CRJ-700 of SA Express
Photo by SA Express
A Bombardier CRJ-700 of SA Express

Aviation sector, broader economy benefiting from ‘Ramaphosa effect’

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th March 2020 Independent economist Dr Roelof Botha has highlighted the existence of a very real "Ramaphosa Effect", not to be confused with the superficial "Ramaphoria" which followed directly after President Cyril Ramaphosa's election, which is already benefitting the South African economy. Botha was... 

Airlines body issues first estimate of effect of Covid-19 on the sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th March 2020 The International Air transport Association (IATA) has issued its initial assessment of the impact on the commercial aviation industry of the novel coronavirus now officially designated Covid-19. “These are challenging times for the global air transport industry,” pointed out IATA Director... 

Global airline body releases first data on the impact of Covid-19 on the sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th March 2020 The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the representative body of the world’s airlines, on Wednesday released its first monthly global passenger demand data for this year, covering January. This provides the first data on the effects of the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak on... 

Iata calls for regulators to help airlines meet “huge challenge” of Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd March 2020 The International Air Transport Association, which is the representative body for the global airline industry, has called on all aviation regulatory agencies to immediately suspend the rules controlling the use of “slots” at airports, and to maintain this suspension for the 2020 season. This is... 

An airport control tower (at Manchester, UK)
Photo by Bloomberg
An airport control tower (at Manchester, UK)

Accelerator to help start-up drone companies launched in Gauteng

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2020 The first drone (unmanned air vehicle) startup accelerator programme in Africa was launched in Katlehong, south east of Johannesburg, on Friday. The programme is being hosted by the Ekurhuleni Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College. The initial programme is a pilot of the... 

SAA rescuers get extra month to make plan

By: Bloomberg     28th February 2020 Administrators for South Africa’s loss-making State airline South African Airways (SAA) have been given an extra month to complete a turnaround plan. The so-called business rescue practitioners can now file their report on SAA by the end of March, they said in a statement on Friday. A majority of... 

SAA rescuers get extra month to make plan

Comair experiencing strong business headwinds

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2020 South African private-sector airline group Comair recently had to issue a “Further Trading Statement” on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s SENS news service. (Comair operates the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low-cost carrier brands.) The latest release was a follow-up to a previous... 

Gordhan: SAA business rescue practitioners have final say on airline's restructure

By: News24Wire      27th February 2020 South African Airways business rescue practitioners have the final say on a plan to restructure the embattled airline and government will respect that authority, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has said.  Gordhan was speaking at News24's Frontline post-Budget panel discussion on... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Reuters
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

R16.4bn allocated to cover SAA’s debt and debt costs 

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced on Wednesday that R16.4-billion would be allocated to South African Airways over the medium term to “repay the airline’s guaranteed debt and to cover debt-service costs”. Speaking to lawmakers, Mboweni said the “SAA Sword of Damocles has now fallen on us”,... 

R16.4bn allocated to cover SAA’s debt and debt costs

Two trade unions demand that SAA business rescue respects workers’ rights

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th February 2020 Two trade unions – the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) – have jointly accused the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) currently overseeing the business rescue process for State-owned South African Airways (SAA) of... 

Mboweni’s budget unlikely to stop South Africa’s march to junk

By: Bloomberg     24th February 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s budget this week is unlikely to convince Moody’s Investors Service that he has a credible plan to rein in government debt. Of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month, 14 expect Moody’s to downgrade the country to junk this year and nine of those say it’ll... 

Ethiopia plans to release interim jet crash report as probe continues

By: Reuters     24th February 2020 Ethiopia plans to release an interim report into a deadly Boeing 737 MAX crash, which killed 157 passengers and crew, ahead of the first anniversary of the accident next month, according to an official speaking on Saturday. "We are not ready to release the final report and so we are releasing an... 

Commercial aviation activity in South Africa seems to be recovering

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 The latest edition of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa's Commercial Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) shows an upward trend, reported the index's author, independent economist Dr Roelof Botha. But he warned that caution was still necessary. "Aviation activity is quite... 

Rolls-Royce starts manufacture of the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has started manufacturing the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades. These are for its UltraFan demonstrator power plant, which will be unprecedentedly efficient and sustainable. A full set of UltraFan blades will have a diameter of... 

Denel upgraded by Fitch Ratings as it closes aerostructures business

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group has Denel welcomed the recent decision by Fitch Ratings to affirm its long- and short-term ratings for the group, and to upgrade its outlook. Fitch affirmed Denel’s national short-term rating at “B(zaf)” and its national long-term rating also at... 

State-owned airlines struggling in financial turbulence

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 Two of South Africa’s State-owned airlines continue to experience tough times as they try to recover from their current deep financial crises. They are national flag-carrier South African Airways (SAA) and the completely separate regional operator SA Express. SAA is now in business rescue, and... 

Organisers aim high for defence and aerospace expo

By: Halima Frost     21st February 2020 Despite various challenges in South Africa, as well as in other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) Expo organisers hope to host a successful event this year, says AAD exhibition director Leona Redelinghuys. These difficulties include... 

AIMING HIGH
The Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo will showcase South African Air Force’s capabilities in an ever better air show this year
AIMING HIGH The Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo will showcase South African Air Force’s capabilities in an ever better air show this year

Development Bank's R3.5bn bailout of SAA may be depleted by early March – Gordhan 

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has said that the R3.5-billion in emergency funding that South African Airways received from the State-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa earlier in the year may be depleted by early March. Gordhan was addressing a joint sitting of Parliament's... 

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

Mboweni moots referendum on rescuing State-owned companies on Twitter

By: African News Agency      17th February 2020 After a short hiatus from Twitter, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is once again posting prolifically, using the platform at the weekend to call for a public debate, possibly a referendum, on the use of taxpayers' money to bail out failing State-owned enterprises. "We must develop a democratic... 

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Flight Centre resumes sales of SAA tickets

By: Bloomberg     14th February 2020 Flight Centre Travel Group, one of South Africa’s largest booking companies, said it will lift a moratorium on sales of the national airline’s tickets that it imposed in November because of concerns over its solvency. Travel Insurance Consultants, Flight Centre’s preferred insurer, reinstated... 

Latest Airbus airliner gains certification from both Europe and the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus has announced that its A330-800 widebody airliner has been jointly certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration. This joint Type Certification followed 132 flights totalling 370 test flying hours,... 

The Airbus A330-800
Photo by Airbus
The Airbus A330-800

Court dismisses bid to halt SAA job cuts as airline has not 'contemplated dismissals'  

By: News24Wire      14th February 2020 The Johannesburg Labour Court has dismissed a joint urgent application by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association to halt job cuts at South African Airways, ruling the airline had not contemplated dismissals.  The unions lodged the interdict... 

Court dismisses bid to halt SAA job cuts as airline has not 'contemplated dismissals'

Airbus signs memorandum with new African airline for major airliner order

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 Airbus has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Green Africa Airways for 50 A220-300 airliners. Green Africa Airways is a Nigerian carrier, based in Lagos. This is the biggest African order to date for the A220 and one of the biggest orders worldwide for the type. “We... 

A computer-generated image of an A220-300 in Green Africa Airways livery
Photo by Airbus
A computer-generated image of an A220-300 in Green Africa Airways livery

Ramaphosa announces far-reaching actions to boost power generation ‘outside of Eskom’ 

By: Terence Creamer     13th February 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced far-reaching and practical interventions to address South Africa’s growth- and confidence-sapping electricity crisis, including several steps to “significantly increase generation capacity outside of Eskom”. He also warned, however, that... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

SA Express under bankruptcy protection

By: Reuters     13th February 2020 State airline SA Express is under a form of bankruptcy protection known as business rescue, a spokesperson for the airline said on Thursday. Her comments come after SA Express lost a court battle with a contractor, logistics firm Ziegler, earlier this month. 

Local airline group Comair experiencing strong business headwinds

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th February 2020 South African private-sector airline group Comair issued, on Thursday, a “Further Trading Statement” on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s SENS news service. Comair operates the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low-cost carrier brands. The Thursday release was a follow-up to a previous... 

Costing money – Comair’s first Boeing 737 MAX 8, which has been grounded for almost a year now
Photo by Comair
Costing money – Comair’s first Boeing 737 MAX 8, which has been grounded for almost a year now

Union suspects there could be a 'secret plan' to sell SAA 

By: News24Wire      13th February 2020 A key union at South African Airways has said it suspects there may be a "secret plan" to sell the cash-strapped flag carrier and that "someone could be waiting in the wings" to buy the heavily indebted state-owned airline. National spokesperson for the National Union of Metalworkers of South... 

 Union suspects there could be a 'secret plan' to sell SAA

Unions file urgent court application to block job cuts at SAA 

By: News24Wire      11th February 2020 Trade unions the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and South African Cabin Crew Association have filed a joint urgent application in the Johannesburg Labour Court to stop the business rescue practitioners of South African Airways from taking any steps to cuts jobs until they have... 

Unions file urgent court application to block job cuts at SAA

Rolls-Royce has started making the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th February 2020 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Tuesday that it has started manufacturing the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades. These are for its UltraFan demonstrator power plant, which will unprecedentedly efficient and sustainable. A full set of UltraFan blades will have a... 

Rolls-Royce has started making the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

SAA business rescue team defends plan to cut airline’s routes 

By: Bloomberg     10th February 2020 Administrators for South Africa’s loss-making State airline have defended their decision to cut routes as part of a turnaround plan, after objections from President Cyril Ramaphosa, government and labour unions. South African Airways (SAA) will halt service to nine international cities, including... 

SAA business rescue team defends plan to cut airline’s routes

Regional airline SA Express objects to business rescue ruling by court 

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th February 2020 State-owned regional airline SA Express has reacted strongly to the ruling by the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday that it be placed in business rescue. The airline stated in a press release on Friday that it was seeking further legal advice on the matter. The company headed its release “SA... 

Unions slam SAA route cancellations, warn of 'devastating' impact on jobs 

By: News24Wire      7th February 2020 Two key unions at flag carrier South African Airways have slammed plans by the airline's business rescue practitioners to cancel a number of routes to save costs. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association said in a joint statement, "This will... 

 Unions slam SAA route cancellations, warn of 'devastating' impact on jobs

Airbus reaches legal settlements to end bribery and compliance probes

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th February 2020 Europe-based major aerospace group Airbus has issued a brief press release, concerning its negotiations with regulators and law enforcement agencies in three countries. The release stated in full:  

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