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Aviation News

Work has started on the assembly of the flight-test example of Airbus’ latest airliner type

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th February 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has announced that manufacture of components and systems for the first A321XLR airliner has begun. In parallel, preparations were being made to industrialise the production of the components of the latest version of the group’s highly successful... 

Kenyan, Indian air cargo operators sign interline agreement

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th February 2021 Kenyan dedicated air cargo operator Astral Aviation (Astral) and Indian carrier SpiceXpress (the air cargo operation of low cost airline Spicejet) have signed a cargo interline agreement. Described as a “pioneering” initiative, it will allow the expansion of both Astral’s Indian network and... 

Astral Aviation’s Boeing 747-400F
Photo by Astral Aviation
Astral Aviation’s Boeing 747-400F

Global airline body reports 2020 was catastrophic for passenger sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th February 2021 The global representative body for the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has reported that global air passenger demand last year was 65.9% lower than in 2019 – the deepest fall in demand in the entire history of the aviation. On top of this, forward bookings... 

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

World airline body reports air cargo demand sharply down last year, but revenues up

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th February 2021 International air cargo demand during last year fell by 10.6% in comparison to 2019, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has reported. This was the biggest year-on-year fall in demand since the association (the representative body of the global airline industry) started keeping... 

Former SA Express execs could face music at inquiry as airline sale draws to an end

By: News24Wire      4th February 2021 Former executives and directors of the soon-to-be-sold state-owned regional airline SA Express (SAX) are expected to appear before an inquiry into what led to its liquidation. The inquiry started on 25 September last year. SA Express was placed under provisional liquidation in April 2020 after a... 

Kenya Airways has 787 Dreamliner cabins converted to carry freight

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd February 2021 Kenya Airways and Canadian aerospace company Avianor have converted the passenger cabins of some of the airline’s Boeing 787 airliners to carry cargo. Kenya Airways is a public-private partnership (with the State as the biggest but not the majority shareholder) and is the country’s national flag... 

A Boeing 787 of Kenya Airways 
Photo by Kenya Airways
A Boeing 787 of Kenya Airways 

Gordhan wants to 'change playing field' in SAA's rescue process, court hears

By: News24Wire      1st February 2021 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is trying "change the playing field" by attempting to get the Labour Court to sanction deviating from SAA's approved business rescue plan and to get an unfair advantage in terms of the collective bargaining process. This was claimed by attorney Minnaar... 

Growing drone uses raise new international law challenges

By: Schalk Burger     29th January 2021 Drone-enabled surveillance is fast becoming all-pervasive, having moved rapidly from military combat to other areas of law enforcement and migration control. This will raise new challenges, as civil liberties may be impacted as drones are used to monitor our actions and movements, says... 

Catch-22 situation delays restart of Airlink flights to Richards Bay

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th January 2021 Airlink, the South African private-sector regional airline, has announced that it has had to postpone the restart of its route between Johannesburg and Richards Bay until May 2. The route had been suspended in April last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  As a consequence of the pandemic,... 

Rolls-Royce inaugurates major new engine facility

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th January 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has functionally inaugurated its new leading-edge engine testbed by successfully completing the first engine run in it. (The official opening will take place later). The engine used to inaugurate the testbed was a Trent XWB, which was... 

Airlink now in interline agreement with Lufthansa and SWISS

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th January 2021 South African private sector airline Airlink has partnered with major international airlines Lufthansa and SWISS in an interline agreement which is now in force. (SWISS is a member of the Lufthansa Group.) The interline agreement allows passengers to fly between a multitude of destinations on a... 

UK authority becomes latest civil aviation regulator to lift ban on the Boeing 737 MAX

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th January 2021 The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) lifted the grounding order on the Boeing 737 MAX airliner on Wednesday, only hours after the European Union (EU) Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had done so. This meant that all the major Western civil aviation regulatory authorities (Brazil, Canada, the EU, UK... 

European Union aviation regulator has cleared Boeing 737 MAX to return to service

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th January 2021 The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced on Wednesday that it had authorised the return to service of the Boeing 737 MAX commercial aeroplane. This authorisation applied to a modified version of the single-aisle airliner. The EASA-required improvements and modifications... 

Boeing results show group suffered a battering in 2020

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th January 2021 US aerospace giant Boeing released its financial results for both the full year and the fourth quarter of 2020 on Thursday. Virtually all the figures were in the red. The group blamed the Covid-19 pandemic, the grounding of the 737 MAX airliner and issues with its widebody airliner programmes for... 

The prototype Boing 777X, a 777-9, on an early test flight
Photo by Boeing
The prototype Boing 777X, a 777-9, on an early test flight

SAA administrators get R1.3bn from government 

By: Reuters     27th January 2021 Administrators at national airline South African Airways (SAA) received R1.3-billion from the Department of Public Enterprises last week, a spokesperson for the administrators said on Wednesday. The money would be used to pay accepted and signed voluntary severance packages, employees who... 

Airlink to resume regular flights to Skukuza

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th January 2021 South African private sector airline Airlink has announced that it will resume scheduled flights to Skukuza Airport, in the Kruger National Park, from Thursday (January 28). The airport had been temporarily shut down on January 14 because of a localised outbreak of Covid-19 at a nearby location.... 

Boeing airliners to be able to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel within a decade

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th January 2021 US aerospace and defence giant Boeing has committed itself to ensuring that its commercial aeroplanes will be certified and able to fly using 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) by 2030. The group has already successfully carried out test flights powered entirely by SAF. This is to meet the... 

While air cargo demand continues recovery, air passenger demand stalls

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd January 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has reported that air cargo volumes increased in November last year, compared with October. However, they were still down on the figures for November 2019. The continued parking of many passenger aircraft meant that global air cargo capacity... 

Unions want Labour Court to order SAA to sort out backpay within 7 days

By: News24Wire      19th January 2021 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) intend to make an urgent application to the Labour Court in Johannesburg on 28 January to have a deal regarding backpay of members of South African Airways (SAA) declared unlawful or unfair. The... 

Global airline body welcomes US decision on Covid-19 testing

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th January 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has welcomed the decision by US authorities that all those travelling to the US will have to have proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, from a test carried out within three days before their departure for the US. The new requirement was... 

Rolls-Royce inaugurates major new engine testbed

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th January 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has functionally inaugurated its new leading edge engine testbed by successfully completing the first engine run in it (the official opening will take place later). The engine used to inaugurate the testbed was a Trent XWB, which was... 

Rolls-Royce’s new Testbed 80, with a Trent XWB engine installed.
Photo by Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce’s new Testbed 80, with a Trent XWB engine installed.

Covid-19 outbreak causes suspension of flights to Skukuza Airport 

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th January 2021 South African private-sector airline Airlink has announced that Skukuza Airport in the Kruger National Park has been closed and will remain closed until January 28. This was due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at the Lower Sabie Rest Camp. “In order to protect our customers, crews and personnel from... 

Airlink has suspended flights to and from Maseru due to Lesotho passenger flight ban

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th January 2021 The Lesotho government has banned passenger flights to and from Maseru’s Moshoeshoe I International Airport with effect from Thursday (January 14). This was announced on Wednesday and, as a consequence, South African airline Airlink has had to suspend its daily service between Johannesburg and... 

Airlink has suspended flights to and from Maseru due to Lesotho passenger flight ban

Iata chief blasts governments over counterproductive Covid-19 policies 

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th January 2021 International Air Transport Association (Iata) director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac has criticised a number of major countries, by name, for recently adopting policies that, although intended to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, are doing great damage to the travel and tourist sector around... 

DHL Global Forwarding invests R127m in new Joburg facility 

By: Irma Venter     13th January 2021 DHL Global Forwarding is investing R127-million in a new facility in Johannesburg.  Aimed at cementing its position in South Africa, the new 13 000 m2 facility will be located within the bonded zone at Skyparks Business Estate, next to the OR Tambo International Airport. 

Clement Blanc
Clement Blanc

Upgrade project at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport launched

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th January 2021 The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has started a project to renovate and upgrade Terminals 1B and 1C of Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). The airport is Kenya’s largest aviation facility, the aviation gateway to the country and the busiest airport in East Africa. The project... 

A passenger’s view of one of the terminals at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport 
Photo by Kenya Airports Authority
A passenger’s view of one of the terminals at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport 

Africa’s first specialist aviation personnel agency established 

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th January 2021 South African aviation consultancy company Hi-Fly Marketing has launched the first dedicated aviation sector personnel agency for Africa, Hi-Fly Talent & Resourcing, the enterprise announced on Monday. The purpose of the new venture was, in the company’s words, “to match airlines, aircraft... 

Globe-trotters pledge to fly less after Covid to help climate

By: Bloomberg     11th January 2021 More than two-fifths of the global population would be willing to fly less even after pandemic restrictions ease, according to a survey that shows a growing belief that individual actions impact the climate. The poll of more than 30 000 people published Monday by the European Investment Bank... 

Desperate SAA pilots who left locked out union to get money still haven't been paid

By: News24Wire      11th January 2021 The SAA Pilots' Association wants to know why – unlike other employees at the state-owned airline – their thirteenth cheques for 2019 have not yet been paid from the R1.5-billion in funding the Department of Public Enterprises made available to the rescue practitioners in December. Saapa is... 

Desperate SAA pilots who left locked out union to get money still haven't been paid

Global air passenger demand recovery stalled in November

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th January 2021 The recovery in global air passenger demand during last year came to a halt in November, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) reported on Thursday. The recovery had already been slowing since the end of the northern hemisphere summer travel period. Total passenger demand in November... 

International air transport body reports air cargo demand continues recovery

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th January 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) reported on Thursday that air cargo volumes increased in November last year in comparison to October. However, they were still down on the figures for November 2019. The continued parking of many passenger aircraft meant that global air cargo... 

Alexandre de Juniac
Photo by Iata
Alexandre de Juniac

Boeing settles 737 Max fraud charge with $2.5bn agreement

By: Bloomberg     8th January 2021 Boeing reached a $2.5-billion agreement to settle a criminal charge that it defrauded the US government by concealing information about the 737 Max, the ill-fated jet model involved in two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. The planemaker entered into a deferred prosecution agreement Thursday... 

Has SAA's rescue plan become unimplementable?

By: News24Wire      6th January 2021 The rescue practitioners of South African Airways could still end up having to say that the state-owned airline's rescue plan is not financially viable anymore and unimplementable. Then they would be forced to liquidate the airline because the business rescue process could not serve its purpose... 

Qantas to restart South Africa route in July – but you’ll need a Covid vaccine to fly

By: News24Wire      6th January 2021 Australia’s flag carrier, Qantas Airways, is looking to resume flights to and from South Africa on 1 July 2021. But that may make no difference for South Africans who do not receive a coronavirus vaccine by then. Qantas officially halted its South African flights in November 2020 and announced... 

OR Tambo International Airport receives international health accreditation

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th January 2021 Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, which is owned and operated by the State-owned Airports Company South Africa, has been accredited under the Airports Council International’s (ACI’s) Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) programme, it was announced on Wednesday. The AHA was developed by... 

Comair business rescue practitioners issue latest report on airline’s rescue plan progress

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th January 2021 The business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for private-sector airline Comair issued an update on progress with the group’s business rescue plan on Tuesday, in line with the requirements of the Companies Act. The update was issued via the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s SENS news service. The BRPs... 

Boeing delivers three 777F air cargo aircraft to Qatar

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th January 2021 US-based global major aerospace group Boeing marked the advent of the new year with the delivery of three 777 Freighter (777F) aircraft to Qatar Airways Cargo. One of the aircraft concerned was the 200th 777F to be delivered. With this delivery, Qatar’s 777F fleet now numbers 24 aircraft. The... 

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