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Aviation News

Iata head criticises governments over handling of air travel under Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th July 2021 International Air Transport Association (Iata) director-general Wille Walsh has criticised governments for their behaviour towards international air travel, as the Covid-19 pandemic begins, in many countries, to be brought under control. Governments were not being transparent or coherent... 

Flight Centre Travel Group to reward employees with shares

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th July 2021 ASX-listed Flight Centre Travel Group has unveiled a global retention programme which will see it give 1.9-million company shares to sales and support staff who continue their careers with the group during its expected recovery phase. The new Global Recovery Rights (GRR) programme will be offered... 

Global air transport body says signs of recovery in sector but warns it is fragile

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th July 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the global representative body of the airline industry, is seeing some encouraging signs of recovery in the industry. “There is some optimism about the airline industry, but [also] reasons to be cautious,” Iata senior economist Ezgi... 

Air Seychelles announces its two new acting senior executives

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th July 2021 Republic of Seychelles national flag carrier Air Seychelles announced on Wednesday that a new acting CEO and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) had been appointed to the airline. The appointments had been recently made by the country’s Ministry of Transport. The new acting CEO is airline Captain Sandy... 

Comair suspends Kulula, BA flights for three weeks

By: Schalk Burger     2nd July 2021 South African airline Comair on July 2 announced it was suspending all scheduled Kulula and British Airways (BA) flights operated by Comair for three weeks. Flights will be suspended from Monday, July 5 and Comair plans to restart services from July 30, subject to regulations being eased and... 

Airlines Association of Southern Africa announces its new CEO

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd July 2021 The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has announced that Wrenelle Stander will replace Chris Zweigenthal as the organisation’s CEO. Stander’s appointment will take effect in the middle of this month. Zweigenthal is retiring after 19 years in the post. “Wrenelle, whose career includes... 

Wrenelle Stander
Photo by AASA
Wrenelle Stander

Airbus also gets major order from United Airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st July 2021 The same day (Tuesday) that it announced a huge order for Boeing 737 MAX airliners, major US carrier United Airlines also announced a major order for yet more single-aisle airliners, only this time from Airbus. The Airbus order is for 70 Airbus A321neo aircraft (neo standing for ‘new engine... 

Artist’s impression of an A321neo in United colours
Photo by Airbus
Artist’s impression of an A321neo in United colours

Rolls-Royce and Shell sign MoU on helping achieve net-zero carbon emissions in aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st July 2021 UK industrial technology group (and renowned aeroengine manufacturer) Rolls-Royce and Anglo-Dutch global major energy group Shell have signed an agreement to increase the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and so progress the decarbonisation of the aviation industry. The conclusion of the... 

Boeing wins huge 737 MAX order from United Airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th June 2021 US aerospace giant Boeing and major US carrier United Airlines jointly announced on Tuesday that the latter had ordered another 200 737 MAX single-aisle airliners from the former. The order includes 150 737-10s, the latest version of the 737 MAX, which only recently made its maiden flight. The... 

DPE assures that all regulatory and due diligence requirements for sale of SAA will be done

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th June 2021 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has issued a statement affirming that the statement made by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on June 11, regarding state-owned national flag carrier South Africa Airways (SAA), was “consistent” with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s comments on the... 

US opens $500m fund for relatives of Boeing 737 MAX victims

By: Reuters     23rd June 2021 A $500-million US fund to compensate relatives of 346 people killed in two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes has opened, the claim administrators told Reuters on Tuesday. The fund, which opened on Monday, is part of a settlement with the US Justice Department. Boeing Co in January agreed to pay... 

Kenya Airways and Delta Air Lines expand their codeshare agreement

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd June 2021 Kenyan national flag carrier Kenya Airways and major US carrier Delta Air Lines have announced that they have expanded and enhanced their codeshare agreement. As a result, Delta will be able to increase the number of African destinations that it can offer its passengers while Kenya Airways... 

Kenya Airways subsidiary using drones to support wildlife census

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st June 2021 Kenyan national flag carrier Kenya Airways’ subsidiary Fahari Aviation participated in the Tsavo Ecosystem Wildlife Census, which was coordinated by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the recently created Wildlife Research and Training Institute, with financial support from the Kenyan... 

Latest version of Boeing 737 MAX has made its first flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st June 2021 The largest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX single-aisle airliner family, the 737-10, made its maiden flight on Friday. The aircraft took off from Renton Field, in Renton, in the US state of Washington and landed two hours and 31 minutes later at Boeing Field, in Seattle, also in Washington state.... 

The Boeing 737-10 makes its maiden take-off
Photo by Boeing
The Boeing 737-10 makes its maiden take-off

Tough times not yet over for African airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th June 2021 Around the world, light is now visible at the end of the Covid-19 pandemic tunnel (although the distance to the end of the tunnel varies greatly from country to country). One of the economic sectors that will be most relieved by this is the airline sector, and not least its African, Southern... 

Tough times not yet over for African airlines

Rolls-Royce announces net zero emissions plans

By: Donna Slater     17th June 2021 Power and propulsion engineering company Rolls-Royce has announced its plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, at the latest. The company’s actions and the development of new low-carbon technologies will enable the users of such products to, in turn, lower their carbon emissions,... 

PIC says it is not involved in SAA deal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th June 2021 The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has clarified that its funds will not be used by a private sector consortium to acquire a 51% private equity stake in South African Airways (SAA). The State-owned investment manager says it is not involved in the acquisition, nor are the assets it... 

Empowered consortium Takatso to own 51% of SAA 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th June 2021 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has revealed the new strategic equity partner of State-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) – black-owned consortium Takatso. Takatso, which is Sotho for aspire, comprises Pan African infrastructure development fund manager Harith General Partners... 

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

Airlink announces new service to East Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th June 2021 South African private-sector regional airline Airlink has announced that it will start scheduled services to Entebbe International Airport in Uganda. The service will start on July 19 and will be operated four times a week. “Entebbe, which is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, serves... 

Bidvest inks deal to dispose of airport handling services unit

By: Irma Venter     4th June 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... 

South African aircraft maintenance company wins US certification

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd June 2021 Corporate and VIP aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, Execujet MRO Services, has been certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Execujet MRO Services is based at Lanseria International Airport, northwest of Johannesburg, in Gauteng province. The certification... 

Air Seychelles reduces flights from Johannesburg to Seychelles

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd June 2021 Following the reintroduction of travel restrictions by the Seychelles government from June 1, which affects travel between South Africa and the Seychelles, national airline Air Seychelles will be reducing the number of flights scheduled from Johannesburg until further notice. All flights on... 

Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport 'critical' for Gauteng

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th May 2021 Gauteng Premier David Makhura has stressed the importance of the OR Tambo International Airport, in the city of Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, for the economy, development and post-Covid-19 recovery of the province. He did so during a meeting with senior executives of the Airports Company... 

South Africa may need to save indebted State firms, Finance Minister says

By: Bloomberg     27th May 2021 South Africa’s cash-strapped State companies may struggle to refinance their debts, requiring the government to provide support, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said. The ten most-indebted State firms have an estimated R289.9-billion in loans maturing by the end of March 2025, Mboweni said in a... 

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Airbus delivers one-hundredth A400M, airframes surpass 100 000 flight-hours

By: Donna Slater     25th May 2021 Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has delivered its one-hundredth A400M aircraft with airframe number MSN111 to Zaragoza, where the Spanish Air Force houses its fleet of A400M’s. The Spanish Air Force has now taken delivery of ten A400M aircraft.  

Airbus' A400M
Airbus' A400M

Sustainable aviation fuels could be major market for South African sugar cane sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th May 2021 A study has found that the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using ethanol derived from sugarcane is a viable major business opportunity for the South African sugarcane sector. The study was jointly undertaken by the South African Canegrowers Association (SA Canegrowers) and the... 

Accepting vaccinated travellers should be best practice to reopen borders, says Iata

By: Schalk Burger     19th May 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) says it supports unrestricted access to travel for vaccinated travellers. In cases where vaccination is not possible, access to quarantine-free travel should be provided through Covid-19 testing strategies based on widely available,... 

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. 

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