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Aviation News

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. 

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
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