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Aviation News

Airlink launches new Namibia route while Air Namibia remains grounded

By: Donna Slater     15th February 2021 Privately-owned regional airline Airlink plans to launch a new direct service between Cape Town and Walvis Bay, in Namibia, commencing on March 2. Air Namibia, the country’s national carrier, halted flights on February 11, pending voluntary liquidation, with all aircraft being grounded at base... 

Heidelberg aerodrome developments must benefit surrounding communities, says Majola

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th February 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola says the concession agreement awarded to MTP Aviation Solutions by the Lesedi local municipality must benefit a significant percentage of communities that reside in and around the facility as well. The Lesedi municipality awarded a... 

Fikile Majola delivering the keynote address during the launch of the concession agreement between Leseding local municipality and MTP Aviation Solutions
Fikile Majola delivering the keynote address during the launch of the concession agreement between Leseding local municipality and MTP Aviation Solutions

Southern African air cargo committee head Alwyn Rautenbach has died

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th February 2021 The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has announced that the head of the Air Cargo Operators Committee, Alwyn Rautenbach, died on Wednesday (February 10) following a long illness. The Committee is an associate member of AASA, and he had headed it since 2006. He was also Executive... 

Alwyn Rautenbach
Photo by AASA
Alwyn Rautenbach

Business jet maker Bombardier to make more savings and end production of the Learjet

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th February 2021 Canadian aerospace company Bombardier announced, during the release of its annual results for 2020 on Thursday, its latest steps to return to profitability. The company is now focused entirely on the manufacture and support of business jets, having disposed of its commercial aviation and... 

A Bombardier Global 7500 business jet
Photo by Bombardier
A Bombardier Global 7500 business jet

Major aviation and airport hydrogen initiative launched in France

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th February 2021 Europe-based major aerospace company Airbus has partnered with five French companies and agencies to launch a global ‘call for expressions of interest’ in opportunities presented by the adoption of hydrogen as a fuel source by aviation and airports. In addition to Airbus, the consortium is... 

Airports Company seeking to monetise noncore assets

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th February 2021 State-owned Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), an entity of the Department of Transport, reported on Thursday that it was seeking to monetise assets and activities, to improve its liquidity and significantly decrease its capital and operational expenditure. This was to help it respond to the... 

Airline body offering free career-change training to unemployed cabin crew

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th February 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the representative body of the global airline industry, has announced that it is offering a free online training course for airline cabin crew who have lost their jobs because of the crisis in the commercial aviation sector. The crisis... 

ACSA sells stake in major Indian airport

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th February 2021 South Africa’s State-owned Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) announced on Monday that it had sold its stake in Indian company Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL). This enterprise manages and operates Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. ACSA’s... 

Airlink announces restoration of flights to Sishen

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th February 2021 South African private sector airline Airlink has announced that it will restart scheduled flights linking Johannesburg with the iron ore mining centre of Sishen in the Northern Cape province. The flights will resume on February 15.  “Airlink recognises the strategically important role that Sishen... 

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... 

Computer image of the Airbus A321XLR
Photo by Airbus
Computer image of the Airbus A321XLR

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... 

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