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Aviation News

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... 

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... 

SAA pilot lockout 'indefinite', while backpay dispute raises legal issues, says labour lawyer

By: News24Wire      5th January 2021 The rescue practitioners of South African Airways can continue with the lockout of pilots as long as it suits them or until the SAA Pilots’ Association agrees to their proposals, says Hugo Pienaar, a labour law expert at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. Members of SAAPA have been locked out by the rescue... 

SAA pilot lockout 'indefinite', while backpay dispute raises legal issues, says labour lawyer

KwaZulu-Natal optimistic that suspension of direct London flights will be only short-term

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th January 2021 The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone (SEZ) management are both confident that the suspension of direct flights between Durban’s King Shaka International Airport and London by British Airways will prove to be only a short-term measure, until the Covid-19... 

Airlink to launch non-stop flights between Cape Town and Harare

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th December 2020 Independent regional airline Airlink will launch a new non-stop service between Cape Town and Harare from January 18. This is the latest in a series of new and resumed routes across the airline's Southern African network. 

SAA pilots union: Key issue is not cuts to salaries, perks - it's who will be rehired and why  

By: News24Wire      18th December 2020 The South African Airways Pilots Association (SAAPA) has hit back at claims by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) that a regulating agreement dating back to 1988 - which covers the cost structure for the airline's pilots - is too expensive to allow the restructured flag carrier to get off... 

SAA pilots union: Key issue is not cuts to salaries, perks - it's who will be rehired and why

DPE says pilot deal is too expensive and makes new SAA unattractive for investors  

By: News24Wire      17th December 2020 In order for a restructured South African Airways (SAA) to get off the ground, it is critical to reduce what it regards as the too high current cost structure relating to pilots in terms of a regulating agreement dating from 1988, the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) said in a statement on... 

DPE says pilot deal is too expensive and makes new SAA unattractive for investors

Numsa blasts DPE, SAA, over 'misleading' workers, warns against 'unlawful' actions

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th December 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has attacked the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) concerning its behaviour regarding maintenance and repair organisation South African Airways Technical (SAAT), a subsidiary of the State-owned national airline South African Airways... 

South Africa’s three main airports have reopened to the non-flying public

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th December 2020 The Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) announced on Thursday that terminal buildings at three of its airports had been open to the non-flying public since Monday (December 7). The airports concerned are Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and Durban’s... 

ACSA ensures healthy, safe journey for passengers through international accreditation

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2020 Airports Company South Africa’s (ACSA’s) efforts to create a safe airport environment for travelers has been recognised by the Airports Council International (ACI) after several of its airports received the Airport Health Accreditation. The airports that received this accreditation are Cape Town... 

DPE appoints six nonexecutive directors to SAA interim board 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has appointed six nonexecutive directors to the interim board of South African Airways (SAA). Geoff Qhena will be the board’s interim chairperson, and will be joined by Peter Tshisevhe, June Crawford, Bembe Zwane, Professor Edna van Harte and Nick Fadugba. 

South Africa offers bankrupt airline’s staff less than legally required 

By: Bloomberg     8th December 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises has asked workers at the bankrupt national airline to accept three months’ pay rather than the eight months they are entitled to by labour law and the terms of a business rescue plan, according to a labour union leader. The offer was made at the weekend and... 

South Africa offers bankrupt airline’s staff less than legally required

Cabinet briefed on SAA business rescue, DPE assures on anti-graft actions at airline

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th December 2020 In a statement issued on Friday, the South African Cabinet reported that, at its virtual meeting on Wednesday, it had been briefed on the business rescue plan for State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA). In September the government committed itself to provide R10.5-billion... 

Boeing 737 MAX wins its first order since it was grounded in 2019

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th December 2020 Irish low cost carrier Ryanair and US global major aerospace group Boeing announced on Thursday that the airline, which is Europe’s largest, had ordered 75 more 737 MAX single-aisle airliners. This is the first new order for the type since it was grounded in March 2019, as a consequence of two... 

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing 737 MAX

Airbus bets on hydrogen to deliver zero-emission jets

By: Bloomberg     4th December 2020 There are plenty of obstacles standing in the way of developing the first zero-emission, hydrogen-powered plane. It’s tricky to safely store and use the highly combustible fuel. There aren’t any airports equipped to refuel jets with it. And the cost of hydrogen itself is prohibitive, at least if... 

Hard times for airlines forecast to continue next year, except for cargo operators

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th December 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body for the global airline industry, has forecast that the sector will continue to suffer deep losses next year, although much less than the losses that will be experienced this year. The first half of next year is expected... 

Africa’s post-Covid recovery provides major opportunities for South African aviation sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd December 2020 African recovery and return to economic growth following the Covid-19 pandemic presented a significant opportunity to the general aviation sector across the continent, but particularly in South Africa, SA Flyer editor Guy Leitch pointed out on Thursday. He was addressing the Commercial Aviation... 

Govt gives SAA R1.5bn, but administrators say they can't use it

By: Reuters     3rd December 2020 Administrators for South African Airways, which has been under a form of bankruptcy protection for a year, said on Thursday that they had received R1.5-billion from the government but that they could not use it yet. The administrators said in a statement that conditions on how the R1.5-billion... 

Govt gives SAA R1.5bn, but administrators say they can't use it

Ctrack Freight Transport Index growth slows

By: Irma Venter     1st December 2020 The October Ctrack Freight Transport Index (CFTI) shows that the index will not boast the same growth in the fourth quarter as the record-breaking third quarter, but that some improvement is still expected. The index measures the health of South Africa’s logistics sector. 

Ctrack Freight Transport Index growth slows

Discovery prepays R100m for Comair flights to help it take off

By: News24Wire      27th November 2020 The Discovery Group has offered to prepay R100-million to Comair for future services that the airline offers to Vitality as its kulula.com flights are due to take off to the skies again from 1 December. Comair which operates kulula.com and British Airways flights in SA, was thrown a lifeline by... 

Kenya Airways has started direct fresh produce flights from Mombasa to the Middle East

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th November 2020 Kenya Airways, the country’s public private partnership national flag carrier, announced on Thursday that it was starting direct cargo flights from the country’s main port (and number two) city of Mombasa to international destinations. The airline’s freight operation is known as KQ Cargo, KQ... 

First group of Western Cape agriculture drone pilots receive their wings

By: Yvonne Silaule     27th November 2020 The first group of Western Cape Department of Agriculture drone pilots received their wings this week. The department assisted the group to successfully sit for the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) examination to obtain their remote pilot licences. Training was provided by Drone-X,... 

Iata issues guidance for Covid-19 vaccine transport

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th November 2020 Against a background of pharmaceuticals companies announcing breakthroughs in the development of vaccines against the Covid-19 disease, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has issued guidance for the air cargo sector, to ensure that it was ready to handle, transport and distribute... 

World airline body reveals huge scale of collapse in air connectivity owing to Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th November 2020 The International Air transport Association (Iata), the representative body for the global airline industry, revealed on Wednesday the dramatic collapse in worldwide air connectivity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the attempts by governments to contain it. Iata’s Air Connectivity Index is a... 

Airline body launches carbon credit trading exchange

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th November 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body for the global airline industry, on Wednesday launched the Aviation Carbon Exchange (ACE). Developed in cooperation with Xpansiv CBL Holding Group, an Australian-US commodities trader, ACE is the first of its kind – a... 

Iata calls on governments to reopen borders and support development of sustainable flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th November 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), at its recent 76th Annual General Meeting, passed resolutions reaffirming the global airline industry’s absolute commitment to the safe and sustainable restoration of air transport connectivity, while calling on governments to help the sector... 

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

Iata predicts that hard times for airlines will continue next year, except for cargo operators

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th November 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body for the global airline industry, has forecast that the sector will continue to suffer deep losses next year, although much less than the losses that will be experienced this year. The first half of next year is expected... 

Iata CEO Alexandre de Juniac
Photo by Iata
Iata CEO Alexandre de Juniac

South Africa could sell shares in restructured national airline  

By: Bloomberg     25th November 2020 South Africa could offer to sell shares in the bankrupt national airline to the public as part of an ambitious new plan to revive the carrier outlined by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. The government could bring the various parts of the South African Airways group into one company that would be... 

South Africa could sell shares in restructured national airline

Comair to restart British Airways-branded flights in early December

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd November 2020 South African private-sector airline group Comair announced on Monday that it had resumed taking bookings for its operations under the British Airways brand. The airline operated both the Kulula low cost carrier and British Airways in South African brands before it went into voluntary business... 

Comair to restart British Airways-branded flights in early December

Brazilian aerospace group advances its electrical aircraft project with a new partnership

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd November 2020 Brazil-based major aerospace group Embraer and Portugal-based energy group EDP have signed a partnership to carry out research into electrically-powered aircraft. Through its EDP Smart division, the company, which is one of the largest private-sector players in the Brazilian energy sector, will... 

Embraer’s electric engine test bed EMB-203 Ipanema
Embraer’s electric engine test bed EMB-203 Ipanema

SAA rescue plan meant to address past sins, not lay out the airline's future - BRP 

By: News24Wire      19th November 2020 The business rescue plan for South African Airways (SAA) is not intended to formulate a strategy for the future of the airline, according to Siviwe Dongwana, one of the state-owned flag carrier's joint rescue practitioners. Formulating a strategy for a "new SAA" would be the prerogative of a new... 

Boeing 737 MAX grounding order lifted in the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th November 2020 The US civil aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), on Wednesday rescinded its order grounding the Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle airliner. The aircraft had been grounded since March 2019, as a consequence of two fatal accidents that killed 346 people. This decision will... 

The Boeing 737-8 version of the 737 MAX
Photo by Boeing
The Boeing 737-8 version of the 737 MAX
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