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Transport News

Grindrod responds to Covid-19 pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th April 2020 Amid the global spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, JSE-listed Grindrod has established a task team to monitor the specific requirements and recommendations of governments and their health agencies in the countries in which it operates. The task team has developed comprehensive response plans and... 

UK government contracts charter flights to repatriate British tourists from South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th April 2020 The UK Government has announced that it has engaged airline Virgin Atlantic to carry out repatriation flights for British citizens caught in South Africa by the latter country’s current lockdown. On average, some 430 000 British tourists visit South Africa each year. The first such flight will... 

TFR appoints new CEO  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th April 2020 University of Free State chancellor Bonang Mohale has welcomed the appointment of Sizakele Mzimela as CEO of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), as of April 1. Mohale indicated that “a better person could not have been found for the job”, noting Mzimela’s successful time at South African Airways and SA... 

Worldwide, passenger air traffic fell sharply in February, Iata reports

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 Global air passenger traffic in February, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, fell by 14.1% in comparison to February 2019, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) reported on April 2. This was the sharpest fall since the notorious terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the... 

South Africans abroad are now allowed to return home - but the how is unclear 

By: News24Wire      3rd April 2020 South Africans who are abroad and want to return during the lockdown are allowed to do so, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has said. The how, however, remains unclear. Mthembu tweeted the update on Friday morning, elaborating on remarks made by National Command Council ministers on... 

South Africans abroad are now allowed to return home - but the how is unclear
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu

Two new cranes delivered to Port Elizabeth terminal

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd April 2020 The Port Elizabeth Container Terminal (PECT) has taken delivery of two new mobile harbour cranes from equipment manufacture Liebherr. “The arrival of these two modern cranes will ensure that our promise to industry is realised,” says Transnet Port Terminal (TPT) acting CE Michelle Phillips. 

Two new cranes delivered to Port Elizabeth terminal
Solutions delivered

Comair deal to acquire two businesses mutually terminated

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 In an announcement on the (Johannesburg) Stock Exchange News Service on April 3, South African private sector airline group Comair announced that an agreement for it to purchase Star Air Maintenance (SAM) and Star Air Cargo (SAC) had been terminated “by mutual consent”, with effect from March 31.... 

Airlink working with SAA to solve re-ticketing problem for post-lockdown flights

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 South African private sector airline Airlink has announced that it is working with State-owned flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) to ensure a smooth process for the revalidation and re-accommodation of tickets and vouchers issued by SAA for future Airlink flights. When scheduled air... 

Iata forecasts much worse Covid-19 impact on airlines than previously predicted

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 The latest analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the revenues of airlines worldwide, undertaken by their global representative body, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has indicated that the impact will be much worse than previously believed. Iata has now estimated... 

Iata calls African countries to support their airlines during the Covid-19 crisis

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd April 2020 The global representative organisation for the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), issued on April 2 a call for African and Middle Eastern governments to financially support their airlines, directly and/or indirectly. This was because of the havoc being wrought... 

SAA to operate repatriation charter flights, starting with operations to Germany

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd April 2020 State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is to undertake charter flights to repatriate foreign citizens caught in South Africa by the national lockdown which started at midnight March 26/27. This lockdown is an attempt to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. The first such flights... 

Global air cargo demand fell sharply in February, but Africa saw an increase

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd April 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body of the global commercial aviation (airline and air cargo) sector, has released its latest report (dated April 1) on air freight demand during this past February. “The spread of Covid-19 intensified over the month of... 

Lockdown: Mbalula cuts loading capacity for taxis, rescinding earlier decision

By: News24Wire      2nd April 2020 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has rescinded his earlier decision of allowing taxis to carry a full load of passengers. They would only be allowed a loading capacity of 70% and not a full load as many operators had wished for, he said. 

Lockdown: Mbalula cuts loading capacity for taxis, rescinding earlier decision
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Airbus manufactures protective equipment for Spanish healthcare workers

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd April 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus reported on April 1 that most of its facilities in Spain were cooperating in the production of visor frames, for use in personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. The frames are being... 

Taxis allowed 100% of capacity only with masks – Mbalula  

By: Sane Dhlamini     1st April 2020 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced on Wednesday that taxis could carry their full loads during the national lockdown, provided that all passengers wore masks. Mbalula was addressing taxi operators and commuters at the MTN Taxi Rank in Johannesburg after he held discussions with the... 

Taxis allowed 100% of capacity only with masks – Mbalula
Transport Minister Fikille Mbalula

AfDB, Moz government ink deal to pave road crucial to trade

By: Donna Slater     1st April 2020 The government of Mozambique and development finance institution, the African Development Bank (AfDB). have signed a protocol agreement for a $34-million grant for the paving of the 35 km Nambungali-Roma road, in Mozambique, to facilitate trade and promote social inclusion of local communities.... 

AfDB, Moz government ink deal to pave road crucial to trade

Road freight in sub-Saharan Africa goes digital with DHL’s Saloodo!

By: Irma Venter     1st April 2020 Digital freight forwarder Saloodo!, a subsidiary of DHL Global Forwarding, has launched a digital logistics platform for shippers and transport providers in South Africa, bringing the first digital road freight solution to the region. An efficient road freight network is a key conduit of trade... 

Road freight in sub-Saharan Africa goes digital with DHL’s Saloodo!
Saloodo! Middle East and Africa CEO Tobias Maier

First repatriation flight leaves South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st April 2020 The first repatriation flight for foreigners caught in South Africa by the country’s lockdown (to counter the Covid-19 pandemic), allowed by amended regulations announced by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on March 31, took off on the morning of April 1, the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa)... 

South African ports open for cargo, mineral exports, govt says

By: Reuters     1st April 2020 South African ports remain open to all types of cargo, although essential goods should be prioritised where possible, the Department of Transport said in a notice shared by the South African Maritime Safety Authority on its website. The notice, dated March 31, contradicts communications from port... 

South African ports open for cargo, mineral exports, govt says

Travel agents not to blame for disruptions, refund issues − Asata

By: Donna Slater     1st April 2020 Travel agency representative forum, the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) is redirecting the blame for air travellers having to buy additional air tickets to the airlines in question as the airlines have closed refund platforms to travel agents. Asata is responding to... 

Travel agents not to blame for disruptions, refund issues − Asata
Otto de Vries

Mbalula provides clarity on aviation directives 

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 Since the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa would embark on a 21-day national lockdown, the majority of aviation activities have slowed dramatically, with all domestic airlines having halted passenger flights effective from the start of the lockdown. South Africa’s... 

Mbalula provides clarity on aviation directives
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Air transport body warns that world airlines are burning up their cash at an alarming rate

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st March 2020 International commercial aviation representative body the International Air Transport Association (IATA) published a new analysis on March 31 that indicated that the world’s airlines would, during the second quarter of this year, suffer a total net loss of $39-billion. They would also expend... 

Two unions jointly attack the government over regional airline SA Express 

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st March 2020 In a joint statement on March 31, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have blasted the government over its handling of the crisis in State-owned regional airline SA Express. Their response was to a statement on the... 

UNTU calls for PPE for Transnet employees as iron ore line reopens

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2020 The United National Transport Union (UNTU) has acknowledged the decision of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to reopen the iron ore rail line operated by State-owned Transnet. This will require Transnet employees from various divisions to be ready to report for duty from March... 

UNTU calls for PPE for Transnet employees as iron ore line reopens
Transnet

Public Enterprises to study liquidation application by SA Express business rescue practitioners

By: News24Wire      30th March 2020 Allegations by the business rescue practitioners of SA Express that the government deliberately withheld financial support from them, and that the state's approach to the business rescue process was unconstructive are baseless, the Department of Public Enterprises has said.  The department on... 

Public Enterprises to study liquidation application by SA Express business rescue practitioners

Engen refinery temporarily shut amid low demand

By: Donna Slater     30th March 2020 The Durban-based petroleum refinery of fuels, lubricants and oil-based products distributor and marketer Engen has undergone a temporary controlled shut down, effective March 27, as a result of forecasted lower demand for petroleum products during the national lockdown which came into effect from... 

No more taxpayers’ money for regional airline SA Express

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th March 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) issued a press release on March 29 regarding the business rescue process for State-owned regional airline SA Express. In it, the DPE stated it “noted” that the airline’s Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) had made a court application to liquidate SA... 

Insurers try to ease burden on policyholders amid Covid-19 pandemic

By: Donna Slater     30th March 2020 To help ease the financial burden potentially brought to some people by the slow-down in business during the coronavirus pandemic and national lockdown, Momentum Short-Term Insurance (MSTI) is giving clients early access to R26-million in future no-claims and safety bonuses. To provide immediate... 

Opinion: Transport sector expected to play a key role during lockdown

27th March 2020 As we wake up to a country in lockdown, the rules are still being written and the full impact of the coronavirus for South Africa is yet ahead. Making sense of our new circumstances and adapting to the fast-changing new reality is overwhelming. At the same time it requires exceptional leadership... 

Opinion: Transport sector expected to play a key role during lockdown

Transnet scales back to only essential services, operations

By: Simone Liedtke     27th March 2020 In line with government’s implementation of a three-week lockdown of the country to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, State-owned entity Transnet will be scaling down its transportation services and operations of non-essential cargo during this period. After consultation with various... 

International air transport body urges global economic group to act to save aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 On March 26 the International Air Transport Association (Iata) addressed an appeal, on behalf of the global airline industry, to the leaders of the Group of 20 leading economic powers (G20). The G20 members together accounted for some 85% of the world’s gross domestic product, more than 75% of... 

Carrier suspends operations days after issuing safety assurances

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 State-owned regional airline SA Express, which is currently in business rescue, suspended its operations on Wednesday March 18. This was because of “adverse recent developments including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”  

Covid-19 forces SAA to cut services

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA), which was undergoing business rescue, has scaled down its capacity because of the fall in air passenger demand. This is the result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely affected the global air transport industry. Under these... 

Iata urges action to keep fragile global air transport sector functioning

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 The global airline industry is extremely vulnerable to the economic effects of the Covid-19 virus, a recently released analysis by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has shown. IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce highlighted that, of all the airlines in the world, only some 30 were... 

Air transport bodies appeal for responsible action amid Covid-19 disruptions

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reacted to US President Donald Trump’s bans on citizens and residents of European countries from travelling to the US by affirming that the organisation and its members would maintain their support for Governments in their attempts to contain the... 

Various trends shaping Africa’s port infrastructure

By: Tracy Hancock     27th March 2020 The development of inland container terminals, or dry ports, to decongest port traffic is a trend that is gaining significant traction in Africa, says WSP Africa maritime technical director Marthinus Retief. In landlocked Ethiopia, the development of inland dry ports to store containers... 

Various trends shaping  Africa’s port infrastructure
MARTHINUS RETIEF Africa’s ports need to be larger and deeper to accommodate larger vessels to improve their connectivity to global maritime trade

Communication and planning needed to limit Covid-19 impact on supply chains

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 The impact on supply chains owing to the Covid-19 outbreak and from the closure of ports of entry can be mitigated through identification of potential impacts and early communications among affected stakeholders, says advisory firm Deloitte Africa restructuring services leader Jo Mitchell-Marais.... 

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