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Transport News

Sanral records R640m revenue shortfall as a result of lockdown 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th October 2020 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has recorded a revenue loss of R640-million to date for its 2020/21 financial year as a result of reduced traffic on toll roads during the lockdown. The State-owned roads agency also reported on October 7 that it was underspending about... 

Airbus’ flapping wingtip demonstration project has successfully completed Phase 2

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th October 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus reported on Wednesday on the achievement of a new milestone by its AlbatrossONE technology demonstration project. Inspired by the wonderful aerodynamics of the very far ranging Albatross seabird, the AlbatrossONE project is using a small-scale,... 

Airbus’ flapping wingtip demonstration project has successfully completed Phase 2
Photo by Airbus
The AlbatrossONE UAV in flight, with the hinged wingtips clearly visible

Johannesburg mayor warns rogue business forums not to delay projects

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th October 2020 Johannesburg Executive Mayor Geoffrey Makhubo has warned "business forums" not to interfere in service delivery projects. “The stopping of service delivery projects by business forums will not be tolerated as it delays the completion of projects and the provision of much-needed service to the... 

Iata calls for continued government support for the world’s airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th October 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body of the global airline industry, has urged governments to continue supporting airlines through the coming northern winter season. This is because the world’s airlines are forecast to burn up cash totalling $77-billion... 

Iata calls for continued government support for the world’s airlines
Photo by Iata
Alexandre de Juniac

JRA investigating cause of flooding on M1 double decker section

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th October 2020 The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has apologised to road users for the inconvenience caused owing to the flooding that occurred on the M1 double decker section on October 5. The agency says it is investigating the causes of the flooding and adds that its operations team will ramp up planned and... 

South Africa told to look to Ethiopia to rescue its airline

By: Bloomberg     6th October 2020 South Africa should act to preserve its insolvent national airline and seek to partner the carrier with Ethiopian Airlines Group, according to a study commissioned for ruling-party lawmakers. The assessment, obtained by Bloomberg, was prepared by African Aviation Services and dated October 4. It... 

Ethiopia bans flights over dam for security reasons - aviation chief

By: Reuters     5th October 2020 Ethiopia has banned all flights over its giant new hydropower dam on the Blue Nile for security reasons, the head of its civil aviation authority said on Monday. Ethiopia is locked in a dispute with Egypt and Sudan over its $4-billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Cairo has said could... 

Patel prioritising AfCFTA trading by start of 2021 as he takes on key African role 

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2020 South Africa’s Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, who has been elected to chair the African Ministers of Trade (AMOT), says he will prioritise the finalisation of the outstanding work and negotiations required to enable the start of trading under the African Continent Free... 

Patel prioritising AfCFTA trading by start of 2021 as he takes on key African role
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

SAA Technical reinstates aircraft maintenance to some customers

By: Simone Liedtke     5th October 2020 South African Airways Technical (SAAT) has reinstated aircraft maintenance services to some of its customers. The development follows a decision taken by SAAT to suspend maintenance services to four of its airline customers in September owing to outstanding payments on services already rendered. 

Tambo Springs rail concession fails, talks on to secure new deal 

By: Irma Venter     5th October 2020 Infrastructure development at the Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway is continuing, despite the inability of State-owned freight logistics group Transnet to deliver on the construction of a rail terminal in the agreed time, says Tambo Springs Development Company (TSDC) CEO Tumi Mohulatsi. In June... 

Tambo Springs rail concession fails, talks on to secure new deal
Tumi Mohulatsi

BOC says contingency plans in place for Gautrain strike

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th October 2020 Operator of the Gautrain, the Bombela Operating Company (BOC), says it will implement a contingency plan to ensure it is able to still deliver a train service to its passengers after trade union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) announced that its members would embark on... 

Numsa serves notice for Gautrain strike

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd October 2020 Trade union the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on October 2 issued a notice to strike at the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) − the management and operating company for the Gautrain. The union said its members would, as of the morning of October 5, go on an indefinite... 

Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines partner on 40th humanitarian delivery flight

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd October 2020 Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines recently launched their fortieth humanitarian delivery flight, when the airline’s new 787 Dreamliner departed Everett, Washington carrying more than 20 000 pounds of humanitarian supplies. The shipment, including supplies for healthcare and family needs, will be... 

Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines partner on 40th humanitarian delivery flight
Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines recently launched their fortieth humanitarian delivery flight

Iata warns of massive job losses in African aviation sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd October 2020 Industry organisation the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has warned that the damage being done to the African aviation industry and on economies by the shutdown of air traffic owing to the Covid-19 pandemic has deepened. According to new data published by the Air Transport Action... 

Proposed AARTO regulations pose ‘severe risk’ to business – Road Freight Association

By: Irma Venter     2nd October 2020 The Road Freight Association (RFA) says it is working with all relevant role-players to ensure that the proposed Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) is “considered properly” before implementation, and that AARTO will achieve its main purpose of ensuring road safety, says... 

One year later and still no clarity on e-tolls – Outa

By: Irma Venter     2nd October 2020 Cabinet’s failure to make a decision on a funding mechanism for Gauteng’s freeways is affecting long-term road planning and allows the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to avoid responsibility for an incoherent e-toll collection strategy, says the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse... 

ATNS implements new airspace efficiency procedures

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st October 2020 Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) is implementing an airspace management efficiency initiative, known as the Gauteng Airspace Performance-Based-Navigation Plan (GAPP), to assist in the recovery of the industry post the Covid-19 pandemic. The organisation says it continues to engage with... 

Ministers clarify details of border opening approach

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st October 2020 The Ministers tasked with immigration, tourism, health, transport and international relations and cooperation have confirmed that three airports will be opened and operational for international air travel – OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports. This while 18 borders will be... 

Ministers clarify details of border opening approach

Gautrain extension will improve Gauteng’s competitiveness, says GMA  

By: Irma Venter     30th September 2020 Even if the next phase of the Gautrain rail system were to get the green light from National Treasury today, it would take three to four years before construction could start on the project, says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO William Dachs. “This is a very ambitious, long-term plan,” he... 

Gautrain extension will improve Gauteng’s competitiveness, says GMA

SAA to go under care and maintenance until funding found  

By: Reuters     30th September 2020 Struggling state-owned airline South African Airways will be put under "care and maintenance" until funding discussions are completed, the airline's administrators said on Tuesday. A company's assets can be put under care and maintenance in order to keep them in good condition when they are not... 

SAA to go under care and maintenance until funding found

Numsa calls for Bombela to resume negotiations to avoid Gautrain strikes

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th September 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has urged the Bombela Operations Company (BOC), which manages the Gautrain, to return to the negotiating table. Numsa says its members feel that BOC is driving them towards a strike, noting that BOC is refusing to negotiate yearly wages... 

SA Express employees opt for crowdfunding platform to raise takeover funds

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th September 2020 After announcing their intention to form a special purpose vehicle to bid for SA Express, the employees of the State-owned airline have formed a public interest company called Fly SAX that will use the first equity crowdfunding platform in South Africa to raise funds. Uprise.Africa is a digital... 

Transnet, Public Enterprises note passing of board member

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th September 2020 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordon and Transnet board chairperson Popo Molefe  have expressed their sadness at the passing of Transnet director Advocate Oupa Motaung. He joined the board in May 2018. 

Newest Ctrack Transport and Freight Index shows welcome increase

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2020 The newest Ctrack Transport and Freight Index has shown an 8% increase between the quarter to August and the quarter to May ­– the first time in 13 months that the index has been back into the black. “It is almost a certainty that the broader transport sector will contribute positively to gross... 

Newest Ctrack Transport and Freight Index shows welcome increase

Emirates flights to King Shaka International to resume, says MEC

By: Yvonne Silaule     28th September 2020 Airline Emirates will soon resume flights to the King Shaka International Airport, in KwaZulu-Natal,  MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube said on September 28. Flights were previously suspended as a result of the Covid-19-related lockdown in South... 

National Treasury seeks conditions on SAA loan guarantees  

By: Bloomberg     28th September 2020 South Africa’s National Treasury wants strict conditions attached to any guarantees it provides for loans to the country’s embattled state airline, according to two people familiar with the matter. Treasury and Department of Public Enterprises officials met Saturday to discuss ways to restart... 

South African Airways Techical suspends services to parent over nonpayment

By: Reuters     28th September 2020 South African Airways' maintenance subsidiary has withdrawn services to its parent after the struggling airline failed to pay money owed to the unit, an SAA spokesman said on Saturday. Administrators took control of SAA in December after almost a decade of financial losses, and have been trying... 

Iata signs agreement with UN counter-terrorism agency

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the representative body of the global airline industry, and the United Nations (UN) Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) have signed, in a virtual ceremony, a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation in regard to the UN Countering... 

Airlink airline restarting regional operations in early October

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2020 South African private-sector airline Airlink has announced that it will start phasing back in its regional flight network, with effect from October 5. It also announced that it will soon institute a new regional route, to Mozambique. On October 5 the airline will restart operations between... 

Airlink airline restarting regional operations in early October
Photo by St Helena Tourist Authority
An Embraer E190 of Airlink

Significant step forward in clean aviation with hydrogen-powered flight in the UK

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2020 Anglo-US company ZeroAvia has successfully carried out the world’s first flight of a ‘commercial-grade’ aircraft powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The aircraft is a modified Piper Malibu, a single-engined six-seater (comprising, usually, one pilot and five passengers). The flight took place at... 

Significant step forward in clean aviation with hydrogen-powered flight in the UK
Photo by ZerpAvia
ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered Pipe Malibu takes off on its first flight. Note the specially-assigned and symbolic registration of G-HYZA

Maintenance work completed during lockdown 

By: Halima Frost     25th September 2020 A team of eight work-at-height specialists representing rope access company Skyriders has safely completed the cleaning and maintenance of two storage tanks at a petrochemicals producer, in Mpumalanga. The maintenance project, which was conducted during Level 5 of the Covid-19 lockdown period,... 

Maintenance work completed during lockdown
Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn discusses a recently completed maintenance project that required specialised rope access expertise. Camerawork: Halima Frost. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 21.08.2020

Iata calls for planning to start for distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) – the representative body of the global airline industry – has urged governments to start planning now for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, when they become available. This planning should include the air transport sector as well as other... 

‘Green’ ship breaking facility planned in South Africa 

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd September 2020 South Africa’s national development finance institution, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is backing a project to establish an environmentally-friendly ship-scrapping facility in the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone on the country’s west coast. The new facility, to be named... 

World airline body calls for pre-flight Covid-19 testing of air passengers 

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the global representative body of the airline industry, is calling for the testing of all air passengers for Covid-19 before they embark on their flights. It is urging “the development and deployment of rapid, accurate, affordable,... 

World airline body calls for pre-flight Covid-19 testing of air passengers
Photo by Iata
Alexandre de Juniac

Public funding for SAA undermines government credibility and endangers State finances

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd September 2020 The government’s undertaking to reprioritise State funding in order to finance State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) and so prevent its liquidation represented a defeat for the National Treasury (NT) and undermined the credibility of the government, Intellidex analyst... 

Airbus unveils zero-emissions airliner concept designs

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd September 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has released three concept designs for hydrogen-powered zero carbon-emission commercial aircraft. It was examining these designs in a programme it called ZEROe, which was the precursor to the group’s recently announced plan to develop and... 

Airbus unveils zero-emissions airliner concept designs
Photo by Airbus
An artist’s impression of the three ZEROe concept designs, with the BWB in the lead, the turbofan design in the rear and the turboprop design in front

Cape Town’s unfinished elevated freeway requires rethinking, says Amdec CEO

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st September 2020 Developer Amdec Group CEO James Wilson emphasises that it is imperative to reopen discussions around Cape Town’s unfinished elevated freeway. “Demolishing freeways in highly densified urban areas is a massive and costly undertaking.  It requires a clear vision, bold risk taking, and a re-ordering... 

Cape Town’s unfinished elevated freeway requires rethinking, says Amdec CEO
James Wilson
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