Events    |    AASA AGA 2019    |    Press & Media

Where: LUX* Saint Gilles Hotel, Saint Gilles Les Bains, Reunion
When: 10 to 13 October 2019


Press & Media 

Don't copy US, Europe - give SA customers what they want, say airline CEOs 
October 25, 2019. Carin Smith for 
Instead of trying to make African airlines sustainable by trying to copy what was done in Europe and the US in the past to liberate their airspace, it might be time to rather focus on what consumers actually want.
    This is according to Wrenelle Stander, joint CEO of Comair, who was speaking at the annual general meeting of the Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA) being hosted by Air Austral on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.  "Consumers want lower prices and greater connectivity and we should provide a model which provides that to them. Airlines cannot operate in a vacuum...cooperation is also needed between airport providers and airlines, especially as we move forward on customer elements like self-service," she said. Read the original article here...

Battle for talent as over-40s dominate aviation industry - expert 
October 18, 2019. Carin Smith for 
Significant jobs growth is forecast in the aviation industry, but the challenge will be finding and nurturing new talent, Vees Lochan, chief operating officer of the Airline Association of Southern Africa said on Friday.
     "Aviation is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. By 2037 the population of Africa will increase by the size of the present population of China," he said at the annual general meeting of the Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA) hosted by Air Austral in Reunion.
    The 2019 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, released earlier this year, estimates that over the next 20 years the aviation industry in Africa could need 29 000 new pilots, 27 000 new technicians and 30 000 new cabin crew.
    But, said Lochan, the industry currently needs a new influx of talent. "The aviation industry is dominated by a generation of individuals over the age of 40," he said. Read the original article here...

African airlines have allowed foreign firms to 'eat their lunch' – acting SAA CEO 
October 16, 2019. Carin Smith for 

African airlines allowed foreign companies to "eat their lunch", according to Zuks Ramasia, the acting CEO of flag carrier SAA. 
    "The most important thing is for us as Africans to open up and give each other the freedom to do intra-Africa travel. Instead, we allowed the international carriers to come in and be more active in our region," she said last week at the annual general meeting of the Airline Association of Southern Africa hosted by Air Austral in Reunion.  Read the original article here...

Government to scrap the controversial birth certificate regulation 
October 15, 2019. Caxton Central for Vryheid Herald. 

The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has confirmed that the government is set to abolish the unabridged birth certificate travel rules. 
    Motsoaledi confirmed this change during an interview with Moneyweb Radio and said that unabridged birth certificates will no longer be required for overseas tourists travelling to South Africa with children. Read the original article here...

Unabridged birth certificate requirement expected to be completely scrapped for foreigners - as soon as this week 
October 14, 2019. Carin Smith for 

The Airline Association of Southern Africa has been advised that President Cyril Ramaphosa recently instructed the Department of Home Affairs to completely rescind the controversial unabridged birth certificate requirement for foreign minors travelling with foreigners to South Africa.

    "The South African government has acknowledged the negative impact of visa regulations - including the unabridged birth certificate requirement - on tourism," said AASA CEO Chris Zweigenthal at the organisation’s annual general meeting being hosted by Air Austral in Reunion.  Read the original article here...

AASA CEO ASATV interview: Challenges facing African airlines 
October 14, 2019. Peter Ndoro interviews Chris Zweigenthal for Aerospace Africa TV.

'It seems I am always on standby' – acting SAA chief 
October 12, 2019. Carin Smith for 
It has been a tough period for airlines in southern Africa and the rest of the continent, acting SAA CEO Zuks Ramasia said on Friday. 
    She was one of the opening speakers at the annual general meeting of the Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA) hosted by Air Austral on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion. She was appointed as the flag carrier's interim head in June after Vuyani Jarana stepped down. Read the original article here...

Low-cost airlines can boost SA economy - aviation official
October 11, 2019. 
Low-cost airlines can be a booster for SA's economy, according to Airline Association of Southern Africa CEO Chris Zweigenthal.
    Speaking at the organisation’s annual general meeting, hosted by Air Austral in Reunion on Friday, Zweigenthal said low-cost airlines already occupy about 65.4% of South Africa’s domestic market - and that number is growing. Read the original article here...

New AASA Chair and Deputy Chair elected at 49th AGA​ 

October 12, 2019. AASA news. 

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) would like to congratulate Zuks Ramasia, South African Airways (SAA) Acting CE0 and AASA Deputy Chair, and Wrenelle Stander, Comair Limited Joint CEO and AASA Executive Committee member on their election as Chair and Deputy Chair, respectively, of AASA for 2019/2020. 

Boeing crash raises serious questions on certification in Africa - aviation official​ 
October 11, 2019. Carin Smith for 

The tragic loss of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX this March raised serious questions – including about certification in Africa, Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airline Association of Southern Africa said on Friday. 
    "Historically, Africa’s safety record was dire, but remarkable progress was made over the past decade and it should no longer hold us back," he said at AASA’s annual general meeting hosted by Air Austral in Reunion. Read the original article here...  

Sustainability, Economic Growth, Focal Topics at 49th AASA AGA
October 9, 2019. Linden Birns for AASA news. 

Impediments to the success of African carriers and the economies they support will be the focus of discussion at the Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s (AASA) forthcoming 49th Annual General Assembly.

    Over 200 delegates are expected to attend the assembly, to be hosted by Air Austral in Reunion, from 10-13 October 2019. They represent airlines, governments, regulators, airports, airspace management services, ground handlers and various service providers, financiers as well as aircraft and engine manufacturers and allied sectors.

    “Airlines provide a safe and reliable transport system that seeks to be efficient, affordable, environmentally responsible and which adds value to the economies and societies it serves. Notwithstanding the vital contribution our sector already makes, there is untapped potential to create more jobs and additional GDP. For example, another 40,000 jobs and USD 515 million in additional GDP* would be created if just three of the countries in our region – Angola, Namibia and South Africa – reformed regulations and placed air connectivity at the nexus of their economic growth and development strategies,” explains AASA’s CEO, Chris Zweigenthal.

      “For Reunion, air transport fulfils two fundamental roles, providing access and enhancing its attractiveness as a tourism and trade destination and providing the island with essential links to the rest of the world. More than 2.4 million passengers travelled to and from the island in 2018 – nearly three times more people than its entire population. As Reunion’s airline, a core element of Air Austral’s strategy is to constantly improve connectivity with the island,” explains Air Austral Chairman and CEO, Marie Joseph Malé. 
     “As the SADC regional industry association, we are concerned with the sustainability of the Southern African and Indian Ocean island airlines and air transport industry. Hence the assembly’s theme; ‘What’s Stopping Us?’ Our assembly is a forum for stakeholders in governments and industry to jointly examine and robustly engage on the issues that impact the success of African airlines,” he adds.

Media contact:  Linden Birns, Plane Talking, PR Advisor for AASA.