Welcome to the
Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA)

In Southern Africa, AASA leads and coordinates the airline industry position on airport, airspace and civil aviation issues.

AASA is the leading representative airline organisation within southern Africa, working together with leaders of the aviation industry and senior public and government officials on policy, regulatory, planning, operational, safety, security and financial matters affecting the overall profitability of the airlines and their continued sustainability. 

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) was establilshed in 1970 to represent the mutual interests of its Members. Membership is open to all airlines based in countries south of the equator, including the Indian Ocean Islands. 

There are currently 17 Airline Members. In addition, Associate Membership is open to airline partner organisations. There are currently 36 Associate Members, including infrastructure service providers, several oil companies, major aircraft manufacturers, engine manufacturers, ground handling companies, service providers, other industry associations and partners. 

AASA also leads and coordinates the airline industry position on airport, airspace and civil aviation issues, as well as consumer legislation, environmental and tourism matters, and provides media response to important industry issues. 

AASA’s responsibility includes the representation of SADC-based airlines on the SADC Civil Aviation Committee as the Airline Consultative Member. 

AASA is also a regular participant and contributor to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) initiatives in the region. With AASA’s focus concentrated on any issue impacting the airline business, the regular liaison and good working relationship with its Members and partners is highly valued.

 L        AASA News / 2022

In brief

 L   IT’S OFFICIAL: Face masks are gone, border checks and gatherings ban dropped in SA

June 22, 2022. Business Insider News. 

As of Wednesday, 22 June, South Africans no longer need to wear face masks. Limits on gatherings and border checks for Covid-19 – and the need to be vaccinated to enter South Africa – have also been dropped. Health Minister Joe Phaahla repealed the relevant regulations with a simple notice in the Government Gazette. Read more...

 L   Southern African airlines in Catch-22 as costs rise amid fragile demand

June 17, 2022. Engineering News. 

To all practical intents and purposes, the Covid-19 pandemic hit Southern Africa just over two years ago. The pandemic and the measures adopted by the region’s governments to try and counter it have had a severe impact on the Southern African airline industry (and indeed on all sectors associated with it, including airports and tourism). Although Covid-19 did not, on its own, drive any of the region’s airlines out of business, it proved the last straw for a number of carriers that were already in financial trouble before the disease struck.

Since the end of 2019 (the last pre- pandemic year), two of the region’s operators, Air Namibia and SA Express, have gone into liquidation. Four have undergone, or are still undergoing, business rescue (the local counterpart to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US): Air Mauritius, Comair, South African Airways (SAA) and Mango (the low-cost carrier subsidiary of SAA). Currently, State-owned Mango is not operating and the joint business rescue practitioner at Comair (operator of British Airways in South Africa and Kulula brands) has given notice to affected persons indicating that they “no longer believe that there is a reasonable prospect that the company can be rescued.” Read more...

Financially, the pandemic-driven disruption to normal airline operations and business put carriers under immense pressure. All airlines, without exception, were adversely impacted by the pandemic. AASA, in conjunction with other airline representative associations, appealed to the SADC governments to provide financial relief to all airlines, regardless of ownership, by way of cash injection or through other instruments such as the waiver or reduction of statutory taxes, levies and charges. It is regrettable that most governments in the region have not seen their way to support an industry that is intrinsic to the economic health and sustainability of every modern and aspiring country. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

 L   [INTERVIEW] Professionalism and access to contacts are essential to overcoming aviation challenges – Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO
June 6, 2022. Martin Chemhere for Nomad Africa magazine. 

Ever-evolving as an organisation, to meet the demands of the SADC markets, and the African and international aviation spaces, the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) appointed Zimbabwean-born Aaron Munetsi as its new CEO (last year). The leading African aviation veteran, in this exclusive interview with Editor, Martin Chemhere, has more insights on what he brings and intends to do with advancing the objectives of the regional organisation.  

Nomad Africa: Explain some of the challenges of the South African / African aviation industry that you hope to tackle?

Aaron Munetsi: I think that the overall challenge that the continent is struggling with is implementing open skies. The African Union’s 2018 adoption of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) signaled a renewed commitment to open up Africa’s skies to African airlines. To date, 35 countries have signed up but requires fresh impetus. Once SAATM’s implementation gains momentum the broad economic benefits of open skies will become apparent...Read the full interview here...

 L   Unfair to penalise airlines for not providing cheap tickets, says aviation body
June 5, 2022. Bekezela Phakathi for Business Day. 

Carriers are subject to the economic law of supply and demand, like all other businesses.

A local aviation industry body (AASA), which represents all big carriers in SA and the region, says it would be unreasonable and unfair for the competition authority to penalise airlines for failing to provide cheap tickets.

The rules of supply and demand, as well as the checks and balances to promote fair competition apply to all SA airlines, just as they do to any other local business. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

 L   Comair suspension: Airlines Association says members not deliberately hiking prices
June 3, 2022. ENCA. 

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) says its Members are not deliberately hiking ticket prices in the wake of the Comair grounding.    
    On Wednesday, the Competition Commission met airlines to urge them not to inflate prices. Comair's flight suspension left a 40% gap in the country's aviation capacity.
    The Association's CEO, Aaron Munetsi, explains that tickets bought closer to the departure date arem ore costly than those purchased well in advance. Read more...


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Kleinmond, Hermanus,
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13 to 16 October 2022

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AGA Assistance

Office +27 (0)11 609 0050 
Fax 086 511 2332 
Email aasa@aasa.za.net

   L      Global News / 2022

In brief 

  L  Global airlines under pressure as jet fuel price soars
February 2, 2022. Gulf Times.

The rising price of jet fuel, which recently reached its highest point in well over five years, at almost $103/barrel, has become yet another challenge for the global aviation industry, which is badly hit because of Covid-19. 

Fuel is a major cost component of operating an airline, often accounting for 20-30% of operating costs, according to OAG, a UK-based global travel data provider. So, a rise in fuel costs of this scale (70% up on a year ago) means airlines have to reduce costs elsewhere or increase fares, OAG said and noted, “In the current operating environment neither is easy.”
    IATA estimates that jet fuel will average $102.2/barrel this year. This, it said will have a $65bn impact on the airline industry’s 2022 fuel bill. Fuel is such a large cost for airlines that it is the focus of intense efforts across the industry to find efficiency improvements. Read more...

       L  Africa News / 2022

In brief 

  L  African airlines will need to recruit 63,000 new workers, as the continent's aviation industry is set to hit $400 billion valuation by 2040
May 25, 2022. Business Insider Africa

  • Africa's commercial aviation market is projected to hit a valuation of $400 billion by 2040.
  • Growth will be driven by factors such as increased trade, more travel agreements and a considerable increase in the region's middle class.
  • To meet the expected increase in air travel demand, African airlines will have to significantly increase their fleet size and workforce. 

African airlines will need to recruit some 63,000 new professionals (including pilots, technicians and cabin crew members) over the next twenty years in order to ensure optimal service delivery. 
    This is one of the key growth projections that were made about the continent's commercial aviation industry by Boeing, as contained in its recently released Commercial Market Outlook. Read more...

      L  Southern Africa News / 2022 

In brief

  L  Remove PCR test requirement for fully vaccinated inbound travellers - TBCSA 
February 16, 2022. BizCommunity.com

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has called on government to remove PCR test requirement for fully vaccinated inbound travellers. Several countries with a strong tourism value proposition have already done so, says Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of TBCSA.
    "Further delays in following suit quickly are detrimental to the country positioning itself as travel-ready and attractive. We have a very small window of opportunity as tourism destinations around the world like Australia reopen and others like the United Kingdom remove the negative PCR testing requirement for all inbound travellers," says Tshivhengwa. Read more...

  L       IATA News 2022 

In brief 

  L  April 2022 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Published June 9, 2022. IATA Economic Reports.

Passenger traffic recovery continues
Africa's passenger numbers up 116.2% YOY growth

African airlines’ traffic rose 116.2% in April 2022 versus a year ago, an acceleration over the 93.3% year-over-year increase recorded in March 2022. April 2022 capacity was up 65.7% and load factor climbed 15.7 percentage points to 67.3%. Globally, demand for air travel in April 2022 was up 78.7% compared to April 2021...Read more...  

  L  April 2022 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis 
Published June 8, 2022.

Air cargo volumes fall
African airlines cargo volumes decrease

African airlines saw cargo volumes decrease by 6.3% in April 2022 compared to April 2021. This was significantly slower than the growth recorded the previous month (3.1%). Capacity was 1.5% below April 2021 levels. Read more... 

  L       Environment News 2022

In brief 

  L  ROUTES From Take Off to Touch Down: Video and Report 
January 18, 2022. 

The ROUTES Partnership has released a final overview report the ROUTES Partnership: From Take Off to Touch Down and summary video  highlighting its main achievements across six years of implementation. 

  L       ICAO News / 2022

In brief 

       ICAO COVID-19 Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART)   

The work of ICAO’s CART is aimed at providing practical, aligned guidance to governments and industry operators to restart the international air transport sector and recover from the impacts of C-19 on a coordinated global basis. 

The CART’s work on its Recovery Report and the accompanying ‘Take-Off’ guidance for international aviation, has kept the health, safety, and security of the travelling public of paramount concern throughout. 
    The CART recommendations and guidelines are regularly reviewed and updated based on the latest medical and operational advice, and are intended to harmonize, not replace, the C-19 recovery roadmaps currently established by States, Regions, or industry groups. 
    The CART Take-off Guidance for air travel through the C-19 health crisis includes a section on Public Health Risk Mitigation Measures, in addition to four operational modules relating to Airport GuidelinesAircraft GuidelinesCrew Guidelines; and Cargo Guidelines
    As a “living document”, CART guidance can only be of a transient nature. Following the emergence of virus variants, progress in vaccine rollouts and tools for combating C-19, the work of CART has targeted issues related to testing and vaccination of passengers as part of a State’s multilayer risk management strategy.