L AASA news / 2021
- January 5
- SA tourism sector cautiously hopeful as borders set to reopen
- [PANEL DISCUSSION] INSOL Virtual: Shelter in Place? The Effects of Lockdown and Beyond on the Travel and Tourism Industry
- AASA/TBCSA call for opening up of international borders
- [INTERVIEW] Collaboration: strength in numbers with Chris Zweigenthal
- Airline hubs in the post-COVID-19 world
L AASA PRESS RELEASE/COVID-19
Johannesburg. The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), renewed its call for governments across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to accelerate vaccination programmes and to provide urgent financial relief to the entire air travel and tourism sector - regardless of ownership - without which economic recovery and future growth will be set back by years.
Airlines provide all-important social and economic connections throughout our region and around the world, but COVID-19, associated travel restrictions, the accompanying economic crisis and shifts in the way people are working, have been a devastating quadruple whammy for the entire airline industry, including domestic markets, of which South Africa’s is the largest in Africa.
Second waves of infections, the emergence of a new variant identified in South Africa and the very slow pace of the vaccination roll-out in the region have colluded to suppress confidence in the travel market. It has also meant that many foreign airlines are unable to carry passengers to and from our markets, including those who would connect with domestic flights. The effect has been to starve our domestic carriers of their traditional feeder business.
Chris Zweigenthal, AASA CEO
“At the same time, airlines still have to cover their fixed costs for items like aircraft financing, insurance, maintenance, office premises, staff salaries, recurrent training, IT systems, etc. No airlines are immune,” he added.
With these factors in mind, AASA is urging governments to provide desperately-needed financial support to airlines and other service providers in the air transport value chain on an ownership-agnostic basis, as has happened in most other regions around the world.
“While cash would be nice, the fiscal crunch that many of the region’s economies face is not lost on us, but governments have other levers at their disposal to assist the sector, such as exemptions on levies and statutory charges, deferring taxes, reducing airlines’ administrative burden and streamlining bureaucracy. Similarly, they should strengthen and broaden initiatives such as South Africa’s Tourism support fund which is inadequate given our sector’s significant social and economic contribution.
Because economic recovery is dependent on air transport connecting the region with its foreign trade and tourism markets, AASA is supporting efforts to enable governments in the region to replace arbitrary travel bans with standardised COVID-19 tests and to introduce secure tools for the validation of traveller’s test and vaccination status. This will enable Southern African and foreign travellers to safely fly to their desired destinations under the UN's WHO and ICAO jointly recommended and proven health and safety protocols that mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission by air travel.
“Standardisation is vital. It would be disastrous if every government developed its own set of standards and requirements. That would create confusion, unnecessary hassle and delay not only the recovery of air travel and tourism, but economies at large. That’s because air travel is intrinsic to the functioning of any modern and dynamic economy,” explained Zweigenthal. Download the press release [media outlets]...
Global news / 2021
- , 2021. Airlines still avoid SA – but three majors could be flying South Africans before May
- , 2021. Full-Service Airline Market Size, Key Company Profiles, Types, Applications and Forecast To 2027
L September 8, 2020. Globe Newswire.
The Analysis of the Global Airline IT Market, Forecast to 2025 report has been published by ResearchAndMarkets.com.
Airlines are facing an ever-evolving digital landscape and an increase in expectations from an always-connected passenger. Cloud computing, mobile solutions, machine learning (ML), Blockchain, etc. are disrupting numerous traditional processes across industries. Airlines have lagged behind other industries in embracing these digital enablers, but many have begun their digital transformation (DT) journey that will fundamentally change the traditional airline information technology (IT) strategies.
The major challenge for airlines is their dependence on legacy systems for their critical IT needs. Solution providers are developing digital solutions that will enable airlines to overcome this challenge and help them grow in their DT endeavors. Read more...
The CART Take-off guidance includes a section on Public Health Risk Mitigation Measures, in addition to four operational modules relating to Airport guidelines; Aircraft guidelines; Crew guidelines; and Cargo guidelines. It also includes recommendations for countries to evaluate passenger medical testing solutions using the new ICAO Manual on Testing and Cross-border Risk Management Measures.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global air transport is without precedent. Airports have seen a -28.4% decline in global passenger traffic volumes for the first quarter of 2020, equivalent to a reduction of 612 mn passengers. For airlines, the revenue passenger kilometres flown (RPKs) worldwide were down by 94% on the previous year. International RPKs were down 98%, as the passenger side of the industry was virtually grounded.
ICAO estimates that, by the end of 2020, the COVID-19 impact on scheduled international passenger traffic could reach reductions of up to 71 per cent of seat capacity and up to 1.5 billion passengers globally. Read more...
L African Airlines are finding ways to restart travel amid slow vaccine rollouts
April 19, 2021. Mazuba Kapambwe, CN Traveller.
Airlines are getting creative when it comes to rebuilding flier confidence
Vaccine rollouts are well underway, with some countries already nearing benchmarks for so-called herd immunity and starting to reopen to travelers. Other regions of the world, however, have seen a more sluggish inoculation effort. But in those areas, travel providers such as airlines are coming up with other solutions to safely restart travel.
Across Africa, for instance, airlines are finding innovative ways to build flier confidence. The continent's air traffic decreased by 89 % in 2020 according to the IATA, but nascent signs of a travel rebound are appearing.
African airlines have been instrumental in the effort to open borders as they seek to get passengers back into the air. Some national carriers like Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air, and Kenya Airways are aiming to bring fliers back by testing a new digital COVID-19 passport. Called Trusted Travel Pass, the passport was developed by the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which is under the African Union, and will allow travelers to authenticate test results prior to departure. Read more...
L IATA news / 2021
Though international markets remained weak in March, Africa was the best performing region for the sixth consecutive month since travel restrinctions are less strict and COVID-19 cases are stable in the region. Read more...
Growth in Africa’s int’l CTKs eased but is still robust, posting the fastest int’l CTK growth of all regions in March (up a robust +24.6% vs. pre-crisis March 2019). That being said, their performance was weaker compared with an exceptionally strong February, when the growth was fueled by unprecedented 107% expansion on Africa-Asia trade lanes. Despite the softer outcome this month, African airlines’ CTKs remain close to record-high levels. Read more...
Southern Africa news / 2021
- May 11, 2021. Vaccinating tourism workers could be much-needed boost to economy
- April 9, 2021. Mbalula urges SA Airlines to begin using IATA's Mobile Travel Pass
- January 11, 2021. Renewed calls for government to save SA’s crippled tourism sector
L Collaboration needed to sustain SA aviation industry, say industry leaders
April 9, 2021. Carin Smith, Fin24.com.
- A panel of aviation leaders gave their views on the future of aviation beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The discussion was part of a national aviation conference hosted by SACAA
- Now is not the time to become self-centred but rather to work together, the panel members agreed.
Now is not the time for role players in South Africa's aviation industry to be self-centred, but to collaborate to make the best decisions to ensure sustainability for all going forward, according to Dr SandileMalinga, COO of ATNS. Read more...
L Environment news / 2021
L ROUTES training links for AASA
March 27, 2021.
To support the aviation sector, ROUTES has developed a range of training tools designed to enable companies to deliver training to their staff on combatting wildlife trafficking and can be used or adapted free of charge.
L Let's #EndWildlifeCrime
October 15, 2020. IATAtv.
We need to protect wildlife for generations to come
IATA is working with the aviation industry to support the work of enforcement agencies in combating the illegal trade in wildlife. The aviation sector is proud to work with partners including ROUTES Partnership and United for Wildlife to combat illegal wildlife trafficking around the world. AASA supports the industry's initiatives to stop wildlife crime.