AASA news / 2020

  L  IATA, AASA and BARSA call on South Africa’s Government for financial relief to Aviation  
May 27, 2020. IATA press release

Johannesburg, South Africa - The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) and the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (BARSA) are calling on the South African government to provide specific financial relief to the aviation sector to address the severe impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
    IATA estimates that revenues generated by airlines in the South African market will fall by $3 billion (about ZAR 55bn) in 2020, 56% below 2019 levels. That puts at risk 252,100 South African jobs and $5.1billion (about ZAR 93bn) of South Africa’s GDP, which is generated by aviation directly and air transport-dependent tourism.

During these extraordinary times, as the South African government announces the relaxation of lockdown from level 4 to level 3, it is important to ensure that aviation is well positioned to be able to provide air services to support business and the traveling public as the economy continues to open up. The concessions and support requested becomes even more critical at the time of the re-start of aviation where there will be pressure on depleted cash reserves to fund operations. Chris Zweigenthal, AASA CEO

South African authorities have provided support for air transport by temporarily suspending airport slot use rules and extending the validity of personnel licenses and certifications, which have been welcomed by the air transport industry. However, urgent financial support from the government is needed now to keep the sector alive and ensure that its air transport system emerges fit and capable of fulfilling a crucial role as a primary economic enabler and job creator. Read the original article... or download the press release [.pdf]

  L  SA’s aviation sector fastens its seat belt  
May 10, 2020. Nick Wilson for Business Times.

If a successful airline like Comair needs help, they all do, and they want the government to show them the money.

JSE-listed Comair’s decision last week to go into business rescue sent shockwaves through the aviation industry because for more than 70 years it consistently delivered annual profits. 
    The prevailing view in aviation circles is if this can happen to Comair, which is solvent, it can happen to anyone.
  Though Comair is not the first SA airline to enter business rescue — state-owned SAA went this route in December 2019 — it is the first high-profile victim of Covid-19 in the industry. Read the original article...

  L  Air transport, tourism bodies launch an appeal for relief support to save jobs  
May 6, 2020. Amina Accram for SABC news.

The aviation industry is facing financial difficulties because of COVID-19. 
Five international air transport and tourism bodies launched an appeal to international financial institutions and donors to support Africa’s travel and tourism sector, which employs 24.6 million people. 
    The sector contributes 169 billion dollars to Africa’s economy combined. The request was made by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA). They have asked the international institutions for $10 billion in relief to support the Travel & Tourism industry. Read the original article...

  L  [WATCH] IATA, UNWTO, WTTC, AFRAA & AASA African airlines Joint Appeal  
May 6, 2020. IATA video release.

AfricanJointAppeal from Campaign works on Vimeo.

Watch the IATA video appeal, published in conjuction with the press release, appealing to the international community to support the African travel and tourism sector.
   "AASA was pleased to join the initiative by several international organisations calling for support from international financial institutions, country development partners and international donors to support Africa’s travel and tourism sector during these extraordinary times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    During this time, it is important to raise the concerns of our industry and seek the assistance necessary to ensure that we emerge from this pandemic able to re-start our industry and ramp up to meet customer demand in what will remain a challenging environment for many months, possibly years." said Chris Zweigenthal, 

  L  Urgent Appeal to International Community to Support African Travel and Tourism Sector  
May 6, 2020. IATA press release.

Geneva - Five international air transport and tourism bodies have launched an appeal to international financial institutions, country development partners and international donors to support Africa’s Travel and Tourism sector which employs some 24.6 million people on the African continent. Without urgent funding, the COVID-19 crisis could see a collapse of the sector in Africa, taking with it millions of jobs. The sector contributes $169 billion to Africa’s economy combined, representing 7.1% of the continent’s GDP. 

The impact of COVID-19 in Africa continues to be brutal. Air travel and tourism have essentially shut down. Now, more than ever, international countries need to come together to help those communities that are most vulnerable. The survival of our industry and its allied sectors has serious ramifications for Africa’s entire air transport system. Chris Zweigenthal, AASA CEO

The request is being made by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA). 
    These organisations are jointly calling on international financial institutions, country development partners and international donors to support the African Travel and Tourism sector through these tough times by providing:

  • $10 billion in relief to support the Travel and Tourism industry and help protect the livelihoods of those it supports directly and indirectly;
  • Access to as much grant-type financing and cash flow assistance as possible to inject liquidity and provide targeted support to severely impacted countries;
  • Financial measures that can help minimize disruptions to much-needed credit and liquidity for businesses. This includes the deferral of existing financial obligations...Download the full press release...

AASA news / 2020

  L  [OPINION] Come fly with me - but please keep your distance      
May 27, 2020. Stephan Lombard, CapeTalk radio.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced that the whole country will move to Level 3 of lockdown on June 1st. This means that airlines may resume operations. Sort of. Whether they will, remains to be seen. The aviation industry is eagerly awaiting details on just how they are to return to the skies. 
    South Africa’s own Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) expects domestic travel to only rebound to 60% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year...Read the original article...

Do we wait for the economy to restart and hope flying follows suit? Or, do we support an ailing industry with the belief that it is the egg to the economic chicken? Stephan Lombard, CapeTalk

  L  [WATCH] The Aviation Industry In Crisis | Carte Blanche | M-Net      
May 24, 2020. Cart Blanche, MNet.

With fleets of aeroplanes grounded; millions of passengers sitting at home and billions lost in revenue – the global aviation industry is in a freefall. As most countries around the world continue to protect their citizens from the spread of the coronavirus by keeping their borders closed and limiting international travel, experts predict that the repercussions for airlines will be devastating. The industry is in desperate need of financial relief but can it survive the impact?
     Macfarlane Moleli interviews Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of AASA, about the South African airline industrycrisis.

  [WATCH] How will the Southern African airline industry emerge from the COVID-19 crisis?      
May 12, 2020. CNBC Africa News.

The global aviation industry is experiencing devastating financial losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is resulting in job losses, airline restructuring and the complete dismantling of airline businesses. Here in South Africa we have been served with our fair share of airline troubles as this week Comair entered into voluntary business rescue and SAA is looking at developing a new national carrier.
    Joining CNBC Africa to unpack the latest on Southern Africa’s airline industry and national carrier South African Airways is Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA).

  L  [WATCH] Comair goes into business rescue      
May 8, 2020. SABC News.

Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of AASA, gives an interview to SABC News about the airline industry in crisis and efforts to get us flying again.

  L  [WATCH] Keeping Africa connected - helping the continent thrive      
May 8, 2020. IATAtv.

Africa is both vast and beautiful. After this crisis, connecting the continent will help it rebuild, and thrive. #SupportAviation

  L    SA airline industry in danger of collapse, no sign of state aid  
May 2, 2020. Carin Smith, Fin24.

South African airlines have a vital role to play in enabling the economy to try and rise out of the coronavirus induced recession. Yet, the country's airline industry itself is in danger of collapse due to flight bans since the start of the lockdown on 27 March, leading to zero revenues.
    "We recognise that the primary objective is to prevent the virus from spreading, but the longer the airline industry is unable to fly, the more severe the risk becomes of loss of jobs and loss of airlines," warns Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA). 
    "We believe the airline industry can provide very safe and reliable transport to get the economy going around the country and when borders open, we can get regional and international travel back on track." 
    AASA will continue to work with all stakeholders in order to make this possible. Read the original article...

Global news / 2020

  L  WTTC unveils health and safety protocols to re-establish confidence in travel  
May 14, 2020. Travel Weekly, Australia.

A range of world-wide measures to restart travel and tourism with confidence have been unveiled by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The new set of guidelines, coined the ‘Safe Travels’ protocols, have been crafted to rebuild confidence among consumers, and provide consistency for the full suite of industries that make up the travel and tourism sector, on the new approach to health and hygiene in the post-COVID-19 world.

    It comes in a bid by the private sector’s peak tourism body to create an overarching industry health policy, following WHO and CDC guidelines, to avoid the emergence of multiple standards, a scenario that would “only delay the sector’s recovery”. Read the original article...

  L  IATA calls for passenger face covering and crew masks - opposes onboard social distancing  
May 5, 2020. IATA news.

Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) supports the wearing of face coverings for passengers and masks for crew while on board aircraft as a critical part of a layered approach to biosecurity to be implemented temporarily when people return to traveling by air. IATA does not support mandating social distancing measures that would leave ‘middle seats’ empty.   
    Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board aircraft is low. Mask-wearing by passengers and crew will reduce the already low risk, while avoiding the dramatic cost increases to air travel that onboard social distancing measures would bring.. Read the original article...

  L  Coronavirus: Air passengers told to wear face masks  
May 4, 2020. Justin Harper and Peter Hoskins for BBC news.

Some major airlines are now requiring passengers to wear face masks on flights to limit the spread of viruses.

Many big US airlines are bringing in new health and safety policies for both passengers and cabin crew this week.
    Other carriers around the world are also making mask wearing mandatory for when they restart flights.
    While around 90% of international flights have been cancelled, airlines hope to gradually resume air travel starting this month.. Read the original article...

  L  Slow Recovery Needs Confidence Boosting Measures  
April 21, 2020. IATA news.

Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called for governments to work with the industry on confidence-boosting measures in the face of an anticipated slow recovery in demand for air travel.
    “Passenger confidence will suffer a double whammy even after the pandemic is contained—hit by personal economic concerns in the face of a looming recession on top of lingering concerns about the safety of travel. Governments and industry must be quick and coordinated with confidence-boosting measures,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. Read the original article...

Africa news / 2020

  L  Covid-19 and the future of African airlines: Kenya Airways and Airlink CEOs share their views 
April 27, 2020. Jaco Maritz for How We Made it in Africa news.

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions have brought much of the global airline industry to a standstill. To find out how the pandemic is currently impacting African airlines and what the industry could look like after the crisis, London-based corporate network Invest Africa recently hosted a webinar that brought together several airline CEOs. Here is what we learnt from the discussion.

Many airlines are facing a cash crunch
The precarious financial circumstances in which some African airlines find themselves was aptly highlighted when Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka apologised for joining the webinar late because he was locked in a call with the airline’s bankers. “The challenge that we are facing is…how do we conserve cash in the short run, and then how do we remain sustainable in the long run,” he said...Read the original article...

  L  AU study: COVID-19 could cost Africa $500bn, damage tourism, aviation sectors 
April 20, 2020. Kingsley Ighobor for Vanguard.

Up to 20 million jobs in the formal and informal sectors in Africa could be lost because of COVID-19, according to a new study by the African Union. 
    Released in early April, the study found that foreign direct investment (FDI), tourism receipts and remittance flows will also suffer significant declines as the continent tackles the pandemic. Titled The Impact of Coronavirus on the African Economy, the study modelled two scenarios, each with equal chance of being realized. Under scenario one (realistic), the pandemic will be contained within five months, inflicting minimal damage; under scenario two, the pandemic will last for eight months and countries will be severely affected...Read the original article...

  L  IATA estimates passenger revenue to drop by $314 bn in 2020 
April 15, 2020. Logistics Update Africa.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released updated analysis showing that the Covid-19 crisis will see airline passenger revenues drop by $314 billion in 2020, a 55% decline compared to 2019. On March 24, IATA estimated $252 billion in lost revenues (-44% vs. 2019) in a scenario with severe travel restrictions lasting three months...Read the original article...

  L  African carriers record 6.2 per cent freight spike amid global slump 
April 14, 2020. Wole Oyebade for the Guardian (Nigeria).

IATA insists on free movement of life-saving cargoes
Amid the global disruption in air movement, African airlines have sustained a positive air cargo volume and an increase in demand ahead of other regions. 
    The estimate for the month of February – the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in African countries – showed that African carriers posted the fastest growth of any region for the 12th consecutive month, with an increase in demand of 6.2% compared to the same period a year earlier. 
    Meanwhile, airline operators have urged governments to sustain a free movement network of cargoes across the global, given that medical supplies and other consumables are critical to survival and recovery... Read the original article...

Southern Africa news / 2020

  L  Social distancing makes flying exorbitant 
May 12, 2020. Edgar Brundt for New Era. 

Air Namibia, as a member of IATA, does not support social distancing protocols on its aircraft as this would leave its ‘middle seats’ empty and result in the cost of air-tickets becoming costly.  
    Social distancing on aircraft is in line with IATA’s stance, which points out that with fewer seats to sell, unit costs on aircraft would go up dramatically, by as much as 54% depending on the region, just to cover the cost of flying. Read the original article...

  L  Air Namibia resumes domestic flights 
May 11, 2020.  Boitumelo Masihleho for Tourism Update. 

Air Namibia resumed domestic flights last week, as President Geingob announced a four-stage strategy for Namibia to exit its COVID-19 lockdown.  
    Corporate Communications Officer for External Relations at Air Namibia, Twaku Kayofa, told Tourism Update that the national carrier was operating all seven of its domestic routes and that there was no social distancing on aircraft.  
    “According to IATA, of which Air Namibia is a proud member, evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board the aircraft is low,” said Kayofa. Read the original article...

  L  SA’s entire aviation value chain on brink of collapse 
May 7, 2020. Bekezela Phakathi for Business Day.

SA’s lockdown, which is set to lead to the demise of several airlines, could have devastating consequences for downstream industries such as equipment manufacturers, airport and aerodrome operators, flight schools, aviation insurance, financing, and aircraft maintenance companies.
  The airline support industries contribute close to R50bn to GDP, employing 23,000 people whose jobs are all on the line, industry stakeholders say. Read the original article...

  L  Aviation relief for African Airlines critical as COVID-19 impacts deepen 
April 23, 2020. IATA news.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) renewed its call for government relief measures as the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in Africa deepen:

  • The region’s airlines could lose $6 billion of passenger revenue compared to 2019. That is $2billion more than was expected at the beginning of the month. 
  • Job losses in aviation and related industries could grow to 3.1 million. That is half of the region’s 6.2 million aviation-related employment. Previous estimate was 2 million. 
  • Full-year 2020 traffic is expected to plummet by 51% compared to 2019. Previous estimate was a fall of 32%. 
  • GDP supported by aviation in the region could fall by $28 billion from $56 billion. Previous estimate was $17.8 billion.

These estimates are based on a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, with a gradual lifting of restrictions in domestic markets, followed by regional and intercontinental. Read the original article...

Southern Africa news 2020

  L  Travel Restrictions in Southern Africa 
April / May, 2020. 

Angola. Non-Angolans who have recently visited China, France, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Portugal or Spain are not permitted entry into Angola. Angolan citizens and residents arriving from those countries are quarantined.

Botswana. Passengers arriving from Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA or United Kingdom are not allowed to enter Botswana with the exception of Botswana citizens or residents. They are quarantined for 14 days upon their arrival.

Mauritius. Only Mauritian citizens and residents may transit or enter Mauritius, but are quarantined upon arrival.

Mozambique. The Mozambiquan Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas. 

Namibia. Namibia’s borders are closed until 23 April 2020.

Reunion Island. Restrictions to authorised scheduled and charter flights only.

Seychelles. Seychelles International Airport is closed to all international flights. This excludes emergency and other approved flights. Passengers are prohibited from entering Seychelles.

South Africa. All flights to, from and within South Africa are suspended except for authorised cargo and repatriation flights, emergency flights, aircraft needing refuelling or any humanitarian aid flights. All returning South African citizens or permanent residents entering the country will be quarantined. Read the travel restrictions for all SADC countries...

IATA news 2020

  L  March 2020 Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Air passenger demand and capacity evaporate amid COVID-19
Africa and International demand plummets as borders close

For airlines in Africa, international RPKs contracted by 42.8% in annual terms in March. Unsurprisingly, Africa/Asia was the worst performing market for the region, with volumes down around 65% year-on-year as the flow of investment and business from China came to an abrupt halt. Read more...  

  L  March 2020 Air Freight Market Analysis  
Air cargo plunges in March as COVID-19 spreads globally
African airlines less affected by disruptions in March

Year-on-year growth in international CTKs of African airlines in March fell by 1.2% following the positive annual outcomes in January and February. The Africa/Asia market was the only trade lane which continued to post growth in March, with volumes up almost 10% year-on-year. Read more...

  L  IATA Postpones 2020 AGM 
April 3, 2020. IATA news. 

Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the postponement of the 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit. The event had been scheduled to take place on 22-23 June in Amsterdam.

The 76th IATA AGM and World Air Transport Summit will be held when it is both safe and practicable to do so. IATA anticipates that will be in the late third or early fourth quarter of 2020. An announcement will be made when a date is confirmed. 
    “Our members are in the deepest crisis the air transport industry has ever faced...” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.  Read the original article...

Environment news 2020

  L  Destination: green airline bailouts 
May 7, 2020. Environment Journal.

Aviation has been one of the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus lockdowns. Brian O’Callaghan and Cameron Hepburn from the University of Oxford discuss why any government bailout must be conditional on meeting climate targets.

For airlines, the reckoning is no longer far away on the horizon. It’s now a jumbo jet meters from the runway, landing gear down. Without a sizeable external cash injection, many international airlines will follow Virgin Australia into insolvency within months, if not weeks. Should governments bail airlines out? And if so, should any conditions be imposed, particularly in a world that requires rapid progress to net-zero emissions? Read the original article...

  L  SAA pledges to fight illegal wildlife trafficking 
March 4, 2020. DefenceWeb

As the world commemorated World Wildlife Day on Tuesday, South African Airways (SAA) said it would help intensify the fight against the global illegal wildlife trafficking. 
    As a new member of the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES), the national carrier said it would work hard to reduce the trafficking seizure of 42% of wildlife animals checked in luggage, 4% hidden in passenger clothing, 23% in air flight, 4% in mail and 27% recorded as unknown. Read the original article...

  L  IATA is teaming up with XCHG to launch a carbon exchange platform 
January 31, 2020. Tracy Rucinski, The European.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is teaming up with a company to develop a carbon exchange platform where airlines, and passengers, can purchase offsets aimed at reducing the impact of air travel on the environment.
    The deal with Xpansiv CBL Holding Group (XCHG), a commodity exchange company, will provide a common marketplace called Aviation Carbon Exchange for eligible emission units. Read the original article...