News & Industry Affairs 

/ 2020 news

  L  Airlines ask for state aid  
March 29, 2020. Johannesburg

The airline industry wants government aid to help it weather the loss of revenue or some companies may go bust after all aircraft were grounded for the three-week lockdown this week. Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa, said although the industry supported the national shutdown "it's going to have a devastating effect on the airline industry and the tourism industry in this country".
    "There is definitely going to be a need for assistance," he said, and this could be in the form of provision for costs, or the reduction of airport charges and other fees.The industry body did approach the government before the lockdown although its request may have been shelved in last- minute preparations for the shutdown. Read the original article...

  L  Air transport bodies appeal for responsible action amid Covid-19 disruptions  
March 27, 2020. Rebecca Campbell, Engineering News

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reacted to US President Donald Trump’s bans on citizens and residents of European countries from travelling to the US by affirming that the organisation and its members would maintain their support for governments in their attempts to contain Covid-19, recognising that governments had to take the steps they regard as essential, but calling for the support of the increasingly battered airline industry worldwide. It also urged all governments to follow World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines regarding Covid-19. 
    “Airlines throughout Southern Africa are complying with stringent international and local health and safety measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, but we urge any passengers who are feeling unwell, displaying any respiratory illness symptoms, or who may have come into contact with a carrier of the coronavirus, not to travel to airports or board flights,” affirmed AASA CEO Chris Zweigenthal. “Similarly, people who have recently travelled and who subsequently display symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness should seek medical attention and share their travel history with their healthcare provider.” Read the original article...

Airline travellers urged to practice good hygiene and stay at home if unwell 
March 16, 2019. Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) says that while airlines are taking every possible precaution to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) infection, passengers should also act responsibly and with due care by limiting their exposure to fellow travellers, air crew and airport workers. 
    “Airlines throughout Southern Africa are complying with stringent international and local health and safety measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, but we urge any passengers who are feeling unwell, displaying any respiratory illness symptoms, or who may have come into contact with a carrier of the Coronavirus, not to travel to airports or board flights,” said AASA CEO, Chris Zweigenthal. Read the press release here...

  L  CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) WHO Situation Reports
Coronavirus (COVID-19): WHO Situation Report - 15 March 2020 
March 15, 2020. World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released their latest situation report (15 March 2020) for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Download the report.

  L  No issues around UBC waiver – Minister 
March 2, 2020. Adele Mackenzie, Southern & East African Tourism. 

While there had been some confusion at certain ports of entry around the waiving of required Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) for minors entering South Africa as inbound travellers, this has now been addressed, according to the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.  
    Speaking to Tourism Update, she conceded that there had initially been some challenges in December and January but the communications had filtered through and that she had not heard of any challenges since then.  
    “Everyone who needed to know about the waiver was informed. including airline associations and everyone at our ports of entry,” said Siya Qoza, spokesperson for Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.  
    Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa, said in an earlier statement to Tourism Update that the waiver would help South Africa to regain its competitive position as a sought-after tourism destination.5%. Read the original article...

  L  Air Botswana commits to IATA gender diversity pledge 
January 21, 2020. Sunday Standard

Air Botswana has signed up to IATA's 25by2025 campaign which is designed to address gender imbalance in civil aviation. Committing to this gender diversity pledge makes Botswana the second African country to sign up to this campaign. The other African airline is TAAG Angolan Airlines.
    25by2025 is a global campaign for IATA member airlines to improve gender balance, especially female representation, in the aviation industry by 25%, or up to a minimum of 25% by 2025. By signing to this gender diversity pledge, Air Botswana will report annually on key diversity metrics, increase female representation in senior positions and under-represented areas and increase female nominations from their airlines for IATA governance roles to a minimum of 25%. Read the original article...

  L  Let’s grow tourism: Airline sustainability is key for 2020 
January 17, 2020. Denise Slabbert, Southern & East African Tourism. 

The biggest challenge facing the airline industry in Southern Africa this year is sustainability and determining and implementing strategies that return airlines to profitability (or maintain profitability), under very difficult current trading conditions. So says Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA). 
    “Airlines will need to find means to reduce costs, increase productivity and increase aircraft utilisation and yields in an environment where economic growth in South Africa (0.5%) and within the Southern African region (3%) is lower than the rest of Africa and currently lower than the global average,” he told Tourism Update. Read the original article...

  L  SAA ups its wildlife protection game 
January 9, 2020.Boitumelo Masihleho, Southern & East African Tourism. 

South African Airways (SAA) has elevated its fight against the illegal trade in wildlife by being certified for the latest the Illegal Wildlife Trade module of the International Air Transport Association’s Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) programme. 
    As part of its new status, SAA will increase awareness, training and co-operation with law enforcement. All employees will have the opportunity to be trained in methods to detect smugglers and their activities and to report these to the relevant authorities. 
    SAA Acting CEO, Zuks Ramasia, said: “We can all do our part to stop this scourge that subjects our wildlife to cruel methods of smuggling or to death at the hands of poachers. SAA is committed to making a difference and protecting our wildlife.” Read the original article...

/ 2020 news

  L  COVID-19 Round Up: IATA, AFRAA and Global Alliances 
March 30, 2020. Aviation & Allied Business Publication.

International Air Transport Association (IATA): Industry Losses
Due to the COVID-19, the IATA says international bookings in Africa are down roughly 20% in March and April; domestic bookings have fallen by about 15% in March and 25% in April, according to the latest data. African airlines had lost US$4.4 billion in revenue as at 11 March 2020. Ticket refunds have increased by 75% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 (01 February – 11 March). IATA wants governments to support airlines to recover. Read the original article...

  L  Hot hubs for African expansion 
March 4, 2020. African Aerospace Online.

With new airports and terminal expansion projects on the rise across Africa, Chloe Wilson reports on how the competition is heating up in the race to become the continent’s primary aviation gateway.
It’s no secret that Africa’s aviation market is one with huge potential. The forecasts for the sector continue to be positive with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) projecting that Africa will be the fastest growing region to 2036 – 5.9% per annum – for a total market of 400 million passengers annually. Read the original article...

  L  Advocating for African airlines to become key economic drivers 
February 6, 2020.

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has advocated for sustainable, interconnected and affordable air transport in Africa where African airlines become key players and drivers to African economic development.
    According to 2019 AFRAA Annual report, air transport in Africa currently supports 6.2 million jobs and $55.8bn of GDP and is expected to grow at a rate of 4.6% annually for the next 20 years. This growth in traffic is increasingly being matched by route expansion by African airlines. Read the original article...

  L  Africa and the world are seeing a decline in tourists - should we be worried? 
January 28, 2020. Gabi Zietsman, Traveller24.

In 2018 tourism was booming in Africa - a 9% increase from the previous year. But in 2019, that growth had dropped to 4%, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) - despite limited data available for the continent. While North Africa did exceptionally well, including Egypt's economic stabilisation, Sub-Saharan Africa only had a 1.5% growth. 
    Should we be worried? Read the original article...

  L  AFRAA signs MoU with Routes to drive growth in African aviation industry 
January 24, 2020. Logistics Update Africa.

AFRAA and Routes will work jointly on the sharing of data and analytics, promotion of key issues that are affecting airlines and airports within Africa.
    The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and Routes have signed their first formal agreement. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) sees AFRAA, the leading trade association for African airlines, and Routes, the organiser of the leading route development events for the industry, work together to stimulate new air services and champion the African aviation industry. Read the original article...

  L  Ethiopian Airlines to start building new airport this year 
January 15, 2020. African Aerospace Online.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam has announced it will start constructing a new $5 billion airport later this year.
    The airport will be built in Bishoftu, a town 39 km south east of Addis Ababa, and it will have the capacity to handle 100 million passengers a year. Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa has a passenger capacity of about 19 million passengers annually. Read the original article...

/ 2020 news

  L  SAA to operate emergency evacuation flights 
March 29, 2020. Sabelo Skiti and Thando Maeko, Mail & Guardian.

State airline SAA will from this week temporarily resume international operations to evacuate foreigners from various countries who are stuck in South Africa after the lockdown commenced last Friday.
  The Mail & Guardian has reliably learnt the airline is in discussions with several countries about the possibility of operating special commercial charters for tourists, students, workers, and other non-South Africans who could not secure space on flights out of the country when South Africa went on national lockdown last Friday. Read the original article...

  L  Covid-19: Economic impact on East and southern Africa 
March 27, 2020. Nina Callaghan and Mark Swilling, Daily Maverick.

The rate and global spread of infections by Covid-19 – and the related sense of panic across a globalised financial, political and social architecture – sets this particular pandemic apart from any other in modern times.  Quarantine and social distancing measures, travel bans and restrictions, closed regional and national borders, and health communications have been ratcheted up globally to reduce the chance of exposure as Covid-19 infections and fatalities continue to rise. Read the original article...

  L  #LETSGROWTOURISM: ‘Ambitious growth target still possible’ 
March 6, 2020. Boitumelo Masihleho, Southern & East African Tourism.

Inbound tourism started the year on the back foot after a tumultuous year last year, and now there is the rapid global spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), but the ambitious target of 21 million tourists coming to South Africa by 2030 is still achievable.  
   This is according Senior Consultant Tourism Specialist Unit at market analyst BDO, Jabulani Debedu, who acknowledged the challenges but expressed hope there was room for growth. Read the original article...

/ 2020 news

  L  January 2020 Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Passenger growth slows as COVID-19 impacts the industry 
African airlines post 5.3% annual increase

African airlines posted a 5.3% annual increase in international passenger demand, almost unchanged from December 2019 (5.1%). Flight disruption in late January was also relatively small for this region’s carriers. Read more...  

  L  January 2020 Air Freight Market Analysis  
Challenging time for air cargo in the period ahead…
African airlines continue to lead the growth chart…

African carriers topped the international CTK growth chart for the 11th consecutive month amidst solid growth on the smaller Africa-Asia trade lanes (up 12.4% in 2019). However, the 7.0% expansion in January represented a sharp slowdown from December and also a softer pace compared to H2 2019 (average of 11%).
   SA air cargo volumes also fell, but the drop did not distort an underlying solid upward trend that emerged in mid-2018. The relatively small size of Africa market (1.8% of the total) helps to explain the larger volatility this month. Read more...

/ 2020 news

  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, the two organisations said in a joint statement on Thursday. . Read the original article...

  L  Rolls-Royce gears up to power African aviation’s emissions reduction target 
January 9, 2020. Michael Wakabi interviews Paul Stein for Business Daily.

Airlines are acquiring new aircraft with the latest technology to operate more efficiently and economically as well as more environmentally. The majority of players in Africa’s growing aviation industry have signed agreements to prioritise the protection of the environment.
    Rolls-Royce, which powers all Airbus A350s and A330neos aircraft, and whose customers in Africa include Ethiopian Airlines, SAA, Air Mauritius, EgyptAir, Air Senegal, Uganda, Rwandair, and Air Tanzania, will be a key partner on this journey. Read the original article...