News & Industry Affairs/AASA news


  • South Africa: SAA Signs Codeshare Agreement With Brazilian Airline
    July 8, 2019. Southern Times. South African Airways (SAA) has signed codeshare and frequent flyer agreements with Brazilian airline Gol - Linhas Aéreas (GOL), which came into effect on Thursday. 
        SAA acting Chief Executive Officer Zuks Ramasia said the airline is pleased with the agreement which is of strategic importance. 
        "We are extremely pleased with this agreement which comes at an opportune time and gives strategic impetus to our strategy of growing partnerships globally to offer our customers more travel options. It is an important step in the execution of our strategy and gives our customers, through our direct flights to Sao Paulo, a number of further travel options to explore Brazil," said Ramasia. Read the original article here...


  • 'Game changer for Africa' as leaders launch 'historic' free trade deal
    July 7, 2019. AFP/News24. African nations officially launched a landmark trade agreement at the African Union summit in Niger on Sunday, with the long sought-after agreement hailed as a historic step towards "peace and prosperity" across the continent.
        After 17 years of tough negotiations, the AU launched the "operational phase" of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in what AU commission chairperson Moussa Faki had described as a "historic" moment.
       "An old dream is coming true, the founding fathers must be proud," said Faki, adding that AfCFTA would create "the greatest trading area in the world". Read the original article here...


  • Mozambique, Zim sign air transport agreement 
    July 1, 2019. Southern Times. Maputo - The national airlines of Mozambique and Zimbabwe can now fly between the two countries without any barriers, under an agreement signed in Maputo last week by Mozambican Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita and his Zimbabwean counterpart, Joel Matiza.  
        The agreement allows the two airlines to fly from one of the countries to the other without any kind of limitation. 
        According to Joao Abreu, the chairperson of the aviation regulatory body, the Civil Aviation Institute of Mozambique (IACM), the agreement is in line with the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), a project of the African Union which seeks to create a single, unified air transport market in Africa, and to liberalise civil aviation across the continent.” Read the original article here...


  • Airline Networks & Hubs: SA shows potential despite constraints 
    June 28, 2019. ETNW news. AIR access from South Africa into Africa and the rest of the world is improving steadily, despite continued lack of intra-regional connectivity and visa constraints. Airlines Association of Southern Africa CEO, Chris Zweigenthal, says there should be no obstacles to increasing capacity from South Africa, which has unlimited Third and Fourth Freedom frequency arrangements (basic international services) with most African states and reciprocal bilateral frequency regimes intercontinentally where there is spare capacity.
        “However, SAA is the only South African airline that operates long-haul flights and, with its current focus on turnaround and a consolidation of its network, a significant expansion of its operations is not expected in the short-term,” says Chris. Read the original article here...

  • SA aviation: A tale of 2 airline industries, says CEO
    June 15, 2019. Fin24.com. It is concerning that there are basically two sets of airline performances in Africa – one group, mainly privately owned, are doing fairly well, while others are battling to achieve sustainability and profits. This is how Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the AASA summarises the industry. 
        "We cannot directly get involved in issues related to the grounding of airlines, but it is very important for us to try and see if we can work with the authorities to try and improve relationships," he told Fin24 at the 75th IATA AGM taking place in Seoul, South Korea. 
       One area AASA is currently focusing on is the new carbon tax applicable in SA from June 1, 2019. 
        "We work with the airlines to make sure they correctly calculate the correct carbon tax applicable," said Zweigenthal.
        He foresees that most airlines will try to absorb the added cost due to the carbon tax and try not to pass it on to consumers in the form of higher fares. Read the original article here...

  • Aviation industry surprised, disappointed at SAA CEO's resignation
    June 2, 2019. Fin24.com. Aviation industry players were surprised to learn of South African Airways CEO Vuyani Jarana's resignation. Jarana tendered his resignation to South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson JB Magwaza in a letter dated May 29, 2019.
        Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the AASA was just as surprised to hear of Jarana’s resignation. "I worked with him as CEO of SAA and a member of the AASA executive committee and his vision has always been one of implementing a turnaround strategy which would ultimately turn SAA into a sustainable profitable airline," Zweigenthal told Fin24. 
        "The work he was doing was contributing to the overall wellbeing and sustainability of the airline industry in the region." 
        Zweigenthal emphasised the importance of having a healthy aviation industry. "It does not help if our airlines go through tough times. We are disappointed to hear of his (Jarana’s) resignation, but thank him for what he has done for the industry," he added. Read the original article here...

  • [podcast] Certain African countries hesitant to open up their skies
    April 30, 2019. Samora Mangesi for Channel Africa news. Some African countries which signed the Single African Air Transport Market agreement, are still hesitant to open up their skies despite a commitment to do so. This is according to Chris Zweigenthal, Chief Executive Officer of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa. Zweigenthal was speaking at the AviaDev conference held in Cape Town, South Africa last week. Listen to Samora Mangesi's interview with Chris Zweigenthal here.
  • Chris Zweigenthal receives the Ato Girma Wake Lifetime Achievement Award for services to aviation at AviaDev
    April 26, 2019. Linden Birns for AASA news.  Cape Town, South Africa.€“ Airlines Association of Southern African (AASA) CEO, Chris Zweigenthal, was today named the recipient of the 2019 Ato Girma Wake Lifetime Award in recognition of his contribution to the air transport industry.
        The award was presented at the AviaDev Africa 2019 summit in Cape Town today by the International Air Transport Association’s Special Envoy to Africa on Aeropolitical Affairs, Raphael Kuuchi. Read more...


  • [video] Aviation Special: The Need for Aviation to Achieve Sustainable Growth in Africa
    April 25, 2019. CNBC Africa news. The topic for this CNBC Africa Special is The Need for Aviation to Achieve Sustainable Growth in Africa. According to IATA, current trends in air transport suggest passenger numbers will grow to 8.2 billion travellers globally in 2037. 
        CNBC Africa’s Michael Mugisha speaks to the following panel of three aviation experts about the sustainable growth challenges facing Africa: Ato Girma Wake, legendary former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines (and current board member) and RwandAir;  Adefunke Adeyemi, Regional Head, Member and External Relations, Africa and Middle East of IATA; and Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of AASA and the recipient of AviaDev's 2019 Ato Girma Wake Lifetime Achievement Award.


  • African countries still hesitant about open skies - expert
    April 26, 2019. Fin24.com. Some African countries which signed the Single African Air Transport Market agreement are still hesitant about it, according to Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa.
        Zweigenthal was speaking at the AviaDev aviation development conference in Cape Town on Thursday. He said many states indicated they are not ready for the liberalisation of the aviation industry in Africa, because they do not yet have a reliable local carrier. Read the original article here...
  • Airlines plead for exemption from carbon tax
    March 12, 2019. Linda Ensor for Business Day, South Africa. The airline industry made a strong plea in parliament on Tuesday to be exempted from the proposed carbon tax saying it will undermine its competitiveness.   
        The tax only applies to economic activities which emit greenhouse gases within South Africa and will therefore not apply to international airlines. 
        AASA CEO, Chris Zweigenthal, argued that the failure to exempt domestic flights from the tax would undermine competitiveness of domestic airlines, reduce the return on investment for taxpayers from state-owned airlines SA Airways and SA Express and reduce the return on investment for local private sector airlines. Read the original article here...
  • Aviation Africa Summit 2019: Flying Forward Together
    February 27 - 28, 2019. Aviation Africa, Kigali, Rwanda. The fourth edition of the Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition saw more than 800 delegates from 71 countries converge on the Kigali Convention Center.
        The audience included government ministers, air chiefs of staff and directors general of civil aviation authorities with representatives from 35 African nations. Industry is well supported in the exhibition hall with 100 exhibitors including Host Sponsors Nexus & Wyvern, Platinum Sponsor Gulfstream and Gold Sponsors Bestfly and Airbus.
        Chris Zweigenthal, represented AASA at the Aviation Africa Summit Session held on Wednesday 27 February. The topic was: Growth or survival? Developing strategies beyond survival for regional cargo and passenger markets. The panelists included: Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO, Astral Aviation (Kenya) ; Chris Zweigenthal, Chief Executive, Airlines Association of Southern Africa (South Africa); Rui Carreira, CEO, TAAG (Angola); and Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo, Director Strategy & Development, Cronos Airlines (Equatorial Guinea). The panel was moderated by Victoria Moores, Air Transport Editor, African Aerospace & Air Transport World (UK). Read more about the Summit here...

  • Chris Zweigenthal to receive the Ato Girma Wake Lifetime Achievement Award at AviaDev
    February 23, 2019. AviaDev Africa news. Chris Zweigenthal, Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) CEO,  is to receive the Ato Girma Wake Lifetime Achievement Award at the AviaDev Africa Conference to be held from 24 to 26 April 2019 in Cape Town.
        The Ato Girma Wake Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding contribution to route development in Africa is a coveted award named in honour of the Godfather of African aviation, Ato Girma Wake. It is with great pleasure that we announce that the recipient of the 2019 award will be Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of AASA. 
        The climax to the conference will be a one-on-one interview between Ato Girma and Chris, which will explore the origins of Chris’ passion, his journey and will allow him to share what he has learned with the community.
    Register to attend the AviaDev Africa "We Soar as One" conference here.
  • ERA hosts 2019 global Heads of Airline Associations
    January 25, 2019. AASA news. Brussels, Belgium. At a meeting held on 24 January 2019 and hosted by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) at Eurocontrol Headquarters in Brussels, airline associations from all over the globe met to exchange information, discuss key issues affecting the aviation industry, and to promote a healthy, safe and growing aviation market. 
        “This event was an important step towards further growing the close relationship between ERA and other key airline associations for the great benefit of the airline industry. This highly-productive meeting has reaffirmed the importance of working closely with our partners and contributes to the valuable strategic work by all associations in representing the global aviation community,” said ERA Director General, Montserrat Barriga.
        AASA's CEO, Chris Zweigethal, attended and presented his thoughts on the industry skills shortage and his views on how the associations can work together to create an action plan to attract, recruit and retain more pilots and technicians. Read more...


  • AASA AGA 2018 Report Summary. AASA has released the 2018 AGA Report Summary. The key issues raised are: the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) Agreement; Human Capital Development ; Connectivity; collaboration amongst aviation stakeholder groups; the sustainability of the Industry; and digital transformation. Download the Report Summary here...