News & Industry Affairs/AASA news


  • [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...


  • Restrictive policies impede African airlines
    October 24, 2018. Tessa Reed for Travel News Weekly (TNW). While airlines will report a profit of $33,8bn (R486bn) globally, African airlines overall will lose hundreds of millions for the same period.
        In Africa, airlines are expected to lose about $100m (R1,44bn), and in Southern Africa the projected loss is even more at $300m (R4,32bn). AASA CEO, Chris Zweigenthal, shared these sombre projections by IATA in his opening address at this year’s AASA AGA. He emphasised that tourism and trade, both reliant on aviation, were powerful growth levers, but said these were being stunted by uncertainties.
       “As one of the most capital intensive sectors and a vital enabler of economic activity, the airline industry needs Southern African governments to clarify their local economic reform policies so they do not spoil the appetite for much needed trade and investment in the region,” he said. This article was first published in TNWDownload the October 24 issue AASA feature on pg 8 & 9
  • How loss-making regional airlines buck the global trend
    October 15, 2018. Neels Blom for Business Day. Livingstone, Zambia — The aviation industry in Southern Africa is expected to report a collective $300m loss during 2018, while the industry in the rest of the world is likely to return a $33.8bn profit over the same period, AASA said on Friday.
        Demand for air transport in Southern Africa is expected to increase slowly by 2% to 3% a year over the next five years, reflecting weak GDP performances in the region, according to AASA projections.  AASA CEO Chris Zweigenthal told delegates to the association’s annual general assembly that the airline industry needs Southern African governments to clarify their local economic reform policies “so they do not spoil the appetite for much-needed trade and investment in the region”. This article was first published in Business Day.


  • Airlines call on SADC governments to remove blockages slowing economic growth
    October 12, 2018. AASA news. Linden Birns, Plane Talking. Airline industry leaders and government officials are meeting to discuss responses to an array of pressures threatening the competitiveness and sustainability of carriers in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. More than 200 delegates are participating in the Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s (AASA) 48th Annual General Assembly, which takes place at a time when global, regional and local political uncertainty, market turbulence and rising costs are taking their toll on trade, tourism and economic development. Read more...


  • SAA to host AASA's 48th AGA: Enabling African Airline Service Excellence
    October 1, 2018. AASA news. South African Airways (SAA) is the host airline for the Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s (AASA) 48th annual general assembly, which will focus on customer service. The assembly, at the AVANI Victoria Falls Resort in Livingstone, Zambia from 11-14 of this month, has attracted around 300 delegates, comprising leading airline industry executives and government policy makers from Southern Africa’s airlines, airports, air navigation services, regulatory bodies as well as aircraft and engine manufacturers, ground handling service providers and associated businesses. Read more...

  • AASA 2017 AGA: African Pilot magazine's December issue cover story 
    December, 2017. African Pilot magazine. Cover story By Athol Franz. AASA held its 47th AGA from 12 to 15 October 2017, at the Wild Coast Sun in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. African Pilot magazine has featured a cover story in its December issue. Read more...


  • AASA sponsors Wonders of Aviation's attendance at 47th Annual General Assembly 
    October 16, 2017. Wonders of Aviation (WOA) news. AASA held its 47th AGA from 12 to 15 October 2017, at the Wild Coast Sun in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. AASA sponsored the attendance of Gift Kgadima, Wonders of Aviation (WOA) Secretary, to the 3-day annual event, and Comair Limited sponsored his flights. Read more...

  • Transformation in SA aviation industry hindered by skills shortage
    October 13, 2017. AASA news. Building Human Capital for African Airlines was the theme at this year's 47th Annual General Assembly, and the challenges such as skills development, training, transformation, the economy, environmental impact and other topical issues affecting airlines and air travel in the SADC region dominated the addresses, debates and panel discussions. 
       "Transformation in the aviation industry is non-negotiable and AASA would like to see its pace increased. A challenge AASA has identified is the scarcity of funding – including at university level – and the absence of a specialist aerospace and air transport education institution in Africa," warned AASA's CEO Chris Zweigenthal. Read more...