Welcome to the
Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA)

In Southern Africa, AASA leads and coordinates the airline industry position on airport, airspace and civil aviation issues.

AASA is the leading representative airline organisation within southern Africa, working together with leaders of the aviation industry and senior public and government officials on policy, regulatory, planning, operational, safety, security and financial matters affecting the overall profitability of the airlines and their continued sustainability. 

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) was establilshed in 1970 to represent the mutual interests of its Members. Membership is open to all airlines based in countries south of the equator, including the Indian Ocean Islands. 

There are currently 16 Airline Members. In addition, Associate Membership is open to airline partner organisations. There are currently 36 Associate Members, including infrastructure service providers, several oil companies, major aircraft manufacturers, engine manufacturers, ground handling companies, service providers, other industry associations and partners. 

AASA also leads and coordinates the airline industry position on airport, airspace and civil aviation issues, as well as consumer legislation, environmental and tourism matters, and provides media response to important industry issues. 

AASA’s responsibility includes the representation of SADC-based airlines on the SADC Civil Aviation Committee as the Airline Consultative Member. 

AASA is also a regular participant and contributor to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) initiatives in the region. With AASA’s focus concentrated on any issue impacting the airline business, the regular liaison and good working relationship with its Members and partners is highly valued.

 L        AASA News

Spotlight / 2023


 L            AASA Member News & Notices / 2023

 L   Closed markets, high costs hurting Africa airlines more
November 27, 2023. Michael Wakabi for The East African.

A rare tongue-lashing to Nigeria over its ballooning debt to airlines and high operating costs almost overshadowed the opening session of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) 55th AGM that was hosted by Uganda Airlines in Kampala this week. But industry leaders soon got back to business exploring the opportunities of a growing market and mulling the obstacles that need to be removed before African air transport achieves its full potential.
    Aaron Munetsi, CEO of the Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA), used the parallel of East Africa’s One Network Area to illustrate the potential impact of liberalisation of air transport for airlines and consumers alike. Indeed, telephone traffic between Kenya and Rwanda increased 900 times in a single year, after the two countries unified calling rates in 2010. Read more...

 L   IATA: Namibia clean as a whistle
November 24, 2023. Windhoek Observer.

Aaron Munetsi, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), said the aviation industry has been facing a raging fire of challenges, such as operating costs, which in some cases account for as much as 40% of an airline’s costs. He noted some airlines are faced with a critical shortage of spare parts for their aircraft, and this shortage has resulted in some airlines forced to ground aircrafts as safety is non-negotiable. Read more...

 L   AFRAA AGM: Liberalised market via SAATM is a slow process
November 20, 2023. Times Aerospace News.

Uganda. Hosted on the shores of Lake Victoria by national carrier Uganda Airlines, the principle of the Single African Air Traffic Market (SAATM) received strong support from all sides at the AFRAA 55th AGM but has been hampered by protectionism and fears about a more competitive market.
    “If we were to create a scorecard for ourselves, I don’t think [as] students we will be proud to take the scorecard back home,” said Aaron Munetsi, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), speaking during the AGM and referring to Africa’s record to-date on bringing in air transport liberalisation via SAATM. He described the progress since 2018 of 37 countries signing up to SAATM as “good progress but not good enough”, especially considering that only 18 of them have “fully submitted” to it. “We cannot predict a dismal performance to the generation that is coming after us,” said Munetsi. Read more...

 L   African Air Transport: Keyamo calls for speedy Implementation of Yamoussoukro Decision
November 15, 2023. This Day News.

Abuja, Nigeria. The Nigerian Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, stressed the need to speed up full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD), with regard to the liberalisation of access to air transport markets in Africa. This, Keyamo said, cannot be over-emphasised as it was crucial to the achievement of the long-term vision of the African Union (AU).  
    The Minister, while welcoming the various countries Ministers, Chairperson of the AU Commission, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, President, Africa Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), and the Secretary General of AFCAC, to 24th Anniversary of the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) Day Event under the theme, “Africa Wants to Fly” noted that: “Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries and Air Transport is an essential component of the global transportation system and a strategic driver of economic growth and development.” Read more...

On the YD anniversary we must reflect on the opportunities lost since its signature in 1988 and those that lie ahead. Execution of the commitment is our Achilles heel. It is a dismal failure caused by a lack of political will. If we want to realise the benefits of a better connected and closely integrated Africa, we must implement the initiatives and agreements in place. When AFCAC convenes us to mark this occasion next year, instead of talking about what needs to be done, I want us to commit to each other that we will meet to review the outcomes our respective actions in executing SAATM. AFCAC’s scorecard is a great starting point. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

 L   [WATCH CNBC Africa Interview AASA CEO] Airlines body roots for faster implementation of SAATM
November 102023. Southern Africa's TravelNews.

Proper implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market is set to unlock huge economic opportunities for airlines across Africa. CNBC Africa spoke to Aaron Munetsi, Chief Executive Officer, Airlines Association of Southern Africa for more. Read more...

 L   A warm AASA welcome to our new Associate Member: DPO Pay  
October 12
, 2023. AASA News.

AASA is pleased to announce that DPO Pay has joined as an Associate Member as of 12 October 2023. DPO Pay makes it easy to accept payments online - allowing shoppers to make online card payments from their eCommerce website. DPO Pay accepts all major card types including, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club. The company offers a global reach, multi-currency payments (dynamic currency conversions), and superior fraud engines. Services also include online store/e-commerce website development (scalable plug-and-play solutions). Read more about the Benefits of AASA Membership...

 L   AASA calls for visa-free travel in Africa
October 112023. Southern Africa's TravelNews.

Challenges including inadequate infrastructure, unclear policies, inconsistent regulations, rising aviation taxes and other statutory charges are exacerbating poor intra-African connectivity, cautioned Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s (AASA) CEO Aaron Munetsi. He called for visa-free travel on the continent. The AASA AGM, held in Luanda, Angola, from October 5 to 8, called on regional governments to open access to their markets and allow for more routes and flights where regulatory restrictions were blocking growth. Read more...

 L   Regional airlines turbulent on economic growth
October 92023. NewERA.

Poor intra-Africa airline connectivity, inadequate infrastructure and unclear policies, inconsistent regulations and rising aviation taxes and other statutory charges are preventing African economies from reaching their full potential.  
    This warning was issued by the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA).  
    The trade body, which held its annual general assembly in Luanda, Angola, last week, called on regional governments to open access to their markets and allow more routes and more flights where regulatory impediments were blocking growth. Read more...

 L   Time to address ‘embarrassingly low’ intra-African air connectivity, airline body chief says
October 82023. NewERA.

Poor intra-Africa airline connectivity, inadequate infrastructure and unclear policies, inconsistent regulations and rising aviation taxes and other statutory charges are preventing African economies from reaching their full potential. This warning was issued by the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA).
    The trade body, which held its annual general assembly in Luanda, Angola, last week, called on regional governments to open access to their markets and allow more routes and more flights where regulatory impediments were blocking growth. Read more...


AASA’s 2023-24 Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson elected
October 72023. 

The incoming Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of AASA were elected at the body’s 53rd Annual General Meeting and will serve for the next 12 months.
João Pó Jorge has been re-elected as AASA’s Chairperson. He is the Director-General of LAM Mozambique Airlines, with Interim CEO of South African Airways, Prof. John Lamola, chosen as the Deputy Chair. Download the full news release.

National, regional, and geopolitical shifts and uncertainties, macro-economic headwinds – driven by rising energy costs, weakened local currencies, inflation, and unemployment – together with changed market dynamics and customer behaviour, have forced Southern Africa’s airlines to become more agile, cost-efficient and innovative to satisfy their customer’s needs. João and John will provide guidance and support to AASA as we continue engaging governments and their agencies to ensure that policy, regulations, and standards promote competitive, affordable, economically and environmentally sustainable, secure, and safe air transport with comprehensive intra-African connectivity. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

Above (L to R): João Pó Jorge (LAM Mozambique Airlines, Director-General), AASA Chairperson; Aaron Munetsi AASA CEO; and Prof. John Lamola (SAA, Interim CEO), AASA Deputy Chairperson. 


Southern African airlines hindered in supporting economic growth - AASA proposes remedies
October 62023.

Poor intra-Africa airline connectivity, inadequate infrastructure together with unclear policies, inconsistent regulations and rising aviation taxes and other statutory charges are depriving African economies from reaching their full potential, warns AASA. 

The trade body, which is holding its annual general assembly in Luanda, Angola, today, called on regional governments to open access to their markets and allow for more routes and more flights where regulatory impediments were blocking growth.
    AASA also cautioned that without a clear coordinated strategy for the development, production and supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and improvements to airspace management to streamline traffic flows, the region’s airline industry would fail to meet the global net-zero 2050 carbon emissions target.
    Africa accounts for two percent of global passenger and air cargo traffic and will need access to at least 15 billion litres of SAF a year by 2050 if it is to continue serving the continent’s economic and social needs by enabling trade, business, tourism and personal travel.  

We have an embarrassingly low level of intra-African connectivity and it is depriving Africa, its people and its economies from rising to their full potential. (He called on the SADC governments to remove the obstacles hindering industry expansion and connectivity). By doing so, you will enable the economies and people you serve, to flourish. Never have you held in your grasp a golden opportunity to make inspired decisions with such meaningful positive consequences and impact! Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO 

As remedies, AASA proposes that authorities:

  • Permit the establishment of at least 200 new intra-Africa city pairs by 2030.
  • Ensure airports in the region are operationally fit-for-purpose, cost-efficient, and subject to industry service level agreements.
  • Apply user charges, taxes, and other statutory charges on air travel that are realistic, and reflect the services and facilities provided.
  • Make intra-Africa travel visa-free for all passport holders.
  • Provide a regulatory framework that enables the provision of competitive and affordable intra-Africa travel and air cargo services.
  • Standardise training curricula, qualifications, and licenses so that anyone with aviation skills acquired in one African country can work anywhere on the continent. 

The most recent (2019) econometric study of Africa’s air transport sector’s contribution to GDP estimates that regulatory adjustments to liberalise market access between 12 key African markets would provide an extra 155,000 jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual GDP across those countries. It was estimated that a potential five million passengers a year were being denied the chance to travel between these markets due to unnecessary restrictions on establishing air routes. Download the full news release.

 L   Angola to Host the 53rd AASA Annual General Assembly
September 272023. Victoria Moores for Air Transport World/Aviation Week Network,

Angola is set to host the 53rd edition of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) Annual General Assembly from October 5 to 8 in its vibrant capital city, Luanda. This prestigious event, co-organized by TAAG Angola Airlines, marks the first time that Angola has been chosen as the host country for this pivotal gathering.

The AASA Annual General Assembly serves as a critical platform for industry stakeholders, including airlines, regulators, manufacturers, service providers, investors, diplomatic representatives, and government entities, to come together and engage in essential discussions and networking opportunities. The assembly is dedicated to addressing the challenges and opportunities facing civil aviation in Africa, emphasizing cooperation and collaboration among key players in the aviation ecosystem. Read more...

     L   Everything you need to know about the SARS Travel Declaration System @ Airports

Download the latest February 2023 Project Update.

      L   What's New?

     Webinar on South African Traveller Declaration
November 17, 2022

If you missed the recent webinar on the online Traveller Declaration system, you can view it on the SARS TV channel. Or you can view the Traveller Declaration system presentation delivered during the webinar here. The webinar provided more information about the new traveller declaration system. SARS Customs intends running a pilot project at King Shaka International Airport starting 29 November 2022. The system will progressively be implemented at all South African ports of entry. Keep an eye on the Traveller Declaration webpage for more information.

     SARS implements Smart Borders 
October 20, 2022.

Travellers are required by law to make certain declarations of goods and cash on entering or leaving South Africa. The declaration process is in line with practices around the world and in compliance with the provision of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 which makes it mandatory for any person entering and leaving the Republic to declare any goods in their possession. Read more...

   L      Global News

Spotlight / 2023

News / 2023

  L  Aerospace Composites Global Market Report 2024-2034
November 16, 2023. Research & Markets.

Development of novel composite materials with enhanced properties presents market opportunities

In the rapidly evolving aerospace industry, an urgency to decrease aircraft weight and environmental impact has thrust the global aerospace composites market to the forefront of technological advancement. Composite materials, deceptively light compared to traditional metals, are paving the way for more efficient air travel. With the potential to reduce aircraft weight significantly, this shift towards lighter materials is revolutionizing the fuel efficiency landscape; an example is the extensive utilization of carbon-fiber composites in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, making it 20% more fuel-efficient than predecessors. Read more...

  L  Airline Business Covid-19 recovery tracker: October 2023 update
October 9, 2023. Lewis Harper for FlightGlobal News.

FlightGlobal offers an examination of the latest global data for several key airline market indicators, including traffic and capacity in passenger and cargo markets, in-service and stored fleets, jet fuel costs, and share price trends for the world’s largest groups. Read more...

  L  WEF 2023 Insight Report - AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa
January 30, 2023. WEF Publication.

The AfCFTA will provide important opportunities for Africa, increasing international exports and intra-African trade

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published their 2023 Insight Report AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa that focuses on how logistics companies are responding to the free trade agreement. Officially launched in 2021, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) creates a single market projected to grow to 1.7 billion people and $6.7 trillion in consumer and business spending by 2030.
    The preferential trade agreement will increase international exports and intra-African trade, unlocking opportunities...Download the report...

       L  Africa News

Spotlight / 2023 

News / 2023  

  L  Fastest growing economies in 2024? It's all about Africa 
November 28, 2023. Cem Perdar for The New Times.

According to the World Bank predictions the African countries are expected to grow the most in 2024

As we approach the end of 2023, statistics for 2024 are being shared on many economic platforms. In many global markets, where significant ups and downs were experienced in 2020, the fact that big economies also have big problems was once again displayed before our eyes. In addition, we also face the fact that medium and low-sized economies, which are among many developing countries, will make significant moves and start 2024 with serious growth expectations. Read more... 

  L  African airline funds trapped in some countries 
November 24, 2023. Southern Africa's Freight News.

Vital unrepatriated funds from a number of African countries, amounting to $1.68 billion, are currently trapped in Africa which is hampering the development of the aviation sector on the continent, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
    Speaking at the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) 55th Annual General Meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, IATA’s regional vice president of Africa and Middle East, Kamil Al Alwadi, said the trapped funds had hit $1.68bn at the end of September. Read more...

 L          Events / AASA in Attendance

>>  Listen to the podcast of the webinar  << 

      L  Southern Africa News

Spotlight / 2023 

News / 2023 

  L  Cape Winelands Airport takes off with R7 billion expansion 

November 23, 2023. Daily Investor News.

Cape Winelands Airport’s redevelopment is moving ahead with a R7 billion plan to improve its commercial operations. The airport is located on a 150-hectare site 13 km northeast of Durbanville. It is, therefore, ideally situated to serve the Cape Town aviation sector. Read more...

  L  A first for Federal Airlines 

November 3, 2023. Southern Africa Travel  News.

In a first for the carrier, Federal Airlines has received its R350m order for six brand-new, state-of-the-art Cessna Grand Caravan C208B EX aircraft. 
    Destinations served by Federal Airlines include the Kruger National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, Thornybush Game Reserve, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Marakele National Park, and Waterberg Game Park. Read more...

  L       IATA News


News 2023  

  L  September 2023 Air Passenger Market Analysis
Published November 8, 2023. IATA Economic Reports.

Strong passenger growth          
African airlines traffic up 28.1% YoY 

African airlines posted a 28.1% traffic increase in September 2023 versus a year ago. Capacity was up 29.9% and load factor slipped 1.0 percentage points to 72.6%. The third quarter of 2023 reported strong post-pandemic international passenger traffic with record domestic passenger demand. Read more...  

  L  September 2023 Air Freight Market Analysis 
Published November 7, 2023. IATA Economic Reports.

Air cargo demand up   
Strong growth in the Africa-Asia trade lane

African airlines saw their air cargo volumes decline by 0.1% in September 2023, despite the strong growth of demand on the Africa-Asia trade lane (+12.8%). This was an improvement in performance compared to August (-3.5%). Capacity was 2.7% above September 2022 levels. Read more...

  L  August 2023 Air Passenger Market Analysis
Published October 4, 2023. IATA Economic Reports.

Passenger recovery at 95.7%          
African airlines seat capacity up 25.6% YoY 

African airlines saw 26.1% YoY growth in international RPKs in August. Traffic levels are still approaching full recovery, maintaining their upward trends observed since earlier this year. August capacity was up 25.5 % and load factor rose 0.4 percentage points to 76.2 %. Read more...  

  L  August 2023 Air Freight Market Analysis 
Published October 3, 2023. IATA Economic Reports.

Air cargo demand increases YoY   
African airlines report weak performance in August  

African airlines had the weakest performance in August 2023, with a 4.7% decline in cargo volumes compared to August 2022. This was a significant decrease in performance compared to July (+2.3%). Notably, Africa–Asia routes declined by 1.1% in August following an 11.2% growth in July. Capacity was 3.8% above August 2022 levels. Read more...

  L       Environment News

Spotlight 2023

News 2023

  L ICAO: international civil aviation agency adopts sustainable fuels framework
November 27, 2023. Airport Technology News

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has adopted a new global framework for the use of lower-emission fuels in the industry as part of its ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions in international aviation by 5% in 2030. The framework covers the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), lower carbon aviation fuels (LCAF), and other aviation-cleaner energies including supporting implementation initiatives, improving access to financing, and aligning regulations. Read more...

  L Sustainability projects high on agenda as ACSA aims for carbon neutrality by 2050
October 30, 2023. BizCommunity.com

Over the past few decades, environmental custodianship has become integral to running a sustainable business. It is no longer acceptable for organisations to knowingly impact the environment, without mitigation or rehabilitation.
   Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has deployed an Environmental Management System (EMS) at each airport within its network. The EMS is based on the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Standard, an International best practice tool. Read more...

  L       ICAO News

Spotlight / 2023

Spotlight / 2022

News / 2023

  L   ICAO approves new standards for safer air transport   
March 27, 2023. ICAO News.

DFMC GNSS permits the combined leveraging of dual frequency signals from up to four GNSS constellations simultaneously

The ICAO Council achieved a major milestone this week in the global standardization and roll-out of new dual-frequency multi-constellation (DFMC) capabilities for international aviation’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS): 
    “This is an important development toward improving the safety, efficiency and sustainability of international air transport through more precise airspace management and more efficient routes and procedures,” said Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano. Read more...

  L   African govts, air cargo must seize opportunities offered by SAATM, AfCFTA   
February 28, 2023. The STRAT Trade Times.

Working in collaboration with multilateral institutions such as AU, ICAO, the World Bank Group and others, they can together ensure close alignment and maximize effective implementation of both.

Africa's share in global air cargo movement is insignificant to put it simply. There are many regulatory and infrastructural challenges that the continent faces while it intends to capture more air cargo volume and improve its economic landscape. However, there are rays of hope that businesses and the African air cargo community could see. Read more...