Welcome to the
Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA)

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 established 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 / 2024

#SADC_AviationTrends / 2024

Spotlight / 2023

 L            AASA Member News & Notices / 2024

 L   [WATCH INTERVIEW] Southern African Industrialisation Forum 2024: Aaron Munetsi (AASA, CEO)
March 25, 2023. @MorningLiveSABC. 

Johannesburg. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO, was interviewed at the SADC Business Council's Southern African Industrialisation ForumThe two-day event convened top government and business leaders to shape industrial priorities and investment opportunities focused on Angola with the theme focus, Human and Financial Capital: The Key Drivers for Sustainable Industrialisation in the SADC Region 

 L   A warm AASA welcome to our new Associate Member: Regional One  
March 19
, 2024. AASA News.

AASA is pleased to announce that Regional One has joined as an Associate Member as of 19 March. 
    Regional One is a purchaser, lessor, and seller of aircraft, aircraft parts, engines and engine parts, offering worldwide support to regional and commercial aircraft operators. Over the years, Regional One has built an integrated portfolio of solutions and services offering leasing, sales, lease backs, consignment management, teardown management, repair management, flight hour programs, asset valuations and more. Read more about the Benefits of AASA Membership...

 L   SADC economic future takes flight – Aviation leaders call for liberalisation of skies
March 11, 2024. BizCommunity.com.

Onerous aviation regulations, stifling visa requirements, and a lack of cross-industry collaboration are hampering the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) economic potential. This was the resounding message from aviation experts at the recent Southern African Industrialisation Forum (SAIF) held in Sandton. 
    "We can talk about a free trade area and regional integration, but if people and goods can't move efficiently, it's all just empty promises," asserted Natalia Rosa, SADC Business Council Tourism Alliance lead. "The current state of aviation in SADC is a massive goal for our economies." Read more about the highlighted challenges that airlines, investors, and travellers face within the region... 

If Africans cannot travel within Africa themselves freely, everything else that we are saying here is a pipe dream. How is it possible that today as we speak in 2024, up to 45% of African countries need visas to go to each other's country when 23 of these African countries give Americans entry without a visa? 
Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

 L   SACAA announces Ministerial Order regarding administrative support to ASLC and IASLC
February 5, 2024. SA Government / SACAA Directive

On 9 October 2023, the Minister of Transport published a Ministerial Order through a government Gazette as empowered by Section 100 of the Civil Aviation Act, 2009 (Act No.13 of 2009) to provide administrative support to both the Air Service Licensing (ASL) and International Air Service Licensing Councils (IASLC). 
   The Order places the responsibility of administrative function to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). The administrative support includes developing effective systems enabling the smooth processing of ASL applications and Foreign Operator Permits (FOPs) effective 1 February 2024.  Download the letter from SACAA for more information...

 L   Experts cautiously optimistic about increased intra-Africa air connectivity
January 30, 2024. North Africa Post.

Intra-Africa air connectivity is making headway, a recent ‘Charting Trends’ report published by the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) has shown, and was also echoed by local aviation experts who have expressed cautious optimism about the growth prospects for the southern African region.

It is encouraging to see the two million weekly seats milestone. AASA will continue to advocate for increases in the intra-Africa market, and the implementation of SAATM by all African countries.
Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO 

Munetsi also pointed out that AASA’s responsibility to increase intra-Africa travel included but was not limited to the opening up of borders by the removal of visa requirements for Africans, implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and the SAATM – all three of which are African Union flagship projects for the Agenda 2063. Read more...

 L   ATNS publishes new tariff's effective 1 May 2024
January 26, 2024. SA Government Gazette / Department of Transport / ATNS

The South African Department of Transport has issued amendments to the Airports Company Act (45/1993) with the publication of new air traffic service charges: GG 50041AASA Airline Members are advised to familiarise themselves with the new ATNS Air Traffic Service Charges effective 1 May 2024Read more...

 L   [INTERVIEW] AASA’s Aaron Munetsi on Southern Africa’s Tail and Crosswinds
January 26, 2024. Chat Ndege interviews Aaron Munetsi for Cockpit Talk.

  • Seven SADC countries have signed on for SAATM, a call for more Member States to join.
  • More city pairings in the SADC region.
  • More airline collaborations for SADC and African airlines.
  • Market opportunity for another mega airport in the region.
  • Investment in airports infrastructure development in the region.
  • Investment in the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights for the region.

In aviation terms, Aaron Munetsi is an African legend. A thought leader who has been the captain in command of many entities across the continent. Chat Ndege had the pleasure of having a one-on-one with him on the state of aviation in the Southern African region. Read the full interview here...

Collaboration is a critical success factor in the airline industry. Airlines have recognised this for a long time hence the existence of facilities such as interline and joint venture agreements. Such agreements have been extended to become code-share and even mergers and acquisitions. The important consideration is that like-minded airlines will find each other and they will develop mutually beneficial ways to cooperate and collaborate be it through alliances or joint ventures. 
Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

 L   Africa-South America air cargo traffic takes off as services resume
January 18, 2024. Keith Mwanalushi for The Loadstar.

Airlines are increasing capacity between Africa and South America via Brazil, indicating a resurgence in demand for connectivity between the two regions.
    Seen through a Southern African air transport industry lens, Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO, thinks BRICS is yet to fully manifest significant increases in connectivity between its member states.

 L        AASA Member Awards

On-Time Performance report from Cirium reveals the rise of Safair in Meddle East & Africa regional rankings
November 2023. 

Improvements in airline operations were not isolated to North America. Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific carriers also made significant improvement in operations in November. A 5-points improvement in On-Time Performance propelled AirAsia (AK) to the top of Asia-Pacific regional ranking. In Europe, Austrian (OS) emerged as the new leader in the region with 5-points improvement over the previous month's performance. Safair (South Africa) established itself as the dominant airline in both the Middle East & Africa region and the Low-Cost Carriers category.

Download the November On-Time Performance Report – Airlines 2023 and the November On-Time Performance Report – Airports 2023

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

Visit Customs Online Traveller Declaration Portal for more information.

      L   What's New?

     Traveller Declaration Gazetted
22 December 2023.

A Government Gazette (GG) has been published covering the SARS Traveller Declaration with amendments to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964:  Legal-LPrim-AA-2023-02 – Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act 18 of 2023 (GG 49947 Notice 4227) – 22 December 2023. Amendments include: 

  • To provide for the submission of a traveller declaration prior to or upon entering or leaving the Republic in accordance with requirements determined by rule by the Commissioner.
  • To effect changes to the general rule enabling provision so as to enable the Commissioner to make rules concerning various aspects relating to the traveller declaration. Read more...

     South African Traveller Declaration Webinar
17 November 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.

   L      Global News

Spotlight / 2024

Spotlight / 2023

News / 2024

  L  Global aviation sector reaches safety objectives in 2023
March 14, 2023. MenaFN.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA)'s 2023 Global Aviation Sector Safety Report, the industry recorded a notable increase in flights, with a total of 37 million flights, encompassing both jet aircraft and turboprop aircraft. This figure represents a significant uptick of 17 percent compared to the previous year, highlighting the sector's resilience and growth despite ongoing challenges. Read more...

       L  Africa News

Spotlight / 2024 

News / 2024  

  L  Capacity constraints in a growing world: Understanding capacity challenges from an African mindse 
March 20, 2024. International Airport Review.

Ekelem Airhihen, Assistant GM for the Federal Airports Authority for Nigeria (FAAN), discusses capacity challenges for airports across Africa. He gives an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing air traffic, including migration and sociological workforce issues. Read more...

  L  Kenya scraps eTA fees for seven countries 
February 20, 2024. Tourism Update.

Kenya has abolished fees to apply for its new Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) for travellers from seven countries, including the key source market of South Africa. The eTA came into effect at the start of 2024, ostensibly as a part of President William Ruto’s promise of providing visa-free entry to travellers from all countries globally. Read more...

 L          Events / AASA in Attendance

>>  Listen to the podcast of the webinar  << 

      L  Southern Africa News

Spotlight / 2024 

News / 2024 

  L  African Aviation leaders convene in Zambia. What's on the Agenda? 
April 22, 2024. Tatenda Karuwa for Simple Flying.

Stakeholders look to address some of the challenges faced in African aviation 

From April 22 - 24, 2024, African aviation leaders will convene in Lusaka, Zambia, for the Aviation Week Africa Summit and Exhibition. The event seeks to address some of the challenges faced by African airlines and discuss ways of ensuring a prosperous future for the continent’s aviation sector. Read more...

  L  Revolutionizing tourism in SADC: Embracing digital transformation 
March 20, 2024. Travel Daily News.

Johannesburg. Southern African Development Community (SADC) tourism operators need to urgently embrace digital transformation if the region wants to remain competitive, according to a new skills audit report from the SADC Business CouncilRead more...

  L       IATA News

Spotlight / 2024 

News 2024

  L  March 2024 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Published May 1. IATA Economic Reports.

​Strong upward trend in passenger traffic   
African airlines up 8.1% YoY  

African airlines experienced an 8.1% year-on-year (YoY) increase in international passenger demand, signaling robust growth in international passenger markets during that period. Capacity increased by 11% YoY to meet rising demand. Read more...  

  L  March 2024 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis 
Published April 30. IATA Economic Reports.

Double digit YoY growth in air cargo    
African airlines see 14.2% surge in March cargo demand  

African airlines saw 14.2% YoY demand growth for air cargo in March, highlighting a persistent trend in robust annual expansion in the global air cargo markets. Demand on Africa–Asia market increased to 22.9%, however this was a 19.8 ppt notable decline compared to February’s performance and the largest contraction across the major route areas. March capacity increased by 17.3% year-on-year. Read more... 

  L       Environment News

Spotlight 2024

Spotlight 2023

News 2023

  L ICAO Conference delivers strong global framework to implement a clean energy transition for international aviation
November 24, 2023. ICAO News

During the 3rd ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3), held in Dubai from 20 to 24 November 2023, the international aviation sector has taken a leap to accelerate its decarbonization. By the adoption of a new ICAO Global Framework for SAF, LCAF and other aviation cleaner energies, ICAO and its Member States have agreed to strive to achieve a collective global aspirational vision to reduce CO2 emissions in international aviation by 5% by 2030. 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 / 2024

Spotlight / 2023

News / 2024

  L   ICAO: Over 500 new air service agreements signed 
January 29, 2024. ICAO News

Montréal. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is announcing today that 521 new international air service agreements have resulted from its most recent Air Services Negotiation (ICAN) event, which was attended by over 700 participants representing 97 countries.
    These represent record-breaking outcomes for this edition of the annual meeting, which was generously hosted by the General Authority of Civil Aviation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
    In recognition of aviation’s crucial role as a catalyst for sustainable development worldwide, the ICAN series was launched in 2008 to facilitate the initiation or renegotiation of the bilateral and multilateral State agreements that form the regulatory foundation of the modern civil aviation network.