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 15 Airline Members. In addition, Associate Membership is open to airline partner organisations. There are currently 39 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


Spotlight / 2022

 L        AASA Member News & Notices / 2023

 L   A warm AASA welcome to a new Associate Member: Sabena Engineering  
January 18, 2023. AASA News.

AASA is pleased to announce that Sabena Engineering has joined as an Associate Member.
    Sabena Engineering is an international MRO provider offering maintenance and operational solutions for both civil and military aircraft. Part of the group Orizio, an international aerospace ecosystem, the company develops its MRO activities from its historic headquarters at Brussels Airport and its plant at Brussels South Airport.
    The company has operational infrastructures in over 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and it's activities include Line & Base Maintenance, Aerostructure & Components repair, Engineering, Design & Manufacturing, Engine Services and 24/7 Operational support worldwide. Read more about the Benefits of AASA Membership...

News / 2023

 L   Protectionism of state carriers hinder SAATM progress - AASA CEO  
January 16, 2023. CH Aviation News.

Tanzania will not join the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) in the next five years, according to the country's Permanent Transport Secretary, Gabriel Migire. 
    According to Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO, it is clear that SAATM is still some way from becoming a reality as protectionism of state carriers continues. Read more...

Most regional governments have recognised the potential rewards and are committed to implementing SAATM. But what is said and done can be quite different. Some of these governments, at the instigation of their national carriers, act contrary both to the spirit of SAATM and their bilateral air service agreements by imposing prejudicial requirements on the reciprocal nation's designated airlines. Typically, these manifest in the denial of reciprocal fifth-freedom traffic rights, differential pricing for aircraft landing and airport charges, as well as ground handling service fees and Foreign Operator Permit (FOP) fees. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

 L   Refuelling problem at OR Tambo resolved, with lessons learned, says ACSA

January 2, 2023. News24.

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) says it has resolved a technical issue with refueling of aircraft that hit 41 flights at OR Tambo International Airport on 28 December, and it is putting in place new measures to ensure the problem doesn't recur. Read more...

News / 2022

 L   Operations at O.R. Tambo Airport return to normal

December 29, 2022. SA Government News.

Operations at O.R. Tambo International Airport are back to normal after travellers experienced delays with domestic departures, as well as international departures. Read more...

 L   Systems in place to resolve flight delays at OR Tambo, says Minister Sisulu

December 28, 2022. SA Tourism Ministry Media Statement.

South African Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has been made aware of delays in flights at OR Tambo International Airport due to fuel challenges.
    Minister Sisulu immediately engaged the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) and has been assured that the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) is working hard resolve the problem.
    “On behalf of the government I wish to apologise profusely to all affected travellers for the inconvenience experienced. I have been assured that systems are now in place to resolve the delays”, Minister Sisulu said.  Read more...

 L   Airline Association on 2022 and the outlook for 2023: ‘We will approach the year with caution, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst’

December 20, 2022. Given Majola interview for Business Report.

“We will approach the year with caution, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst,” says Aaron Munetsi, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA).

In an interview with Business Report on 2022 and the outlook for 2023, Munetsi said that as South Africa was so brutally reminded with Covid-19 and then Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “we’re not always good at accurately reading the tea-leaves”.
    Going into the new year, he said AASA would like to see the recovery of air traffic to pre-pandemic levels and a return to profitability. Read more...

 L   Visa Exemption for holders of ordinary passports: Republic of Kenya

December 20, 2022. South African Department of Home Affairs Announcement.

All aviation carriers operating to South Africa are hereby notified that ordinary passport holders of the Republic of Kenya will not be required to be in possession of port of entry visa for a period not exceeding 90 days per calender year. The visa exemption will enter into force on 1 January 2023. The Department's website has been updated to this affect.

 L   Aviation experts, pilots raise concerns after SA air traffic control communication breakdown

December 13, 2022. Carin Smith for News24.

  • A breakdown in the Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) over a vast ocean area for which SA is responsible, has been restored, according to South Africa's Air Traffic and Navigation Services.
  • It is a system through which air traffic controllers transmit text-based messages to pilots as an alternative to voice communications to aircraft.
  • Although the breakdown has been restored, aviation experts and pilots caution that the incident still raises serious concerns.

Linden Birns, AASA PR representative, said the industry has repeatedly raised its concerns with the relevant SA authorities over the severely diminished capability and capacity of the SAAF and SA Navy which has compromised their ability to provide  air and sea-borne maritime search and rescue services the government has committed to under civil aviation and maritime treaties. Read more...

 L   [EVENT: AFRAA 54th AGA] Acing the Roadmap to Sustainable African Aviation

December 12, 2022. AASA News.

Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO, served as a panelist at AFRAA's 54th AGA discussing the Intra-African Connectivity: Roadmap to make SAATM a Reality forum. Read more...

   L      Global News

Spotlight / 2023

Spotlight / 2022

News / 2023

  L  Global report ranks a South African airline as the second most punctual in the world
January 11, 2023. Rebecca Campbell for Engineering News.

Global aviation database and analytics company OAG published its “Punctuality League 2023” report on Tuesday, ranking both airlines and airports around the world in terms of their On-Time Performance (OTP) during last year. And a South African airline was ranked second in the world for its OTP: FlySafair (Safair). 
    FlySafair achieved an OTP of 95.3%, second only to Garuda Indonesia’s 95.63%. There were no other African airlines in the Top 20. Read more...

News / 2022

  L  Global airlines on track in 2023 to return to profit for first time since 2019 - IATA
December 6, 2022. The National News.

Industry set to earn $4.7 billion next year on higher revenue after narrowing losses this year.

Airlines around the world are on track to return to profit next year after narrowing losses this year as passenger demand continues to improve and Covid-19 restrictions ease, despite economic headwinds, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.
    The global industry is forecast to collectively earn a net income of $4.7 billion in 2023 — the first time it will return to the black since 2019, when it recorded a profit of $26.4 billion — while revenue is projected to reach $779 billion, Iata said in Geneva on Tuesday. Read more...

       L  Africa News

Spotlight / 2023 

Spotlight / 2022 

News / 2023  

  L  Tanzania defers SAATM accession  
January 16, 2023. CH Aviation News.

Tanzania will not join the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) in the next five years, according to the country's Permanent Transport Secretary, Gabriel Migire.
    "Liberalisation of African skies is a good idea, but we need to open it strategically," Migire told The Citizen newspaper. "Let's give ourselves five years to pave the way to preparing local operators to compete fairly." Read more...

  L  Addressing aviation’s value chain in Africa  
January 3, 2023. Kelvin Osa Okunbor for The Nation.

As global air transportation recovers from the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, regulators on the continent’s value chain are sizing up the landscape for air transportation as authorities look into issues erecting a clog to growth. Read more...

News / 2022  

  L  Is tourism the answer to rebuilding Africa’s aviation industry?  December 12, 2022. Aerotime Hub.

As global air travel positions to outperform 2019 levels, there is a surge in initiatives across Africa’s aviation industry to improve domestic and international air connectivity and increase air traffic within Africa and between Africa and neighboring regions. 
    The trends emerging in pursuit of this focus, while being implemented on a state-by-state basis, reveal a strong correlation between Africa’s air travel recovery and growth, and tourism in and out of the continent. Read more...

 L        Events

Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (BARSA)



The two day BARSA Summit will bring together high-level policy makers, captains of industry, thought-leadership and key stakeholders from across aviation and tourism to create a clear path into the future of aviation and to celebrate the awakening of the airline industry. 

Summit delegates represent domestic and international airline operators, air transport regulatory authorities, airport operators, aviation service providers, aviation and tourism associations, tourism marketing agencies, government departments and agencies, and research institutions.

BARSA represents the interests of its international, regional and local member airlines and ground handlers to government, airport operators and stakeholders in the airline industry. BARSA provides a single concerted voice on policy and other matters in relation to government and other stakeholders in transport, business and tourism. Registrations open in February 2023

      L  Southern Africa News

Spotlight / 2023 

Spotlight / 2022 

News / 2023 

  L  Eswatini Air receives Air Operator Certificate, prepares for launch

January 5, 2023. Michael Jonga for Aerotime Hub.

The new national carrier of the Kingdom of Eswatini, Royal Eswatini National Airways Corporation (RENAC), trading as Eswatini Air, has received its Air Operator Certificate. The airline announced the news via Facebook, stating that there were “just a few logistics” to attend to before it would “revert with fares and a schedule” for its routes. Read more...

  L  SA airlines struggling to meet domestic demand, says ACSA CEO

January 3, 2023. Thabiso Goba for EyeWitness News.

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) CEO Mpumi Mpofu said the liquidation of airlines such as Comair, SA Express and Kulula had left a significant void in the sector.

ACSA CEO Mpumi Mpofu said that airlines were struggling to meet domestic demand...the liquidation of airlines and the seat capacity from those airlines had not been restored...Read more... 

  L       IATA News


Spotlight / 2022

News 2023

  L  November 2022 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Published January 9, 2023. IATA Economic Reports.

Air travel recovery continues
African airlines' passenger demand up 83.5% Y-o-Y 

African airlines' international RPKs grew by 83.5% YoY in November, bringing the level to 20.0% short of November 2019 figures. Capacity was up 48.4% and load factor climbed 14.2 percentage points to 74.3%, the lowest among regions. Read more...  

  L  November 2022 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis 
Published January 9, 2023. IATA Economic Reports.

Air cargo demand declines
African airline cargo volumes decrease by 6.3%

African airlines saw cargo volumes decrease by 6.3% in November 2022 compared to November 2021. This was an improvement in performance compared to the previous month (-8.3%). Capacity was 11.4% below November 2021 levels. Read more...   

  L       Environment News

Spotlight 2023

Spotlight 2022

News 2022

  L Aviation Biofuels Market Growth Segments 2023 Opportunity, Challenges, Risk Factors, Developments, Strategies, and Global Industry Size, Trends Forecast to 2028
December 2, 2022. Digital Journal/TheExpressWire.

Global Aviation Biofuels Market Large-scale Researchers 2023-2028 have published a report titled An increase in demand and Opportunities for Global Aviation Biofuels Market 2023 provides insight into the Aviation Biofuels industrys covered a competitive market area and a thorough evaluation of industry pioneers with CAGR. Read more...

  L  Aerospace majors united on need to cut aviation carbon emissions

October 17, 2022. Rebecca Campbell for EngineeringNews.

The world’s top three manufacturers of commercial airliners were in broad agreement about what had to be done in order to achieve net-zero-carbon-emissions aviation by 2050. This was clearly shown by addresses to the AASA AGA on Friday, by representatives of (in alphabetical order) Airbus, Boeing and Embraer. 
    Embraer was represented by GM Institutional Affairs Director Hussein Dabbas, Boeing by Africa and Middle East Sales Director Herb W Wallen, and Airbus by Environment & Sustainability Marketing Director Corrin Higgs. They all participated in a panel discussion on environmental considerations for aviation. The panel was moderated by AASA's environmental and wildlife specialist Dr Ian Cruikshank. Read more...

  L       ICAO News

Spotlight / 2023

Spotlight / 2022

News / 2022

  L   Poppy Khoza: Soaring from rural Dundee to the first female chair of the UN's civil aviation assembly   
October 16, 2022. Carin Smith for News24.

From humble beginnings in rural KwaZulu-Natal, near Dundee, Poppy Khoza's career in aviation has made her not only the first woman at the helm of South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), but also the first woman to preside over the global assembly of the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). 
    ICAO's 41st Assembly took place in the Montreal, Canada recently. Khoza says her election to chair the assembly is a sign of how the rest of the world perceives SA's contribution to issues facing world aviation. The assembly meets not less than once every three years, and has numerous powers and duties, although generally it reviews in detail the work of ICAO, a body charged with, among other things, supporting diplomatic efforts that will help align national regulations globally...Read more..

  L   ICAO report outlines steps to reduce aviation's carbon output   
September 5, 2022. Bran Corliss for Leeham News & Analysis.

Saying the climate crisis now is at “Code Red for Humanity,” the UN-sponsored International Civil Aviation Organization is calling on nations and companies to increase their investments toward techniques and technologies that can reduce aviation’s climate impact.
     It won’t be easy, ICAO said in its Environmental Report 2022, which was released in July. The aviation industry will be one of the hardest to ween off carbon-based forms of energy, a recent report concluded. Read more...