L        About AASA / Executive Team

    Aaron Munetsi Chief Executive Officer   

Aaron Munetsi currently serves as the CEO of AASA. Prior to joining AASA, he held several commercial management positions at South African Airways (SAA), including Regional Manager for Africa and the Middle East, and as its Acting Chief Commercial Officer. 

For 10 years, he served on the board of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Business. After leaving SAA in 2018, he joined the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) for a stint as its Director: Government, Legal and Industry Affairs. He has year's of experience as an aeropolitical and business strategy advisor to airlines.  

Aaron holds diplomas and certificates in marketing, strategic management and leadership from the University of Zimbabwe, University of Witwatersrand Graduate Business School and the Gordon Institute for Business Studies. 

    Vivendra Lochan Chief Operating Officer  

Vivendra (Vees) Lochan currently serves as the COO of AASA. He has gained extensive knowledge and experience in the aviation industry over the past 35 years.

Vees spent a considerable amount of time at South African Airways (SAA) where he held positions in Sales and Marketing, Africa Route Management Division; and headed SAA offices in the Middle East and Gulf, as well as the Indian Sub-continent. In August 2010, Vees joined AASA as Chief Operating Officer. AASA is the SADC airline representative Association dealing with strategic, aeropolitical, regulatory, policy, financial and operational issues affecting its members. He represents AASA and its membership on regulatory committees and industry forums. 

Vees, is an Alternate Director and Chairperson of the Audit Committee of Aviation Coordination Services Limited, a company responsible for several airport services managed on behalf of all airlines operating in South Africa.  

Ms. Dipuo Peters, then South African Minister of Transport, appointed Vees in January 2015 to serve as a member of the Transport Sector Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Charter Council representing the Domestic Aviation sub-sector. 

Vees represents AASA on a number of government committees and is a member of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) Regulations Committee (CARCom) that advises the Minister of Transport. He also serves as Treasurer and Director of the Wonders of Aviation NPC, a non-profit initiative established to promote aviation awareness and careers to the previously disadvantaged youth of South Africa. 

Vees holds a BCom in Business Economics and Economics from the University of Durban-Westville, and an MBA from the same University. 

    João Carlos Pó Jorge / Chairperson   

João Carlos Pó Jorge currently serves as the Chairperson of AASA. He was appointed as the General Director of Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM), SAon July 23, 2018, for an 18 month term, recently renewed for a period of 4 years.

The General Manager’s professional career began in 1985, at LAM, where he joined the staff as a Mechanical Engineer. He served as Head of the Engineering Department in 1987. He was later appointed to coordinate the connection between LAM and the manufacturers, having been LAM’s Resident Representative at Boeing (United States of America), from 1990 to 1993.

After completing this stage of work, he returned to LAM Headquarters, in Maputo, where he assumed the role of Chief of Engineering and Quality, from 1993 to 1995, a period in which he streamlined aircraft planning and engineering, flight operation Engineering, accident investigation, design, implementation and certification of aircraft modification programs, among other activities.

With the experience gained and maximizing contacts with outside entities, he accepted the challenge of joining the team of Pratt & Whitney, a North American firm dedicated to the manufacture of aircraft engines, where he was Customer Support Manager in Africa, from 1995 to 2013.

During this period, he worked in the United States Of America, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Ethiopia, having demonstrated himself in setting up offices in remote locations; coordinate top management improvement actions for airlines in Africa, in the Operational, Commercial and Financial areas, negotiation of acquisition contracts including aircraft leasing, as well as engines; intermediation of commercial contracts between airlines; detailed accident investigation and design and implementation of recommendations; introduction of airline management tools in Africa.

He participated in the restructuring of airlines both to correct irregular situations and to expand, as are the cases of Air Zimbabwe, TACV, TAAG, Air Afrique, Air Senegal, AeroZambia, and Ethiopian Airlines. It supports Behavior Management initiatives to improve work performance.

His career abroad would be interrupted in 2013 when he was invited to join the Board of Directors of LAM, having been Technical Operational Administrator until 2016. Later he was appointed Advisor to the Financial Administrator, a role he held until his appointment to position of General Director of LAM. 

Recently has been elected the Executive Committee Chairperson of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).

    Professor John Lamola / Deputy Chairperson        

Maleselo John Lamola currently serves as the Deputy Chairperson of AASA. He is also the Interim CEO of South African Airways (SAA). He retains the position of Associate Professor of Philosophy of Technology at the University of Johannesburg. Professor Lamola obtained his PhD from Edinburgh University and an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, USA). He is a rated researcher (C2) with the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) and a professional member of the Society on Social Implications of Technology of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - USA).

Prior to his return to full-time academic life, he built and managed a proprietary private equity investment portfolio that included holdings in aviation and internet technologies. Professor Lamola was CEO at Denel Aviation, (1996–2001) before serving on the Board (2012-2017) of Airports Company South Africa (ACSA). He has served as Chairperson of the Board of SAA since July 2021, and served a dual role as CEO from May 2022 to April 2023.

    Elmar Conradie Executive Committee Member    

Elmar Conradie currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of AASA. He is also the CEO of Safair Operations (Pty) Ltd / FlySafair. He has been with the company since 2005, when he started as the CFO, before taking over as CEO in 2015. ​

Before joining Safair, Elmar’s experience includes serving as Group CFO at Aergo Capital Limited; as the Aviation Division Group CFO at Imperial Group; and as an analyst at Macquarie.​

Elmar graduated with a B.Compt Honours (Cum Laude) from the University of the Free State (UFS). He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (ISACA); and a chartered accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

    Rodger Foster Executive Committee Member    

Rodger Foster currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of AASA. He is also the CEO and MD of SA Airlink (Pty) Limited Group of Companies trading as Airlink, since June 1992 to the present (over 30 years). 

Co-founding shareholder of Airlink which commenced business on 12 June 1992. Current shareholder of 23% of Airlink’s issued shares. 

As Southern Africa’s leading airline, Airlink provides comprehensive, safe, and reliable air transportation services, enabling socio-economic development by connecting people with each other and facilitating trade within the region and beyond. 

Airlink is a regional airline with the most comprehensive network of destinations throughout Southern Africa, incorporating large cities and smaller communities. Airlink has strong commercial ties with the world’s leading airlines and as such Airlink has a propensity to provide interline connectivity within its own network and between its network and the air transportation systems of its partners. 

Airlink employs over 1,750 staff and flies to more than 55 destinations throughout SADC. Airlink carries more than 3,000,000 passengers annually on over 70,000 flights using a fleet of 55 aircraft. 

Airlink is privately owned. 

Rodger is a past Chairman of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), with multiple terms of office. 

Rodger holds a Bachelor of Science in Building, Faculty of Architecture, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. 

Rodger is a keen golfer (a member of the Riverclub) and pilots Vintage De Havilland Tiger Moth, Beechcraft King Air B200, and Hawker 400XP. He is a licensed CPL, fixed wing multi engine, IFR.