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Spotlight / 2022

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. 
    “[The airport] is open to both travellers and non-travellers. Thank you for entrusting us with your travel plans, and we apologise once again for any inconvenience caused,” Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) said on Thursday. Read more...

 L   Safair CEO Elmar Conradie, a charismatic leader committed to transparency in the workplace

December 28, 2022. Daily Maverick.

With many airlines closing down in South Africa – and even more struggling to stay afloat – one commercial company has come out of the storm despite experiencing heavy turbulence. 

Founded in 1965, Safair had been doing aviation work in South Africa for decades before establishing its commercial airline, FlySafair, in 2014. At the head of the successful airline is CEO Elmar Conradie.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 SA Air Force and SA Navy which has compromised their ability to provide the required air and sea-borne maritime search and rescue services that 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   [Event: African Union - SAATM Workshop] Implementing SAATM: Opportunities and Challenges facing African Airlines - Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

December 2, 2022. AASA News.

Accra. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO, presents his assessment of the opportunities and challenges facing African airlines to implement SAATM at the African Union's Continental Workshop on SAATM Regulatory Instruments held in Accra, Ghana on 2 December. Download the presentation...

 L   [Radio Interview/ The Business Report on Nova 103 Ep 50] AASA CEO interviewed at the Namibia Aviation & Connectivity Forum

November 17, 2022. Namibia Future Media / The Business Report.

In this episode's Lead Story, Gary Stroebel speaks to Bisey /Uirab CEO of the Namibia Airports Company. In the Spotlight Gary speaks to Andre Compion, the MD of FlyNamibia In the BizNews Wrap, and David Bishop speaks to Aaron Muntsi, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA).


 L   Inaugural Namibia Aviation & Connectivity Forum: Various experts expected to feature at maiden Aviation and Connectivity Forum in Namibia this week

November 14, 2022. Namibia Economist.

The Minister of Transport John Mutorwa will be joined by Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ville Skinnari to officiate the opening of the Namibia Aviation and Connectivity Forum scheduled from 16 to 18 November at the Safari Court Hotel in Windhoek.
    Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO, is a confirmed speaker, among many prominent SADC aviation leaders, and representatives of the Namibian banking and finance sector.
    The purpose of the Forum, a first of its kind for Namibia, is to create a platform where key industry players and stakeholders will share, tackle, rethink and put into motion, ideas on the trajectory that the aviation industry and its related ecosystem will take over the next few years. Read more...

 L   Precision Air Condolences

November 7, 2022. AASA News.

Johannesburg. On behalf of the Board of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), the Chairman, Mr. João Jorge extends condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the victims of the fatal accident of Precision Air flight PW494 on 6 November 2022 near Bukoba airport. 
    AASA extends its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends who have lost their loved ones in this accident. Our sympathies are with the families and the entire workforce of Precision Air and the entire aviation community in Tanzania, on their irreplaceable losses. We remain available to lend a hand of sympathy and support to our fellow colleagues in these trying times, said Mr. Jorge, Director-General of Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM).

 L   SA airports promise working travelators, escalators, and lifts for the festive season

November 1, 2022. Luke Daniel for Business Insider SA.

South Africa's major airports are gearing up for an influx of festive season travellers, bringing people-moving infrastructure, like travelators, escalators, and lifts, back into service.

Concerns around the state of South Africa's airports have heightened ahead of the festive season – the first in two years without any lockdown restrictions – which will see a surge in both domestic and foreign passengers. 
    AASA's CEO, Aaron Munetsi noted: "ACSA has been transparent with us. They've told us that they are in the process of revamping some of their airports, especially OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town International, to ensure they are able to handle the traffic they are anticipating in the next three to four months [including] the festive season, which is obviously our peak period..." Read more...

 L   SA Tourism Minister calls for synergy between aviation and tourism to drive industry

October 20, 2022. Kojo Bentum Williams for VoyagesAfriq.

South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu is pushing for the deepening of collaboration between aviation and tourism in order to build a robust and sustainable travel industry. 
    The Minister is also of the belief that such synergy is needed to help the industry recover quickly from the devasting effects of COVID-19 while ensuring seamless travel and movement of people within the Southern African region. 
    Sisulu made this known in her address at the 52nd Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) Annual General Assembly in Kleinmond on October 14. Read more...

 L   AASA CEO bemoans lack of gov’t support for aviation industry

October 19, 2022. Kojo Bentum Williams for VoyagesAfriq.

The CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has taken a swipe at governments within the region for failing to provide much-needed relief for airlines despite recent global happenings that have negatively impacted their operations. 
    Addressing delegates of the AASA’s 52nd General Assembly in Kleinmond, Aaron Munetsi submitted that it was regrettable that constant calls on governments to provide relief to airlines have gone unheeded. Read more...

 L   [WATCH eNCA] More jet fuel shortages feared and visas weigh down airlines

October 18, 2022. #eNCA #DStv403  

Another jet fuel shortage is on the cards as the Transnet strike continues to stifle activity at the country's ports.
    Earlier this month, a shipment of jet fuel to the Cape Town port was delayed due to bad weather. Now the Airlines Association (AASA) says its members are bracing themselves for fuel shortages if the strike continues for much longer. Read more...

 L   Worries over jet fuel supply and flights in South Africa as festive season approaches

October 18, 2022. Business Tech.

The Airlines Association of South Africa (AASA) has warned that knock-on effects from the Transnet strike could exacerbate fuel supply issues and result in a nationwide jet fuel shortage. This devastating prospect could leave airlines grounded during the festive season.

“We are very concerned with the challenges faced amid the economically crippling strike by rail and harbour workers, including those that a jet fuel shortage would bring to our industry,” said AASA’s CEO Aaron Munetsi. 
    Munetsi noted that a fuel shortage would not only inconvenience travellers and clients that use airline services to transport goods, but it would cripple the tourism and aviation sector – especially considering that South Africa is going into its peak summer tourism season. Read more...

 L   Aviation sector’s sustainability remains under threat - AASA

October 17, 2022. Given Majola for Business Report

The aviation industry’s sustainability commercially, financially, economically, socially and environmentally, remained under threat, according to Aaron Munetsi, the CEO Aasa).

Giving the Aviation Industry Roadmap at AASA’s 52nd annual general assembly near Kleinmond in the Western Cape on Friday, Munetsi said that for years, AASA had been ready and pleading with governments in southern Africa to engage so they could work together meaningfully. Read more...

 L   Converting SA to full e-visa system tripped up by huge backlog, tech challenges, says Sisulu

October 16, 2022. Carin Smith for News24.com.

  • The tourism and aviation industries have both been hit hard by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Even before the pandemic hit, the implementation of a full e-visa system was used as an example of how it can be made easier for travellers to visit the country.
  • Although it does not fall directly under her department, Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu addressed the challenges at the annual general assembly of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa.

The implementation of e-visas to facilitate travel to the country is being tripped up by a huge backlog in converting the paper-based system to a computerised one, according to Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu.

"We continue to advocate for solutions in the areas that support and enable aviation such as visa facilitation. A lot of work has been done by the Department of Home Affairs as a partner to the sector and most recently, the rollout of e-visas in various countries, including seven African countries was implemented," Sisulu said at the 52nd Annual General Assembly of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) taking place near Kleinmond. Read more...


AASA elects 2022-23 Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson

October 15, 2022. 

Kleinmond – Mr. João Carlos Pó Jorge has been elected the new Chairperson and Mr. Elmar Conradie as Deputy Chairperson of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA). They were elected at the 52nd Annual General Meeting and will serve for the next 12 months.

Mr. Jorge is the Director-General of Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM). Mr. Conradie is the CEO of Safair.

Our industry emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic in a very different shape to what it was. It is leaner, fitter, and stronger, but faces considerable economic and regulatory headwinds and external threats, including the reliable supply of fuel, which is the most immediate pressing issue. Both João and Elmar are highly respected and knowledgeable leaders in the Southern African air transport industry and well-placed to provide guidance and support as we continue to lead and speak for the airline industry and engage on their behalf with governments and regulators throughout the SADC region. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

AASA’s 2022 Annual General Assembly was attended by over 260 delegates representing airlines, airports, air navigation and weather services as well as manufacturers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Issues addressed included the need for urgent action by governments in the region to review policies and regulations to enable a more efficient, comprehensive, and competitive air transport industry to serve and support all the economies of the SADC region. Download [pdf]...

 L   [WATCH eNCA Special] 52nd AASA AGA and Airlines Summit: Carriers want to spread their wings

October 15, 2022. #eNCA #DStv403  

Jet fuel shortages and the Transnet strike topped the agenda at an Airlines Summit in the Western Cape. The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) held its 52nd Annual General Assembly. eNCA's Ayesha Ismail reports at the AGA.

 L   Minister of Tourism addresses the 52nd AASA AGA on developments in the tourism industry

October 14, 2022. AASA News.

Future Developments & Prospects for the SADC Tourism Industry

South African Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, addressed the 52nd AASA AGA and Southern African region’s aviation industry at a critical juncture for our deeply interconnected and interdependent sectors@LindiweSisuluSA  #WeDoTourism

 L   [WATCH eNCA News] 52nd AASA AGA and Airlines Summit: Turbulent times aviation industry

October 14, 2022. #eNCA #DStv403 

It's been turbulent times for the airline industry. First Covid-19 took them out of the sky and just when it looked like it was cleared for take-off, it was hit by high fuel costs and shortages. The Airlines Association of Southern Africa is holding its annual general assembly. Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is set to address challenges with local flights.

 L   Airlines Association of Southern Africa adds its concern over ongoing Transnet strike

October 14, 2022. Dieketseng Maleke for Business Report

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has added its voice to growing concerns over the Transnet strike that is negatively affecting most sectors of South Africa’s economy.

Transnet Port Terminals, an operating division of Transnet, has declared a force majeure, which means it cannot fulfil its contractual obligations due to unforeseeable circumstances.Read more...

 L   SA airports may face new fuel crunch if Transnet strike drags on, aviation leader warns

October 14, 2022. Carin Smith for News24.com.

The Transnet strike can lead to SA airports once again facing jet fuel shortages, warns the CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa.

If the Transnet strike is prolonged, jet fuel supplies to South Africa's main airports could be jeopardised ahead of the peak summer tourist season, and at a time when airlines can least afford further disruption, warns Aaron Munetsi, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA). 

Our meeting here takes place against the backdrop of what threatens to be an economically crippling strike by rail and harbour workers. Although AASA supports the Constitutional rights of labour to protest and strike, in this instance South Africans and their economy will bear the brunt of this action and the impact will ripple throughout the rest of the region and everyone will be poorer. We urge government and the fuel suppliers to urgently apply themselves to establishing a far more robust and resilient plan for such eventualities. We cannot afford for our travel and tourism industry's - or our economy's - recovery to be derailed through failures to plan and procure suitable provisions of jet fuel and by not implementing policies and regulations that insulate aviation from the impact of any disruptions. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

Aaron Munetsi's warnings were echoed by Kamil Al-Awadhi, regional vice-president for Africa and the Middle East of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Read more...

 L   AASA begs govt to waive airport fees as jet fuel rations at Cape Town squeezes airlines

September 28, 2022. Engineering News.

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has raised concern about the imposition of jet fuel rations at the Cape Town International Airport.

AASA says the restrictions will likely result in disruptions to airline schedules and possibly lead to cancelled flights, at a time when the industry and the economy can ill afford it. 
    While the AASA appreciates the efforts being made by Airports Company South Africa to manage fuel stocks at the airport, the escalation of jet fuel rations throws into sharp focus South Africa’s vulnerability, owing to its reliance on imported jet fuel, the association states. 
    AASA has called on government and fuel suppliers to move with urgency to put in place a more robust resilience plan to ensure sufficient stocks of aviation fuel. Read more...

 L   [PODCAST: Interview] Airlines Association of Southern Africa gears up for 52nd AGA

September 23, 2022. Kojo Bentum-Williams for VoyagesAfriq.

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) is set to hold its 52nd Annual General Assembly this year in Cape Town (Kleinmond), South Africa from 13-16 October 2022.

The theme of the conference is My African Dream which is a call to African aviation to share in the same dream of a dynamic, resilient, and sustainable aviation industry. AASA’s CEO, Aaron Munetsi speaking on the VA Tourism Podcast said the meeting will provide a unique platform for stakeholders of the aviation industry to share their aspirations for the industry beyond the horizon of full recovery in order to start making commitments to enable the realization of our collective dream. Read more...

 L   Industry perseveres despite turbulent period

September 16, 2022. Cameron Mackay Engineering News.

As of mid-August, combined domestic and international passenger traffic to, from and within Southern Africa has recovered to about 64% of August 2019 levels, says industry body Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) CEO Aaron Munetsi.

This is despite the Southern Africa air transport industry having undergone a major upheaval and change in the past 30 months. He adds that the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in air traffic “evaporating overnight” in late March 2020. 
    The pandemic’s impact also harmed the industry’s providers of infrastructure and services, “with ripple effects throughout the respective supply and value chains of these industries”. 
    Munetsi also stresses that State-owned carrier South African Airways’ (SAA) emergence from its business rescue with a smaller fleet, network and schedule has redefined the air transport landscape.

Development Importance

Munetsi emphasises that air transport is the prime enabler and catalyst for stimulating intra-African trade, commerce and tourism. 

We still see high population growth and accelerating urbanisation in Africa. Governments need to create an enabling environment that stimulates economic activity if this is to be sustainable. Air transport will fulfil its potential only when governments allow all African airlines to operate without restrictions on existing and new intra-African routes. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

He adds that the current limits on market access are restricting economic growth, “as they have for decades”. While removing these barriers could be achieved bilaterally between countries, Munetsi stresses that a multilateral approach using the African Union’s (AU’s) Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) approach would be more effective. Read more...

 L   [PODCAST: AviaDev Insight] Jon Howell interviews Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO and Tatum Kok, AASA Aviation Analyst

September 8, 2022. 

Jon Howell, Founder & MD of AviaDev, interviews Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO and Tatum Kok, AASA's Aviation Analyst. They take a look back at Aaron's first year as CEO, and provide a sneak preview of the upcoming AASA AGA being held from 13 to 16 October at the Arabella Hotel, Golf & Spa.

Highlights from the podcast include:

  • How to manage a group of stakeholders that are in constant co-opertition?
  • How AASA is engaging airlines from outside the region.
  • The recovery of the industry. Are we on track and what more needs to be done to support?
  • The state of connectivity in the SADC region and initiatives to open skies, borders and improve collaboration.
  • The overall theme of the upcoming Annual General Assembly and what to expect.


 L   Tackling ESG: The new big deal in boardrooms

August 16, 2022. Paul Murungi for Monitor.

Global pressure is leading the aviation industry to transition to green energy, as well as encouraging companies to adhere to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda.

The aviation industry like other businesses are being encouraged to develop ESG strategies as part of the industry’s commitment towards its Net Zero 2050 target. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is leading the industry.  
    Linden Birns, an aviation industry consultant at Plane Talking says AASA is developing a regional environmental strategy to support its Members with their ESG strategies...Read more...

 L   [RADIO INTERVIEW: PowerFM 98.7] Airlines paying 75% more for jet fuel, negatively impacting domestic and global tourism and aviation sectors

August 12, 2022. 

AASA's CEO, Aaron Munetsi, was interviewed by Sonto Ndlovu for the #POWERTalk series about South African Tourism and Trade's 2021  tourism recovery plan and AASA's role in the tourism and aviation sectors, as well as the recent price increase in flights and its impact on the tourism sector. 

Watch the full interview on Twitter @Powerfm987.

 L   Big increases in overseas flight prices to SA loom as EU, UK green taxes expand

August 8, 2022. Carin Smith for Fin24.com.

  • The Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has called for a sustainability strategy for aviation in the region to offset the impact of carbon taxes being imposed or which will likely be imposed in future.
  • AASA is busy developing a holistic strategy to counter the threat of resultant higher ticket prices. It includes looking at the use of sustainable jet fuel.
  • An environmental expert anticipates a potentially big impact of such taxes on flights to and from SA as a long haul destination.

South African flight prices to Europe, the UK - and eventually the rest of the world - could climb by up to thousands of rands unless something is done to counteract the effects of various emissions taxes, an expert has warned....Read more...

 L   SA aviation sector pays higher charges and faces more stringent regulations than sister countries

August 6, 2022. Narissa Subramoney for Citizen.co.za.

Charges and fees constitute as much as 70% of the cost of a single flight ticket.

  • Jet fuel is currently nearly 73% higher than it was in January 2022.
  • Charges and fees constitute as much as 70% of the cost of a single flight ticket.
  • There are disparities in regulatory burdens and licensing costs between South Africa and sister countries on the continent, where our airlines are subjected to disproportionately higher charges and more stringent regulations than our counterparts.

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa's (AASA) in a frank conversation with Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has outlined several problems facing the country’s aviation sector. 
    Sisulu met with AASA CEO, Aaron Munetsi, on Friday amid reports of airline seat shortages and the rising cost of flights, which is hampering the tourism sector’s recovery from the 2020 pandemic.
    Munetsi outlined a wide range of regulatory, operational and global economic impacts confronting the country’s aviation sector. Key issues that affect travel and tourism include regulatory issues both in South Africa and her peer destinations.
..

 L   How will Africa increase air cargo market share as recovery gears up?

July 18, 2022. Africa Logistics Upate.

Current aviation market trends and data points suggest that aviation is slowly and steadily getting back to what it was pre-pandemic. Going forward, how will Africa’s air cargo industry deal with the headwinds and tailwinds it is experiencing?

Aaron Munetsi, CEO AASA, wants African airlines to upgrade their services to become airlines of choice in Africa. This is vital for air cargo in Africa. As economies and aviation industry recover globally, Africa's air cargo industry now faces the vital test of improving air cargo infrastructure, services and demand. There is hope the AUC, AFCAC, African airlines and regional aviation and economic organisations will lead efforts to lift Africa up from the present 1.9% of global air cargo market share...Read more...

 L   ACSA launches new mobile airport app

July 12, 2022. BizCommunity.com

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has launched its new mobile app, which is aimed at enhancing the customer experience for Acsa passengers as they move through the company's airports or seek travel-related information. The ACSA App, which was launched on 1 July 2022, is available for free download on Apple, Google and Huawei App stores. Read more...

 L   South Africa's DFFE releases final promulgation of Aviation Tariffs for 2022/23 - 2024/25

July 12, 2022. SA Government Notices.

The SA Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) have gazetted Aviation Tariffs and Fees for the provision of Aviation Meteorological Services for the years 2022/23 - 2024/25.  Download the GG47124 for the new tariffs...

 L   Watchdog looks to tackle sky-high airline ticket prices

July 12, 2022. BusinessDay News.

Competition Commission receives complaints about soaring prices after the collapse of Comair

SA’s competition authority said on Tuesday it is expediting its investigations into “excessive” pricing by airlines after receiving formal complaints from consumers as ticket prices continue to soar. Airline ticket prices have skyrocketed in recent weeks in the wake of the collapse of Comair, which accounted for as much as 40% of Southern Africa’s airline capacity. Read more...

 L   South Africa's Department of Home Affairs release revised Advance Passenger Processing (APP) Guide for Airlines (Version 13) effective June 2022

July 4, 2022. SA Department of Home Affairs News.

South Africa's Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is tasked with the implementation of Advance Passenger Processing (APP), enabling the government to perform advance passenger screening for all passengers and crew travelling by air to, from and through South Africa.

The DHA  is focused on reducing the number of inadmissible people arriving at ports of entry and has mandated that all airlines comply with the directive of becoming APP compliant. The APP Amendment Version 13 has updated the following sections:

  • Page 5, Paragraph 1.3: The use of this Guide
  • Page 7, Paragraph 2.4: Passports not accepted by South Africa
  • Page 12, Paragraph 3.2.1: Check-in Responses

 L   Air Transport News (ATN) interviews AASA's CEO, Aaron Munetsi 

July 1, 2022. Air Transport News (ATN).

In this interview AASA's CEO, Aaron Munetsi, shares his views on AASA's challenges and priorities over the next 3 years, his vision as CEO, and the importance of SAATM and AfCFTA in achieving a successful and  sustainable African and SADC aviation industry. Read more...

I am optimistic to a fault on the future of aviation in our SADC region and indeed on the rest of the continent. The SAATM and the AfCFTA give us the opportunity to make strides in achieving our objectives of an integrated and progressive aviation industry. If there is one lesson we have learnt from the pandemic it is that we all need each other and cooperation is critical for our mutual sustainability. There is no better time than now to embrace the popular African saying: to go fast, go alone, to go far, go with othersAaron Munetsi, AASA CEO
 L   IT’S OFFICIAL: Face masks are gone, border checks and gatherings ban dropped in SA

June 22, 2022. Business Insider News. 

As of Wednesday, 22 June, South Africans no longer need to wear face masks. Limits on gatherings and border checks for Covid-19 – and the need to be vaccinated to enter South Africa – have also been dropped. Health Minister Joe Phaahla repealed the relevant regulations with a simple notice in the Government GazetteRead more...

 L   Southern African airlines in Catch-22 as costs rise amid fragile demand

June 17, 2022. Engineering News. 

To all practical intents and purposes, the Covid-19 pandemic hit Southern Africa just over two years ago. The pandemic and the measures adopted by the region’s governments to try and counter it have had a severe impact on the Southern African airline industry (and indeed on all sectors associated with it, including airports and tourism). Although Covid-19 did not, on its own, drive any of the region’s airlines out of business, it proved the last straw for a number of carriers that were already in financial trouble before the disease struck.

Since the end of 2019 (the last pre- pandemic year), two of the region’s operators, Air Namibia and SA Express, have gone into liquidation. Four have undergone, or are still undergoing, business rescue (the local counterpart to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US): Air Mauritius, Comair, South African Airways (SAA) and Mango (the low-cost carrier subsidiary of SAA). Currently, State-owned Mango is not operating and the joint business rescue practitioner at Comair (operator of British Airways in South Africa and Kulula brands) has given notice to affected persons indicating that they “no longer believe that there is a reasonable prospect that the company can be rescued.” Read more...

Financially, the pandemic-driven disruption to normal airline operations and business put carriers under immense pressure. All airlines, without exception, were adversely impacted by the pandemic. AASA, in conjunction with other airline representative associations, appealed to the SADC governments to provide financial relief to all airlines, regardless of ownership, by way of cash injection or through other instruments such as the waiver or reduction of statutory taxes, levies and charges. It is regrettable that most governments in the region have not seen their way to support an industry that is intrinsic to the economic health and sustainability of every modern and aspiring country. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

 L   AASA attending AviaDev Africa 2022: 29 June to 1 July in Cape Town
June 10, 2022. AASA News. 

AviaDev Africa brings together the key players in the African aviation community to forge new collaborations and partnerships to ensure that Africa remains connected regionally and internationally. 

AASA will be attending the AviaDev Africa 2022 conference at the Century City Convention Centre in Cape Town from 29 June to 1 July. Click to register for this year's event.

 L   AASA CEO to participate in the African Aviation Summit - Air Finance Africa - 8 to 10 June - Johannesburg
June 7, 2022. AASA News. 

AASA's CEO, Aaron Munetsi, is a Speaker at the African Aviation Summit - Air Finance Africa and will share his insight on the Prospects for Airline Co-Operation and Consolidation in Southern Africa.

African airline leaders will meet to discuss the African aviation industry during the Milestone 30th African Aviation Summit: Air Finance Africa Conference & Exhibition at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa, from 8 to 10 June. 

The challenge of funding airlines in Africa – both existing carriers and startups – is a subject high on the agenda during the Annual African Aviation Summit: Air Finance Africa. International and African financial experts and senior officials representing leading airlines from around Africa candidly address the pressing issues at hand and, importantly, recommended practical solutions to help resolve the situation. Read more...

 L   [INTERVIEW] Professionalism and access to contacts are essential to overcoming aviation challenges – Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

June 6, 2022. Martin Chemhere for Nomad Africa magazine. 

Ever-evolving as an organisation, to meet the demands of the SADC markets, and the African and international aviation spaces, the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) appointed Zimbabwean-born Aaron Munetsi as its new CEO (last year). The leading African aviation veteran, in this exclusive interview with Editor, Martin Chemhere, has more insights on what he brings and intends to do with advancing the objectives of the regional organisation.  

Nomad Africa: Explain some of the challenges of the South African / African aviation industry that you hope to tackle?

Aaron Munetsi: I think that the overall challenge that the continent is struggling with is implementing open skies. The African Union’s 2018 adoption of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) signaled a renewed commitment to open up Africa’s skies to African airlines. To date, 35 countries have signed up but requires fresh impetus. Once SAATM’s implementation gains momentum the broad economic benefits of open skies will become apparent...Read the full interview here...

 L   Unfair to penalise airlines for not providing cheap tickets, says aviation body
June 5, 2022. Bekezela Phakathi for Business Day. 

Carriers are subject to the economic law of supply and demand, like all other businesses.

A local aviation industry body (AASA), which represents all big carriers in SA and the region, says it would be unreasonable and unfair for the competition authority to penalise airlines for failing to provide cheap tickets.

The rules of supply and demand, as well as the checks and balances to promote fair competition apply to all SA airlines, just as they do to any other local business. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

 L   Comair suspension: Airlines Association says members not deliberately hiking prices

June 3, 2022. ENCA. 

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) says its Members are not deliberately hiking ticket prices in the wake of the Comair grounding.    
    On Wednesday, the Competition Commission met airlines to urge them not to inflate prices. Comair's flight suspension left a 40%n gap in the country's aviation capacity.
    The Association's CEO, Aaron Munetsi, explains that tickets bought closer to the departure date arem ore costly than those purchased well in advance. Read more...

 L   SA embarking on a new era in fight against COVID, says Ramaphosa 

March 22, 2022.  

AASA welcomes the further lifting of COVID-19 protocols in South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has revised South Africa’s restrictions under alert level 1, which calls for the end of outdoor mask-wearing and will allow for larger gatherings.

In his address to the nation on Tuesday evening, Ramaphosa said due to the changing nature of the pandemic the government would lift the National State of Disaster and replace it with new health regulations. Read more...

 L   [LISTEN] RADIO 702 INTERVIEW with Aaron Munetsi, CEO of AASA 

March 11, 2022. Radio 702 / Afternoon Drive with John Perlman 

AASA CEO, Aaron Munetsi speaks to John Perlman on Radio 702 to discuss how the new appointments to the (air services) councils will now have to work through a 12-month-long backlog of applications for new routes.


AASA welcomes appointment of South Africa's new Air Services Councils

Councils are crucial for South Africa's air transport sector and the country's economic development

March 10, 2022. Johannesburg. The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) welcomes the appointment of South Africa’s new air services councils and calls on them to move swiftly to clear the 12 months backlog of licence applications and enable South Africa’s airlines to better connect the country with its markets. 

AASA, which represents most of the airlines in the Southern African Development Community, has been working behind the scenes to encourage South Africa’s government to expedite the appointment of the new councils, both of which had become defunct in April 2021 when the terms of the previous councillors ended.

While we congratulate Cabinet on confirming the appointments of the new councillors, there is much work to be done and no time to rest. The absence of functioning councils for almost a year held back South Africa’s airlines and prevented them from providing the economic and social benefits that air connectivity provides by facilitating trade, tourism and travel. The councils’ resumption will be a great relief for South Africa’s travel and tourism sector as it seeks to rebuild following the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions. 
Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

Under South African legislation, the International Air Services Council and its domestic counterpart, the Air Services Licencing Council, are required to consider applications and award or withdraw licences granted to South African-based airlines and operators of other commercial aviation services. Download this full news release [pdf]...

 L   SA airlines haven’t been able to get new routes for almost a year – govt says wait is almost over 
February 10, 2022. Luke Daniel for Business Insider SA.

South Africa has been without an International Air Services Licensing Council (IASLC) for more than 10 months, leaving the local airline industry in limbo when it comes to acquiring new routes and flight frequencies.

  • South Africa's embattled airline industry is looking to spread its wings as coronavirus-induced travel bans subside.
  • But acquiring new international routes and flight frequencies is not currently possible and it's been that way since March 2021.
  • That's the last time South Africa had an Air Services Licensing Council.
  • The department of transport is tasked with appointing a new council, but has been dragging its heels, leaving local airlines in limbo.

As international travel bans ease and the aviation sector focuses on recovering grievous losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, South African airlines are looking to spread their wings. But acquiring new regional and international routes has effectively been suspended since March 2021.  
    This impasse arises from the disbanding of the IASLC, which is the authority responsible for awarding or revoking traffic rights to airlines based in South Africa. Members of the IASLC, appointed by the department of transport, serve for a three-year term. Read more...

We are very disappointed in the fact that it has taken so long [to establish the IASLC] and, more importantly, for the country this is an unnecessary and uncalled for own-goal that we scored against ourselves. The non-availability of the council means that jobs that are so badly needed in this country cannot be created. By not having the opportunity to increase [international routes] that brings more tourists, we're restricting job creation. We're also strengthening other economies that we’re competing against. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO 

 L   Turning the tide: How policy change is reshaping African air services

January 10, 2022. AeroTime Hub.

Reforms in policy and legislation are gradually opening Africa’s airspace to increased commercial activity from both local and international aviation players. January 2018 and January 2021 mark significant policy milestones for the African continent following the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), respectively.  
    These flagship projects align with the priorities of industrialization and economic enhancement established by the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063. The agenda dubbed “Africa’s blueprint and masterplan to transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future” by the AU.   

   Aaron Munetsi, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), supports how the projects work well in tandem but emphasizes that they must result in enhanced trade among African states as well as an increase in intra-Africa travel. Read more... 

African trade will become more attractive and competitive to the extent that there will be an increase in international trade and travel to and from and within Africa,” Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO 

 L   AASA CEO to participate in the African Aviation 2022 Conference - MRO Africa - 13 to 15 June - Johannesburg
June 2, 2022. AASA News. 

AASA's CEO, Aaron Munetsi, will be participaing in this year's African Aviation 2022 Conference and the MRO Africa hosted by Emperors Palace in Johannesburg from 13 to 15 June. 

The annual series of African Aviation Conferences are organised by African Aviation Services Limited in co-operation with leading international and African organisations, governments and regulatory bodies, as well as international and African airlines, including members of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), and African Air Forces and Police Air Wings, among many others. 
    African Aviation 2022 and MRO Africa includes an exhibition co-located with the Conference for leading International and African MRO suppliers to market their products and services. 

Registration: Attendance is free to all management and staff of African Airlines, Aircraft Operators, CAAs, airports and governments. Click to Register for this year's event.

 L   AASA warmly welcomes new Associate Members: Astron Energy, Cape Winelands Airport and Hitit 
May 26, 2022. AASA News. 

It gives AASA great pleasure to announce and welcome our new Associate Members: 

  • Astron Energy, a Glencore Group company, is a leading supplier of petroleum products in Southern Africa, with a vast network of service stations, owning South Africa's second-largest petroleum network with over 850 Caltex-branded service stations in the country, as well as in Botswana.
  • Cape Winelands Airport is an ex-South African Airforce airfield now operating privately as a general flying airfield and is the preferred base for aviation training in the Cape Town region. Services include runway and hangars, flight training, fuel supply, track hire and film shoots and events.
  • Hitit, is one of the world's leading airline and travel software solutions provider with offerings that support the most complicated and demanding needs of any player in the industry. Hitit's offerings include passenger service system (PSS), loyalty and customer care management, schedule planning, crew management, revenue and cost accounting.

 L   ACSA reports high passenger network recovery across all airports
May 23, 2022. Engineering News. 

The aviation sector is showing some promising signs of recovery, following two years of Covid-19 restrictions that severely impacted on the global industry.

This year is expected to be a year of steady rebound and renewed activity, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) says. The company highlights figures published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which show that 2020 was the worst year on record for the aviation industry. 

    In 2020, 1.8-billion passengers flew, a decrease of 60.2% compared with the 4.5-billion who flew in 2019. Industry-wide air travel demand dropped by 65.9% year-on-year. However, ACSA now reports that its network recorded a 48% recovery in passenger throughput when compared with the similar period in the year leading to Covid-19 crisis, for the financial year ending March. Read more...

 L   Emergency measures put in place to stabilise jet fuel supply at OR Tambo International Airport
May 9, 2022. 

Supplies curtailed due to flood damage to railway lines in KwaZulu-Natal. Government says emergency contingency measures have been implemented to ensure a steady supply of jet fuel at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg amid fears the crisis could derail the recovery of the aviation industry.

Supplies of jet fuel to the airport, one of the busiest in Africa, have been curtailed in recent weeks due to flood damage to railway lines in KwaZulu-Natal which interrupted transport. The shortage of jet fuel has disrupted the schedules of airlines, especially international carriers, forcing them into refuelling detours and potentially increasing their costs. 

Aaron Munetsi, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa, which represents all big carriers in SA and the region, said while the fuel situation at OR Tambo remains critical, there are signs of improvement. The association “is in daily contact with Acsa and Sapia. The latest report [from May 6] indicates the airport has 6.4 days worth of fuel stock at current demand levels and should not present a problem for fuel suppliers to the airlines,” Munetsi said. Read more...

 L   Tourism, travel industry has mixed feelings about new Covid regulations

May 5, 2022. 

South African travel and tourism organisations have welcomed the removal of the newly gazetted Covid-19 regulations requiring a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for children under the age of 12 years, but questioned the regulations that continue to restrict the size of gatherings.

The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) welcomed the May 4 announcement that families with children between the ages of five and 12 years no longer need to provide a negative PCR test when returning to South Africa.

 L   Cleared for Take-off – The future outlook of aviation in South Africa
[PANEL DISCUSSION: South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), National Aviation Conference 2022]   

April 22, 2022. 

AASA will be participating in the @OfficialSACAA #NationalAviationConference. AASA's C0O, Vivendra Lochan, participates in a panel discussion regarding how the local aviation industry is preparing to resume operations post the COVID-19 pandemic.

 L   South Africa’s COVID state of disaster to end at midnight -President Ramaphosa 

April 4, 2022. 

South Africa’s national state of disaster, in place for more than two years in response to COVID-19, will end from midnight local time on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

The national state of disaster has been the government’s main mechanism for managing the pandemic. Removing it will do away with the vast majority of remaining COVID-19 restrictions, aside from a few that will remain in place on a transitional basis, Ramaphosa said. Read more...

 L   [WATCH] Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO talks about what airlines need now 

March 1, 2022. Tourism Update Online

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s (AASA) CEO, Aaron Munetsi, talks about some of the worst challenges facing airlines around the world. 

One thing airlines need is for COVID protocols to be standardised. Another is for governments to do their bit. AASA believes that there will be more opportunities for South African carriers when the country’s council for international air services and the domestic Air Services Licensing Council are finally reconstituted after a year of waiting.

 L   [WATCH] Airline industry starts to recover from Covid-19 

February 14, 2022. Business Day TV

Airports Company SA (ACSA) says the airline industry is slowly starting to recover from pandemic-related travel bans and this has been supported by an increase in domestic flights. 

Business Day spoke to Airlines Association of Southern Africa's CEO, Aaron Munetsi.

 L   [WATCH] Realising a pan-African airline
February 3, 2022. CNBC Africa News.

Last year, Kenya and South Africa reginited talks on launching a pan-African airline by signing a strategic partnership framework agreement that aims at creating such an airline group by 2023. 

In the view of the two airlines, the newly signed partnership framework aligns well with the aims of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) of deepening the economic integration and prosperity of the continent. 

Joining CNBC Africa for an update on developments is Aaron Munetsi, CEO of AASA and Ogaga Udjo, MD of ZA Logics, an aviation advisory firm based in Johannesburg.

 L   ACSA AND ATNS charges effective 1 April 2022

January 24, 2022. ACSA and ATNS.

ACSA and ATNS have published tariff increases, effective 1 April 2022. The tariff increases are published in the Government Gazette 45703 (ACSA) notice 745 of 2021, and 45690 notice 740 of 2021 (ATNS) respectively. The increase in charges are in line with the Regulating Committee’s Permission determination. Arrangements have been made with SAA to file the amended ACSA Passenger Service Charge (ZA ticket charge/tax) with IATA for sales on flights, effective 1 April 2022. 

Download a schedule of the ZA charge applicable to ACSA airports.