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Aviation News

Airbus DS test flies its new UAV in South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     18th July 2017 South Africa’s Overberg Test Range was the site of the first flight of the Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus DS) Sagitta jet-powered unmanned air vehicle (UAV) demonstrator, the European company announced on Tuesday. The aircraft, a flying-wing design, flew autonomously over the test range (which... 

SAA will publish outcomes of its internal report into its losses – board

By: Keith Campbell     18th July 2017 The board of directors of State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) issued an assurance on Monday that “it does not condone nor will it cover up any acts of impropriety at SAA”. This followed the publication of a series of stories in the media about the airline, which the... 

SAA will publish outcomes of its internal report into its losses – board
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An Airbus A340-600 of SAA

Outa welcomes Myeni’s SAA departure  

By: Sane Dhlamini     14th July 2017 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Friday welcomed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s announcement that South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni would not serve another term on the board.  Her term expires on August 31 and a new board chairperson will be appointed at the SAA... 

Outa welcomes Myeni’s SAA departure
Photo by Duane Daws
SAA Chair Dudu Myeni

South Africa’s defence industry faces serious challenges but also sees future opportunities

By: Keith Campbell     14th July 2017 South Africa’s defence and aerospace industry forms a major part of the country’s high-technology manufacturing and services sector. Moreover, the high-level skills it has developed and is maintaining are benefitting other sectors of the economy as well. According to the South African Aerospace,... 

South Africa’s defence industry faces serious challenges but also sees future opportunities

Local airline group Comair reports its diversification strategy is working 

By: Keith Campbell     12th July 2017 South African airline group Comair Limited’s strategy of countering the weak local air passenger market by diversifying its business is proving successful, company CEO Erik Venter told Engineering News Online on Wednesday. “It’s working very well. About 20% of our profits are coming from our... 

Local airline group Comair reports its diversification strategy is working
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Comair CEO Erik Venter

Loss-making Air Zimbabwe cuts half its workforce

By: Reuters     12th July 2017 Loss-making Air Zimbabwe is cutting half of its 400 jobs as part of a restructuring plan meant to revive the ailing national carrier, chairperson Chipo Dyanda said on Wednesday. Like most state-owned companies in the southern African country, Air Zimbabwe has been making losses for years due to... 

Cyberthreats increasingly worry global aviation industry

By: Keith Campbell     7th July 2017 The global aviation industry is increasingly focusing on cybersecurity. “Cybersecurity … has become a major concern,” highlighted International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regional VP: Africa and the Middle East Muhammad Ali Albakri at recent media briefing at OR Tambo International Airport,... 

Air force capability demonstration 2017 

     6th July 2017 The South African air force conducted its annual live fire capability demonstration last month, in which primary air borne military assets flexed their muscle. 

Air force capability demonstration 2017
Air force capability demonstration 2017

SAA gets State funds to avoid default

By: Reuters     3rd July 2017 South African Airways (SAA) has been provided with state funds to help it repay loans of about R2.3-billion ($176-million) to Standard Chartered, the government said on Saturday. The airline faced around nine billion rand of debt maturing at the end of June involving six or seven lenders,... 

Airbus unveils proposed new version of A380 SuperJumbo

By: Keith Campbell     30th June 2017 Major global plane maker Airbus on Monday unveiled a proposed refined version of its flagship product, the A380 SuperJumbo airliner. This proposal is designated the A380plus, and is intended to increase the aircraft’s economics and efficiency while retaining passenger comfort.  

Strong South African air traffic growth forecast

By: Keith Campbell     30th June 2017 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast that the number of air passenger journeys to, from and within South Africa will more than double from the 23.6-million last year to more than 54-million by 2036. This will be the result of an average annual growth rate in the... 

Freight demand remains robust, profit margins widen

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th June 2017 Yearly growth in air freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) remained robust during the three months ended April, with airline heads of cargo increasingly positive about the outlook over the year ahead. Respondents to International Air Transport Association’s (Iata’s) latest quarterly Cargo Market... 

Treasury talks with banks to roll over SAA debt

By: Reuters     27th June 2017 South Africa's Treasury on Tuesday said it was in talks with banks to possibly roll over around R9-billion ($695-million) worth of maturing debt due by struggling State airliner South African Airways (SAA) at month-end, a senior official said. Treasury Director General Dondo Mogajane told... 

Global aviation industry increasing focus on cyber threats

By: Keith Campbell     23rd June 2017 The global aviation industry is increasingly focusing on cybersecurity. “Cybersecurity … has become a  major concern,” highlighted International Air Transport Association (Iata) regional VP: Africa and the Middle East Muhammad Ali Albakri at a recent media briefing at OR Tambo International... 

Global aviation industry increasing focus on cyber threats
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Cybersecurity is a major concern for the global aviation industry

Initiative addresses barriers to expand aerospace manufacturing

By: Nica Schreuder     23rd June 2017 The aerospace industry has, among others, two important international players – Airbus and Boeing. This applies to local aerospace as well as international aerospace manufacturing industries, all competing to be part of the global supply chain. Aerospace manufacturing in South Africa is dependent... 

Initiative addresses  barriers to expand  aerospace manufacturing
TO INFINITY European aircraft manufacturer Airbus plays an important role in the world’s aerospace manufacturing industry

Local defence sector seeks strategic support from government

By: Keith Campbell     23rd June 2017 Pre-Cabinet level discussions are under way within the Government about transferring State-owned defence industrial group Denel from the aegis of the Department of Public Works to that of the Department of Defence (DoD). This was stated by Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube at a recent function... 

‘Stifling legislation’ preventing SA drones industry from gaining altitude 

By: Dylan Slater     23rd June 2017 The drones industry in South Africa has the potential to benefit numerous industries, potentially contributing just under R7-billion this year alone, according to economist Dr Roeloef Botha.  

‘Stifling legislation’ preventing SA drones industry from gaining altitude

Iata forecasts strong growth in South African air traffic and cites its role in the economy

By: Keith Campbell     20th June 2017 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has forecast that the number of air passenger journeys to, from and within South Africa will more than double from the 23.6-million last year to more than 54-million by 2036. This will be the result of an average annual growth rate in the... 

Iata forecasts strong growth in South African air traffic and cites its role in the economy
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
OR Tambo is South Africa’s busiest airport

Institute of Directors guns for SAA chair, Dudu Myeni 

By: African News Agency      20th June 2017 The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA) said on Tuesday that the South African Airways (SAA) board and chairperson must fulfil their duties at this critical juncture. This comes after the Mail & Guardian last week reported that SAA chair, Dudu Myeni, had recently missed several... 

SAA to implement turnaround plan 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th June 2017 Cash-strapped South African Airways (SAA) has compiled a five-year business turnaround plan, aimed at improving its financial stability, it said on Tuesday. The national carrier is currently plagued by a weak balance sheet, with projected losses of R3.5-billion for 2016/17– a R 2-billion increase... 

SAA to implement turnaround plan
Photo by Duane Daws
South African Airways acting CEO Musa Zwane

Proposed new version of A380 SuperJumbo unveiled

By: Keith Campbell     19th June 2017 Major global plane maker Airbus on Monday unveiled a proposed refined version of its flagship product, the A380 SuperJumbo airliner. This proposal is designated the A380plus, and is intended to increase the aircraft’s economics and efficiency while retaining passenger comfort. The A380plus... 

Local airline announces new routes after public survey

By: Keith Campbell     16th June 2017 South African low cost carrier FlySafair announced at the beginning of the month that it was launching new routes on its network. These will be between Durban and East London and Durban and Port Elizabeth. The new routes will be in operation by the end of November. The decision to implement these... 

Global business aviation group offering drone services in Africa

By: Keith Campbell     14th June 2017 Worldwide business aviation company ExecuJet announced on Tuesday that it has added unmanned air vehicle (UAV) services to its activities at its African bases (Johannesburg, Cape Town and Lagos). The company will, however, be able to deploy UAVs to any place in the continent, to meet customers’... 

Global business aviation group offering drone services in Africa
Photo by ExecuJet
ExecuJet Aviation Africa Director Gavin Kiggen

State defence group Denel could be transferred from Public Enterprises to Defence 

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 Pre-Cabinet level discussions are under way within the government about transferring State-owned defence industrial group Denel from the aegis of the Department of Public Works to that of the Department of Defence (DoD). This was stated by Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube at a function marking the... 

State defence group Denel could be transferred from Public Enterprises to Defence
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Secretary of Defence Sam Gulube

Civil air cargo version of the Super Hercules transport makes first flight

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 The civilian version of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules military airlift aircraft, the LM-100J, made its maiden flight on May 25, the company announced on the same day. This first flight was from the company’s plant at Marietta in the US State of Georgia, and during it the aircraft... 

Denel purchase of aero engine company approved with conditions

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that State-owned defence and aerospace group Denel be allowed to buy local aero-engine company Turbomeca Africa (TMA). The recommendation was given to the Competition Tribunal. The Commission announced this decision on late last month.  

Vadi concerned about slow pace of BRT development in Gauteng

By: Irma Venter     9th June 2017 Gauteng Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi has expressed his concern with the slow pace of development of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in Gauteng, as well as the delay in rolling out the Aerotropolis project, in Ekurhuleni. Speaking at an Intelligent Transport Systems South Africa (ITSSA) forum held... 

Local low cost carrier launches new routes

By: Keith Campbell     2nd June 2017 South African low cost carrier FlySafair announced on Friday that it was launching new routes on its network. These will be between Durban and East London and Durban and Port Elizabeth. The new routes will be in operation by the end of November. The decision to implement these routes followed a... 

Local low cost carrier launches new routes
Photo by FlySafair
A FlySafair Boeing 737

Local commercial and general aviation sector under policy pressures

By: Keith Campbell     2nd June 2017 The commercial and general aviation (GA) sector in South Africa is currently facing significant challenges that really need to be addressed if it is to remain healthy over the coming years. So cautions the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (Caasa).  

Local commercial and general aviation sector under policy pressures

Cape Town airport reaches milestone in environmental approval for new runway

By: Keith Campbell     31st May 2017 Cape Town International Airport (CTIA), which belongs to the State-owned Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), has received authorisation from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to proceed with its planned runway realignment and other necessary infrastructural developments. Acsa... 

Cape Town airport reaches milestone in environmental approval for new runway
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Cape Town International Airport

Competition Commission approves Denel buy of local aero-engine company

By: Keith Campbell     25th May 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that State-owned defence and aerospace group Denel be allowed to buy local aero-engine company Turbomeca Africa (TMA). The recommendation was given to the Competition Tribunal. The Commission announced this decision on Thursday.  

China’s first home-grown commercial jetliner makes maiden flight

By: Keith Campbell     19th May 2017 In what could be the most significant development in global commercial aviation since the prototype of the first Airbus airliner (the A300) made its maiden flight in late 1972, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China’s (Comac’s) C919 single-aisle airliner made its first flight, from Shanghai... 

‘Circular runways’ punted as way to add capacity to future airports 

By: Dylan Slater     19th May 2017 Netherlands-based aerospace innovation centre NLR proposes that a single circular runway – its Endless Runway concept – could mitigate many take off and landing risks and improve airport efficiency as opposed to the current use of multiple straight runways in service at commercial airports... 

‘Circular runways’ punted  as way to add capacity  to future airports
CIRCULAR CONCEPT An endless runway would enable aircraft to always take off and land safely by avoiding risky crosswinds as routing can be changed dynamically according to current weather conditions

New Southern African commercial aviation activity report shows sharp fall in first quarter

By: Keith Campbell     18th May 2017 The Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (Caasa) on Thursday officially launched its Caasa Aviation Activity Index (CAAI). This is a composite index of aviation activity, developed to improve knowledge about conditions in the sector. “We decided we’d really like to know what is... 

New Southern African commercial aviation activity report shows sharp fall in first quarter
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
A Cessna Super Caravan 900 of ExecuJet illustrates the lower end of the commercial aviation spectrum

Zuma could be called in to get SAA money back from abroad – Deputy Finance Minister

By: African News Agency      18th May 2017 If all else failed, National Treasury might enlist the help of President Jacob Zuma to secure the repatriation of South African Airways funds from fellow African states, Deputy Finance Minister Sifiso Buthelezi told MPs on Wednesday. Buthelezi told Parliament’s standing committee on finance the... 

Zuma could be called in to get SAA money back from abroad – Deputy Finance Minister

SAA wins another air freight award

By: Keith Campbell     11th May 2017 In some good news for national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA), the company’s air freight division, SAA Cargo, has been voted the Best Cargo Airline – Africa at the 2017 Air Cargo Airline of the Year Awards. The voting was done by readers of “Air Cargo News”. “We are very proud to have... 

SAA wins another air freight award
Cargo is loaded into the belly hold of an SAA airliner at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport

Sansa formalises support for Africa  

     11th May 2017 The South African National Space Agency has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NEPAD Agency. 

Sansa formalises support for Africa
Sansa formalises support for Africa
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