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Aviation News

Musings on the local aerospace and defence industries

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th September 2018 Last week saw the latest edition of Africa Aerospace and Defence, still the continent’s premier exhibition in this sector, attracting exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. And, naturally, drawing one’s thoughts to the state of the closely related but not identical aerospace and defence... 

Airports Company reports fall in its earnings but also in its debt

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th September 2018 The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), one of the few South African State-owned companies that has been able to keep itself financially healthy, reported on Thursday that, despite declines in its revenues, profits, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), it... 

Airports Company reports fall in its earnings but also in its debt

SAA states it is ahead of plan in terms of trading performance

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th September 2018 Embattled State-owned national carrier South African Airways affirmed in a press release on Wednesday that its turnaround strategy was “on track”. It reported that its results for the first quarter indicated that it was “ahead of the plan in its trading performance”. But the release did not give... 

Fastjet flags dwindling cash resources, may end Tanzania operations

By: Reuters     26th September 2018 African airline Fastjet said on Wednesday its available cash resources were minimal and said it was in talks with major shareholders regarding potential equity fundraising. The company also said it was evaluating its Tanzanian operations and could cease operations in country. 

Selling off assets won't save SAA, says DA

By: African News Agency      24th September 2018 Reported plans to sell off certain assets will not save the South African Airways (SAA) and the airline needs to be put into business rescue, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday. The DA was not surprised by media reports on Sunday that SAA was contemplating selling off assets as a result of... 

Air traffic control undergoing a digital revolution

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st September 2018 The dramatic advances in information and communications technology, electro-optical technologies and digitalisation have enabled a revolution to take place in terms of airport air (and ground) traffic control. This was highlighted in a briefing at the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 exhibition... 

Air traffic control undergoing a digital revolution
Photo by Dylan Slater
Saab VP: Civil Security Middle East and North Africa region David Schomar

Comair hikes FY18 earnings despite soaring fuel costs

By: African News Agency      18th September 2018 South African aviation group Comair Limited on Tuesday announced record earnings with a R326 million profit after tax for the year ended 30 June 2018, which was up R29-million to the prior year, despite dismal trading conditions. Comair said that difficult trading conditions included poor GDP... 

South African A-Darter guided missile test programme successfully concluded

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th September 2018 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on Monday the successful completion of the guided missile qualification test series for the A-Darter infrared (IR) homing short range air-to-air missile system. The A-Darter is a fifth generation missile that uses an imaging IR... 

South African A-Darter guided missile test programme successfully concluded
Photo by Denel
An A-Darter missile on a wingtip launcher of a Gripen fighter

Top trends that are likely to change the way we work and live

By: Kim Cloete     14th September 2018 Quantum computing and flying cars are two of the top trends that Frost & Sullivan has outlined within its top trends for 2018/19 at its CEO Think Tank in Cape Town.  The company has looked at trends that are changing the way we work and live. 

Glider reaches unprecedented altitudes in experimental programme

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th September 2018 In just eight days during late August and early September, Airbus’ Perlan 2 glider set three new world altitude records for a glider. Moreover, during the third of these flights, it reached an altitude that has been exceeded in level flight by only two other types of aircraft. These flights were... 

SAAF Museum Spitfire fighter project at ‘critical point’

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th September 2018 The South African Air Force (SAAF) Museum project to rebuild, into flying condition, one of only two Supermarine Spitfires in South Africa has reached a critical point, requiring significant investment to be able to effectively proceed. The Spitfire is a Mark IXe, built in May 1945 and delivered... 

Research glider programme reaches unprecedented altitudes

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th September 2018 In just eight days during late August and early September, Airbus’ Perlan 2 glider set three new world altitude records for a glider. Moreover, during the third of these flights, it reached an altitude that has been exceeded in level flight by only two other types of aircraft. These flights... 

Research glider programme reaches unprecedented altitudes
Photo by Airbus
The Perlan 2 glider, at a lower altitude over the Andes

Aeronautical Society to focus on inclusivity and collaboration

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     31st August 2018 The Aeronautical Society of South Africa’s (AeSSA’s) yearly conference will take place at Hoogeind Manor, in Somerset West, on October 24 to 25 and is themed Aerospace for All. The theme captures the increasing relevance of aeronautics and space to achieve outputs for economic and societal... 

Aeronautical Society to focus on inclusivity and collaboration
TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITY The local aviation industry has to remain relevant in terms of technology

R&D must be prioritised as Industry 4.0 disrupts

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     31st August 2018 Research and development (R&D) is crucial for the aviation industry and government should establish it as a national priority, says the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (Barsa) GM Ndiphiwe Ntuli. Barsa submitted its comments to the Department of Transport on the Revised White... 

R&D must be  prioritised as  Industry 4.0 disrupts
NDIPHIWE NTULI Closer collaboration between industry roleplayers is key to unlocking the growth potential of aviation

CSIR Aeronautics attracting international clients as SA budgets fall

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st August 2018 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Aeronautics Systems Competency has created an innovation team to address both emerging opportunities and problems in the global aerospace environment. (“Innovation team” is a description, not a title.) This amounts to the creation of a new... 

CSIR Aeronautics attracting international clients as SA budgets fall

Politics hamper African airlines’ growth potential

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     31st August 2018 The African airline sector has significant potential for growth, but it is not growing sufficiently because of various issues, such as stringent regulatory frameworks, says flag carrier airline Air Mauritius Southern Africa and Latin America regional GM Carla da Silva. Government policies in... 

Politics hamper African airlines’ growth potential
CARLA DA SILVA Better and more communication is needed in terms of the benefits of aviation and the role that it plays in stimulating gross domestic product and job creation

Spotlight on CTC and potential legal inconsistencies

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     31st August 2018 The Cape Town Convention (CTC) on International Interests in Mobile Equipment is receiving a lot of attention from the legal industry in terms of how South Africa has incorporated it and how certain remedies provided for therein are enforced in the aviation industry, says global law firm Norton... 

Spotlight on CTC and potential legal inconsistencies
COMPLIANCY CHECK An aviation working group is evaluating whether South Africa implements and complies with the rights and remedies provided for in the Cape Town Convention

Poor governance, corruption led to a number of shortfalls at SA Express- MPs heard

By: African News Agency      29th August 2018 Lack of leadership capacity and poor governance due to lack of focus over the years has led to a number of procurement shortfalls and poor performance culture at the embattled regional airline South African Express, Parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises heard on Wednesday.... 

ExecuJet to welcome first Pilatus PC-24 to Africa in Oct

By: Simone Liedtke     21st August 2018 Aviation company ExecuJet, which is part of the Luxaviation group, will, in October, become the first business aviation company to operate and manage a Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet in Africa. With the aircraft to be based at the Cape Town International Airport, ExecuJet will be responsible... 

ExecuJet to welcome first Pilatus PC-24 to Africa in Oct
The Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet

Ethiopian Airways plans to rule Africa’s skies

By: African News Agency      20th August 2018 Ethiopian Airlines has signed joint venture agreements and business partnerships with at least 14 countries on the continent as part of its Vision 2025 growth plan, under which the carrier hopes to become “the leading aviation group in Africa”, the East African reported. From Zambia and Malawi in... 

Budget airline continues to refine its service and aircraft mix

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th August 2018 Pan-African low cost carrier Fastjet (which operates under the brand fastjet) is continuing its programme of optimising its services, routes, and fleet, to restore its financial health, ensure it becomes a sustainable going concern, and thereafter achieve consistent profitability. “As a... 

SA Express airline cleared to fly again

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th August 2018 Small, State-owned South African airline SA Express confirmed on Thursday that it would restart its operations on August 23. This announcement followed a statement by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on Wednesday that the carrier... 

SA Express airline cleared to fly again
Photo by SA Express
A Bombardier CRJ700 of SA Express

Gordhan announces whistleblower hotline to boost fight against corruption

By: News24Wire      15th August 2018 Stabilising State-owned enterprises could take six months or longer, depending on the extent of corruption, said Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. The minister on Wednesday briefed the portfolio committee on public enterprises on the progress made in addressing governance challenges at... 

Gordhan announces whistleblower hotline to boost fight against corruption
Photo by Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Rwanda and global airline body partner to improve air safety

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th August 2018 The Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Air Transport Association, to partner to improve aviation safety, it was announced on Tuesday. The MoU will allow the two sides to jointly establish a framework for the employment of... 

Rwanda and global airline body partner to improve air safety
Photo by Creative Commons
Kigali International Airport, Rwanda

Ethiopia plans to build new airport in Oromia region – Fana

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 Ethiopian Airlines plans to build a new airport with annual capacity of 80 million passengers in Bishoftu, about 48km southeast of the capital Addis Ababa, State-affiliated media said on Tuesday. Fana Broadcasting Corporation quoted Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam saying that... 

Embraer’s new-generation airliner demonstrated in Africa, including South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th August 2018 Brazilian aerospace major Embraer’s new generation smaller (less than 150 seats) single-aisle airliners, the E2 family, are attracting considerable interest in Africa, Embraer Commercial Aviation VP: Middle East and Africa Raul Villaron tells “Engineering News”. From smallest to biggest, the E2... 

Low cost airline Fastjet makes further changes to its market offering

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th August 2018 Pan-African low cost carrier Fastjet (which operates under the brand fastjet) is continuing its programme of optimising its services, routes, and fleet, it reported on Monday. The aim is to restore its financial health, ensure it becomes a sustainable going concern, and thereafter achieve... 

EU asks WTO to certify it has removed Airbus subsidies

By: Reuters     6th August 2018 The European Union has asked the World Trade Organization to certify that it has complied with WTO rulings on its subsidies for planemaker Airbus, attempting to forestall-billions of dollars of US sanctions, a document published by the WTO showed on Monday. The legal move is the latest step in a... 

Action needed to integrate UAVs into civil airspace in SA

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd August 2018 Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer Denel Dynamics (which also produces missiles and space technology) has called for a national programme to integrate UAVs (popularly called drones) into the country’s civilian controlled air space. Controlled air space is air space in which all air... 

Aerospace giants win orders and commitments for over 1 100 airliners at airshow

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd August 2018 Global commercial aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing have each reported hundreds of orders for their airliners at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow, in the UK. Boeing announced 673 “orders and commitments” for airliners and freighters, worth (at list prices) $98.4-billion. The group... 

Boeing predicts strong global airliner and services demand until 2037

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd August 2018 Global aerospace giant Boeing has predicted that 42 730 new jet airliners, worth $6.3-trillion, will be needed to meet demand over the next 20 years. This forecast was unveiled in the group’s “Commercial Market Outlook”, released at the recent Farnborough International Airshow in the UK. This... 

Union welcomes appointment of Siza Mzimela as acting SAX CEO

By: African News Agency      2nd August 2018 The National Transport Movement (NTM) on Wednesday welcomed the announcement of Siza Mzimela as acting chief executive of beleaguered airline, SA Express (SAX). In a statement, NTM described Mzimela's appointment as an "excellent choice".  

Control of SAA transferred back to public enterprises – Treasury

By: African News Agency      2nd August 2018 Control of South African Airways (SAA) administration has been transferred back to the public enterprises minister from the finance minister, Treasury said on Wednesday. In a statement, Treasury said a proclamation signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa giving effect to the transfer was gazetted on... 

New generation Embraer airliner on demonstration visit to South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2018 Brazilian aerospace major Embraer’s new generation smaller (less than 150 seats) single-aisle airliners, the E2 family, are attracting considerable interest in Africa, Embraer Commercial Aviation VP: Middle East and Africa Raul Villaron told Engineering News Online on Friday. From smallest to... 

New generation Embraer airliner on demonstration visit to South Africa
Photo by Dylan Slater/Creamer Media
The E190-E2 demonstrator at the Embraer Training Centre/Airlink Hangar complex at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport

South Africa authorities clear SA Express to resume limited flights

By: Reuters     27th July 2018 South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has cleared state-run airline SA Express to resume flights again, with two of its planes permitted to fly for now, the regulator said on Thursday. Citing safety concerns, SACAA in May grounded all 21 aircraft operated by SA Express, which has lost... 

Strong growth in smaller airliner segment predicted by Brazilian aerospace group

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2018 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, one of the world’s top two regional jet manufacturers, has forecast a global demand for 10 550 new airliners with capacities of 150 seats or less, over the next 20 years. This prediction was released at Farnborough in the UK on the day before the start of the... 

African countries are rapidly expanding their use of UAVs, but South Africa lags

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2018 The number of applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs/unmanned aerial systems (UASes) in Africa was increasing rapidly, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) principal aeronautical engineer John Monk told the aviation session of the recent Southern African Transport... 

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