Welcome to the
Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA)

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), is an organisation formed in 1970 to represent the mutual interests of its Members. Membership is open to all airlines based in countries south of the equator, including the Indian Ocean Islands. 
    There are currently 17 Airline Members. In addition, Associate Membership is open to airline partner organisations. There are currently 35 Associate Members, including infrastructure service providers, several oil companies, major aircraft manufacturers, engine manufacturers, ground handling companies, service providers, other industry associations and partners.

AASA is the leading representative airline organisation within southern Africa, working together with leaders of the aviation industry and senior public and government officials on policy, regulatory, planning, operational, safety, security and financial matters affecting the overall profitability of the airlines and their continued sustainability. 

    AASA also leads and coordinates the airline industry position on airport, airspace and civil aviation issues, as well as consumer legislation, environmental and tourism matters, and provides media response to important industry issues. 
    AASA’s responsibility includes the representation of SADC-based airlines on the SADC Civil Aviation Committee as the Airline Consultative Member. 
    AASA is also a regular participant and contributor to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) initiatives in the region.
    With AASA’s focus concentrated on any issue impacting the airline business, the regular liaison and good working relationship with its Members and partners is highly valued.

The AASA COVID-19 portal offers reliable news and developments for the aviation industry, and South African government regulations, directions and protocols.

For access to reliable advice, research and studies, situation and progress reports, guides, and news about COVID-19 and vaccinations, visit the WHO pandemic portal.

For access to reliable COVID-19 information, news, regulations and guidelines about the pandemic on the African continent, visit the African Union resource portal

For access to reliable COVID-19 per country status updates, situation reports, and guidelines for cross-border transport, visit the SADC Region COVID-19 portal.

 L        AASA news / 2021

In brief 

 L   United Nations Chief slams COVID-19 'travel apartheid' as unacceptable

December 2, 2021. Reuters.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that travel restrictions imposed over COVID-19 that isolate any one country or region as "not only deeply unfair and punitive - they are ineffective." Read more...

 L   SA to remain on Level 1, government mulls mandatory vaccinations as 4th wave looms

November 28, 2021. News24.

During his Sunday night address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa will remain on Alert Level 1. He expressed deep disapointment at the decision of several countries to prohibit travel from a number of Southern African countries following the identification of the Omicron variant.
   "We call upon all those countries that have imposed travel bans on our country and our Southern African sister countries to urgently reverse their decisions and lift the bans they have imposed before any further damage is done to our economies," he said. Read more...

 L   [AASA PRESS RELEASE] AASA urges UK government to reconsider decision to red list several Southern African countries

November 26, 2021. AASA news release. 

Johannesburg – The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) notes with distress the UK government’s announcement that it will place South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini back onto its “Red List” of countries to which it imposes severe travel restrictions and quarantines.

While we respect every nation’s sovereign right to implement whatever measures it sees fit to combat the spread of COVID-19 variants, we urge Whitehall to reconsider what appears to have been a hasty decision, given the paucity of detailed knowledge and information on the newly identified variant, its presence and the efficacy of vaccines in limiting its potential to cause serious illness. With its announcement, the UK is delivering a body-blow to our region’s travel and tourism sector. It puts businesses, as well as tens of thousands of jobs and many more livelihoods at risk. Aaron Munetsi, AASA CEO

“The business and leisure air travel industry in Southern Africa has only just begun to see green shoots emerge as governments have increasingly begun to relax and look to align and simplify their travel requirements and procedures. However, the UK’s unilateral step is a major set-back that sets a worrying precedent,” he added.

    Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the commercial airline industry in South Africa supported close to 472,000 jobs across the economy and contributed $9.4 billion (approximately ZAR152.5bn at today’s exchange rate) to the country’s economy. This equated to 3.2% of GDP. The industry is also of strategic social and economic importance in all of the other countries in the Southern Africa Development Community.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disarray to air travel and tourism worldwide. Southern Africa’s connectivity with the rest of the world fell by 80% as a result of travel restrictions. Total domestic, regional and inter-continental demand had recovered to about 40% of pre-COVID traffic levels by the start of November 2021 with domestic and regional traffic leading the comeback. Prior to the UK’s “Red List'' announcement today, long-haul traffic to and from Southern Africa was forecast to return to 2019 levels by 2025. Download this full news release [pdf]...

 L   Department of Transport releases names of the shortlisted candidates to serve on the Air Service Licensing and the International Air Services Councils. Gazetted: GG 45505

November 19, 2021. 
The Minister of Transport, Mr F.A. Mbalula, MP, wishes to appoint suitable persons to serve as Members of the International Air Services Council and the Air Services Licensing Council according to the criteria set out in the International Air Services Act, 1993 (Act No. 6 of 1993), and the Air Services Licensing Act, 1990 (Act No. 115 of 1990). 

Download to view the shortlisted candidates.

 L   #AFRAA announces another Sky Connect Dialogue  
November 24, 2021. ATC News.

Date: Wednesday, 1 December 2021 / Session Time: 14:00h EAT (UTC +3) 
Registration Link: http://bit.ly/3B44xY8 

The December 2021 edition of AFRAA Sky-Connect Leadership Dialogue Series will host Aaron Munetsi, CEO of the Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA). 

Join us for a thought-provoking one-on-one dialogue with AASA's CEO as he shares with stakeholders the industry recovery process for the Southern Africa region, collaboration and competitiveness of airlines in the Southern African region, and AASA’s perspectives on consolidating the gains Africa has made in aviation, and how to accelerate the pace of rolling out key initiatives to spur continental development and integration. 

Dialogue Highlights

  • State of the airline industry in the Southern Africa aviation market.
  • AASA’s vision in improving the lot of the Southern African region and Africa at large.
  • AASA’s perspectives on improving the cost competitiveness of the airline industry.
  • AASA’s plan of activities for 2022.
  • Recommendations for change in Africa’s aviation for 2022.


   L      Global news / 2021

In brief 

  L  The Growth Engines of the Global South 
October 11, 2021. Yaroslav Lissovolik for ModernDiplomacy.eu.

The divergence in growth performance across the global economy was notably affected by the C-19 pandemic, as China weathered the crisis notably better thus far compared to most of the developed economies. The new growth forecasts released by the IMF in July 2021 suggest that developing economies are set to grow by more than 6% in 2021 and by 5.2% in 2022 after a contraction of around 2% in 2020. Nonetheless, the key question concerning the growth path of the developing economies remains open: will the developing economies be able to create South-South platforms to open markets and boost trade and investment? 
    A common platform for economic cooperation across the Global South opens the possibility for the world economy to lower global imbalances via creating a “no core – no periphery” mode of cooperation. It could serve to close the gaps and “blind spots” in the scale of regional economic integration in the developing world, most notably the least-developed land-locked economies. Read more...

          ICAO news / 2021

In brief 

      ICAO COVID-19 Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART)   

The work of ICAO’s CART is aimed at providing practical, aligned guidance to governments and industry operators to restart the international air transport sector and recover from the impacts of C-19 on a coordinated global basis. 
    The CART’s work on its Recovery Report and the accompanying ‘Take-Off’ guidance for international aviation, has kept the health, safety, and security of the travelling public of paramount concern throughout. 
    The CART recommendations and guidelines are regularly reviewed and updated based on the latest medical and operational advice, and are intended to harmonize, not replace, the C-19 recovery roadmaps currently established by States, Regions, or industry groups. 
    The CART Take-off Guidance for air travel through the C-19 health crisis includes a section on Public Health Risk Mitigation Measures, in addition to four operational modules relating to Airport GuidelinesAircraft GuidelinesCrew Guidelines; and Cargo Guidelines
    As a “living document”, CART guidance can only be of a transient nature. Following the emergence of virus variants, progress in vaccine rollouts and tools for combating C-19, the work of CART has targeted issues related to testing and vaccination of passengers as part of a State’s multilayer risk management strategy. CART also takes into account the position of the WHO that “national authorities and conveyance operators should not introduce requirements of proof of C-19 vaccination for international travel as a condition for departure or entry".

          Africa news / 2021

In brief 

  L  AFRAA’s 53rd AGA sets Roadmap for the Transformation and the Economic Development of Air Transport in Africa
November 17, 2021. AFRAA News.

Air transport leaders and decision makers set a roadmap for transformation and the economic development of air transport in Africa at the 53rd AFRAA Annual General Assembly & Summit that has concluded today. The event was held under the patronage of the Government of Angola under the theme: “Flightpath to Africa’s resilient travel ecosystem.” Read more...

  L  Is a pan African Airline network on the cards for the region?
October 14, 2021. Logistics Update Africa.

After a challenging 18 months post the Covid pandemic, it looks like the African aviation industry may be looking at spreading its wings again and is set to revive itself and remerge stronger through mutual cooperation.
    Taking a leaf out of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and SAATM or the Single African Air Transport Market in place, both of which are aimed at the liberalisation of air transport in Africa and economic growth, Africa’s air carriers are now looking at forging mutually beneficial ties to boost intra-Africa air connectivity.
    Intra-African air connectivity has remained a challenge for the region and developing a pan African network is more imperative by the day, in a bid to connect more areas of the continent and to boost trade and economic activity and lift people out of poverty. Read more...

  L       IATA news 2021 

In brief 

  L  October 2021 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Published December 2, 2021.   

New variant negatively impacts air travel improvement
Improvement in air travel for African carriers

Carriers in Africa saw improvements in air travel compared to 2019. Travel restrictions have eased in the region recently, but low vaccination uptake remains a concern – less than 10% of Africans had been fully vaccinated at the end of November. Read more...  

  L  October 2021 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis 
Published December 2, 2021.   

Air cargo volumes up 9.4% versus October 2019
African airlines continue growth rate, though less than September

African airlines posted a 26.7% increase in international cargo volumes versus 2019, a deterioration from the 35.0% increase in September. SA CTKs have been mostly flat for the past six months or so. Read more...  

          Southern Africa news / 2021 

In brief

  L  Regional Travel: unlock regional air routes
November 17, 2021. Southern Africa Travel TNW.

Industry partners are calling for a co-ordinated approach to fast-track the recovery and future growth of air travel across the Southern African Development Community countries (SADC). 

More flights, destinations

AASA CEO, Aaron Munetsi, said there was growing uptake on available frequencies on most city-pairs in the SADC region, with more flights to new destinations and the resumption of services that had stopped during the pandemic...“this can be seen by the increase in either new destinations or the restart of operations to destinations previously served but suspended due to the pandemic,” Munetsi said.
    According to AASA, most established routes still have frequencies that have not yet been fully utilised, due to “slow but steady” demand coming out of the pandemic. But Munetsi warned that there could be a shortage of seats in the near future, especially for travel between South Africa and some of the region’s main economic hubs, such as Windhoek, Luanda, Dar es Salaam and Lilongwe.
    AASA has red-flagged another problem for air services in the region, what it terms “the inconsistent application of approval processes for Foreign Operating Permits by the different countries”. Munetsi said delays by some African countries in relaxing limits on frequencies that were imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, were another significant challenge because, invariably, the number of frequencies that were allowed did not make economic sense for the airlines, who might decide not to operate the route at all. 

More challenges

AASA encourages all countries in the SADC region to open their skies by signing up for the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which will, according to AASA, “enable African airlines to open new and more routes, leading to healthy competition and growth of the industry.” Read more...

  L       Environment news 2021

In brief 

  L  Combating the illegal trade of wildlife 
October, 2021. 

Transportation is the backbone of global trade, and traffickers of wild animals and wildlife products rely heavily on the efficiency of air travel and cargo carriers to smuggle illicit goods. Companies from the transportation and logistics sector can play a critical role in identifying and strengthening key risk points in the supply chains, thereby helping to prevent wildlife trafficking.


SA Government Gazettes, Regulations & Directions; & SACAA, IATA & ICAO protocols