Who We Are 

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) is the representative airline body mandated to look after the interests of airlines in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

AASA represents the interests of airlines in the SADC regional economic bloc on matters relating to government policies, legislation, regulations, planning, operational efficiency, safety, security, taxes, charges, and fees.

The Association plays the critical role of advocacy on behalf of its member airlines to ensure their views on topical matters are heard by pertinent stakeholders. AASA focuses on matters that have a direct impact on the sustainability of its member airlines as they seek to continue with the provision of affordable and accessible air transport services throughout the SADC region and beyond.

AASA was established in 1970 and currently has 16 Airline Members and 36 Associate Members. Its associate members are comprised of infrastructure service providers such as ground handling companies and allied industry bodies, aircraft and engine manufacturers, and other aviation industry suppliers.

AASA is a participant and contributor to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forums and supports their initiatives in the region.

 History & Profile 


The Airlines Association of South Africa was established in 1970. The Association was expanded and renamed Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) after the change in South Africa’s political dispensation.    

AASA represents members in the southern African region and Indian Ocean Islands. 

AASA is the official regional airline association mandated to represent all the southern African airlines on the Civil Aviation Committe (CAC) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

AASA is one of nine regional associations worldwide endorsed by IATA. 


The AASA Constitution covers any matters that affect the common interests of its members. AASA follows a strict Code of Conduct that it adheres to when representing its members and their interests. The AASA Constitution and Code of Conduct covers the following issues: legislative; regulatory; financial; aero-political; airport development; and AASA employer/ employee issues (as AASA is also an employer organisation).


AASA meets five times per year, including the hosting of an Annual General Assembly (AGA). The AGA is a closed event held by invitation only for AASA members, and government and industry stakeholders. Meetings are attended at CEO, Deputy CEO, or top management level, and are proactive, well attended, and successful in terms of objectives and outcomes as AASA has an aggressive approach when dealing with industry issues.


There are two categories of membership:  

Airline Members: At present, there are 16 Airline Members representing the majority of airlines in SADC countries and the Indian Ocean islands.

Associate Members: At present, there are 36 Associate Members consisting of organisations with close ties to the airline industry, such as manufacturers, airport authorities, air navigation services, oil companies and other related associations.

Aviation Co-ordination Services (ACS)

Aviation Co-ordination Services (ACS) was jointly established in 1999 by the AASA, the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (BARSA) and the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) to provide operational support services to international and domestic airlines operating from, into and within South Africa. 

  • ACS is an initiative which is unique in the airline industry and highly effective and successful.
  • The philosophy of ACS is to undertake activities on behalf of airlines to the exclusion of third party service providers, and to provide services at cost.  
  • Current ACS activities include the following:
    • Hold Baggage Screening at ACSA international and domestic airports.
    • Baggage Management Service (or Baggage Reconciliation Service).
    • Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) and Common Use Self Service (CUSS) at check-in. The cost to airlines has been significantly reduced by approximately 66%.  
    • CUTE and CUSS have been implemented at the following airports: O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Cape Town International AirportPort Elizabeth International Airport and King Shaka International Airport in Durban.
    • The charge for these ACS services is linked to a Security Policy, and as a result the charges are reflected separately on the airline ticket and payable by the passenger.  
    • Current savings to airlines exceed R200-million per annum, and exceeds R300 to R400-million as services are introduced at other ACSA airports. 

Management and Staff

At present, AASA employs 6 full-time staff. The reasons AASA operates with a lean structure (apart from the cost-saving to airlines) includes:

  • AASA makes use of committees, when required, comprising airline representatives, and quickly disbands committees that are no longer required.
  • ACS is a company in its own right with a Chief Executive and staff; and outsources specialist functions - this lean structure has proven to be cost effective and efficient.

 Priority Issues 

  • Southern African Development Community (SADC)
  • Implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD)
  • Planning & Operational Efficiency
  • Taxes, Charges & Fees 

  • Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)
  • Government Policies, Legislation & Regulations
  • Safety & Security
  • ICAO's 2050 Net-Zero CO2 Environment Goals

AASA's Priority Issues

  • The entire review of South African Aviation Policy.
  • Representing airline members in the negotiations and implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.
  • Negotiations completed on behalf of airline members for the Aviation Charter of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Policy with the South African Department of Transport (DOT).
  • Financial issues, such as the negotiation of tariffs with regulators and monopoly service providers, in respect of:
  • The South African government does not deal with the airline industry directly, only through AASA, for example it discusses policies with AASA before they are changed, so that decisions do not have to be reversed.  
  • Operational issues at airports which are brought to the attention of AASA to address on behalf of its airline members.
  • Supporting initiatives that combat the illegal trafficking of men, women and children.
  • Supporting gender diversity and inclusion initiatives in the southern African aviation industry.
  • Supporting skills development, training and aviation NGO initiatives in the southern African aviation industry.
  • Supporting initiatives that combat the illegal trade of wildlife.
  • Environmental issues, such as:
    • Future trends and innovation promoting green aviation;
    • Climate solutions to address climate change;
    • Aircraft engine efficiency and alternative energy, biofuels and renewable fuel sources;
    • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: reduction of aircraft engine emissions;
    • Reduction in aircraft noise; and
    • CO2 offsetting and reduction for local air quality: addressing the emissions from aircraft and activities at airports and its effects on local communities.

Open Skies for Africa 

The Yamoussoukro Decision (YD)

Africa is home to 12% of the world’s people, but it accounts for less than 1% of the global air service market. Part of the reason for Africa’s under-served status, according to a World Bank study: Open Skies for Africa – Implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) by Charles E. Schlumberger, is that many African countries restrict their air services markets to protect the share held by state-owned air carriers. This practice originated in the early 1960s when newly-independent African states created national airlines, in part, to assert their status as nations. 

The YD, adopted in 1999, named for the Ivorian city in which it was agreed, commits its 44 signatory countries to deregulate air services, and promote regional air markets open to transnational competition. In 2000, the Decision was endorsed by head of states and governments at the Organisation of African Unity, and became fully binding in 2002. 

Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)

The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063, an initiative of the African Union to create a single unified air transport market in Africa, the liberalisation of civil aviation in Africa and as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration agenda. The AU Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. It builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.

AASA Gender Pledge

One of AASA's priority issues is the support of gender diversity and inclusion initiatives in the southern African aviation industry. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA) was adopted in 2015 at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The Agenda raised 17 Goals for People, for Planet. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. 

ICAO and SACA hosted the inaugural Global Aviation Gender Summit in August 2019, to mobilise the global aviation community to accelerate gender equality in aviation. On 19 August 2019, the SA Minister of Transport and AASA's CEO signed an Aviation Gender Pledge, to support the SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls goal.

Climate Change 

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The aviation industry produces approximately 2% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE), according to the United Nations Intergovernmetal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The airline industry acknowledges that it must play its part in combating climate change by reducing GHGE. 

The IATA has published a set of targets which have been accepted by airlines worldwide, namely: 

  • Reduce GHGE by 1.5% per annum from 2010 to 2020;
  • Carbon neutral growth from 2020; and
  • Reduce GHGE by 50% by 2050 based on 2005 levels.

The airline industry, under the leadership of IATA, supported the development of a global solution by ICAO and its Environmental Protection initiatives

At the 2013 ICAO Assembly, agreement was reached to develop a framework for a globally accepted Market Based Measures (MBM) solution. AASA supports this position and, together with IATA, works with other regional associations to achieve the initiative's objectives. 

Different jurisdictions implement regional solutions, for example, the European Union (EU) has implemented the Emission Trading System (EU ETS), a cornerstone of EU policy to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. The EU ETS is the world's first and largest major carbon market, and works on the 'cap and trade' principle

Regards SADC, AASA established an Environmental Committee consisting of airline and associate members, public and government stakeholders to develop awareness of global initiatives, and prepare the for implementation of GHGE solutions in SADC states and the industry. 

AASA is  involved in regional initiatives discussed for implementation in respective States with domestic aviation issues the priority focus.

AASA opposes the introduction of carbon taxes for domestic aviation as  its position is that for consistency and better control, international and domestic aviation should be regulated by the same measures. It is also AASA’s view that any revenue derived from such solutions must be reinvested in the environmental programme, and this is not guaranteed through a carbon tax solution where such revenue will find its way into the general fiscus.


AASA Safety Committee

This committee is an AASA Standing Committee and meets quarterly. In the interest of safety of the aviation industry, it is open to all airlines, both AASA and non-AASA members to attend, as well as all industry role players which have an interest in the improvement of aviation safety. 

There is an open exchange of information between the ACSA, ATNS, CAA and all industry stakeholders. 

Airline Safety Officers are encouraged to share information and learn from each other’s experiences. Problem areas identified are discussed and resolved amongst committee members. This Committee contributes to the overall improvement of safety, and where appropriate, it will make recommendations in respect of proposed regulations or amendments to existing ones.


ACS provides the following services on behalf of airlines at ACSA and private airports:

  • 100% Hold Baggage Screening;
  • Baggage Reconciliation;
  • Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) – maintenance, operation and management;
  • Common User Self Service Kiosks (CUSS) – maintenance operation and management; and
  • Cargo Screening on behalf of certain clients.

AASA works with ACS, ACSA and the member airlines in provision of these services at the highest international standards in compliance with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) and Civil Aviation Regulations.

Other operational matters

AASA is involved in issues arising that require attention in support of airline operations, such as:

  • Hand baggage: AASA was instrumental in working with ACSA and the airlines to draft a Hand Baggage Policy to control the carriage of hand baggage on board aircrafts. This process was implemented on 2 February 2015.  
  • Amendment of Regulations for Persons with Disabilities: AASA is working with ACSA and airlines to draft proposed amendments to the Civil Aviation Regulations to clarify the process for the transport of passengers with disabilities. 
  • Slot coordination: AASA is a member of the Slot Coordination Committee of South Africa, which seeks to manage the efficient use of slots and thereby optimise the utilisation of airspace and airport infrastructure.
  • Air Traffic Services: AASA is a member of the Committee comprising ATNS, DOT and members of the industry in the implementation of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) within South Africa.
  • Weather Service: AASA works with the South African Weather Service (SAWS) and airlines to consider new developments and service delivery issues.
  • Airport Management Centre (AMC): AASA supports the AMC in its work and is part of the forum which reviews the performance of all stakeholders impacting the efficient operations at aiports on a quarterly basis.

Local Airport Security Committee

AASA is a member of the O.R. Tambo International Airport Security Committee dealing with security-related matters under the chairmanship of ACSA together with all government Agencies.

Environment and illegal wildlife trafficking 

The Buckingham Palace Declaration and the Southern African Transport Taskforce

In November 2016 AASA signed the Buckingham Palace Declaration (BPD) with the aim of joining a worldwide campaign to combat international wildlife trafficking. The signatories of the United for Wildlife (UFW) Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration on the transportation of illegal wildlife products agreed to commit to combat the trade of illegal wildlife.    

AASA has committed to help where possible to bring an end to the illegal trade in wildlife by signing this Declaration, creating an awareness amongst its members, and supporting implementation of the commitments. On 6 February 2020, AASA offered to serve as a convening vehicle to support the establishment of the Southern African Transport Taskforce, emphasising the potential impact the Taskforce can have on all types of trafficking. 

As a BPD signatory, AASA is ready to take their effort to the next level. Ian Cruickshank was appointed by United for Wildlife as Transport Taskforce Manager based in Southern Africa and will work with all stakeholders to set up the Southern African Task Force, with opportunities to become involved further afield.

AASA also has other environmental priority issues that impact the airlines in the Southern African region. These include Carbon Taxes for South African domestic aviation, and CORSIA, which deals with the climate change program for international aviation, as well as other climate change programs. 

Due to the significance of the work that lies ahead, UFW have agreed that Ian, as their Transport Task Force Manager, works with AASA and the aviation sector as an Environmental and Wildlife Specialist to provide valuable expertise, and assistance to the sector, to achieve the respective goals and mandate of ensuring airlines in the Southern African region are aware of illegal wildlife trafficking practices and implement necessary preventative actions, and also ensure environmental compliance with the appropriate statutory requirements.

Combating the illegal trade of wildlife

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. 

Although the duty for capturing and prosecuting these criminals rests with national enforcement authorities, aviation staff can provide an important source of additional intelligence. Associations such as IATAAirports Council International (ACI), and AASA, together with organizations such as United for Wildlife (UfW), are working with other aviation stakeholders to support the work of enforcement agencies in combating the illegal trade in wildlife.  

Contact Ian Cruickshank, AASA Environmental and Wildlife Specialist, for any environmental queries: environment@aasa.za.net. ​​​​

 Policy & Regulations 


AASA is mandated to represent its members on all issues related to the development of policy and regulations impacting airline business and operations. 

AASA is recognised by government, public and private stakeholders as the representative airline association in the states of its member airlines. In respect of proposed new policy, legislation and regulations, AASA plays the leading role in coordinating the consultation and provision of feedback, comment and response on these proposals.

AASA is represented on statutory forums and Committees where these are constituted to facilitate the consultation process.

South African Department of Transport (DOT)

AASA is always consulted by the DOT on matters of policy formulation relating to aviation and there is interaction between the AASA Executives and the DOT. This includes consultation on the following:

Southern African Development Community (SADC)

AASA is a consultative member of the SADC Civil Aviation Committee and represents SADC airline interests on matters applicable to aviation. This includes issues such as the implementation of the YD, SADC Aviation Safety Organisation (SASO), Safety and Security Policy for the SADC region, harmonisation of Regulations in the region and other projects of common interest to the aviation industry in SADC.

B-BBEE Act of South Africa: codes of good practice

As part of the South African Government’s requirement for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) and the aviation commitment to transformation of the airline industry, AASA and its member airlines are part of the consultation process with the DOT developing the Aviation Charter and  Scorecard in alignment with the Codes of Good Practice.

Consumer Protection

Following the promulgation of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 in South Africa, AASA and BARSA collectively representing all the airlines with operations to, from and within South Africa, have worked with the National Consumer Commission (NCC) in addressing aviation consumer-related issues. An Industry Code has been drafted and is under discussion.  However, at this stage, the airlines are dealing with consumer complaints and claims in terms of the Act and their respective company policies.  Where issues cannot be resolved, the NCC forwards these cases to AASA an BARSA as appropriate for escalation within the Airline Management system for resolution.

Civil Aviation Regulation Committee 

AASA, as an essential and important stakeholder, attends and participates in the monthly meetings as the airline industry voice ensuring its membership interests are prioritised in the development and amendment of civil aviation regulations.

Cape Town Convention

The Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (the CIIME – otherwise know as the Cape Town Convention) was concluded in 2001 by ICAO member states. 

Its principle purpose was to harmonise national laws with the principles underlying asset-based financing for mobile equipment and to provide a framework for international interests in categories of mobile equipment, notably airframes, aircraft engines and helicopters as it relates to the aviation industry. 

This framework would create transparency, predictability, reduction of transaction costs and mitigation of the risk in international air finance.  

South Africa ratified the Convention in 2007 when it became incorporated into Domestic Law through the CIIME Act of 2007.  However, South Africa has not been included on the OECD Cape Town list. Airlines which are in the process of procuring new aircraft are not able to obtain the financial benefits provided for in terms of the Convention.  

AASA obtained a detailed legal opinion which identified a number of impediments for the inclusion of South Africa on the Cape Town list. These include: 

  • Uncertainty and lack of consensus on whether the South African declarations have incorporated into and are binding in respect of South African Domestic Law;
  • The potential unconstitutionality of the so-called “self help” provisions in the Convention;
  • Conflict between aspects of the Convention and certain business rescue/insolvency provisions of the Companies Act and certain provisions of the CIIME Act; and
  • There are no regulations to underpin the Convention.

AASA is working with the DOT, the lead government department on this matter, SACAA, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), International Cooperation and Development, Justice, Chief State Law Advisory, and Public Enterprises on the recommendations emanating from the legal opinion, to address measures and probable legislative amendments required to ultimately achieve the inclusion of South Africa on the Cape Town list.  

The legal opinion was made available to all AASA airline members to enable measures to be taken in their respective States to be included on the Cape Town list should this not currently be the case.

Economic Regulation

AASA is the representative organisation of its member airlines together with IATA and BARSA on matters related to the economic regulation of infrastructure service providers and agencies who operate within a regulated tariff regime. These organisations include ACSA, ATNS, SACAA and SAWS.  

AASA's functions involve in depth consultations with these organisations including provision of airline requirements to assist in preparation of these plans, the assessment of their Business Plans and the impact such plans will have on the regulated tariffs and reaching agreement or consensus as appropriate on the final position for submission to the respective Regulators.

National Airspace Committee 

AASA attends and participates in the quarterly meetings pertaining to airspace matters (including the design of and amendment of airspace) taking our mandate from our membership.

 Executive Team 

Aaron Munetsi 
Chief Executive Officer

Vees Lochan
Chief Operating Officer

João Carlos Pó Jorge

Professor John Lamola 
Deputy Chairperson

Elmar Conradie 
Executive Committee Member

Rodger Foster 
Executive Committee Member

Girls Fly Africa (GFA) is dedicated to empowering the youth, girls and women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and mathematics (STEAM) field, focusing on the aviation and aerospace industry. 

Our mission is to transform lives one girl at a time by providing a clear path to success through our four pillars: Education, Outreach, Innovation and Technology.

Our approach at GFA, is to create a pipeline through focused programmes that grow in intensity and are tailored to develop each learner’s aspiration.

We have crafted innovative programmes and initiatives to unlock the opportunities that STEAM, focusing on the aviation and aerospace technology industry, offers young girls and youth in Africa. The programmes include design thinking, technology, and innovation to shape, empower, enable, and support the next generation of makers and problem-solvers in Africa’s aviation and aerospace industry while entrenching the spirit of Ubuntu

Contact GFPA 

w: girlsflyafrica.org 
e: hello@girlsflyafrica.org  

MayDay-SA is a peer-based network supporting the wellbeing of each and every South African aviation licence holder, thereby contributing to safety within the aviation community.

MayDay-SA has its roots in the Airline Pilots Association’s (ALPA-SA) Peer-to-Peer Programme – an initiative to provide volunteer support to fellow pilots who are experiencing difficult circumstances such as the impact of accidents and incidents, or life crises. Peer-to-Peer fills the gap that exists within the industry for supporting the emotional wellbeing of pilots.  

The key benefit of Peer-to-Peer is that, as pilots, the volunteers understand the unique stressors and demands of the operational environment. 

MayDay-SA’s Peer support model draws from similar structures that have operated for many years in many major global airline environments, where the results have been significantly positive – for the license holder; for the employer; and for sponsors of these initiatives.

Contact MayDay-SA

t: 012 333 6000 (ask for MayDay)
w: mayday-sa.org.za
e: maydaysouthafrica@gmail.com    
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Wonders of Aviation South Africa (WOA SA), is an NPO that uses the magic of flight to inspire and educate previously disadvantaged youth about the aviation industry, and to engender a life-long love of learning. 

WOA SA supports the aviation industry’s outreach programmes that encourage learners to consider a career in aviation, while focusing the majority of its efforts on individuals who we hope will become mentors and future aviation industry leaders. 

WOA SA depends on supporting organisations to provide awards, rewards, mentors, role models, and educational material.

Contact WOA SA

WOA SA (NPO# 20201607342408)
Dy Moonsammy - WOA SA Chairperson
e: dy.moonsammy@comair.co.za
c: +27 082 776 6137 
w: wondersofaviation-southafrica.org           

Contact WOA USA

WOA USA (IRS NPO# 75236162037)
Proctor Schenk - WOA USA Chairperson  
e: DPSchenk@aca-assoc.com  
c: (646) 248 3461