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Aaron Munetsi / Chief Executive Officer
Aaron Munetsi currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at AASA. Prior to joining AASA, he held several commercial management positions at South African Airways, including Regional Manager for Africa and the Middle East and as its Acting Chief Commercial Officer. For 10 years, he served on the board of Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Business, and after leaving SAA in 2018 he joined the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) for a stint as its Director: Government, Legal and Industry Affairs. For the past year he has been working as an aeropolitical and business strategy advisor to airlines.
Aaron holds diplomas and certificates in marketing, strategic management and leadership from the University of Zimbabwe, University of Witwatersrand Graduate Business School and the Gordon Institute for Business Studies.
Vivendra Lochan / Chief Operating Officer
Vivendra (Vees) Lochan currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer at AASA. He has gained extensive knowledge and experience in the aviation industry over the past 35 years.
Vees spent a considerable amount of time at South African Airways (SAA) where he held positions in Sales and Marketing, Africa Route Management Division; and headed SAA offices in the Middle East and Gulf, as well as the Indian Sub-continent. In August 2010, Vees joined AASA as Chief Operating Officer. AASA is the SADC airline representative Association dealing with strategic, aeropolitical, regulatory, policy, financial and operational issues affecting its members. He represents AASA and its membership on regulatory committees and industry forums.
Vees, is an Alternate Director and Chairperson of the Audit Committee of Aviation Coordination Services Limited, a company responsible for several airport services managed on behalf of all airlines operating in South Africa.
Ms. Dipuo Peters, then South African Minister of Transport, appointed Vees in January 2015 to serve as a member of the Transport Sector Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Charter Council representing the Domestic Aviation sub-sector.
Vees represents AASA on a number of government committees and is a member of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) Regulations Committee (CARCom) that advises the Minister of Transport. He also serves as Treasurer and Director of the Wonders of Aviation NPC, a non-profit initiative established to promote aviation awareness and careers to the previously disadvantaged youth of South Africa.
Vees holds a BCom in Business Economics and Economics from the University of Durban-Westville, and an MBA from the same University.
Elmar Conradie / Chairperson
Elmar Conradie currently serves as the Chairperson of AASA, and the CEO of Safair Operations, operator of the low-cost carrier FlySafair, which he helped found in 2014.
Elmar has been with Safair since 2005. He occupied the role of CFO until he took the reins as CEO in March 2015.
Prior to his time at Safair, Elmar worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and later at Macquarie. Having initially read for a B.Compt with Honours at the University of the Free State, he ultimately registered as a Chartered Accountant in 1998. He is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor.
Elmar lives in Johannesburg with his wife and three children.
Agnes Khunwana / Deputy Chairperson
Agnes Khunwana currently serves as the Deputy Chairperson of AASA, and is the General Manager of Air Botswana. She joined the airline in 2015 as a Finance Director and six months into the role was appointed to act as the General Manager. She was in this acting capacity for three years until May 2018 when she was substantively appointed to the role.
Agnes has diverse industry and private sector experience spanning over 25 years. She brings to the aviation industry a mix of experiences from diamond mining, banking (both as a commercial banker and regulator for the Central Bank), oil and energy (having worked for Shell, now Vivo Energy), as well as FMCG industry experience.
Agnes has exeptional business acumen, she is results-driven and a dynamic leader who is experienced in turning around poor performing organisations to profitability. A leader who has gone beyond the finance profession to working and leading diverse teams. She upholds ethical and corporate governance values and principles. She currently sits on the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency as well as the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority Boards. She was previously a member of the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana as well as Legal Aid boards.
Agnes is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants globally with nearly 20 years of post-qualification experience. She graduated from the University of Botswana with a BCom Accounting degree, is an Associate Banker and also has an MSc In Strategic Management.
Rodger Foster / Executive Committee
Rodger Foster currently serves as an AASA Executive Committee member (and past AASA Chairperson). He is also the CEO and MD of SA Airlink (Pty) Limited Group of Companies trading as “Airlink”, since June 1992 to the present (over 26 years). Co-founding shareholder (together with Barrie Webb) of Airlink which commenced business on 12th June 1992. Current shareholder of 22.32% of Airlink’s issued shares.
Airlink is a regional feeder airline whose core business centers on smaller community destinations. Airlink is a network airline and a component of a large branded and franchised (SAA) composite airline network system. Airlink employs over 1,500 staff and flies to more than 40 smaller community destinations throughout SADC. Airlink carries more than 1600,000 passengers annually on over 55,000 flights using a fleet of 55 aircraft. Airlink is privately owned and is responsibly profitable.
João Carlos Pó Jorge / Executive Committee
João Carlos Pó Jorge currently serves as an AASA Executive Committee member, and is the General Director of Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM), SA.
João's professional career began in 1985 at LAM, where he joined the staff as a mechanical engineer. He served as Head of the Engineering Department in 1987, and was later appointed to co-ordinate the connection between LAM and the manufacturers, as LAM's Resident Representative at Boeing (USA), from 1990 to 1993. After completing this stage, he returned to LAM'S HQ in Maputo, where he was promoted to Chief of Engineering and Quality, serving from 1993 to 1995, a period in which he streamlined aircraft planning and engineering, flight operation engineering, accident investigation, design, implementation and certification of aircraft modification programs, among other activities.
With the experience João gained and maximizing his contacts with outside entities, he accepted the challenge of joining the team of Pratt & Whitney, a USA firm that manufactures aircraft engines, as Customer Support Manager in Africa, serving from 1995 to 2013. During this time, he worked in the USA, Zimbabwe, Senegal, and Ethiopia, demonstrating his gifts for setting up offices in remote locations; the co-ordination of top management improvement actions for airlines in Africa in the operational, commercial and financial areas; the negotiation of acquisition contracts, including aircraft leasing, as well as engines; the intermediation of commercial contracts between airlines; the detailed accident investigation; design and implementation of recommendations; and the introduction of airline management tools in Africa.
He participated in the restructuring of airlines both to correct irregular situations and to expand, as are the cases of Air Zimbabwe, TACV, TAAG, Air Afrique, Air Senegal, AeroZambia and Ethiopian Airlines. He encourages and supports behavior management initiatives to improve work performance.
In 2013 João was invited to join the Board of Directors of LAM, having been Technical Operational Administrator until 2016. Later he was appointed as the Advisor to the Financial Administrator, a role he held until his appointment to the position of General Director of LAM in July 2018.