Welcome to the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA)

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (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 was formed to represent the mutual interests of its members. Membership is open to all airlines based in southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. There are currently 18 Airline Members from this region. In addition, Associate Membership is open to airline partner organisations. There are currently 30 Associate Members, including Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), and airports, both provincial and private airports, the Air Traffic & Navigation Services (ATNS), the South African Weather Service, several oil companies, major aircraft manufacturers, engine manufacturers, a ground handling company, IT service providers, tourism organisations and other industry associations and partners.

AASA 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 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. In undertaking this mandate, AASA represents the airline industry on approximately 15 Standing Committees and Boards involving both public and private stakeholders.  

Air Transport supports 490 000 jobs and US$12bn in GDP for South Africa
July 3, 2017. IATA news. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released new data showing that the air transport sector in SA provides immense value to the people and economy of the country supporting some 490,000 jobs including tourism-related employment and contributing US$12bn or 3.5% to the country’s GDP. These findings are among the highlights of ‘The Importance of Air Transport to South Africa’ study conducted by Oxford Economics for IATA. The study confirms the vital role of air transport in facilitating over US$110bn in exports, some US$140bn in foreign direct investment and around US$9.2bn in inbound leisure and business tourism for SA. Read more...

Africa to launch single air transport market in 2018 
July 6, 2017. AllAfrica.com news desk. 

An African single air transport market will be launched in January 2018, with 40 plus countries expected to be signatories by then. So far, 20 African countries out of 55 have subscribed to the African single air market. This was announced by David Kajange, the head of the Transport and Tourism division at the African Union (AU) on the sidelines of the 29th African Union Summit, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 27 June to 4 July 2017.  A single air transport market is one of the goals of African Union's Agenda 2063, aiming to connect Africa through aviation and other transport infrastructure to achieve integration and boost intra-Africa trade.

June 2017 IATA State of the region: Africa and Middle East
July 6, 2017. IATA news.

African airlines have recorded 11.7 % growth in May 2017, leading all regions compared to IATA's results in 2016.

June 2017 IATA Economic performance of airline industry  
The Airline Industry Economic Performance takes a broader look at how the industry is adding value for its consume​rs, the wider economy and governments, as well as for its investors.

May 2017 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis
African airlines have recorded 11.7 % growth in May 2017, leading all regions compared to  results in 2016. Read more...

Download the new IATA Economics Research App..

Developing renewable fuels as a solution for the future of aviation
July 5, 2017. International Airport Review. 

John Pitts, MD and Founder of UK-based global aviation fuel specialist eJet International, looks at the industry’s current stance on renewable fuels and discusses its potential uptake as a sustainable solution for cutting emissions. Look at industry news pages today and it’s impossible not to notice that a lot of the topics touch upon the sustainability of aviation fuel and the use of renewable fuels as a viable fuel option within the market. Not only is renewable fuel being used in a number of industries, there are schemes and initiatives that aim to encourage the development of technology, and stimulate demand. Read more...

Research reveals positive development in the African tourism sector  
June 15, 2017. Tourism News: BizCommunity. 

According to various stakeholders in attendance at WTM Africa 2017, the continued growth of African tourist arrivals coupled with key performance indicators such as increased airlift and hotel development, are all reasons to invest in the travel economy within Africa. Through the partnership between WTM Africa and Euromonitor International, research divulged at the exhibition showed that key performance indicators revealed positive development in the travel sector of Africa...inbound arrivals in sub-Saharan Africa between 2011 and 2016 showed steep growth, moving from just below 21,000 arrivals in 2011 to over 24,000 in 2016. Read more...

About AASA    |    Current priority issues being addressed by AASA

Current priority issues being addressed by AASA

  • The review of South African Aviation Policy in its entirety.
  • 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.
  • Financial issues, such as:
    • The negotiation of tariffs with regulators and monopoly service providers, in respect of:
    • The success rate over a 5-year period is estimated at R5-billion in direct savings (indirect benefits are difficult to quantify).
    • 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.
  • Environmental issues, such as:
    • Climate solutions to address climate change;
    • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: reduction of aircraft engine emissions;
    • Combatting the illegal trade of wildlife; and
    • Local air quality: addressing the emissions from aircraft and activies at airports and its effects on the local air quality of nearby communities.

Upcoming Events    |    AASA 47th AGA 2017 

Above: A conical flask of "green" jet fuel made from algae. Photographer: Honeywell (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Environment News: German Aerospace Center/Lufthansa release high blend-level AJF study

June 16, 2017. Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative & the German Aerospace Centre. 
Biofuels have the potential to make air transport more climate-friendly and reduce dependency on fossil raw materials, since they are produced using renewable raw materials, such as oil plants, grain, algae and wood. 

Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), together with Lufthansa Technik and the Bundeswehr Research Institute for Materials, Fuels and Lubricants (WIWeB), investigated the chemical and physical properties of particularly promising biofuels. The European Union-funded 'High Biofuel Blends in Aviation' (HBBA) study focused on blends, i.e. mixtures of conventional kerosene with biofuels. The study analysed particularly promising biofuels, according to source, production process and approval status.

Real engine testing

An airliner turbine can cost up to several million euro. Should it be operated using non-certified fuel for research purposes, for example, it may not be reinstalled in an aircraft. This means that bridging the gap between tests on a laboratory scale to actual implementation in an aircraft represents a huge challenge for researchers. For the first time, scientists at the DLR Institute of Combustion Technology now have the opportunity to investigate biofuels on a special test rig at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, where a dismounted aero-engine is available especially for research purposes. Using this engine, the scientists examined and compared three different fuels: pure biofuel, a blend consisting of 50 percent biofuel and 50 percent conventional fuel, as well as conventional kerosene as a reference. 

Over a period of several days, a four-person DLR team first set up the measuring infrastructure required for the tests and then carried out the measurements. And the experience was impressive not only from a scientific point of view: "The test engine – a CFM56, used in Airbus and Boeing medium-haul aircraft, for example – is suspended from the ceiling in a hangar. The exhaust gas stream enters a large tunnel behind the engine, where we installed our measuring probes to take samples. A significant challenge here is stability of the probes under these extreme conditions so that they do not simply snap or bend, says DLR researcher Markus Köhler describing the procedure. "The laboratory analyses already showed that biofuels are well suited for use in aero-engines. Testing this under real-life test conditions, however, takes on an entirely different dimension," continues Köhler. 

Improved carbon footprint with biofuel blends 

"This large-scale test showed that the use of blends can improve the carbon footprint in the field of aviation without causing any problems in the engine," summarises Köhler. "Furthermore, with biofuels, we see the potential to reduce the emissions of pollutants in the future." For this reason, the subject is increasingly attracting interest from airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airport operators and local residents. 

The certification of a completely new fuel is an extremely elaborate and lengthy process. Blends of biofuels and conventional kerosene represent an important intermediate stage – some of their properties correspond to those of normal kerosene, which means that not all parameters required for the combustion process have to be completely re-examined. They are also an important step toward so-called designer fuels. Such fuels are composed in such a way that their properties are as optimal as possible in terms of environmental friendliness and technical characteristics. Research in this field is a major focus for the DLR Institute of Combustion Technology. 

On the path toward designer fuels 

The fewer individual components a fuel has, the better and faster the chemical and physical processes that occur during its combustion can be defined. Several hundred substances are present in the Jet-A type kerosene used predominantly in the field of civil aviation. The combustion analyses are correspondingly complicated. The aim with designer fuels is therefore to work within a precise range of substances with as few components as possible. In this way, combustion properties can be optimised and polluting emissions reduced. In this context, so-called aromatic compounds are of particular interest. When the proportion of these is reduced or completely eliminated, considerably fewer soot particles arise during combustion. At higher layers of the atmosphere, these soot particles largely enhance the formation of ice crystals, which are visible as contrails, and can persist over several hours and contribute to climate change.

Download the HBBA report here.
Article sources: www.caafi.org/news/ and www.dlr.de/dlr/en/27096

Above: Black rhinoceros mother and calf in the Etosha National Park.. Photographer: By Yathin S Krishnappa (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

IATA Environmental Policy: Combating the illegal trade of wildlife

Transnational criminal gangs are exploiting the increasingly interconnected air transport system to traffic illegal flora and fauna. Aviation is committed to playing its part in stopping this illegal trade in wildlife, worth at least $19 billion annually. Although the duty for capturing and prosecuting these criminals rests with national enforcement authorities, airline staff can provide an important source of additional intelligence. International Air Transport Association (IATA) is working with the aviation industry to support the work of enforcement agencies in combating the illegal trade in wildlife.​​​​

In September 2016 TRAFFIC (the wildlife trade monitoring network, is the leading non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development) and the Freeland Foundation (a frontline counter-trafficking organisation working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery) with support from the IATA under the Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership, highlighted the growing commitment by the transport sector to take action on illegal wildlife trafficking. Two concurrent trainings were conducted with airline and airport personnel to highlight the abuse of the transport sector by wildlife traffickers.  Read the full article here.