About AASA | Executive Team
Miles van der Molen | AASA Chairperson
Miles van der Molen serves as the Chairperson of AASA. He is also the Chief Executive Officer and founder of CemAir. He was appointed to serve as the AASA Chairperson at its 48th Annual General Assembly in October 2018.
CemAir was founded in 2005 with three Beechcraft 1900’s bought on auction and now operates as a world class IOSA registered airline. CemAir owns, operates and maintains a fleet of 22 aircraft, including ten 50-seat CRJ jets, two Dash-8 Q300’s, one Dash-8 100 and 9 Beechcraft 1900D’s. Based at O.R. Tambo International Airport and a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), CemAir operates as a full service scheduled domestic airline to 10 destinations in South Africa, including Margate, Bloemfontein, Plettenberg Bay, Hoedspruit, George, Cape Town and Sishen in the Northern Cape.
Miles completed his Private Pilot License (PPL) at the age of 17, and his Commercial Pilot License (CPL) at 22 years. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Witwatersrand, and completed the 3rd year of an MBA at the same University.
Zuks Ramasia | AASA Deputy Chairperson
Zuks Ramasia serves as the Deputy Chairperson of AASA. She is also the General Manager: Operations for South African Airways (SAA).
Zuks aviation career spans more than 25 years. At SAA she serves as the General Manager: Operations and is also a member of the Executive team providing strategic leadership to the national carrier. Her role at SAA includes ensuring operational efficiency through effective planning for on-time departure and arrival, during normal and irregular operations, and committing to quick turnaround processes by identification of bottlenecks and the provision of optimum solutions.
Zuks serves as a director on the Board of Aviation Coordination Services Limited (ACS); she also serves on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operations Committee (OPC) - as an advisory body to IATA’s Board of Governors and Director General. She was appointed to serve as the AASA Deputy Chairperson at its 48th Annual General Assembly in October 2018.
Zuks holds a BA (Honours) in English and Psychology (Human Resource Development) from the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) now the University of Johannesburg; a Diploma in Airline Operations from IATA; is a graduate of the Leadership Development Programme from the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS); and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from Henley Business School.
Chris Zweigenthal | AASA CEO
Chris Zweigenthal serves as the Chief Executive Officer of AASA. He qualified as a Civil
Engineer at the University of Witwatersrand in 1978, obtained his
Graduate Diploma in Engineering in 1985, and worked for 10 years in the
construction industry. In 1988, he joined South African Airways (SAA), where
he held senior positions in the Petroleum Affairs, Flight Operations,
and Marketing Planning departments, and was then appointed Managing
Director of SA Alliance Air based in Kampala, Uganda. Upon his return to
South Africa in 2000, he headed up Global Passenger Services until he
left SAA in November 2001. In February 2002, Chris
joined the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) as Deputy
Chief Executive and was appointed Chief Executive on 1 March 2009.
Chris is active in supporting the growth and sustainability of airlines in the Southern African region, working with public and private stakeholders across the aviation industry. He is a regular participant and contributor to SADC, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) initiatives in the region. He is a Director of Aviation Coordination Services Limited (ACS), a company responsible for several airport services managed on behalf of all airlines operating in South Africa; a Director of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA); and Alternate Director of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA).
Vivendra Lochan | AASA COO
Vivendra (Vees) Lochan serves as the Chief Operating Officer at AASA. In early 1981, he joined South African Airways (SAA), where he held positions in Sales and Marketing, and the Africa Route Management Division. During his tenure at SAA, he attended and completed various executive aviation industry-related courses.
In 1993, Vees was appointed SAA's Regional Manager, Middle East and Gulf, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He was tasked with the setting-up of SAA's operations between Dubai and Johannesburg. In November 1998, he moved to India to be based in Mumbai where he was responsible for SAA's India and the Indian Sub-Continent route. He returned to Johannesburg at the end of 2000 where he held a senior position in Domestic Marketing Support. He left SAA in August 2001 to pursue an interest in the tourism, investment and real estate sectors.
In August 2010, Vees joined AASA as Chief Operating Officer. He represents AASA and its membership on regulatory committees and industry forums. He is also 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.
Vees holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Economics and Economics from the University of Durban-Westville, and an MBA degree from the same University.
Advocate Mandi E.P. Samson | AASA Executive Committee
Mandi E.P. Samson serves as an AASA Executive Committee member. She has also served as Acting Managing Director of Air Namibia since August 2015. She is a member of the 2018 Nominating Committee of the IATA Board of Governors. She previously served in the Office of the Attorney-General of Namibia, and was later employed as General Manager: Corporate and Legal Services at Namibia Airports Company (NAC).
Mandi has served, among others, as the Chairperson of AASA; Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF); a Commissioner of the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC); a member of the cabinet-appointed task team on the De Beers Sales Agreement; as Chairperson of the Board of the state-owned Epangelo Mining Company (Pty) and its subsidiaries. She continues to serve as Commissioner of the Minerals Ancillary Rights Commission (MARC).
In the area of aviation, Mandi assisted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in developing and drafting the Common Regulations of Competition of Air Transport Services within the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). She also assisted SADC with the drawing-up of the Guidelines, Provisions and Procedures for the Implementation of Air Transport Competition within COMESA, EAC, and SADC. She was also the consultant to the African Union (AU) tasked with drafting the Regulations of Competition for Air Transport in Africa and Arbitration Procedures.
Mandi holds a B. Juris Degree, receiving the Best Student Awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year (University of Namibia), LLB (Hons) Deans Merit List (University of Cape Town), Master of Law in International Air and Space Law (LLM) Cum Laude (Leiden University), Master of Business Administration (MBA) (COU), and is completing a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) with Leiden University.
Vuyani Jarana | AASA Executive Committee
Vuyani Jarana serves as an AASA Executive Committee member. He was appointed CEO of the South African Airways Group (SAA) on 1 November 2017, after an exemplary career with Vodacom mobile communications company.
In 2012, Vuyani was appointed as Chief Officer Vodacom Business, which included the integration of Vodacom Business Africa into the Enterprise Portfolio. The integration was successful and defined a new operating model for Enterprise for the Vodacom Group.
At Vodacom, Vuyani focused on building a strong team and developing technological capabilities that would see the Group become an industry leader. During his 22 year career in the telecoms industry he held numerous positions and received several accolades, including the Vodacom’s CEO’s Award for unearthing a major software defect in a radio system together with his team. He also ran some of Vodacom’s subsidiaries and start-ups, turning them into successful business ventures.
Vuyani holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University); and an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. In 2017, he was selected and awarded the University of Stellenbosch Business School’s Alumnus of the Year.
Rodger Foster | AASA Executive Committee
Rodger Foster serves as an AASA Executive Committee member. He is also the CEO and MD of SA Airlink (Pty) Limited Group of Companies trading as “Airlink”, from June 1992 to 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.
Rodger is a past Chairman of the AASA.
Nic Vlok | AASA Executive Committee
Nic Vlok serves as an AASA Executive Committee member. He is also the Acting CEO for low-cost airline Mango Airlines. Before taking the helm as CEO he served as General Manager Operations at Mango where his responsibilities included: airport and flight operations, engineering and maintenance, safety, security and quality management systems.
Prior to this assignment Nic was contracted to a number of South African and African airlines developing and implementing expansion strategies, including specific commercial aspects, such as the development of network strategies and short-term demand stimulation, and capacity management, as well as having an ongoing involvement in the identification and development of management capacity within a broad range of major South African companies.
Before pursuing a consulting career Nic was Director of Airline Operations, Service Delivery Director, and Technical and Information Technology Director at Comair Limited. In these roles he implemented a British Airways franchise, managed significant route and capacity expansion, and project managed the introduction of a successful low cost airline with web-based distribution.
Prior to Nic's tenure with Comair Limited he was a Senior General Manager with South African Airways (SAA). During this phase of his career he served in a number of management positions in technical, finance and marketing. He project managed the SAA part of the transition to Transnet (Pty) Ltd and led a privatisation task team. During the latter part of his career with SAA he implemented a passenger marketing strategy that repositioned the airline in response to the deregulation of the domestic and international aviation markets in South Africa.
Nic has served on the Boards of South African Express Airways (SA Express), the Aerospace Industries Federation, and Air Chefs, and was Chairperson of the Board of Fabtravel, an early attempt at Black Economic Empowerment in the South African travel industry. He has also served on the South African Government Advisory Board for Domestic and International Aviation Policy and the Policy Review Forum for Aircraft Noise and Emissions.
Erik Venter | AASA Executive Committee
Erik Venter serves as an AASA Executive Committee member. He is also the CEO at Comair Limited. He joined Comair in 1996 as Financial Manager, and has held various positions within the company including Commercial Manager, Commercial Director and Financial Director. In July of 2006 Erik was appointed as Joint CEO of Comair and served in this position until December 2011 when he assumed the sole responsibility for the company as CEO.
Erik has also served a term as Chairman of AASA, and and is currently a director on the board of Imperial Air Cargo (BidAir Cargo aquired Imperial Air Cargo in 2014).
Erik holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Cape Town, and Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from the same University. He completed his articles with KPMG qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) (SA).