The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) welcomes the appointment of South Africa’s new air services councils and calls on them to move swiftly to clear the 12 months backlog of licence applications and enable South Africa’s airlines to better connect the country with its markets.
AASA, which represents most of the airlines in the Southern African Development Community, has been working behind the scenes to encourage South Africa’s government to expedite the appointment of the new councils, both of which had become defunct in April 2021 when the
terms of the previous councillors ended.
“While we congratulate Cabinet on confirming the appointments of the new councillors, there is much work to be done and no time to rest. The absence of functioning councils for almost a year held back South Africa’s airlines and prevented them from providing the economic and social benefits that air connectivity provides by facilitating trade, tourism and travel. The councils’ resumption will be a great relief for South Africa’s travel and tourism sector as it seeks to rebuild following the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions,” said AASA CEO, Aaron Munetsi.
Under South African legislation, the International Air Services Council and its domestic counterpart, the Air Services Licencing Council, are required to consider applications and award or withdraw licences granted to South African-based airlines and operators of other commercial aviation services.
AASA represents most of the airlines in the SA Development Community bloc on matters of common interest relating to government policies, legislation, regulations, planning, operational efficiency, safety, security, taxes, charges, and other matters affecting its members’ sustainability and the provision of affordable and accessible air transport throughout the region.
AASA was established in 1970 and currently has 17 airline members and 35 associate members, including infrastructure service providers, aircraft and engine manufacturers and other industry suppliers, ground handling companies and allied industry bodies. AASA is a regular participant and contributor to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) and supports their initiatives in the region.