Airlines Association of Southern Africa welcomes restart of South African aviation on limited basis

Engineering News has reported Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has welcomed the re-authorisation of a limited restart of South African domestic commercial flying, the company said.

This was the consequence of the government´s decision to ease the national lockdown restrictions (intended to counter the Covid-19 pandemic) from Level 4 to Level 3 at the start of this month.

Under Level 3 regulations, local airlines can resume services to and from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Regarding Johannesburg, both OR Tambo International and Lanseria International airports are permitted to operate. H

Each local airline seeking to restart operations now must submit to the relevant authorities their health and safety protocols and procedures to guard against the spread of Covid-19, as well as their flight schedules and their requests for takeoff and landing slots at the airports. The relevant authorities who must grant the necessary approvals are the Airports Company South Africa, the Air Traffic Navigation Services, and the South African Civil Aviation Authority.

Consequently, AASA called on the government to provide direct financial aid to the country´s airlines and associated service providers, regardless of their ownership, because they were all essential to the revival of the economy.

The government could provide loans, loan guarantees, wage subsidies, cash injections as well as waive or defer taxes, statutory charges and user fees for airports and services such as air navigation and weather forecasting.