Picture: ANA/Ayanda Ndamane.
JOHANNESBURG – The board of South African Airways (SAA) and its executive management will on Friday take the nation into their confidence about the state-owned airline’s current and future plans in light of Vuyani Jarana’s resignation as CEO.
In a terse statement on Thursday, the leadership of the airline said it would like to put certain matters into perspective and assure its customers, the markets and stakeholders about business continuity and commitment to the implementation of the airline strategy.
Jarana tendered his resignation last week as group chief executive, citing the airline’s mounting debt due to uncertainty about funding and lack of support from government as a shareholder in implementing the airline’s long-term turnaround strategy.
In his leaked resignation letter, Jarana said that a big chunk of the R5 billion bailout SAA received from government for the 2018/19 financial year had been used to pay creditors up to the end of March 2018, to the point that the airline on three occasions was on the brink of not paying salaries.
“We have not been able to obtain any further funding commitment from government, making it difficult to focus on the execution of the strategy,” Jarana said.
“I spend most of my time dealing with liquidity and solvency issues. Lack of commitment to fund SAA, is systematically undermining the implementation of the strategy, making it increasingly difficult to succeed.”
The board of SAA accepted Jarana’s resignation, saying that he had spearheaded the implementation of the long-term strategy to return the airline to financial and operational sustainability and position it to deliver effectively on its mandate since he joined the airline in November 2017.
But workers under the SA Cabin Crew Association have slammed the airline for making Jarana’s life difficult, saying that he had, through consultation and transparency, managed to get the buy in of cabin crew at SAA into the long term turnaround strategy and his clear plan to revive the carrier’s fortunes.
The workers have even threatened to go on strike to have Jarana reinstated as SAA chief executive.
African News Agency (ANA)
Ava Airways CEO, Amb. Olivier Arrindell set to connect Africa and the Americas
Ava Airways CEO, Amb. Olivier Arrindell (Photo: Image Supplied)
The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) has reported over $38 billion USD in airline ticket sales transacted between January and July 2022 in the Americas. Another estimated 20% of that revenue is booked outside the ARC. The best investment right now for the next fifteen years before the slowdown, would be within an airline that is based in the Americas with the right strategy and plans, said Amb. Olivier Arrindell.
The Global Diaspora Summit a few years ago was the culmination of a worldwide dialogue process among Africans on the continent and the Diaspora on the content, programs and plan of action for the AU’s Diaspora program. The outcome of the various consultations was consolidated by three African Diaspora Ministerial Conferences between 2007 and 2012 into a Draft Declaration to be considered by the Summit.
The African Union has approved the following definition of the African Diaspora: “The African Diaspora consists of peoples of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” With this being said our contribution is going to be in the form of consistent Air connectivity via commercial scheduled air transportation of passengers and Cargo between Africa and Central America/Caribbean.
The Americas population of over 1.2 billion and with 54% of the population being of African descent is the largest African diaspora outside of Africa and within emerging economies and strong economies.
Amb. Olivier Arrindell goal via Ava Airways is to implement the concrete ways and means of harnessing the abundant human and material resources in Africa and beyond. And to advance the Socio-economic development of both the Continent, in close and sustainable partnership with the African Diaspora in the Americas via Air connectivity. There are well established Air transportation agreements in place with some African nations and Caribbean countries. However, there is no adequate air transportation system between Africa and Central America/Caribbean and socio-economic development cannot take place. Therefore, Ava Airways as a company have already put in place all the necessary steps to prepare for the scheduled inaugural flight between mainland Africa and Central America/Caribbean via its hub in Santo Domingo.
A three-day business trip in Santo Domingo where you buy your goods followed by another four days in Ocho Rios or Montego Bay Jamaica on the beach sounds far more attractive then flying to the Middle East. However, Arrindell believes proper education must be provided about the Caribbean. He is very much positive about the near future because Ava Airways, as a company, are set fast on the course of economic connectivity.
Arrindell have concluded with the adoption in his last board meeting to include 11 major African cities into their master plan route network to provide Africa a gateway to the Americas that also include a visa free travel to some destination which will:
- Take concrete measures that would promote and sustain linkages between Africa and the Diaspora in the following priority areas: trade and investment, science and technology, travel and tourism, communication and transportation infrastructure, energy, information, communication technology and cultural industries;
- Ava Airways flights will enable the establishment of multi-stakeholder working groups of Africa, CARICOM, and Latin America citizens which will establish economic cooperation (including infrastructure of sea and air links, trade and investment, travel and tourism).
The near future of Air transportation between Africa, Central America/Caribbean is predicted to be extremely profitable to those who can properly connect Africa and the Americas with a business model that is innovative and has a clear understanding of the dynamics of our people.
Etihad Airways launches flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Zanzibar
Etihad Airways (Image: Etihad)
Etihad Airways today announced three new quarantine-free destinations for the coming winter season. This November, the airline will begin flying to Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, and the beautiful Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. The new additions to Etihad’s network mean the UAE’s national carrier will be operating to 70 destinations across 47 countries.
Etihad Airways has launched a sale on fares to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Zanzibar, valid until midnight on 6 October 2021. Available on a first come, first served basis, guests can enjoy return fares starting from AED 995 in Economy and AED 3995 in Business class.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad, said: “We’re proud to be launching Etihad’s newest destinations in Africa this winter and we’re confident our guests will find they are all incredible places to visit.
“Johannesburg is an important route on our network and offers vital connectivity to and from the southern African region. On the southern coast, Cape Town is a breathtaking part of the world, with something to offer the most discerning traveller. Likewise, the beautiful island of Zanzibar will complement our network to the Maldives and Seychelles offering more choice for leisure travellers looking to enjoy the glorious Indian ocean.
“We are also thrilled to offer connectivity for travellers from both countries to visit our home the UAE over the winter months. With the world’s greatest show, Expo 2020, opening now there has never been a better time to visit Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
Etihad will start flights to Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city, from 25 November. At the same time, Etihad will launch its operation to the stunning coastal city of Cape Town. Both destinations will operate three times per week on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The route will be serviced by Etihad’s flagship and most-sustainable aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with 28 Business Studios, 78 Economy Space seats and 184 Economy seats.
The new service to Zanzibar will operate from 26 November giving residents in the UAE the ideal winter holiday. The route will also offer easy connectivity for guests travelling from Europe and North America and transiting through Abu Dhabi. The scheduled flights will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays on the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft offering 8 seats in Business and 150 seats in Economy.
Guests flying with Etihad can fly with complete peace of mind thanks to the Etihad Wellness programme, which includes complimentary COVID-19 insurance, valid for travel until 31 March 2022, for all passengers. The airline’s innovative Verified to Fly service also simplifies the process of authenticating travel documents before travel. With Verified to Fly travellers can validate their documents before arriving at the airport, giving them the confidence that they have met all essential government and airline travel requirements before travelling to the airport.
Etihad was the first airline in the world to fully vaccinate its crew on board. The airline also requires 100% of its passengers to show a negative PCR test before boarding which protects the inflight environment, now recognised to be one of the best in the world. Consequently, Etihad was awarded Diamond status at the inaugural APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying audit in January 2021.
Qatar Airways to Resume Services to Khartoum in Sudan with Four Weekly Flights
Qatar Airways Aircraft (Source: YouTube)
Qatar Airways is pleased to announce that it will resume services to Khartoum, Sudan, with four weekly flights starting 11 May 2021, increasing to daily service from 1 June 2021. The resumption of services will enable passengers flying from and to Sudan to benefit from the airline’s extensive international network in Asia, Australia, Europe and the US. The Khartoum services will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Sudan is a strategically important market for Qatar Airways. We are pleased to announce the resumption of services to Khartoum, allowing Sudanese to enjoy our extensive international network in Asia, Australia, Europe and the US via our home and hub, Hamad International Airport. We will continue leading the way in keeping our 24 African destinations connected to the world.”
Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first and only airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provide assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, is located where the White Nile meets the Blue Nile. Khartoum has more than 200 pyramids and the majority of them can be found in Meroë, the remains of an ancient trading hub. Up close, they are truly impressive to behold, with each pyramid bearing decorative elements from Pharaonic Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilisations.
The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 130 destinations. With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to change their travel dates or destination if they need to.
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 40 destinations including Johannesburg, Frankfurt, New York and Singapore.
Flight Schedules starting 11th May:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
Doha (DOH) to Khartoum (KRT) QR1331 departs 19:40 arrives 22:25
Khartoum (KRT) to Doha (DOH) QR1332 departs 01:00 arrives 05:25
Daily Flights Schedules starting 1st June:
Doha (DOH) to Khartoum (KRT) QR1331 departs 19:40 arrives 22:25
Khartoum (KRT) to Doha (DOH) QR1332 departs 01:00 arrives 05:25