Who Owns Whom

The Air Transport Industry and Aviation Ground-Handling Services in South Africa

Carole Veitch | South Africa | 02 September 2021

The Air Transport Industry and Aviation Ground-Handling Services in South Africa

The lockdown that started in March 2020 grounded thousands of aircraft globally and severed air service connections worldwide. Passenger departures from South African airports plunged by almost 80% in 2020 and revenues generated by the air transport industry and its value chain almost halved. Although the reopening of the skies has brought a measure of relief, aviation has been dealt a harder blow than most other sectors and is in crisis.

Passenger Transport

A substantial reduction in air travel left South Africa’s air transport industry in financial crisis, resulting in liquidations and business rescues, staff layoffs, salary reductions, unpaid leave and retrenchments. Affected airlines included SAA and SA Express, which were already in financial crisis, Mango, and Comair. Companies finding opportunities in the crisis included FlySafair and CemAir, which extended their services and Lift, which started flying in December 2020.

Airports and Aviation Services

Revenue shortfalls are expected to delay the implementation of several airport infrastructure projects such as taxiways, aprons and terminal work at OR Tambo and the new realigned runway and upgrades to the international and domestic terminals at Cape Town. Operationally, 2020 was an extremely challenging year for airport operators and aviation service providers, including cargo handlers and ground handlers.

Report Coverage

This report focuses on the air transport industry and aviation ground-handling services in South Africa including airlines, airports and an array of support services such as air traffic and navigation services and ground handling. It includes comprehensive information on the size and state of the sector, air cargo, arrivals and departures, the aircraft register, airports, performance of major players and corporate actions. There are profiles of 40 companies including airlines such as SAA and Comair, airport operator Airports Company South Africa, companies involved in aircraft leasing such as Global Aviation Operations and companies involved in ground handling such as Menzies Aviation and Swissport.

Table of Contents

PAGE
1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. DESCRIPTION OF THE INDUSTRY 1
2.1. Industry Value Chain 4
2.2. Geographic Position 6
3. SIZE OF THE INDUSTRY 8
4. STATE OF THE INDUSTRY 12
4.1. Local 12
4.1.1. Corporate Actions 18
4.1.2. Regulations 22
4.1.3. Enterprise Development and Social Economic Development 24
4.2. Continental 25
4.3. International 30
5. INFLUENCING FACTORS 35
5.1. Coronavirus 35
5.2. Economic Environment 35
5.3. Government Interventions 37
5.4. Technology, Research and Development (R&D) and Innovation 38
5.5. Labour 41
5.6. Operating Costs 45
5.7. Safety and Security 45
5.8. Environmental Concerns 47
5.9. Cyclicality 49
5.10. Electricity Supply Constraints 49
6. COMPETITION 50
6.1. Barriers to Entry 51
7. SWOT ANALYSIS 52
8. OUTLOOK 53
9. INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS 54
10. REFERENCES 55
10.1. Publications 55
10.2. Websites 57
APPENDIX 1 59
South African Airports, Aerodromes, Air Bases and Airfields 59
APPENDIX 2 –Summary of Notable Players 61
Air Transport 61
Operation of Airports, Flying Fields and Air Navigation Facilities 65
COMPANY PROFILES - AIR TRANSPORT 70
AIR FRANCE-KLM SA 70
AIRLINK (PTY) LTD 78
ALITALIA - SOCIETA AEREA ITALIANA S.P.A. 82
BRITISH AIRWAYS PLC 84
C AND G AIR CC 88
CAPITAL AIR (PTY) LTD 90
CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS LTD 92
CEM AIR (PTY) LTD 96
COMAIR LTD 98
DELLARIA LEASING (PTY) LTD 103
DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA AG 105
EMIRATES GROUP (THE) 116
ETIHAD AIRWAYS PJSC 120
EXECUJET AVIATION (PTY) LTD 123
FAIR AVIATION (PTY) LTD 125
FASTJET AFRICA (PTY) LTD 127
FEDERAL AIRLINES (PTY) LTD 129
GLOBAL AVIATION OPERATIONS (PTY) LTD 131
MANGO AIRLINES SOC LTD 133
NATIONAL AIRWAYS CORPORATION (PTY) LTD 135
OWENAIR (PTY) LTD 138
QANTAS AIRWAYS LTD 140
QATAR AIRWAYS Q.C.S.C. 146
S R S AVIATION (PTY) LTD 149
SAFAIR OPERATIONS (PTY) LTD 150