Friday, May 17, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Dudu Myeni reckons SAA will add $100billion+ in spinoff benefit to SA's economy over next 20 years.

SAA logoSouth African Airways (SA) claims the downstream economic benefit of its Group operations over the next twenty years will total USD107billion (ZAR1trillion), Acting Chairperson, Ms Duduzile Myeni, has said. The estimate is based on direct and indirect growth in direct and downstream employment creation with a forecast of 88'000 South African jobs across on aggregate through all sectors including tourism, foreign direct investments, goods and services. 

SAA 747SAA, as host of the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cape Town 2-4 June, plans to highlight the growing importance of aviation within the developmental state milieu.
The outlook for growth in continental aviation is pegged at just over 6% for the next twelve months,” said Ms Myeni and, with Africa’s GDP forecast at 5% growth she indicated that a robust aviation sector will drive growth substantially. “With growing world interest in Africa’s rich mineral and agricultural resources as well as increased stability in the region, the stage is set for a giant leap forward in development and upliftment of the continent. Aviation will play an integral role as a socio-economic enabler during this process.
Led by Minister Malusi Gigaba and supported by SAA’s Acting CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout, the SAA delegation at the IATA AGM will lead a conversation on the continental airlift and the Yamoussoukro declaration. 
Ms Myeni added that SAA plans to up the ante on its asset utilisation while simultaneously growing its non-asset based codeshare partnerships. 
Notwithstanding any fleet re-equipment decisions the airline still enjoys substantial latitude in terms of expanding its network offering to both travellers and business through strategic partnerships. It is our intention to take greater advantage of our Star Alliance membership whilst also seeking out non-aligned strategic partners.” Therefore, interim growth will not require additional investment beyond already planned own-metal growth.
Despite all the sugary sweet talk, it is to be recalled however, that since the deregulation of the South African airline industry in 1990, SAA has received over ZAR11billion in direct state-assisted funding leading many in the industry to call for the airline's privatization, a move government has rejected on the grounds that SAA is a strategic national asset.