Over the past few years, South African Airways and Kenya Airways have been on the decline and seeking government funding while Ethiopian airlines have been on the rise.
Prior to the pandemic, Ethiopian airlines was the largest air passenger carrier in Africa. Up until the pandemic the airline had been moving towards dominating aviation throughout Africa by investing in different African airlines and has been considering investing in the beleaguered South African Airways.
With their base in Addis Ababa, they are ideally positioned to be an aviation hub with routes to North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and around Africa.
The Ethiopian government has also contributed to the huge success of the airline by regulating and limiting other carriers from landing at the Addis Ababa airport and from flying to other domestic locations within the country.
While the airline is a state-owned enterprise, it is because it is managed and run like any other commercial enterprise that has attributed to its success. This coupled with its proficient leadership and skilled staff has meant that the airline has reached its planned 2025 goals in as early as 2018.
The pandemic caused the airline to lose half a billion dollars in April. Despite this, the enterprise stayed afloat and didn’t default on any payments. They survived the pandemic without any need of government intervention, on the funding side, and any job losses.
How has the airline done this? Due to the Coronavirus, lockdown and the fact that there were no passenger flights, Ethiopian airlines cleverly decided to focus on their freight cargo deliveries. The airline delivers all types of cargo (fresh produce, medications and PPE amongst many others) internationally and across the African continent.
The passenger seats, in twenty-five of the airlines 777 passenger aircraft, were stripped out to allow for more cargo capacity.
The airline also focused on repatriation flights and has been the airline governments have chosen to transport passengers back home. They were the only airline to carry on with flights into China despite the increase in patient cases on the mainland.
Ethiopian Airlines has demonstrated how an enterprise can survive in extremely difficult times through forethought, dedication and planning.
Stop AARTO Now, says the Road Freight Association
The Road Freight Association (RFA) is shocked and deeply concerned about the recent suspension of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Japh Chuwe, amidst allegations of “serious maladministration” by the Auditor-General. This has a severe impact on the implementation of the highly controversial Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO), which is scheduled to be implemented in July this year.
Whilst we welcome the uncovering of corruption, it would be irresponsible and reckless for Government to proceed with the implementation of AARTO. The RFA has over the years expressed concern and uneasiness about AARTO and its susceptibility to fraud, corruption, and money laundering. The RTIA’s latest announcement is confirmation of our worst fears.
Once AARTO is implemented, the RTIA will be handling Billions of Rand. How can we now trust the entity – especially when the dishonesty and corruption is allegedly at the highest level in the Agency? We already face huge corruption, extorsion and intimidation at the hands of traffic police on a daily basis and this latest development has highlighted how rampant dishonesty is in the public service – especially in the traffic law enforcement and management structures. These allegations have undermined what little faith we had in RTIA. If the system is implemented, we envisage theft on a grand scale.
The RFA once again proposes that AARTO be shelved. The continuously amended system is all about generating revenue and not at all about road safety, which was what the system was originally about. Huge administrative resources will be required to implement and sustain an antiquated and cumbersome system, putting additional burdens on already-overburdened government authorities and the private sector.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) – another Agency of the Department of Transport – already costs motorists hundreds of millions of Rand per annum through the levy imposed on all eNatis transactions. This was supposed to be a temporary measure to get the RTMC on its feet. Like all other levies, this has become permanent with no added value to citizens. The RTMC needs to step up and do its job, that is, to manage road traffic according to proper traffic management strategies with effective centralised road safety interventions and operational management.
The RFA believes that proper traffic management strategies which focus resources to address hazardous locations and other aspects of unsafe road behaviour would be far more effective in improving road safety – rather than the current cumbersome AARTO system being proposed.
Being Bold During A Pandemic
Despite the blatant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the truck industry, there are allot of smiles at Mercedes-Benz trucks. The brand of Daimler Truck & Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) has achieved leadership position in the Heavy-Duty Truck (HDT) segment in 2020.
Maretha Gerber, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks said they have made bold moves last year during the tough times everyone was facing, and the results are starting to show. It could not have been possible without the dedication and resilience demonstrated by the internal staff and dealer partners to excel, collaborate, adjust, and push through everything that was thrown at them.
Everyone will agree that 2020 was a tough year for companies and the entire trucking industry, and Mercedes is humbled to celebrate this success. This would not have been possible without their customers and the continued trust they have paced on the brand while working tirelessly, across different industries, under unique operating conditions.
Looking at the start of 2021 the trucking industry continues to weather the Covid-19 storm and the Mercedes-Benz brand remains determined to deliver uninterrupted sales and service to all customers across South Africa and continue to live up to the brand’s promise of “Trucks you can Trust”.
COVID-19 Travel App Passport: The rollout on a new initiative
To restart the international aviation sector and re-open boarders without having individuals having to quarantine the government needs to be confident that they are able to effectively mitigate the risk importing COVID-19.
Passengers will be informed on what tests, vaccines and other measures they require before traveling as well as details on where they can get tested, while giving them the ability to share their test and vaccinations results in a verifiable, safe and private manner while giving government the confidence to open borders.
The idea is that once the vaccine is widely available, a passport would be issued to the individuals that have been vaccinated to allow them to move freely, both locally and globally, by allowing access to indoor restaurants, movie theaters, and international travel.
Emirates will implement phase 1 in Dubai for the validation before departing. In this initial phase, expected to begin in April, Emirates customers traveling from Dubai will be able to share their Covi-19 test status directly with the airline even before reaching the airport through a app, which will then auto-populate the details on the check-in system.
This platform will also enable authorized labs and test centers to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passenger.