Airlines, Airports and Airliners 10 April 2024

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein

This Week in Airliner, Airports and Airlines.
SAA moves to strengthen management team.
Ethiopian inaugurates the new Jinka Airport Terminal.
The D328ECO™: reshaping the regional aviation landscape in the Asia Pacific.
IATA - Passenger demand Up 21.5% in February.
ICAO urges States to accelerate ratification of international unruly air passenger treaty.
Turkish Airlines resumes flying to Tripoli, the capital of Libya.
Korean Air finalises order for 33 A350s.
Turkish Airlines closes 2023, carrying 83.4 million passengers with a 23.5% increase in domestic capacity and 16% increase in international capacity compared to 2022.
Accidents and Incidents
Bonus video - Beech 18 and DC3 to SAAF Museum AFB Swartkop Airshow 2015


This past weekend, South African Airways (SAA) has advertised five interim executive management positions, including that of the Chief Executive Officer. Over the past three years SAA has been led by a talented and committed interim executive management team that has specifically been tasked with steering the airline until the anticipated Strategic Equity Partner (SEP) could come on board.

As the pursuit of this transaction with Takatso Aviation has now been terminated, the Board has deemed it necessary to have a properly constituted and permanent executive team to pilot the airline's strategic plan into the future.

“The filling of these posts is a positive and decisive step aimed at providing organizational stability and predictable direction of the growth plans and expansion plans currently being pursued”, says Derek Hanekom, Chairperson of the Interim Board of Directors.

“The interim executive management team has admirably rebuilt the airline as it emerged out of business rescue with the understanding that their posts would remain interim positions until a new controlling shareholder appoints its management team. All of them, including the Interim CEO, Prof John Lamola, supports this development as a necessary and natural step in strengthening SAA's position in both the local and international aviation markets.”

“SAA's strong recovery would not have been possible without the dedication and passion of every single valued SAA employee. The commitment of all employees who serve as the backbone of the airline and who believe in the growth of SAA is highly appreciated by the SAA Board,” added Hanekom.

Applications for SAA' Chief Executive Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Human Capital Officer, South African Airways Technical CEO, and Air Chefs CEO closes on Friday, 26 April 2024. Suitably qualified and interested candidates, including the present incumbents, are invited to apply.


Ethiopian Airlines Group, the largest airline group in Africa, inaugurates its Jinka airport project, unveiling a new terminal and support facility buildings. The new state-of-the-art airport terminal is now open for service, following a grand celebration held today in Jinka, one of the emerging cities in the South Ethiopia Regional State.

The two-and-a-half-year project covered the construction of a new terminal building having a total built-up area of 3,500 square meter, support facility building, and external facilities including exclusive VIP parking area and other facilities.

Regarding the inauguration of the new Jinka Airport, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said, “We are truly delighted to witness the completion of the brand new Jinka Airport Terminal Building project that has been under construction for the last few years. As a national flag carrier, Ethiopian is playing its part in the country's aviation transformation and Jinka is our latest contribution to Ethiopia's modern aviation facility. The new Jinka airport will further offer a comfortable travel experience to/from the city thereby boosting trade and tourism in the region and beyond. Committed to enhancing customer experience, we will continue to invest in renovation and upgrading of domestic airports.”

Following the finalization of the project with an investment cost of more than 8 million Euro for construction, Jinka Airport Terminal is now equipped with modern passenger service areas including departure and VIP lounges and other facilities that will enhance customer experience.

The completion of the airport will help Ethiopian offer an upgraded customer services to its passengers to/from the city. It also creates a comfortable experience to tourists traveling to southern Ethiopia to visit the exotic people, culture, and nature of the region.

At its hub, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Ethiopian Airlines offers seamless transit and stopover services, creating an opportunity for passengers who have lay over to enjoy the beauty of Addis Ababa, the diplomatic capital of African.


The regional aviation landscape in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is experiencing a major shift, with passenger demand increasing due to rapid economic growth in the middle class. In recent years, operators in the region have placed large aircraft orders and are continuing to seek solutions that will reduce environmental impact and address the challenge of escalating fuel costs. Enter the D328eco, a revolutionary turboprop that is poised to redefine regional aviation and pave the way towards a greener future.

What Is Driving the Change in Regional Aviation?
The primary role of regional aviation is to act as a feeder service for mainline operators and establish connections with developing cities and communities. The investment value of new airport projects in the APAC region is at least double that of any other market with a specific focus on developing new routes to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. This shows the strong economic and market-driven demand for regional aircraft.

To cater to the growing demand, regional jets that are too old or outdated for the operational and environmental requirements of today must be replaced by a next-generation turboprop aircraft that is built for regional aviation. In fact, the turboprop market was the first segment to recover after the COVID downturn and since 2022, the use of regional turboprops has risen above the pre-COVID rates.

The APAC region is home to a huge fleet of sub-50-seater turboprops that are more than 30 years old and have a replacement timeline that falls within the next decade. In fact, there are more than 100 aircraft in this category in Oceania alone.

Airlines are currently grappling with skyrocketing fuel costs that are squeezing profit margins and hindering growth. Turboprops will help to optimise operations as they are 10% to 30% more fuel efficient than jet aircraft.

The environmental footprint of aviation accounts for approximately 4% of global CO2 emissions and the industry is looking for a permanent solution to address these environmental concerns. With 100% SAF compatibility, the fuel efficiency of the D328eco makes it a ready-made solution.

The D328eco: A Sustainable Revolution
Developed by Deutsche Aircraft, the D328eco isn't just another turboprop: it is a highly efficient game-changer designed with sustainability at its core. Here's how it will surpass expectations compared to other turboprops currently on the market.

Risk-free option to open new routes: The APAC region is a price-sensitive market. The D328eco has the lowest break-even factor which will help operators to open new routes to address rising demands in remote regions where the majority of new airports are being built.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for February 2024 global passenger demand with the following highlights: Total demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), was up 21.5% compared to February 2023. Total capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASK), was up 18.7% year-on-year. The February load factor was 80.6% (+1.9ppt compared to February 2023).

International demand rose 26.3% compared to February 2023; capacity was up 25.5% year-on-year and the load factor improved to 79.3% (+0.5ppt on February 2023).

Domestic demand rose 15.0% compared to February 2023; capacity was up 9.4% year-on-year and the load factor was 82.6% (+4.0ppt compared to February 2023).

Note that February 2024 was a leap year with one extra day compared to February 2023. This slightly exaggerates growth in both demand and capacity to the positive.

“The strong start to 2024 continued in February with all markets except North America reporting double-digit growth in passenger traffic. There is good reason to be optimistic about the industry's prospects in 2024 as airlines accelerate investments in decarbonization and passenger demand shows resilience in the face of geopolitical and economic uncertainties. It is critical that politicians resist the temptation of cash grabs with new taxes that could destabilize this positive trajectory and make travel more expensive. In particular, Europe is a worry as it seems determined to lock in its sluggish economic recovery with uncompetitive tax proposals,” said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.

International Passenger Markets
All regions showed double digit growth for international passenger markets in February 2024 compared to February 2023. For the first time, demand for international services exceeded pre-pandemic levels (+0.9% compared to February 2023). This, however, is skewed by February 2024 being a leap-year with an extra day compared to February 2023.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw a 53.2% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity increased 52.1% year-on-year and the load factor rose to 84.9% (+0.6ppt compared to February 2023), the highest among all regions.

European carriers' saw a 15.9% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity increased 16.0% year-on-year, and the load factor was 74.7% (flat compared to February 2023).

Middle Eastern airlines saw a 19.7% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity increased 19.1% year-on-year and the load factor rose to 80.8% (+0.4ppt compared to February 2023).

North American carriers saw a 16.0% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity increased 17.6% year-on-year, and the load factor fell to 77.7% (-1.1ppt compared to February 2023).

Latin American airlines' saw a 21.0% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity climbed 18.6% year-on-year. The load factor rose to 84.2% (+1.7ppt compared to February 2023).

African airlines' saw a 20.7% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity was up 22.1% year-on-year. The load factor fell to 74.0% (-0.8ppt compared to February 2023).

Domestic Passenger Markets
Domestic demand growth was led by China (+35.1% compared to February 2023) which benefitted from unrestricted Lunar New Year travel.

IATA statistics cover international and domestic scheduled air traffic for IATA member and non-member airlines.

Total passenger traffic market shares by region of carriers for 2023 in terms of RPK are: Asia-Pacific 31.7%, Europe 27.1%, North America 24.2%, Middle East 9.4%, Latin America 5.5%, and Africa 2.1%.


In response to the increase in incidents of unruly passenger behaviour on international flights being reported by regulators and airlines, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued an urgent call to its Member States to fast-track the ratification of the 2014 Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (Montréal Protocol 2014 or MP14).

Since its adoption on 4 April 2014, MP14 has sought to remedy jurisdictional gaps that hinder the effective prosecution of offences occurring on international flights. "On the tenth anniversary of MP14, it is crucial that Member States reinforce their commitment to safe air travel by ratifying this essential treaty," urged Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of the ICAO Council. "The global spike in unruly passenger incidents is not just a matter of passenger comfort-it's a safety and security risk that requires an immediate, coordinated response."

In most cases, the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (Tokyo Convention 1963) confers jurisdiction over offences committed on board aircraft onto the State where the aircraft is registered. This causes problems if the flight is landing in a foreign country, as law enforcement agencies determine that they do not have jurisdiction. MP14 addresses this issue by giving jurisdiction to the State of landing, thus giving States authority to deal with unruly passengers that land in their territory, irrespective of where the aircraft is registered. The State of Operator is also given jurisdiction over offences committed on board an aircraft registered in another State.

The Protocol has been ratified by 47 States from all regions of the world and entered into force on 1 January 2020.

“In addition to urging States that have not already done so to ratify the 2014 Montréal Protocol, ICAO is also encouraging governments to use the suite of tools developed by ICAO and industry partners to prevent and respond to unruly passenger crimes,” stated ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar. “All passengers are entitled to a safe and comfortable flight experience, flight crew have the right to a conducive working environment, and we all benefit from the avoidance of costly and wasteful flight diversions.”

Guidance material is provided in ICAO's Manual on the Legal Aspects of Unruly and Disruptive Passengers (ICAO Doc 10117), which contains a list of offences most likely to be committed on board aircraft by unruly and disruptive passengers, which States may choose to incorporate into their national legislation. The Manual also elaborates on elements of an administrative sanctions regime which can assist States to handle offenders expeditiously.

Additionally, under the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation, ICAO has also adopted Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) with respect to unruly and disruptive behaviour, which are now inscribed in the Convention's Annex 17 - Security - Safeguarding International Civil Aviation Against Acts of Unlawful Interference and Annex 9 - Facilitation. The implementation of these SARPs is supported by a wide variety of ICAO guidance material.


Turkish Airlines starts flying to Tripoli, the capital of Libya as of March 28th, 2024, again. Being the airline that connects Africa to the most destinations in the world, Turkish Airlines operates 62 destinations across the African continent.

The flag carrier will operate flights to Tripoli three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

During the inauguration ceremony at Mitiga International Airport, Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi stated; "As Turkish Airlines, we feel the excitement of connecting continents, this time in Tripoli, the capital of Libya. We are delighted to start flights again to Libya, with which we have historical ties. We will continue to bring cultures together in Africa, as in many continents.”

Turkish Airlines, which flies to 130 countries and 346 destinations, continues to provide its passengers with unlimited connectivity through new destinations, while also extending its high quality and service to every corner of the world.


Korean Air has become a new customer for the A350 Family following the signature of a firm order with Airbus for 33 aircraft. The order covers 27 A350-1000s and six A350-900s. Offering the longest range of any aircraft, the A350 will be able to operate any of the airline's current intercontinental routes with a 25% reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions compared to previous generation aircraft. The additional range of the A350 will also enable the carrier to evaluate new long-haul destinations.

“The A350's exceptional range, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it a great fit for our global network,” said Jason Yoo, Chief Safety and Operating Officer and EVP at Korean Air. “We are confident that the introduction of the A350 to our fleet will drive operational efficiencies and elevate the overall travel experience for our passengers.”

Benoit de Saint Exupéry, EVP Sales, Commercial Aircraft, Airbus said: “This order from Korean Air is another major endorsement for the A350 as the world's long-range leader. The airline will benefit from new levels of efficiency across its operations, with significantly reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The A350 will also be the perfect platform for the carrier to take its in-flight product and world class service to new heights. We thank Korean Air for its ongoing confidence in Airbus and its products, and look forward to seeing the A350 flying in the carrier's iconic livery.”

The A350 Family is the world's most modern widebody product line and is firmly established as the world's long-range leader, with passenger versions able to fly up to 9,700 nm / 18,000 km non-stop. Powered by latest generation Rolls-Royce engines, the airframe uses 70% advanced materials such as composites, titanium, and modern aluminium alloys to create a lighter and more cost-efficient aircraft. All of which results in an average reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions of around 25% compared with similar sized previous generation aircraft.

At the end of February, the A350 Family had won 1,240 orders from 59 customers worldwide.


Despite ongoing geopolitical tensions and macroeconomic uncertainties, Turkish Airlines achieved a new milestone in 2023, carrying 83.4 million passengers. This was due to outpacing its peers with faster capacity increases, leveraging its agility, extensive flight network, and a highly qualified workforce maintained throughout the pandemic.

Our company increased its domestic passenger capacity by 23.5% compared to 2022, with number of passengers surpassing 30 million. Furthermore, on international routes, capacity rose by 16% and Turkish Airlines carried 53 million passengers with an increase of 14%. Notably, the number of passengers in the European countries with significant Turkish populations climbed by more than 20% year-over-year.

While global international airline capacity lagged 12% behind the 2019 figures in 2023, as reported by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Turkish Airlines set itself apart from the industry by exceeding its 2019 international capacity by 27%. Moreover, as a result of our country's investments in aviation infrastructure, Istanbul Airport emerged as the leading European airport in terms of daily number of flights.

Flying to 133 countries in 364 destinations with 24 freighters and 416 passenger aircraft, Turkish Cargo increased its freight ton kilometres by 16% compared to 2019. Tripling its market share in air freight market in the last 10 years, our company bolstered its success by ranking fourth among the world's top air cargo carriers according to IATA's 2023 data.

Aiming to expand its fleet to 800 aircraft by 2033 as part of its 100th Anniversary Strategy, Turkish Airlines increased its number of aircraft by 12% to 440 in 2023, despite global challenges in aircraft procurement and bottlenecks in the aircraft production.

Türkiye's national flag carrier actively supported the relief efforts from the first day following the Kahramanmaras centered earthquakes, the largest and most devastating natural disasters in the country's history. The airline conducted humanitarian passenger and cargo flights from both domestic and international locations free of charge. In addition to a cash donation of 2 billion TL to support the needs of the region, Turkish Airlines also transferred the funds for constructing 1,000 houses to the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) to be donated for those affected by the disaster.

With its 2023 results, our company demonstrated its commitment to the 2033 targets, which aim to generate substantial value for all stakeholders. Targeting to increase its revenue to over 50 billion USD and to carry over 170 million passengers in its 100th Anniversary, Turkish Airlines' efforts for excellence in passenger experience, digitalization, and sustainability were recognized by leading aviation industry institutions. In this regard, flag carrier was granted a “Five-Star Global Airline” award for the third time by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), the “Europe's Best Airline” award for the eighth time by the international air transport rating organization, Skytrax, and the “Most Sustainable Flag Carrier Airline” for the second time by World Finance.

Employing over 83 thousand people together with its subsidiaries, flag carrier proudly represents its nation in the global air transportation industry. As a leader known for its unique and expansive flight network, modern fleet, and superior service, Turkish Airlines sets industry standards. The achievements of 2023 further demonstrate our commitment to maintaining these standards. Our ongoing dedication to the aviation sector's sustainable growth will continue in line with the national development objectives and our strategy for 2033.

Kitplanes for Africa

USA, Denver International Airport, CO (DEN/KDEN): Southwest Airlines flight WN3695, a Boeing 737-8H4, lost both cowlings from engine no.2 during take-off from runway 25 at Denver International Airport, CO (DEN). The flight made a safe return to DEN. WN3695 was the first flight of the day for the incident aircraft.

UK, London-Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL): A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, G-VDIA, was being pushed back from the gate at London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) when the left-hand wing tip struck the right-hand horizontal stabilizer of a parked British Airways Airbus A350-1041 (G-XWBC).

Austria, Wien-Schwechat International Airport (VIE/LOWW): An Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-271N sustained substantial damage on the ground at Vienna Airport, Austria. Photos suggest that the right-hand horizontal had separated, possibly after colliding with a jet bridge. The aircraft had arrived as flight OS456 from London-Heathrow Airport at gate F11 at 20:45 UTC. Photos from the scene show the accident took place near gate F33. The airline reported that no passengers or crew were on board during the mishap, which would suggest it occurred during pushback/towing.

Japan, near Miyazaki Airport (KMI/RJFM): Japan Airlines' flight JAL/JL694 from Miyazaki to Tokyo/Haneda, a Boeing 737-800, suffered two strikes of lightning while climbing through FL150 near Miyazaki. A burning odor was detected in the cabin. The flight crew decided to divert to Osaka/Kansai International Airport (KIX/RJBB) where a safe landing was carried out a half hour later.

Beech 18 and DC3 to SAAF Museum AFB Swartkop Airshow 2015

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