Compiled by Willie Bodenstein

This Week in Airliner, Airports and Airlines

Laduma, SAA now the official partner of Banyana and Bafana.
Aviation leaders gather in Dubai for IATA's 80th AGM and World Air Transport Summit.
Ethiopian Airlines claims Skytrax's Best Airline in Africa title for seven years in a row.
FAA ensuring safe public charter flights, exploring future solutions for all flyers.
Emirates triumphs with 7 award wins at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2024.
Lufthansa Group introduces environmental cost surcharge.
Boom Supersonic completes construction of Overture super factory.
Accidents and Incidents
Bonus Video - Ford Tri Motor Flight 2016

Airlines, Airports and Airliners News


South African Airways (SAA) is delighted to announce that it has entered into a new partnership with the South African Football Association (SAFA) to be the official carrier of South Africa's national football teams with effect from 1 June 2024.

SAA interim chief executive officer Professor John Lamola says the airline is proud to be the official carrier of the Association, including Africa Cup of Nations bronze medallists Bafana Bafana, African champions Banyana Banyana, and the junior national teams.

We are delighted to be associated with national sports brands such as Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana. This reaffirms our indisputable position as the national carrier and airline of choice for assignments of strategic importance to our nation.

"We welcome our national teams on board, and we look forward to flying them around the world on national duty to represent our nation. We know the players and officials will be well taken care of and will enjoy our award-winning hospitality that SAA is renowned for," says Lamola.

South African Football Association CEO Lydia Monyepao said the partnership will play a massive role in getting national teams to their destinations for international matches. "We welcome back SAA to help us get to key fixtures in destinations they fly to on a non-exclusive basis. Our approach is to stabilize our commercial partnerships with diverse partners to reduce our cost base and add into our coffers. SAA will play a key role as a strategic partner for our need to travel and compete internationally on a regular basis," says Monyepao.

The SAA/SAFA partnership, Lamola adds, is in line with the airline's plans to grow in Africa. It's a win-win for both SAFA and SAA. The national teams will fly direct to their various destinations, giving players all the rest and comfort, they need for a great performance on the pitch, while exposing the SAA brand to key African markets and on television screens of Africa's football-loving audiences.

"We look forward to carrying these athletes, and the hopes and championship dreams of the nation. It's our pleasure and privilege to be the official carrier of our national football teams," added Lamola.


About 3 million people worldwide are directly employed in the aviation sector. The travel and tourism value chain suppo??s some 320 million jobs and accounts for about 10% of all economic activities. While the air cargo industry delivers $8.3 trillion of trade annually-some 35% of total global trade.

Leaders of the global airline industry gathered in Dubai for the 80th Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which represents 336 carriers, and the World Air Transport Summit (2-4 June 2024).

The event was held in the UAE for the first time and hosted by Emirates Airline. More than 1,500 participants were in attendance, including industry leaders, government officials and representatives from some 200 media across the world.

H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy for the United Arab Emirates warmly welcomed the delegates to Dubai.

The benefits of global connectivity were highlighted throughout the entire event. Globally, aviation directly employs 3 million people and is a key enabling part of the travel and tourism value chain which supports some 320 million jobs and accounts for about 10% of all economic activity. Moreover, air cargo delivers $8.3 trillion of trade annually-some 35% of total trade.

For Dubai, Oxford Economics estimates that aviation contributed 27% to Dubai's GDP and supported $37 billion in gross value added in 2023. This is projected to increase to $53 billion dollars in 2030, in line with Dubai's growth.

The World Air Transport Summit (WATS) immediately followed the AGM for a comprehensive program addressing critical issues facing aviation.

IATA announced it will establish the SAF Registry (Registry) to accelerate the uptake of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) by authoritatively accounting and reporting emissions reductions from SAF.

17 airlines, one airline group, six national authorities, three Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and one fuel producer are already supporting the effort to develop the Registry. The Registry is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2025.

SAF is expected to account for up to 65% of the total carbon mitigation needed to achieve net zero carbon emissions in air transportation by 2050.

"SAF is key to aviation's decarbonization. Airlines want more SAF and stand ready to use every drop of it. The SAF Registry will help meet the critical needs of all stakeholders as part of the global effort to ramp-up SAF production. Governments need a trusted system to track the quality and quantities of SAF used. SAF producers need to accurately account for what has been delivered and effectively decarbonized. Corporate customers must be able to transparently account for their Scope 3 emissions. And airlines must have certainty that they can claim the environmental benefits of the SAF they purchased. The Registry will meet all these needs. In doing so, the Registry will help create a global SAF market by ensuring that airlines have access to SAF wherever it is produced, and that SAF producers have access to airlines regardless of their location," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) production in 2024 to 1.9 billion liters (1.5 million tons) are on track. This would account for 0.53% of aviation's fuel need in 2024. To accelerate SAF use, there are several policy measures that governments could take, IATA said.

Some 140 renewable fuel projects with the capability to produce SAF have been announced to be in production by 2030. If all of these proceed to production as announced, total renewable fuel production capacity could reach 51 million tons by 2030, with production capacity spread across almost all regions.

IATA said passenger demand has steadily grown for the past three years or 36 months. In April 2023, passenger traffic was up 11 percent compared to the same month in 2022 with a load factor of 82.4%. With passenger traffic continually growing, some airlines have posted strong profits during the period.

Net profits are expected to reach $30.5 billion in 2024 (3.1% net profit margin). That will be an improvement on 2023 net profits which are estimated to be $27.4 billion (3.0% net profit margin). It is also an improvement on the $25.7 billion (2.7% net profit margin) forecast for 2024 profits that IATA released in December 2023.

Return on invested capital in 2024 is expected to be 5.7%, which is about 3.4 percentage points (ppt) below the average cost of capital.

Operating profits are expected to reach $59.9 billion in 2024, up from an estimated $52.2 billion in 2023.

Total revenues are expected to reach $996 billion (+9.7%) in 2024-a record high.
Total expenses are expected to reach $936 billion (+9.4%) in 2024-a record high.
Total travelers are expected to reach 4.96 billion in 2024-a record high.
Total air cargo volumes are expected to reach 62 million tons in 2024
81st AGM and WATS to be held in India

Pieter Elbers, CEO of IndiGo, has assumed his duties as Chair of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG). His one-year term began at the conclusion of the 80th IATA Annual General Meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 3 June.

IndiGo will host the 81st IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Delhi, India, on 8-10 June 2025.

"IndiGo is proud to be host airline for the 81st IATA AGM and looks forward to welcoming the global aviation community to Delhi in 2025. India, becoming the third largest economy within the next few years and leading the fourth industrial revolution with the use of AI, is a nation on the move. India's rise in the global aviation landscape over the last years has been nothing short of remarkable," said Elbers.


Ethiopian Airlines, the largest airline group in Africa, keeps its top spot as the Best Airline in Africa and three other categories at the 2024 SKYTRAX World Airlines Award held in the UK. Ethiopian took the crown for multiple other prestigious accolades with the Best Airline in Africa title for seven consecutive years.

Ethiopian has been honored with the titles for:

Best Airline in Africa for seven years in row,
Best Business Class in Africa for six years in row,
Best Economy Class in Africa for six years in row,
Best Economy Class Onboard Catering in Africa.

Sending his congratulatory message on the award, Mr. Mesfin Tasew, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO said: "We are pleased to have proudly received the prestigious Skytrax World Airlines 2024 award for the seventh consecutive year. At Ethiopian Airlines, our unwavering dedication to customer-centric innovation has been pivotal to our success. We remain at the forefront of the aviation industry by continually adopting cutting-edge technology to elevate our passengers' experience."

Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax said, "We congratulate Ethiopian Airlines on winning this top award as Africa's Best Airline for a seventh successive year and this level of consistency is a fabulous achievement that the Ethiopian Airlines management and staff should be very proud of."

The World Airline Awards are wholly independent and impartial, introduced in 1999 to provide a customer satisfaction study that is truly global. Travelers across the world vote in the largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to determine the award winners. The awards are referred to by media around the world as "the Oscars of the aviation industry".

These accolades, from the reputable SKYTRAX World Airlines Award, showcase our commitment to sustainability in our business and the services we provide. They are dear prizes from our esteemed customers through their vote of confidence and an achievement realized through the hard work of all employees throughout the Ethiopian network.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced plans to take two actions to address public charter flights, which have rapidly expanded in frequency and complexity in recent years. Some services appear to operate like scheduled airlines but under less-rigorous safety regulations - a fact that oftentimes is not transparent to the flying public. The FAA will explore new ways to integrate charter flights into the airspace in a manner that provides flexibility and safe options for all flyers.

First, as previously announced in a request for comments, the FAA intends to initiate a rulemaking to amend part 110 definitions of "scheduled," "on demand," and "supplemental" operations. If finalized, the effect of this proposed rule change would be that public charters will be subject to operating rules based on the same safety parameters as other non-public charter operations.

"Part of the safety mission of the FAA is identifying risk early on, and that's exactly what we're doing on public charters as usage expands. If a company is effectively operating as a scheduled airline, the FAA needs to determine whether those operations should follow the same stringent rules as scheduled airlines," said FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker.

The FAA intends to issue the notice of proposed rulemaking expeditiously. As part of any proposed rule, FAA would seek comment on an effective date that would allow for industry to adapt to any change in the regulatory environment. FAA's plans follow an initial request for comment on the issue in August 2023, in which the agency received and evaluated approximately 60,000 public comments.

Additionally, because of our dedication to expanding air service to small and rural communities, we will explore opportunities to align aircraft size and certification standards with operational needs for small community and rural air service. Specifically, the FAA will convene a Safety Risk Management Panel (SRMP) to assess the feasibility of a new operating authority for scheduled part 135 operations in 10-30 seat aircraft. The panel will dig into the data as we work to address the risks that exist today as well as think about the future of the national airspace system.

Whitaker added, "At the same time, we want to look at how future innovation might cause us to think differently. Safe air travel options should be available to everyone, not limited to only those living near a major airport. We want to put a safety lens over the options of future innovation, as we work to further connect small and rural communities to open up more options for everyone at the same high level of safety."

The FAA's public charter work is being done in coordination with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). While the FAA focuses on the safety of the flying public, TSA focuses on the security of transportation systems. The TSA has been reviewing the security requirements of certain operators under the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP), which includes a proposal for the screening of passengers and their accessible property on public charter flights along with other requirements for all TFSSP operators. In accordance with 49 CFR 1544, TSA provided a 45-day comment period for the impacted operators that ends on June 27. TSA will adjudicate any comments received from industry and continue to work closely with the impacted operators. TSA will consider all of the feedback prior to issuing the changes in final.


Emirates was awarded a total of 7 impressive accolades at the 2024 Skytrax World Airline Awards, held yesterday in Fairmont Windsor Park, London. The prestigious titles reflect the airline's commitment to delivering best-in-class products and services across all classes, with accolades including; World's Best Airline Inflight Entertainment, Best First Class Airline Comfort Amenities, Best First Class Airline in the Middle East, Best First Class Onboard Catering in the Middle East, Most Family Friendly Airline in the Middle East, Best Premium Economy Class Airline in the Middle East and Best Premium Economy Class Onboard Catering in the Middle East.

Emirates garnered the awards from the votes of thousands of business and leisure travellers in more than 100 countries. The ceremony was also attended by members of the travel and aviation industry with awards accepted by Graham Pepe, Emirates' Corporate Sales Manager, UK.

Winning 'World's Best Airline Inflight Entertainment' is a testament to Emirates' renowned inflight entertainment system ice, topping the Skytrax charts for the 18th time. Thanks to its diverse content and more than 6,500 channels of on demand entertainment in more than 40 languages - there's something for everyone to enjoy. Customers are spoilt for choice with more than 4,000 hours of movies and TV channels, up to 3,500 hours of music and podcasts, more than 2,000 Hollywood and internationally acclaimed movies, 250 dedicated kids and family channels and hundreds of TV series and full box sets including the latest shows from Paramount+, HBO Max, Discovery+, BBC, Bloomberg Originals and Shahid.

Emirates First Class experience continues to be an industry benchmark for excellence, scooping 3 awards - 'Best First-Class Airline Comfort Amenities', 'Best First-Class Airline in the Middle East' and 'Best First-Class Onboard Catering in the Middle East'. First Class customers can look forward to a seamless door-to-door travel experience with Emirates chauffeur-drive service (CDS) to/from the airport and access to over 39 dedicated premium airport lounges worldwide. First Class customers will experience the ultimate comfort onboard with fully enclosed private suites, a 'dine on demand' service including unlimited caviar and Dom Pérignon champagne, luxurious hydra-active pyjamas, Byredo skincare and sustainable Voya shower products, as well as Bulgari amenity kits to stay refreshed throughout long haul flights.

Emirates was awarded 'Best Premium Economy Class Airline in the Middle East' and 'Best Premium Economy Class Onboard Catering in the Middle East' for its newly launched product that rivals Business Class on many airlines. Emirates Premium Economy Class features leather seats with a generous pitch of up to 40 inches, a 19.5 inch wide seat with a recline of 8 inches, calf rests and footrests for additional comfort, a 6-way adjustable headrest and many other thoughtful touches such as easily accessible in-seat charging points and a side cocktail table, and a 13.3" TV screen. Customers can get comfortable under sustainable blankets made from recycled plastic bottles, a generously sized pillow, complimentary amenity kits and a globally exclusive sparkling wine- Chandon Vintage Brut 2017. The award-winning catering onboard features a selection of generous meals made with seasonal ingredients and regional influences -all served on chinaware, accompanied by stainless steel cutlery wrapped in a linen napkin. Premium Economy Class is currently available on 15 routes - London Heathrow, Sydney, Melbourne, Christchurch, Auckland, Singapore, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, San Francisco, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Tokyo Narita, Sao Paulo, Osaka and Dubai.

Emirates also took home the Skytrax award for 'Most Family Friendly Airline in the Middle East', for its array of products and services that cater to families and children, from priority boarding for families across all international airports, dedicated and healthy inflight meals for children and fun amenities, a litany of children's entertainment on ice, and extra services for Unaccompanied Minors and accessibility for families with neurodivergent children.


The Lufthansa Group is introducing an Environmental Cost Surcharge. The surcharge is intended to cover part of the steadily rising additional costs due to regulatory environmental requirements. These include the statutory blending quota of initially two percent for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for departures from European Union (EU) countries from January 1, 2025, adjustments to the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) as well as other regulatory environmental costs such as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

The Environmental Cost Surcharge applies to all flights sold and operated by the Lufthansa Group departing from the 27 EU countries as well as the UK, Norway and Switzerland. The amount of the surcharge varies depending on the flight route and fare and is between 1 euro and 72 euros. The Environmental Cost Surcharge will be levied on all tickets issued from June 26, 2024 and applies to departures from January 1, 2025. The exact amount of the Environmental Cost Surcharge is shown on the Lufthansa Group Airlines booking pages in the price details.

The Lufthansa Group invests billions in new technologies every year and works together with partners on innovations that help to make flying more sustainable step by step and drive the scaling of key technologies beyond the Lufthansa Group. In addition, the Lufthansa Group has actively supported global climate and weather research for many years. However, the airline group will not be able to bear the successively increasing additional costs resulting from regulatory requirements in the coming years on its own. Part of these expected costs for the year 2025 are now to be covered by the new Environmental Cost Surcharge.

The Lufthansa Group has set itself ambitious climate protection targets and is aiming for a neutral CO2 balance by 2050. By 2030, the aviation group aims to halve its net CO2 emissions compared to 2019 through reduction and compensation measures. For effective climate protection, the Lufthansa Group is focusing in particular on accelerated fleet modernization, the continuous optimization of flight operations, the use of SAF and offers for private travellers and corporate customers to make air travel or the transport of freight more sustainable.


First supersonic airliner factory in the U.S. strengthens next-generation American leadership in aerospace manufacturing. Overture aircraft produced at Superfactory will bring vital innovation to aviation and set a new standard for global air travel. Hundreds of millions of passengers will fly supersonic on Overture airliners.

"Construction of the Overture Superfactory represents a major milestone toward ensuring the United States' continued leadership in aerospace manufacturing," said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic. "Supersonic flight will transform air travel, and Overture provides a much-needed innovative alternative for airlines across the globe."

Hundreds of millions of passengers will fly supersonic on aircraft produced at the Overture Superfactory. This first assembly line has the capacity to produce 33 Overture aircraft per year, valued at more than $6 billion. Boom plans to build an additional assembly line, scaling to produce 66 supersonic airliners annually. The Overture Superfactory campus will also include a delivery centre where airlines including United Airlines, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines will receive their supersonic aircraft.

"As the state that was first in flight, North Carolina is excited to see Boom's progress toward delivering the world's first sustainable supersonic airliner," said Governor Roy Cooper. "Our state has the skilled workforce, infrastructure and perfect location to help Boom revolutionize air travel."

North Carolina economists estimate that the full Boom manufacturing program will grow the state's economy by at least $32.3 billion over 20 years, with the Superfactory directly adding more than 2,400 jobs.

"The Piedmont Triad region is an economic powerhouse, helping solidify North Carolina's place as the top state for business. Boom's Overture Superfactory, which will produce a paradigm-changing airliner, showcases the new and innovative projects that are bringing jobs and investment here," said North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger.

Built by BE&K Building Group and designed by BRPH, the Overture Superfactory will be LEED certified and is expected to be at least 40% more energy efficient compared to similar manufacturing facilities.

With the building now complete, Boom will focus on operationalizing the production floor. In partnership with tooling supplier Advanced Integration Technology (AIT), Boom will begin procuring and installing tooling into the Superfactory, beginning with an advanced test cell unit. As the first major piece of equipment to be installed, the test cell will be used to develop manufacturing processes, optimize the flow of the assembly line, and prepare staff for Overture production.

"We look forward to Boom's success in its mission to bring back commercial supersonic flight and help the U.S. maintain its leadership in aviation innovation," said Paul Mengert, Chair of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority. "We're grateful for our partnership with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, elected leaders, and the local community who will continue to give Boom a warm welcome to the Triad."

Today's construction completion event comes shortly after the inaugural flight of XB-1, the supersonic demonstrator aircraft for Overture, which represents a major milestone toward the return of supersonic air travel. XB-1 has received a first-of-its-kind Special Flight Authorization (SFA) to Exceed Mach 1 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The XB-1 flight test program continues to progress in Mojave, California, and will confirm the aircraft's performance and handling qualities up to and through supersonic speeds.

Russia, 120 km west of Moscow: At 120 km west of Moscow, at flight level 220, a crew of a Boeing 737-8F2 reported about a failure of the aircraft control system. The crew's decision is to return to the departure airfield after burning fuel in the holding area. The crew clarified the nature of the problem with the control system and reported the impossibility of trimming the stabilizer, using the autopilot and autothrottle. The aircraft landed safely in Vnukovo.

South Korea, North of Cheju: Korean Air flight KE189, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, suffered a loss of cabin pressure after climbing through FL350. The flight crew performed an emergency descent to 8500 feet and elected to return to ICN. Thirteen people were injured.

USA, 8 nm NW of Oklahoma City-Will Rogers Airport, OK (OKC): Southwest Airlines flight WN4069, a Boeing 737-8H4, descended below minimum altitude during the approach to runway 13 at OKL. The OKC Tower controller received a low altitude alert and contacted WN4069. The flight then climbed and performed a go-around. ADS-B data suggest the aircraft descended to 1725 ft calibrated altitude at about 8 nm from the runway. According to the RNAV (GPS) RWY 13 approach procedure, the aircraft should have been descending from 4000 feet over WABUT (the IF, at 8.7 nm from the threshold) to 2600 feet over ELUCK (the FAF, at 4 nm).

USA, Indianapolis, IN: Cargojet Airways flight W81926, a Boeing 767-316, was involved in an unknown event (APU doors departed the aircraft) as it was climbing through 25000 feet over Indianapolis, Indiana. The airplane returned to the departure airport. The NTSB opened an investigation and rated it as an accident.

Japan, 30 nm south of Aomori Airport (AOJ/RJSA): An Embraer ERJ 170-100STD of Japan Airlines, operated by J-Air as JAL/JL2154, suffered an engine trouble at 11000 feet after taking off at 13:15. The PIC noted abnormal noise and vibration on the No. 1 engine (GE CF34-8E), and there was a fire warning. The flight crew onc declared an emergency, however, it was cancelled later since the fire warning ceased after engine shutdown. The flight returned back to Aomori where a safe single-engine landing with maintaining the priority by ATC was carried out at 13:55. No reported injuries. The runway was closed for a short time. The flight was terminated. The post-flight inspection found no trace of engine fire.

Ford Tri Motor Flight 2016

Aviation Economy
Airlines and Airliners

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