Air Transport World

Whither cooperation? (African airlines conference)

JOHANNESBURG--How can African airlines lessen their dependence on outside companies for maintenance support? This was the question that the technical directors of African carriers tried to answer at a conference organized by African Airlines magazine and hosted by South African Airways. The executives were outnumbered by representatives of non-African maintenance organizations, confirming the view of Robin Davidson, general manager-engineering of Ail Seychelles, that "the provision of aircraft maintenance and support is a buyer's market."

As might have been expected, the strongest pleas for retaining more maintenance and overhaul business on the continent came from organizations in South Africa with plenty of spare capacity: SAA, Safair and Simera. John Hare, SAA senior GM, said that his airline's "technical facility and capability represent an investment in Africa for Africa. …

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