As 2013 draws to a close, news of Madiba's passing and the accompanying memoriams have dominated our thoughts. For all South Africans it is the end of an era. Tata Madiba is a great example of humanity and its strengths and weaknesses. Above all we sympathise with the family, as he was a dear relative.
On a more topical front, the African aviation world has not ended the year with any major developments. The hoped for emergence of new South African airlines has not materialised, so SAA and its family continue to dominate, in spite of their dire financial straits.
Safair attempts to take off have again been thwarted by Comair and its legal team, them having served an objection 5 minutes before the deadline. This has had the effect of postponing any further moves by Safair until 2014.
Fastjet have encountered similar turbulence and have made little impression in 2013, apart from significant share price collapse, and the eventual divestment by Lonhro. They do seem to be showing some growth in the Tanzanian domestic marketplace.
Skywise are still posturing and making noises, but there are no solid signs of progress.
Pakistani investors, together with some 1Time and Excalibur cronies, have joined hands with Global Aviation to exploit the status of 1Time Holdings as a listed company, but it is not yet clear how this will turn into actual service, although there are indications that Zimbabwe may be the first theatre of operations.
International developments have of course been notable, and the year has ended with the seat width "debate" taking up a leading place. The A350 continues flight testing. Air show sales have been strong, with the Middle East airlines being the main buyers.
Wishing you all of the best and see you in 2014.
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