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South African Airways Appoints Captain Eric Manentsa as Chief Pilot



JOHANNESBURG. 22 May 2014. South African Airways (SAA) today announced Captain Eric Manentsa as its new Chief Pilot.
 
The announcement, which was made by Minister Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Public Enterprises,  follows the retirement in July last year of captain Johnny Woods, who was the Chief Pilot and Head of Flight Operations.
 
His appointment is effective 1 June 2014.
 
Capt. Manentsa has been flying for SAA for twenty years, and has been the fleet captain on the A319/A320 fleet for the past six years. As chief pilot he will be responsible for the airline’s 800 pilots in terms of their day to day function, ensuring the company remains compliant to local and international regulations and to continue supporting the company in fulfilling its mandate.
 
Minister Gigaba described his appointment as a proud moment for the airline which will go down in history, as a ‘milestone decision’ coinciding with the country celebrating 20 years of democracy.
 
Capt. Manentsa has 30 years of experience in aviation in South Africa, as a pilot and in managerial and leadership roles. His background encompasses the broader industry: commercial, military and the general aviation sector.
 
To date he has amassed approximately 14, 000 flying hours.
 
He obtained his Commercial License in 1987 and has worked for the Department of Transport in the former Ciskei, the SA Department of Defence and completed Officer Forming and Junior Command staff courses at the South African Air Force College.
 
He joined SAA in 1994 as an in-flight relief pilot on the Boeing 747 for nine months before flying as a First Officer on the Boeing 737 on the domestic and regional network. He has also flown the Airbus A320s and when these were phased out he flew as Senior First Officer on the Airbus A340s.
 
In 2005, twelve years after joining SAA he became a captain on the Airbus A319/320. On 1 July 2008 he was appointed as Fleet Captain of the A319/A320.
 
Capt. Manentsa played a key role in the formation of the original SAA Cadet Pilot Programme, He has also been a key figure in the airlines further efforts towards transforming the flight deck in that he was a member of the committee that was tasked by SAA and SAAPA (the SAA Pilots Association) to address the seniority of those pilots from non-white groups who got their licenses prior to 1994 and subsequently joined SAA after 1994.
 
This process resulted in producing the airline’s first black and female captains. To maintain the integrity of the process, he opted to not have his seniority adjusted, even though he met the criteria for this.
 
He has also served as an executive member on SAAPA and the Airline Pilots' Association of South Africa.
 
Other achievements:
•         He was also involved in designing and developing a recruitment and selection policy for the flight deck crew.
•         He was appointed as non-executive director in the Board of the Commercial Aviation Association of South Africa.
•         In 2007 he with others co-founded Mtha Aviation which seeks to further contribute to the skills development agenda in the industry.
•         He holds a BA (Industrial psychology), and BA Honours degree and is currently busy with a Master’s degree in Business Leadership.
 
Caption: (L to R) Minister Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Public Enterprises; Captain Eric Manentsa, SAA Chief Pilot; and Monwabisi Kalawe, SAA Group CEO
 
Ends
 
About South African Airways
South African Airways (SAA), Africa’s most awarded airline, operates to 40 destinations worldwide.
 
In its domestic market SAA has an extensive schedule operating 554 flights in total per week between Johannesburg – Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, from its Johannesburg hub, as well as code-shared flights between Lanseria – Cape Town and Durban. SAA offers more frequencies than any other airline in South Africa.
 
Regionally, SAA offers 24 destinations across the African continent including Abidjan, Accra, Blantyre, Brazzaville, Cotonou, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Entebbe, Harare, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lilongwe, Livingstone, Luanda, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Ndola, Pointe Noire, Victoria Falls and Windhoek.
 
SAA’s international network creates links to all major continents from South Africa through 10 direct routes and code shares, with daily flights from Johannesburg to London (Heathrow), Frankfurt, Munich, Mumbai, Perth, Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, Washington, and Sao Paulo. SAA has codes share agreements with 29 other airlines across the markets it serves. The airline has extended its code share agreement with Mango, its low cost operator, to also include coastal cities in South Africa (between Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and George), as well as Johannesburg – Bloemfontein; Cape Town - Bloemfontein and Cape Town  - Port Elizabeth.
 
SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC).
 
SAA is a Star Alliance member which offers more than 21, 900 daily flights to 1, 328 airports in 195 countries. SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for eleven consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on-time airlines.
 
For more information contact:
South African Airways
Tlali Tlali (Mr)                                                                         
SAA spokesperson                                                                                                         
Mob:     +27 82 333 3880                                                    
Email:    TlaliTlali@flysaa.com  

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