The global airline industry has been severely impacted by the advent of Covid-19, resulting in drastic decrease in passenger numbers and air traffic movements. The South African aviation industry has not been spared and this phenomenon has had negative consequences on the finances and operations of airlines, airport authorities, air navigation service providers and associated entities.
As one of these affected entities, Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) SOC Limited has had to contend with adverse resultant conditions. The company has put key measures into place, aimed at ensuring its sustainability – including but not limited to cost containment drives, review of its capital and operational expenditure programmes, and adjusted budgets based on likely scenarios.
ATNS is working with airlines within the industry, as well as exploring ways to bring financial relief to this sector. With regard to air navigation service charges and taxes, being appreciative of the airlines� plight, ATNS is currently reviewing its approach to the application of these through internal consultations. Cognizant of its own financial position and limiting financial exposure, this needs to be carried out in line with national governance and policy directives. The company is engaging individual airlines who among others, have extended debtors days and payment arrangements which will be negotiated with an objective to find mutual workable solutions that can alleviate financial pressures on all entities concerned.
As a vital part of the aviation industry, specifically within the Air Traffic Management sector, ATNS is continually assessing its position and/or status to adjust itself to the realities the pandemic has imposed on the environment. The company has activated an emergency response plan as part of its existing Business Continuity Plan (BCP), which is aligned with Government emergency regulations, including but not limited to social distancing protocols, thereby ensuring that employee safety and health are always prioritised. ATNS is also engaged in continuous risk assessment exercises that are meant to impact on tactical and strategic plans that are currently under review, aimed at ensuring its survival and organisational sustainability.
As part of the aviation value chain, ATNS is involved in various stakeholder consultative forums within the aviation industry, including with its Shareholder, where critical matters such as those pertaining to the revival of the industry, are discussed on a regular basis. Being a key component of a collective striving to bring normalcy to the already ailing industry, the company will continue to interact with all its stakeholders by way of focused discussions and consultations.