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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

South African Appoints Captain Eric Manentsa as Chief Pilot

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.

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.

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