New SAA Chief Pilot


Captain Eric Manentsa is the new chief pilot at the national carrier, SAA.

He takes over from Captain Johnny Woods, who retired last July as both chief pilot and head of flight operations.

Manentsa assumes his new duty on June 1.

A 20-year SAA veteran, Manentsa has been fleet captain of SAA’s 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.

All told Manentsa has 30 years of South African aviation experience, ranging from flying through to management in the broader aviation sector – commercial, general aviation and military.

He has logged 14 000 flying hours in total and obtained his commercial licence in 1987.

Prior to joining SAA in 1994 he worked for the Department of Transport in the former Ciskei and was also a SA Air Force (SAAF) member.

He joined SAA as an in-flight relief pilot on Boeing 747s and nine months later was appointed Boeing 73 first officer on the airline’s domestic and regional network. He has also flown the Airbus A320 and when these were phased out he flew as senior first officer on Airbus A340.

In 2005, 12 years after joining SAA he became a captain on the Airbus A319/320 and in July 2008 he was appointed A319/A320