“BBA” is one name. “Papa Africa” is another name. Both names were bestowed on Aaron Munetsi by his colleagues and fellow Africans in recognition of the passion and perseverance he demonstrates in his quest to put African Aviation in a league of its own. Aaron has been synonymous with the growth and excellent performance of South African Airways over the past 25 years or more.
Aaron chose to get into the thick of things by immersing himself in the industry at every level. He rose through the ranks having started off as a Reservations and Ticketing agent where he cut his teeth dealing with customers and travel agents alike. In those days of manual processes, it was his tenacity that saw him go through the early computerized training with SAAFARI, the ground breaking South African Airways customized Central Reservation System and then the Air Zimbabwe system which was rolled out in conjunction with the British Airways system BABS.
With several training and development interventions under his belt, Aaron grew to become an advocate for the growth of the African footprint of South African Airways. He served in several countries in different roles starting with Johannesburg where he was part of the team that established Galileo Southern Africa, the wholly owned subsidiary of South African Airways that rolled out the Global Distribution System to Southern Africa. He then got a position in Dubai with Sharaf Travel, the General Sales Agents of South African Airways where he headed the Sales team. He then went to Nigeria where he was the Country Manager, a position he proudly refers to as “coming home experience” having lived in Dubai for a while. Aaron and his colleagues spearheaded the first ever African airlines joint venture across the Atlantic that saw Nigeria Airways and South African Airways operate a joint service between Lagos and New York (JFK). His belief in and commitment to African cooperation enabled him to propose and obtain approval for collaboration with Senegal International Airlines for joint venture operations by the two airlines between Dakar and New York.
Duty called and Aaron relocated to Tanzania where he was promoted to the position of Executive Manager for East & West Africa overseeing the South African Airways commercial interests in the Sub-Saharan markets. And as he continued to grow the footprint of South African Airways with postings in Kenya and Ghana as part of his growth, Aaron went back to their Head Office in Johannesburg to take over as the Regional General Manager for Africa and the Middle East. He motivated for the growth of the South African Airways footprint by expanding their operations to Kigali, Bujumbura, Douala, Cotonou, Brazzaville and Pointe Noir. At one stage Aaron served as the Acting Chief Commercial Officer for South African Airways for two years. This was another demonstration of his commitment to South African Airways because it was the Commercial team that carried the responsibility of bringing in the revenue to sustain the airline’s cash flow requirements.
His commitment to the African continent keeps him alert to the needs of the continent
and he decided to make his contribution by joining the African Airlines Association in the position of Director – Government, Legal and Industry Affairs. He took up the position in May, 2019. Having diligently served South African Airways for more than 25 years, Aaron is committed to serve the community of African Airlines by giving his every ounce of energy and time to their common cause of sustainable and profitable growth.
A proud father of 5 children, three girls and two boys, Aaron now lives in Nairobi with his wife Anita.