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First female long haul Captain earns her Airbus wings

First female long haul Captain earns her Airbus wings

The sky’s definitely the limit as proven by Air Namibia’s Captain Cornelia Hahn who recently became the airline’s first female long haul Captain, operating the Airbus A330-200.

The Airbus 330-200 is servicing the Windhoek – Frankfurt route and her appointment was effective as from 1 April, following her successful completion of her simulator training..

Captain Cornelia Hahn, (42), is an Airline Pilot and the first female Captain for Air Namibia’s Airbus A330-200. For the past 20 years, she has flown passengers to domestic, regional and international destinations. It takes a certain kind of personality and skills to thrive as a woman in a male-dominated industry. Cornelia has proven time and again she is up to the task.

Captain Hahn became a pilot some 20 years ago as a Commercial Pilot at Westair Wings Charters. Two years down the line in 1999, she joined Air Namibia as a First Officer on the Beechcraft B1900, serving on Namibia’s domestic routes. The then First Officer Cornelia was mainly responsible for preparing the cockpit as an active pilot and assisting the Captain in command. This total immersion in every aspect of the aviation industry only enhanced her love for flying.

In December 2001, Captain Hahn’s skill and dedication earned her a promotion to the rank of a Captain on the Beechcraft B1900. Her role was to operate the assigned aircraft as Commander and she also ensured the maintenance of standard operating procedures throughout the flight. The role also included flight planning and monitoring all safety protocols before and during the flight. Knowing that you are never done learning, Captain Hahn continued to pursue her aviation studies, enabling her to start flying the regional aircraft used in the early 2000s.

In March 2003, she was trained at Comair’s Training Facilities as First Officer on Boeing 737. Whilst flying and raising two small children simultaneously, she still managed to continue pursuing her career and became the first female Captain of the regional fleet of the Boeing 737 in April 2008.

In April 2012, Captain Hahn received training to operate the Airbus A319-100 in Zürich, Switzerland. The Airbus A319-100 replaced the Boeing 737, that used to service regional routes. She operated the Airbus A319-100 for about two and a half years. During the second half of 2013, Air Namibia leased two Airbus A330-200 with a total passenger capacity of 244 seats, in two class configurations to service the Windhoek– Frankfurt route.

“In November 2014, I made the decision to join the long haul fleet and gained experience on the Airbus A330-200 and the routing to Frankfurt as First Officer,” she said. In the first quarter of this year, Captain Hahn finds herself as the first female Captain for the Airbus A330-200.

Asked about how she managed to stay focused and reach the highest level, Captain Hahn said, “It was always a challenge for me to see if I could reach my current position. It makes me proud to hear that I inspire young people, especially young women who dream of becoming pilots. My achievements show them that it does not need to be a dream. With dedication and focus they can make it happen. Being a mother of two, Captain Hahn explains that she dedicates her time off to her family. “You have to be organised as the daily family routine needs to continue when you are not at home. I am very fortunate to have a family that supports my career,” she said.

In her 20 years of career development, Captain Hahn said that her husband, Carl Hahn, Captain for Airbus A319-100 has been a pillar of strength. “My husband motivates and supports me, just as he has done throughout my career. My determination to succeed comes from both the positive and negative criticism I received during my training and flying career. Criticism pushes me to do better and strive for greater heights.”

In her words to young women who wish to join the aviation industry, she advised; “Believe in yourself. Keep on working hard and never give up,” she added.

Air Namibia’s fleet is on average nine years old, making it one of the youngest fleets on the continent. Air Namibia operates x4 ERJ 135 Embraer for domestic routes, x4 Airbus A319-100 for regional routes and x2 Airbus A330 – 200 for international routes.

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Sanlam 2018 Annual Results

7 March 2019


Sanlam’s 2018 annual results provides testimony to its resilience amid challenging operating conditions and negative investment markets

Sanlam today announced its operational results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018. The Group made significant progress in strategic execution during 2018. This included the acquisition of the remaining 53% stake in SAHAM Finances, the largest transaction concluded in the Group’s 100-year history, and the approval by Sanlam shareholders of a package of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) transactions that will position the Group well for accelerated growth in its South African home market.

Operational results for 2018 included 14% growth in the value of new life insurance business (VNB) on a consistent economic basis and more than R2 billion in positive experience variances, testimony to Sanlam’s resilience in difficult times.

The Group relies on its federal operating model and diversified profile in dealing with the challenging operating environment, negative investment markets and volatile currencies. Management continues to focus on growing existing operations and extracting value from recent corporate transactions to drive enhanced future growth.

The negative investment market returns and higher interest rates in a number of markets where the Group operates had a negative impact on growth in operating earnings and some other key performance indicators. This was aggravated by weak economic growth in South Africa and Namibia and internal currency devaluations in Angola, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Substantial growth in Santam’s operating earnings (net result from financial services) and satisfactory growth by Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) and Sanlam Corporate offset softer contributions from Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) and Sanlam Investment Group (SIG).

Key features of the 2018 annual results include:

Net result from financial services increased by 4% compared to the same period in 2017;

Net value of new covered business up 8% to R2 billion (up 14% on a consistent economic basis);

Net fund inflows of R42 billion compared to R37 billion in 2017;

Adjusted Return on Group Equity Value per share of 19.4% exceeded the target of 13.0%; and

Dividend per share of 312 cents, up 8%.

Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ian Kirk said: “We are satisfied with our performance in a challenging operating environment. We will continue to focus on managing operations prudently and diligently executing on our strategy to deliver sustainable value to all our stakeholders. The integration of SAHAM Finances is progressing well. In addition, Sanlam shareholders approved the package of B-BBEE transactions, including an equity raising, at the extraordinary general meeting held on 12 December 2018. Our plan to implement these transactions this year remains on track.”

Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) net result from financial services declined by 5%, largely due to the impact of new growth initiatives and dampened market conditions. Excluding the new initiatives, SPF’s contribution was 1% down on 2017 due to the major impact that the weak equity market performance in South Africa had on fund-based fee income.

SPF’s new business sales increased by 4%, an overall satisfactory result under challenging conditions. Sanlam Sky’s new business increased by an exceptional 71%. Strong growth of 13% in the traditional individual life channel was augmented by the Capitec Bank credit life new business recognised in the first half of 2018, and strong demand for the new Capitec Bank funeral product. The Recurring premium and Strategic Business Development business units also achieved strong growth of 20%, supported by the acquisition of BrightRock in 2017. Glacier new business grew marginally by 1%. Primary sales onto the Linked Investment Service Provider (LISP) platform improved by 5%, an acceptable result given the pressure on investor confidence in the mass affluent market. This was however, offset by lower sales of wrap funds and traditional life products.

The strong growth in new business volumes at Sanlam Sky had a major positive effect on SPF’s VNB growth, which increased by 7% (14% on a comparable basis).

Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) grew its net result from financial services by 14%. Excluding the impact of corporate activity, earnings were marginally up on 2017 (up 8% excluding the increased new business strain).

New business volumes at SEM increased by 20%. Namibia performed well, increasing new business volumes by 22% despite weak economic conditions. Both life and investment new business grew strongly. Botswana underperformed with the main detractor from new business growth being the investment line of business, which declined by 24%. This line of business is historically more volatile in nature.

The new business growth in the Rest of Africa portfolio was 68% largely due to corporate activity relating to SAHAM Finances, with the East Africa portfolio underperforming.

The Indian insurance businesses continued to perform well, achieving double-digit growth in both life and general insurance in local currency. The Malaysian businesses are finding some traction after a period of underperformance, increasing their overall new business contribution by 3%. New business production is not yet meeting expectations, but the mix of business improved at both businesses.

SEM’s VNB declined by 3% (up 6% on a consistent economic basis and excluding corporate activity). The relatively low growth on a comparable basis is largely attributable to the new business underperformance in East Africa.

Sanlam Investment Group’s (SIG) overall net result from financial services declined by 6%, attributable to lower performance fees at the third party asset manager in South Africa, administration costs incurred for system upgrades in the wealth management business and lower earnings from equity-backed financing transactions at Sanlam Specialised Finance. The other businesses did well to grow earnings, despite the pressure on funds under management due to lower investment markets.

New business volumes declined by 13% mainly due to market volatility and low investor confidence in South Africa. Institutional new inflows remained weak for the full year, while retail inflows also slowed down significantly after a more positive start to the year. The international businesses, UK, attracted strong new inflows (up 57%).

Sanlam Corporate’s net result from financial services increased by 4%, with the muted growth caused by a continuation of high group risk claims experience. Mortality and disability claims experience weakened further in the second half of the year, which is likely to require more rerating of premiums in 2019. The administration units turned profitable in 2018, a major achievement. The healthcare businesses reported satisfactory double-digit growth in earnings, while the Absa Consultants and Actuaries business made a pleasing contribution of R39 million.

New business volumes in life insurance more than doubled, reflecting an exceptional performance. Single premiums grew by 109%, while recurring premiums increased by a particularly satisfactory 56%.

The good growth in recurring and single premium business, combined with modelling improvements, supported a 64% (71% on a comparable economic basis) increase in the cluster’s VNB contribution.

Following a year of major catastrophe events in 2017, Santam experienced a relatively benign claims environment in 2018. Combined with acceptable growth in net earned premiums, it contributed to a 37% increase in gross result from financial services (41% after tax and non-controlling interest). The conventional insurance book achieved an underwriting margin of 9% in 2018 (6% in 2017).

As at 31 December 2018, discretionary capital amounted to a negative R3.7 billion before allowance for the planned B-BBEE share issuance. A number of capital management actions during 2018 affected the balance of available discretionary capital, including the US$1 billion (R13 billion) SAHAM Finances transaction. Cash proceeds from the B-BBEE share issuance will restore the discretionary capital portfolio to between R1 billion and R1.5 billion depending on the final issue price within the R74 to R86 price range approved by shareholders.

Looking forward, the Group said economic growth in South Africa would likely remain weak in the short to medium term future, and would continue to impact efforts to accelerate organic growth. The outlook for economic growth in other regions where the Group operates is more promising. Recent acquisitions such as the SAHAM transaction should also support operational performance going forward.

“We remain focused on executing our strategy. We are confident that we have the calibre of management and staff to prudently navigate the anticipated challenges going forward,” Mr Kirk concluded.

Details of the results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018 are available at