Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dear Everyone,

It is with a very heavy heart that i must suspend publishing The African Aviation Tribune (TAAT) for the foreseeable future owing to a recent family bereavement back home in Zimbabwe. 

Rest assured however, once all that has to be done is done, I will be back, and so will TAAT for that matter.

Take care, and God bless.


Ivan Nadalet
(Editor of The African Aviation Tribune)

Friday, October 4, 2013

■ SÃO TOMÉ & PRÍNCIPE: Newly installed São Tomé Int'l runway lights sabotaged twice; treachery suspected.

Following their installation at the airport in July, the São Toméan airport management company (Empresa Nacional de Aeroportos e Segurança Aérea - ENASA) has reported that the runway lighting system in place along São Tomé International Airport's runway 11/29 has been vandalized twice in the last two weeks, leading to allegations of sabotage.

■ GHANA: Antrak Air boss threatens Accra with legal action if plans for national carrier progress.

Antrak AirThe founder and Chairman of domestic Ghanaian operator, Antrak Air (4O), Alhaji Asuma Banda, has threaten legal action against the government should plans to establish a new national carrier proceed. Earlier this year, Minster of Transport, Dzifa Attivor, had set forth a proposal involving the creation of a new national carrier, albeit under a  a Public/Private Partnership.

■ SENEGAL: South Africa pledges to develop Dakar as a regional hub; to help set up new MRO facility.

With the recent conclusion of President Jacob Zuma's state visit to the West African country, South Africa has pledged to help Senegal develop Dakar as a West African hub, with particular emphasis on exploiting the city's new airport, Blaise Diagne International, set to be completed in late 2014.

► NIGERIA: Associated Aviation EMB 120 crashes on take off from Lagos MMA; 13 confirmed dead.

An Associated Aviation (SCD) Embraer EMB-120, (MCN 120174 | 5N-BJY) operating as a charter flight from Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport to Akure (Nigeria), crashed shortly after takeoff from runway 18L yesterday at 09h32L. The turboprop was carrying 13 passengers and 7 crew onboard of whom 13 have been confirmed dead with one unaccounted for. Survivors were taken to hospital in downtown Lagos.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

► EGYPT: Prospects for Air Memphis' continued Iran charters fade as Cairo suspends tourism ties with Tehran.

Air Memphis logoAs previously speculated, the change in power in Cairo has led the country to suspend tourism links with Iran for what Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zazou, stated were "reasons of national security". Mr Zazou's statement comes just 5 months after the then Islamist-backed government of Mohammed Morsi reached out to Tehran in a bid to restore relations, severed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

● IATA: African airlines' August pax traffic up 5.4% on 2012 as freight continues downward trend.

IATAThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for August showing a strengthening of the healthy demand trend of the last few months. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 6.8% compared to August 2012. Capacity increases over the year-ago period lagged demand at 5.6%. This pushed the load factor to match the record high of 83.4% set in July 2011. In terms of its Passenger traffic results, African airlines’ traffic climbed 5.4% compared to August 2012. Meanwhile August international air freight demand was up 3.6% on the previous year. That is considerably better than year-to-date performance of a 0.7% expansion. However, African carriers' cargo experienced another decline in freight volumes, down 9.7%.

■ BOTSWANA: CAAB dramatically improves its ICVM rating; taking active measures to resolve outstanding SSCs.

Following the visit by an inspection by a International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) assessment team to Botswana in April,  to conduct an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM), the country has now been as having achieved 59.6% of Effective Implementation as compared to 27.8% in 2006. The purpose of the ICVM was to check the progress made by Botswana following the safety audit carried out in May 2006 which showed at the time that Botswana was at 27.8% of Effective Implementation.

■ EGYPT: Qatar Airways awards Egyptair M&E Cairo line maintenance contract.

EgyptAir Maintenance & Engineering has been awarded a contract to provide line maintenance services for Qatar Airways (QR) at Cairo International Airport. The first flight arrived on Tuesday October 1 where senior staff were present to welcome the crew and flight attendants.

■ ZIMBABWE: Edmund Makona appointed Air Zimbabwe interim CEO as forensic audit now fingers upper management.

Air ZimbabweAir Zimbabwe (UM) has appointed its head of Quality, Safety & Security, Mr. Edmund Makona, as its acting Chief Executive Officer following the recent suspension of incumbent Mr Innocent Mavhunga and acting Managing Director, Ms Grace Pfumbidzayi. The two were suspended to allow for further investigations after a recent forensic audit of the airline's operations uncovered alleged financial discrepancies in its insurance premium payments for the period 2009 - present.

► NIGERIA: FirstNation Airways resumes operations with Lagos - Abuja flights.

first nation logoNigerian domestic carrier, First Nation Airways (FRN), has resumed operations with its maiden flight between Lagos and Abuja on September 30. Flights are onboard the airline's fleet of two A319s, leased from the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

► GABON: Lufthansa to drop Frankfurt - Pointe Noire via Libreville from late December.

German carrier, Lufthansa (LH), will from December 23, 2013 cancel  its existing 5x weekly Frankfurt to Pointe Noire (Republic of Congo) via Libreville (Gabon). The flights operate on board a PrivatAir (PT) Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 

■ ANGOLA: Government to spend EUR1.6billion on aviation infrastructure by 2016.

ENANAThe Angolan government, by 2016, will have invested EUR1.6billion into the construction and rehabilitation of thirty domestic airports, including sixteen new ones, Manuel Ferreira de Ceita, the CEO of Angola's airport and air traffic authority (Empresa Nacional de Aeroportos e Navegação Aérea - ENANA), has said.

■ ALGERIA: Austria, Algeria to renegotiate BASA in push to establish direct flights.

Algeria and Austria are set to commence negotiations over a proposed revision of their Bilateral Air Services Agreement signed in 1991, Austria's Ambassador to Algeria, Ms AloisiaWorgetter, announced on Sunday September 29. According to her, the direct air link will facilitate both increased travel and business between the two countries through the estbalishment of direct flights. At present, there are none.

■ MOROCCO: Bombardier proceeds with construction of its first African manufacturing facility in Nouaceur.

BombardierCanadian aircraft & train manufacturer, Bombardier Aerospace, has held a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony on the site of its future manufacturing facility situated in the now-open Midparc Casablanca Free Zone, in Nouaceur, Morocco. The occasion was attended by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, various Bombardier suits as well as Moroccan and Canadian dignitaries.

■ NIGERIA: NCAA releases list of all 26 carriers licenced to operate in Nigeria in bid to curb illegal operators.

NCAAAs part of efforts to clamp down on illegal charter airline operations in the country, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has released a list of licensed scheduled commercial and charter airlines on its registry with only 26 operators having so far been cleared for operations.

► KENYA: Astral Aviation outlines B747-400F plans; to codeshare with Emirates SkyCargo on Joburg - Nairobi flights.

Astral Aviation logoNairobi-based cargo operator, Astral Aviation (8V), and ANA Aviation Services have announced a new strategic partnership in Africa following the delivery of a B747-400F (MSN 29261 | N408MC), on wet-lease from ACMI specialists, Atlas Air (5Y), on September 27.

■ MALAWI: Ethiopian's CFO Kassim Geressu appointed boss of Malawi Airlines.

Malawi flagMr. Kassim Geressu, the Chief Financial Officer of Ethiopian Airlines (ET), has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the carrier's nascent Malawian venture, Malawi Airlines. Mr Geresu's appointment was confirmed by Tewolde Gebremariam in a press conference held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

► CHINA: TAAG increases Luanda - Beijing frequencies to 2x weekly; a 3rd due in 2014.

TAAG logoAngolan flag carrier TAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola (DT) has at long last added a second weekly frequency to its Luanda - Beijing, China route. The added Friday flight became effective September 21 and will be followed by an additional third frequency next year.

■ RWANDA: AviAssist Foundation holds annual Airport Rescue & Firefighting ARFF course in Kigali.

AviAssistThe AviAssist Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization that provides safety support  to African countries and companies and aims to inspire and promote professionalism in African  aviation safety, has announced the successful conclusion of a week-long annual Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting ARFF training course in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.