Friday, December 28, 2012

■ MOZAMBIQUE: Renovation of Maputo's runway 05/23 and other infrastructure to begin in 2014.

Aeroportos de MoçambiqueFollowing the October opening of the new Domestic Terminal at Maputo International Airport, Aeroportos de Moçambique (AdM) has announced that work on Phase III of the rejuvenation of the airport - namely the rebuilding of runway 05/23, the apron, and other facilities including all airfield lighting systems at the airport - is to begin in 2014, having previously been scheduled for 2013.

►► NIGERIA: FirstNation Airways set to lease an A319 from the ILFC.

first nation logo[UPDATE 28 DECEMBER] According to Skyliner.de, grounded Nigerian carrier, FirstNation Airways (FRN), is to lease an Airbus A319-100 (MSN: 647 | 5N-FND) from the International Leasing Finance Corporation (ILFC). 

■ SOUTH AFRICA: 1Time sets late February 2013 date for resumption of service.

1TimeDefunct South African LCC 1Time (T6) has set 27 February 2013 as its intended date of relaunch as talks with suitor Fastjet (FN) and the airline's creditors progress. On 19 December, it was announced that fastjet had entered into an option agreement to buy the entire issued share capital of 1Time Airline from its parent company, 1time Holdings Limited, for ZAR1 (USD0.12).

► TUNISIA: Syphax Airlines looks to expand to China, Canada in Summer 2013 with arrival of first of two Airbus A330s.

According to news reports out of Tunisia, Syphax Airlines (FS), Tunisia's largest private carrier, will in April 2013 take delivery of an Airbus A330 with a second due in early 2014 as the airline sets its sights on expanding internationally.

■ MALAWI: Over 240 Air Malawi employees face lay offs as privatization drive begins to hurt.

Air Malawi (QM) Ltd is to send "up to 243 employees" on leave pending retrenchment and retirement as part of the government's restructuring of the company, currently being overseen by the Privatization Commission.

● CONGO (KINSHASA): ACAJ slams poor security at Lubumbashi Airport following attempted attack on 21 December.

Congo DRC
The Congolese Association for Access to Justice (l'Association Congolaise pour l'Accès à la Justice (ACAJ)) has slammed the regional government of Katanga Province over its repeated failure to provide adequate security at Lubumbashi Luano International Airport following numerous attacks in the last two years.

■ GHANA: Decision on EgyptAir's deal for 49.9% stake in CTK CiTylinK deferred to 2013.

EgyptairEgyptian national carrier, Egyptair (MS), is expected to announce in early 2013 a decision on whether it will purchase a 49.9% minority stake-holding in grounded Ghanaian carrier CTK CiTyLinK (CTQ), following the submission of a Due Diligence report by accounting firm, Ernest & Young, last week.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

► NIGERIA: Med-View Airlines wet leases B737-800 from EuroAtlantic Airways.

Nigerian domestic operator,  Med-View Airline (VL), has wet-leased its first B737-800 (MSN 1122 | CS-TQU) from Portuguese charter specialists EuroAtlantic Airways to supplement its current fleet of two Boeing 737-400s. 

● ETHIOPIA: 100 pilots, cabin crew and ATCOs graduate from the EAA and ECAA ground schools.

EthiopianEthiopia's growing aviation education sector this last week added 100 new trained and qualified professionals to the growing local and regional market with the Ethiopian Aviation Academy (EAA) graduating 20 Pilots and 72 Cabin Crew and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) graduating 8 air traffic controllers.

► TANZANIA: (Pics) Precision Air takes delivery of its second new ATR 42-600.

Precision Air Tanzania's Precision Air on Sunday 23 December 2012, took delivery of its second ATR42-600 (MSN 1003 | 5H-PWI) following a delivery flight routed Toulouse -  Brindisi - Luxor - Dar es Salaam. The welcoming ceremony was held at Dar es Salaam's Julius Nyerere International Airport.

► ZIMBABWE: Egyptair to resume Harare from June 2013.

EgyptairEgyptair (MS) has joined the list of foreign carriers returning to the Zimbabwean capital with plans to tentatively start a 4x weekly Boeing 737-800 operated Harare via Dar Es Salaam service from 1 June 2013. The Egyptian national carrier last served Harare in 2003 as an intermediate stop between Cairo and Johannesburg using an Airbus A340-200.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

■ BOTSWANA: Air Botswana selects ADSoftware's AIRPACK for its ERP platform.

Air Botswana
Botswana national carrier, Air Botswana (BP), recently implemented French aviation software specialist ADSoftware's "AIRPACK Fleet Management System & Logistics Solutions" as part of its continuing efforts to adopt global best practices.

► UNITED KINGDOM: Egyptair launches Manchester from June 2013.

EgyptairEgyptAir (MS) will from 1 June 2013, launch a new service to the United Kingdom, with 5x weekly Cairo – Manchester flights on board Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 

■ UNITED STATES: South African Airways, US Airways sign codeshare agreement

South African Airways logoArizona-based US Airways (US) and fellow Star Alliance member South African Airways (SA) have announced a new bilateral codeshare agreement after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Department of Transport – South Africa.  South African Airways recently signed two other code share deals with two other North American carriers: Air Canada (AC) and JetBlue Airways (B6).

■ NIGERIA: Runway lighting installed at Lagos' MMA runway 18L/36R.

NAMAFive years on from the opening of the rehabilitated runway 18L/36R used for domestic flights out of Lagos' Murtala Muhammed International Airport, mobile airfield lighting has finally been installed there henceforth allowing night time landings which were previously only permitted on runway 18R/36L.

► MALAWI: Ethiopian Airlines to start Blantyre flights from March 2013.

EthiopianEthiopian Airlines (ET) continues its push into southern Africa with the launch in Summer 2013 of a service to Malawi's commercial hub, Blantyre. The new 3x weekly, Boeing 737-800 operated route, Addis Ababa - Lilongwe - Blantyre - Addis Ababa, begins 31 March 2013.

► RWANDA: RwandAir, Kenya Airways to enter into strategic partnership.

RwandAirKenya AirwaysKenya Airways (KQ) and Rwandan national carrier, RwandAir (WB), are on the cusp of the of forming a strategic partnership with aims of fostering stronger relations in the areas of cargo, maintenance and flight training between the two airlines. 

■ LIBYA: Afriqiyah unveils new logo and corporate identity.

AfriqiyahLibyan carrier, Afriqiyah Airlines (8U), last week unveiled a new logo and corporate identity at a ceremony held at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli.

► ZAMBIA: Ethiopian Airlines to start Ndola ops from March 2013 as Kenya Airways adds direct Saturday flight.

EthiopianKenya AirwaysZambia's third largest city, Ndola, is to see an increase in its regional connectivity with Ethiopian Airlines (ET) set to launch 3x weekly Boeing 737-700 flights to the Copperbelt from 31 March 2013, whilst competitor, Kenya Airways (KQ), is to introduce a once weekly Embrarer E190 Nairobi – Ndola terminator service, also effective 31 March 2013.

► GERMANY: Air Namibia set to take delivery of two A319s.

Air NamibiaNamibia's national carrier, Air Namibia (SW), is set to take delivery of two Airbus A319s (MSN 5366 | V5-ANM) and (MSN 5400 | V5-ANN) following a handing over ceremony in Hamburg, Germany last week.

► MALI: Struggling Air Mali suspends operations effective 24 December.

Air MaliCelestair Group's Malian subsidiary, Air Mali (I5), as result of the ongoing political and economic crisis in Mali, has suspended operations for nine months effective 24 December 2012.

■ MALAWI: Privatization Commission unveils shortlisted bidders for Air Malawi; Ethiopian in, BA Comair out.

Malawi's Privatization Commission, the governmental department charged with overseeing the sell off and eventual privatization of national carrier Air Malawi (QM), has announced a shortlist of 5 potential investors for Air Malawi (2012) Limited, whittled down from the original 11.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thank You. Yes, You! From The African Aviation Tribune.

From today (20 December) until late January 2013, we will be away in Zimbabwe for Christmas and for business and as such, news will likely slow to a trickle. But fear not, we will try our utmost to keep you all updated on any developments if and when they occur!

That said, I want to thank all of you who have supported the site, either through simply reading it, retweeting our articles or by contributing links and info.

My particular thanks go to Tom and the boys over at CH-Aviation and Rich and his crew at AirlineRoute all of whom provide us with large quantities of top quality info. I'd also like to thank Bigogwe Masaka, a regular contributor with articles and also input with comments and the like. To Seb at TravelComments and Wereldreizen who help propagate us via Twitter - Big thanks to you too.


Anyway, I would just like to take a moment to inform you about TAAT and my plan for its future, which, i hope, will involve you all.
I started this site in April because i was tired of reading articles about African aviation that were weeks, if not months old, and often left me wondering about the real state of the industry as a whole. After all, Europe, the US, Asia, Australia and South America all have their own publications, what about Africa? I'm sure there are many of you out there who were left in the same quandary.

With that in mind, I'd like to try encourage you all to contribute to the site, because after all, it is aimed at everyone and anyone either involved or interested in African aviation. While most of the articles do come from primary news sources, they sometimes get it wrong and that's where you come in. The site, and its articles, are as good as their sources, and the more (accurate) sources we have, the better.

Site wise, we are still small with on average 5'100 unique visitors/month though bare in mind we haven't done any SEO or advertising. Please note that TAAT is, as much as it pains me to say this, NOT a commercial enterprise (hah! i wish! - TAAT's Google ad revenue barely pays for its web url subscription!)

If you are involved in the industry, run an airline (big or small), MRO, ACMI or have worthwhile info/a tip on anything relating to aviation on the continent, please shoot me a line via ivan(at)theafricanaviationtribune.com. The site is about getting Africa informed, for Africa's benefit!

So, Merry Christmas/Joyeux Noël/Buon Natale/Feliz Navidad/С Рождеством/Feliz Natal/Frohe Weihnachten/عيد ميلاد مجيد and here's to a prosperous 2013 to us all!


Ivan (aka Ted T. Beefcake (Esq))

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

► SUDAN: Sudanese Air Force plane crashes on landing in El Obeid killing pilot as SPLM rebels shoot down Antonov.

Sudan Air Force
A Sudanese Air Force fighter jet today crashed at El-Obeid Airport in North Kurdufan state, central Sudan, killing the pilot, according to a press release from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).

► NIGERIA: Departing Avient Cargo jet blows off roof at Lagos; 12 "exotic" cars damaged.

Avient CargoA departing Avient Cargo (SMJ) jet's (type/registry unknown) jet blast caused considerable damage to Lagos' Murtala Muhammed's International Airport's recently completed Arrival area by blowing off part of the roof.

► MOZAMBIQUE: LAM Mozambique Q400 makes emergency landing in Beira following gear retraction problems.

LAM Mozambique AirlinesA Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique  (LAM Mozambique (TM)) Bombardier Q400 operating flight TM205 between Chimoio and Maputo, on Sunday 16 December 2012, was forced to make an emergency landing at Beira airport, following gear retraction problems on take off from Chimoio.

■ GABON: France, Gabon sign new BASA; Air France to start Paris - Port Gentil?

GabonFollowing that which it signed with Luxembourg in late November, Gabon has signed a modified air transport agreement with France under which airlines from the two countries will be able to operate additional flights to the Central African state.

► GHANA: Starbow Airlines gets fourth BAe146 as network expansion beckons.

Starbow AirlinesGhanaian carrier, Starbow Airlines (S9), on Sunday 16 December 2012, added another BAe146-200 aircraft (MSN: E2059 | 9G-SBD) to its fleet bringing the carrier's total to 4. The added aircraft now makes Starbow the largest Ghana-based airline by fleet size.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: fastjet set to acquire 1Time for R1 with flights due in early 2013.

fastjetFollowing the recent announcement that it was in talks to buy 1Time (T6), the South African low cost airline that went into liquidation last month, fastjet(FN), has entered into an option agreement to buy the entire issued share capital of 1time Airline from its parent company, 1time Holdings Limited, for ZAR1 (USD0.12). Initially, the airline will operate with three 1Time aircraft before Airbus A319s are added and the airline completely rebranded to fastjet.

Monday, December 17, 2012

► MOROCCO: 5 year old dies on board Mauritania Airlines International flight to Casablanca; flight diverts to Agadir.

Mauritania Airlines logoA Mauritania Airlines International (L6) Boeing 737-700 performing flight L6102 from Nouadhibou, Mauritania to Casablanca, Morocco, was yesterday forced to divert to Agadir's Al Massira Airport, Morocco, after a 5 year old passenger died following complications from a heart attack.

► TURKEY: "Leaked" document purportedly shows Turkish Airlines' planned Africa route expansion plans for 2013.

Turkish Airlines
A leaked document (and we use the term "leaked" in the loosest possible way) purporting to show Turkish Airlines' (TK) intended route expansion time line has been published on the web. According to the document, TK is planning an aggressive expansion into West and Central Africa though Southern Africa appears to remain largely neglected for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

► LIBYA: (Pic) New Terminals for Benghazi, Misrata as Libyan Airlines moves to expand network in 2013.

Libyan AirlinesThe Libyan Ministry of Civil Aviation is to embark on two infrastructural improvement projects in the cities of Benghazi and Misrata as Libyan Airlines (LN) are to launch new regional routes following the delivery of their fifth and sixth brand new Airbus A320s in Misrata and Beiba respectively.

● IATA: African governments shooting themselves, and each other, in the foot: Tyler

Whilst Africa is becoming an international point of focus, African airlines themselves, are only expected to breakeven in 2013 - unchanged from the previous year's forecast and from 2011, says the International Air Transport Association's boss Tony Tyler in his industry financial outlook for the rest of 2012 and 2013. 

► NIGERIA: Presidency confirms death of northern Kaduna state governor, NSA and 4 others in Agusta chopper crash.

NigeriaThe Nigerian Presidency has confirmed the death of Governor Patrick Yakowa of northern Kaduna State, former National Security Adviser (NSA) General Owoye Azazi and four others involved in Saturday's crash of a Nigerian Navy Agusta A109E Power military helicopter in Nigeria's oil rich Niger Delta.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Gigaba appoints Duduzile Myeni to Acting Chairwoman, Vuyusile Kona to Acting CEO of SAA.

SAA logoSouth African Minister of Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, has appointed with immediate effect, Vuyisile Kona to the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Duduzile Myeni as the Acting Chairwoman of the Board of South African Airways following a recent SAA Board meeting held on 7 December 2012.

► TANZANIA: Precision Air announces 4x weekly Mbeya flights as new Songwe International Airport opens after 10 years of construction.

Precision Air After a decade under construction, Songwe International Airport, which serves the south western Tanzanian town of Mbeya, on 13 December, joined Dar Es Salaam's Julius Nyerere International, Kilimanjaro Airport, and Zanzibar International as the country's fourth international airport, with Tanzanian carrier Precision Air (PW) amongst the first to announce 4x weekly ATR72-operated flights to the airport, effective 1 February  2013.

► CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): (Pic) Canadian Airways Congo leases MD82 from Ukraine's Bravo Air.

Canadian Airways Congo
Canadian Airways Congo has been operating a McDonnell Douglas MD82 (MSN 49278 | UR-WRE) wet leased from Ukrainian charter/carrier Bravo Air (BAY) to operate flights throughout the Republic of Congo.

Friday, December 14, 2012

■ CAMEROON: Staff at Camair-Co threaten strikes from Monday over grievances concerning pay and managerial irregularities.

Twenty-two technical and administrative staff along with stewards and stewardesses have submitted their letters of resignation to Cameroonian national carrier Camair-Co (QC) whilst others have threatened to go on strike from Monday onwards, if grievances over their "13th Month" bonus, amongst others, is not resolved.

► NIGERIA: Chanchangi Airlines resumes ops with flights between Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna.

Chanchangi Airlines logoKaduna-based Nigerian carrier, Chanchangi Airlines (5B), is to resume flight operations once more, with flights being offered between Lagos to Kaduna and Lagos to Abuja, according to the company's official Twitter.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

■ ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian Airlines shoots down Kenya Airways mega-merger idea as SAA now sets sights on dominating the African market.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has, for want of a better term, "shot down" a proposal by Kenya Airways' (KQ) outgoing CEO Titus Naikuni regarding a possible mega-merger between Ethiopian, Kenya Airways and South African Airways, as being impractical.

■ ALGERIA: Air Algérie renews IOSA certificate; successfully concludes SAFA inspections with EU.

Air Algérie logoThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) has renewed Algerian national airline Air Algérie's (AH) IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certificate for a further two years, the carrier said in a statement.

► SOUTH SUDAN: Denim Air ACMI to base a Fokker 50 out of Juba for 2013.

Dutch ACMI specialists Denim Air (3D) have confirmed via Twitter that it is to base a single Fokker 50 (MSN 20239 | PH-JXN) in Juba, South Sudan for the duration of 2013 in support of United Nations & World Food Program work currently ongoing in the country.

► EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Cronos Airlines leasing MD87 from DAT.

Swiss aviation newswire CH-Aviation reports that Equato-Guinean carrier Cronos Airlines (C8) has wet-leased a McDonnell Douglas MD87  (MSN 49403 | OY-JRU) from DAT - Danish Air Transport.

► SEYCHELLES: Air Seychelles boosts Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Mauritius flights from Spring 2013.

Air SeychellesAir Seychelles (HM) has announced various changes to come into effect from 24 March 2013, in time for Northern Summer 2013. Amongst the changes are increased frequencies on its existing international routes, which will see an overall operation increment from 8 weekly to 14 weekly. 

■ ZAMBIA: Ethiopian outlines its fleet plans for new Zambian subsidiary, set to launch in late 2013.

Ethiopian Airlines' (ET) CEO Tewolde Gebremariam has outlined the carrier's planned start-up in Zambia, set to begin ops in late 2013. At first glance, the airline's fleet will bare strong similarities to the carrier's West African subsidiary, ASKY Airlines (KP), in which Ethiopian Airlines currently has a 40% shareholding.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

■ ANGOLA: Construction of new M'banza-Kongo airport to begin in Q1 2013.

ENANAConstruction of the new airport for the city of M'banza-Kongo (Zaire Province), Angola will begin after February 2013. The 800hectare site, situated in N’kiende II, 32 kilometres outside the city centre, is currently being cleared of land mines.

■ EGYPT: Egyptair Express to be liquidated, with E170 fleet returned to Egyptair on the back of poor finances.

Egyptair Express
According to Egyptian paper, Ahram, EgyptAir Express (MSE) is to be reintegrated into its parent company, Egyptair (MS), six years after it was launched to offer passengers increased frequencies on domestic and thin international routes, such as Cairo-Budapest.