Wednesday, October 31, 2012

► MOZAMBIQUE: (Pics) Qatar Airways launches 3x weekly Maputo flights.

Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways (QR) today inaugurated the first of three weekly services to the Mozambique’s capital city of Maputo. Touching down in Maputo enroute from Doha and Johannesburg, QR584 arrived to a water salute and a welcome by traditional dancers followed by an airport ceremony attended by more than 80 local dignitaries and media.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

► HONG KONG: Air Seychelles to start 3x weekly Hong Kong via Abu Dhabi flights from 2013.

Air SeychellesSeychelles national carrier (HM), today announced intentions to start flights between Mahé, Seychelles and Hong Kong (SAR) China via Abu Dhabi, UAE effective February 2013.

► ETHIOPIA: Etihad postpones Addis Ababa launch citing "Ethiopian CAA rejection".

Abu Dhabi based carrier Etihad Airways (EY) has announced the indefinite postponement of its inaugural Abu Dhabi - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia flight, set to begin this Friday, 2 November 2012.

►► CHAD: Presidential Jet involved in accident in Kalait; no casualties.

Chad flagReports out of Chad claim that the Chadian Presidential Jet, carrying strongman Idriss Deby, was yesterday involved in an accident whilst landing in Bir Kalait, 750 kilometres North East of the capital, Ndjamena. No casualties were reported, though the aircraft is said to have sustained damage.

● SOUTH AFRICA: Uganda's Daniel Wanjala wins African Aviator Award for 2012.

AviAssistAt a gala dinner held yesterday, Monday, in Cape Town, South Africa, the AviAssist Foundation in conjunction with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation CANSO, announced Uganda's Daniel Wanjala as the winner of its 2012 African Aviator Award, this year selecting Air Traffic Management/Control as the area of expertise for the award. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

► ZIMBABWE: (Pics) KLM resumes Harare after 13 year hiatus.

A KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Airbus A330-200 operating flight KL523 touched down 30 minutes early at 20.57L at Harare International Airport this evening, signifying the resumption of services to Amsterdam, cancelled 13 years ago.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: 1Time Holdings announces $5million loss for interim period ended 30 June; plans rights issue.

South Africa's 1time Holdings Ltd, the parent company of LCC 1Time (T6) and its sister company, Jetworx, has posted a USD5.02million loss according to its unaudited results for the interim period ended 30 June 2012, with "higher fuel costs, airport taxes and an excess of capacity in the market" continuing to take their toll.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

■ NIGERIA: (Pics) New General Aviation Terminal in Lagos opened but legal battles over its concessions still loom.

NigeriaNigeria's Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, last Monday officially opened Lagos's Murtala Mohammed Airport's newly remodelled domestic terminal popularly called the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), built at a cost of USD4.1million.

■ GABON: Ethiopian Airlines gives Gabon Airlines 30 days to pay up or risk losing its 767.

Gabon AirlinesEthiopian Airlines' MRO has given Gabon's now defunct Gabon Airlines (GY) thirty days as of 24 October 2012, to pay up over €750'000 it owes the facility for repairs and maintenance done to its Boeing 767-200 (MSN 21877 | TR-LHP), now stored in Addis Ababa since 2010.

Friday, October 26, 2012

► TOGO: ASKY Airlines to resume Bangui, Banjul, Pointe Noire from November.

Lomé, Togo based ASKY  Airlines (KP) is to resume flights to Bangui (Central African Republic), Banjul (Gambia) and Pointe Noire (Republic of the Congo) from November onwards.

► NIGERIA: Cessna Caravan piloted by Taraba state governor, crashes; 6 in critical condition.

NigeriaA Cessna 208B Grand Caravan (MCN: 208B2098 | 5N-BMJ) operated by the Taraba State Government and piloted by the Governor of Taraba State in Nigeria, Dambaba Sunta, has crashed with 6 persons aboard. All are said to have survived, but are in a critical condition.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

■ ETHIOPIA: Lufthansa Technik lands MRO deal for Ethiopian's 787s.

Lufthansa TechnikGermany's Lufthansa Technik have signed a 10 year deal with Ethiopian Airlines (ET) that will see the Hamburg-based MRO specialists providing component support for Ethiopian's growing fleet of Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.

► SEYCHELLES: Air Seychelles announces new Mahé - Praslin timetable.

Air SeychellesAir Seychelles (HM) has announced a new domestic schedule, effective October 28, which will see an increase in capacity between Mahé and Praslin by 38%.

► CANADA: Ethiopian announces 787 ops to Toronto & Frankfurt for Winter 2012.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has announced further adjustments to its planned Boeing 787 operations. Frankfurt, Germany will receive the 787 on a daily basis from 27 October 2012 replacing its current 767, whilst Toronto, Canada's current 777-200LR service will be replaced with a 787 effective 9 November.

► AUSTRALIA: Air Mauritius increases Perth to 3x weekly from April 2013.

Air Mauritius
Air Mauritius(MK) will, from 1 April 2013, increase their Port Louis, Mauritius - Perth, Australia frequency from two to three times weekly, using an Airbus A330-200.

► SENEGAL: Air France switches Dakar to 777-300ER service from December.

Air France logoAir France (AF) will, from 3 December 2012, boost their capacity on their Paris CDG - Dakar, Senegal with the introduction of a 3-class Boeing 777-300ER, replacing the current Boeing 777-200ER.

■ ZAMBIA: Ethiopia and Zambia close to signing BASA that will transform Lusaka into an Ethiopian Airlines hub.

As an addendum to our post on Friday regarding Zambia's ongoing aviation infrastructural improvement programme and its government's plans to form a new national carrier, Zambia's Ambassador in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today announced the signing of a "number of economic, scientific and technical measures aimed at boosting existing bilateral relations" between the two countries.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

► NIGERIA: FirstNation Airways A320s repoed by lessors?

first nation logoNigerian aviation blog Aviation in Nigeria is reporting that domestic carrier FirstNation Airways' (FRN) three leased Airbus A320s have been repossessed by their owners, US based Aviation Capital Group, though the report has yet to be verified by independent sources.

► ZIMBABWE: Finally, Air Zimbabwe to resume flights in November.

Air ZimbabweAs reported previously by The African Aviation Tribune, Air Zimbabwe(UM), the on/off Zimbabwean national airline, has confirmed its intended return to service in a news conference held last night in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

■ TANZANIA: Precision Air extends Sabena Technics contract; readies itself for arrival of four additional ATR42s.

Precision Air Just a week after sealing a 5 year deal with FastJet to provide general service and maintenance to its Airbus A319 fleet set to be based out of Dar es Salaam, Belgium's Sabena Technics, today, extended an existing contract with yet another Tanzanian carrier, Precision Air (PW), to now provide component support for its new fleet of ATR 42-600s and ATR72-600s.

► KENYA: Italy's Livingston Compagnia Aerea announces Kenya, Zanzibar, Mauritius for Winter 2012/2013.

Livingston Compagnia AereaItaly's Livingston Compagnia Aerea (JN), successor to the now defunct Italian airlines Livingston Energy Flight and Windjet (IV), has outlined plans for its proposed Winter 2012/2013 network.

►► EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Air Annobón gets first BAe146 (Pic); to start operations soon.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA flagEquatoguinean start-up, Air Annobón, has received the first of two BAe146-300s from South African wet-leasors Fair Aviation, to be used on domestic routes. BAe 146 'ZS-SOR' is to be based on the island of Annobon, Equatorial Guinea, though what future plans the airline has, are as yet, unclear.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

► NIGERIA: Passenger arrested after going crazy on Arik Air flight.

Arik AirNigeria's Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi, moved quickly to dispel any rumours of an "attempted bombing" of an Arik Air (W3) domestic flight from Maiduguri to Abuja, in which a passenger is said to have suddenly started shouting "Allahu Akhabar!" (God is Great!), culminating in him being tackled by fellow passengers. 

► COTE D'IVOIRE: (Pics) Ouattara officially presented Air Cote d'Ivoire's aircraft but inaugural flights delayed again.

Air Cote d'IvoireAir Cote d'Ivoire (VRE), the joint venture between the Government of Ivory Coast, Air France and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, is to postpone its inaugural flight once more, this time "for a few weeks" likely implying a November launch.

● TUNISIA: Embraer finalizes African Development Bank deal as Bombardier pushes ahead with Casablanca plant.

EmbraerBombardierTwo of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers, Brazil's Embraer and Canada's Bombardier, are set to invest millions of dollars, in one way or another, into the African aviation scene, in the coming months and years. 

● ETHIOPIA: National Airways, Kenya Aeronautical College to open new aviation college.

National Airways logoEthiopia's National Airways (7N), in conjunction with Nairobi-based Kenya Aeronautical College (KAC), are to open a centre for the training of aviation personnel in Addis Ababa, to cater for the shortage of skilled manpower currently facing Ethiopia's aerospace and aviation sectors.

► ZIMBABWE: Boardroom chaos delays Air Zimbabwe's relaunch.

Air ZimbabweFollowing on from our previous post on the subject in September, Zimbabwean parastatal and national carrier, Air Zimbabwe (UM)'s plans to resume regional and international flights, have been scuppered due to "boardroom squabbles", reports the government mouthpiece, the ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation).

► GAMBIA: Cosmo Airlines to give Gambia Bird, Vueling competition on Barcelona route.

Cosmo AirlinesAn Airbus A320 (MSN 528 | LY-COM) belonging to Spanish charter airline Cosmo Airlines, on Saturday night, landed in Banjul from Barcelona, Spain, signaling its resumption of service to the Gambian capital, suspended several years ago.

► ZAMBIA: Emirates A330 suffers port engine failure after takeoff from Lusaka, returns safely.

On Sunday 21 October, an Emirates (EK) Airbus A330-200 (MCN 525 |A6-EAP) plying the Lusaka - Dubai route as flight EK714, suffered an uncontained port engine failure, 30 minutes into its flight. The crew promptly shut down the engine and opted to return to Lusaka for a safe landing, contrary to early sensational news reports out of Zambia which claimed "the plane had a tyre burst and slipped into the bush, receiving considerable damage."

■ SUDAN: "Restructuring of Civil Aviation Authority to improve air safety": Abdulaziz

Sudan flag
After two disastrous crashes in three months and a perilous aviation safety record, the Sudanese government has announced the restructuring of the country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in which the regulatory body and the operational body are kept separate from each other, in line with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) recommendations.

► EGYPT: Midwest set to start scheduled domestic flights in early 2013 with Libya, Saudi Arabia to follow.

Egyptian charter airline Midwest Airlines (MY) is to venture into the domestic Egyptian scheduled flight market with the launch of flights between Cairo and Alexandria effective early January 2013.

► RWANDA: See Pics of RwandAir's first CRJ-900NG arriving in Kigali!

RwandAirRwandan national carrier Rwandair (WB) has officially received its first of two Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) 900NGs (MSN# 15286 | 9XR-WH) following a hand-over ceremony in Montreal, Canada and a delivery flight routed Montréal - Goose Bay - Reykjavík - Ancona - Aswan - Kigali.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

► ZIMBABWE: FlyKumba's management venture into the helicopter business.

FlyKumbaLloyd Muchaka and South African based Zimbabwean investor, Patrick Chapwanya, the co-founders of the now defunct Zimbabwean LCC, FlyKumba (FKZ), have been granted a licence by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe for their helicopter company, Chikopokopo Helicopters, set to operate out of Victoria Falls.

► FRANCE: Tunisia's Syphax Airlines boosts Paris CDG to daily from late October.

Tunisian carrier, Syphax Airlines (FS), will from 28 October 2012, launch daily A319-operated flights between the Tunisian capital, Tunis, and Paris CDG, four months after the route was originally meant to have gone daily.

■ TANZANIA: FastJet awards tenders to Sabena Tech, Swissport and head hunts three UK execs for top posts.

FastjetBelgian MRO specialists Sabena Technics, have been awarded a 5 year contract by nascent Dar es Salaam based LCC, FastJet, to provide its fleet with engineering services and comprehensive material support for components, standard and cabin parts, and consumables. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

■ ZAMBIA: Ambitious aviation infrastructure projects to pave the way for Zambia Airways 2.0?

Zambia Coat of ArmsAccording to reports in the Zambian press, the Government there is said to be considering various business models, necessary in setting up a rejuvenated national airline, almost 20 years after the liquidation of national carrier, Zambia Airways (QZ).

► CONGO (KINSHASA): Korongo adds Mbuji-Mayi from late October.

Korongo AirlinesAs previously reported by The African Aviation Tribune, Congolese carrier Korongo Airlines (ZC), have announced plans for twice weekly flights between Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi (Eastern Kasai) and Kinshasa and Mbuji-Mayi respectively, effective 31 October 2012.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

► BOTSWANA: Bluesky Airways launches charter ops; new website (at last).

BlueSky AirwaysBotswana's BlueSky Airways, on 14 October, flew its first commercial charter flight while today it finally launched its website - http://www.blueskyairways.co.bw - albeit 4 months after its original launch date of 9 July.

► BURUNDI: China Southern to operate military charters to Monrovia, Bujumbura, Juba, Nairobi in November.

China SouthernGuangzhou based carrier, China Southern (CZ), will operate three military charter flights to Monrovia (Liberia), Bujumbura (Burundi), Juba (South Sudan) and Nairobi (Kenya) this November on behalf of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, under the auspices of the United Nations.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

■ MADAGASCAR: Government courts Corsair International to resume Paris to Nosy-Be flights.

Corsair InternationalWith Air Madagascar's (MD) Airbus A340-300s too big for Nosy-Be's (Fascene) Airport, the Malagasy Government is attempting to lure French carrier Corsair International (SS) back to Madagascar's largest and busiest tourist resort, as they are the only carrier with the equipment (Airbus A330s) capable of operating a direct Paris - Nosy Be flight from the airport, at this time. 

► UNITED STATES: Ethiopian swaps Guangzhou and Washington equipment over Christmas period.

Effective 15 December 2012, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is to switch operational aircraft in service between Addis Ababa and Guangzhou, China and Addis Ababa and Washington DC, USA as traffic demands during the period grow.

► ZIMBABWE: FreshAir to start Vic Falls - Joburg in November, just as 1Time pulls out of Livingstone.

FreshAir logoZimbabwean LCC startup, FreshAir, the 51/49 joint venture between Nu.Com (Pvt) Ltd of Zimbabwe and 1Time Holdings Ltd of South Africa, are set to launch operations on 2 November 2012 with Victoria Falls - Johannesburg (ORTIA), South Africa as their initial route.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

► GAMBIA: Vueling announces Banjul, Nador, Casablanca, Fez, Tangier from Summer 2013.

VuelingSpanish LCC, Vueling (VY), has announced services from Barcelona to Banjul, Gambia and Casablanca, Fez, Nador and Tangier in Morocco effective Summer 2013.

► KENYA: Gulf Air pulls out of Nairobi from November.

Gulf Air
Bahrain-based Gulf Air (GF), will, from 13 November 2012, suspend its 3x weekly operations to Nairobi, Kenya due to "commercial reasons". This will now leave Khartoum, Sudan and Addis Ababa as the carrier's only destinations in East Africa following the axing of its Entebbe, Uganda route after just 4 months in service.

■ MOROCCO: Government looks to offload 44% stake in Royal Air Maroc to Gulf carrier.

Royal Air Maroc RAMFollowing on from our tweet last night, it does indeed appear that Morocco is looking to sell up to 44% of its shareholding in national carrier Royal Air Maroc (AT) to an as yet unknown Gulf airline.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: No privatization for SAA despite a confirmed $150million loss: Gigaba.

SAA logoMalusi Gigaba, the South African Minister of Public Enterprises, speaking on the occasion of South African Airways (SA) Post-AGM Briefing at Airways Park on Monday 15 October 2012, bemoaned SAA's below par performance during the 2011/2012 Financial Year, noting that whilst the global aviation industry, as a whole, has suffered in the current adverse global economic environment, SAA still fared poorer compared to its peers across the globe.

Monday, October 15, 2012

► ZIMBABWE: Crappy runway lighting at Harare forces South African Airways to bring forward Joburg evening flight departures.

SAA logoAfter an incident on Monday last week in which South African Airways (SA) canceled its evening flight from Johannesburg to Harare, Zimbabwe citing poor lighting on runway 05/23 at Harare International Airport, the South African national carrier has now confirmed that it has changed its night flights to Harare to an earlier departure time.  

► CHINA: Egyptair increases Beijing frequencies from December.

EgyptairEgyptian national carrier, EgyptAir (MS) will, from 3 December 2012, add an additional 4th weekly frequency on its route between Cairo and Beijing, China.

■ KENYA: Its Game On as Jambo Jet granted Air Service Licence; FastJet's A319s approved by KCAA.

Kenya AirwaysFastjetThe battle for the East African aviation market today heated up significantly when the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) dually announced the granting to Kenya Airways (KQ) of regulatory approval in the form of an Air Service License for the launch of its low-cost subsidiary, Jambo Jet, whilst at the same time, it granted FastJet certification for the use of its Airbus A319s in Kenya.