Thursday, January 31, 2013

► RÉUNION: Air Austral announces timetable adjustments for Hurricane Felleng.

Air AustralWith the imminent arrival of Hurricane Felleng, Réunion based carrier Air Austral (UU) has, as a precautionary, issued a revised timetable for the next few days.

► BRAZIL: Angolan Air Force takes delivery of three Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft.

Angola Air ForceBrazil's Embraer Defense and Security today delivered the first three of six light attack and advanced training A-29 Super Tucano turboprops to the Força Aérea Nacional Angolana (National Air Force of Angola), at a ceremony held in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo, Brazil. 

► MAURITIUS: Air France unwilling to commit to Air Mauritius citing "lack of means".

Air France logoAir MauritiusFollowing speculation in the French aviation press, Air France (AF) has shot down any chance of closer strategic and financial ties with Mauritian carrier, Air Mauritius. The possibility of a tie up was discussed with French President François Hollande during the visit of Prime Minister of Mauritius, Navin Ramgoolam, to the Elysee Palace on January 21.

► GHANA: Starbow Airlines increases flights to Kumasi, Tamale in February.

Starbow AirlinesGhanaian carrier Starbow Airlines (S9) has announced the addition of added flights on its Accra - Kumasi and Accra - Tamale  routes following strong demand to both destinations.

► GAMBIA: Gambia Bird to launch two new European routes this summer; in early talks with 2 Middle Eastern carriers over possible partnership deal.

Gambia Bird logoGambia Bird (3G) has outlined its intended Summer network plans. Highlights include the launch of two new European destinations in addition to an increase in frequencies to Barcelona and London Gatwick. The fledgling carrier has also mentioned its involvement in early negotiations with two Middle Eastern carriers.

► GREECE: Egyptair boosts Athens flights from June.

EgyptairEgyptian national carrier Egyptair (MS) will from 01JUN13 increase its Cairo – Athens service. The Star Alliance member will operate this route 14 weekly flights, compared to 10 weekly in same period (June – October) in 2012.

► DUBAI: RwandAir resumes Mombasa - Dubai, reduces Bujumbura frequencies from February.

RwandAirRwandair (WB) has announced the resumption of its 5th freedom flights between Mombasa (Kenya) and Dubai with3x weekly flights effective 02FEB13. Additionally, the carrier will from 01FEB13 reduce its current service to the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, from 3x to 2x daily flights, following the suspension of flights to Mwanza (Tanzania) effective 31JAN13.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

► MOROCCO: Air Méditerranée to start Marseille - Oujda from mid June.

Air MéditerranéeFrench carrier Air Méditerranée (ML) is to launch Oujda, Morocco, its fourth destination there, with twice weekly flights to Marseilles, France starting 16 June. The service will operate with a Boeing 737-500.

► TOGO: (Pics) ASKY Airlines takes delivery of three Bombardier Q400NGs.

West African regional carrier ASKY Airlines (KP) has taken delivery of three additional Bombardier Q400s at a ceremony held recently in the Togolese capital, Lomé, which is also the carrier's primary hub. The delivery comes almost 3 years ago to the day that the carrier was born.

►► SPAIN: Iberia to drop Cairo; to boost capacity to Casablanca, Algiers, Dakar, Nouakchott, and Malabo.

[UPDATE 30 JANUARY] Spanish carrier, Iberia (IB), has announced details of its new commercial and routes policies under the Transformation Plan it announced recently with various routes in Africa to be affected, for better and for worse.

■ ZAMBIA: Successful bidder for new $200m terminal at Lusaka's KK International Airport to be announced in next few weeks: NACL.

National Airports Corporation Limited (NACL) ZambiaZambia's National Airports Corporation Ltd should, in the next two weeks, announce the winner of the contract for the construction of a new passenger terminal at Lusaka's Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. The terminal is part of a USD500million project to upgrade the airport as a whole.

► MADAGASCAR: Air Madagascar reorganizes its domestic schedule, reduces Bangkok, Guangzhou flights from mid February.

Air MadagascarAir Madagascar (MD) has announced a variety of changes to its local and international network in an attempt at improving customer satisfaction and avoiding disruption and inconvenience. Some of the changes have been effect since late January with others set to come into effect in mid February.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

► LIBYA: See Pics of Afriqiyah's first A320 painted in the new livery!

AfriqiyahIn a ceremony held in Sebha, Libyan carrier Afriqiyah (8U) has taken delivery of its sixth and first A320 (MSN 5448 | 5N-ONO) painted in the airlines new "dove" livery.

■ ETHIOPIA: ECAA claims offers for talks with the UAE over a possible BASA have been ignored.

The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) says its "invitation" to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to negotiate and complete a Bilateral Air Transport Service Agreement (BASA) between the two states, has been ignored.

► CONGO (KINSHASA): See Pics of Kabila's refurbished Presidential 707 due back in Kinshasa.

Congo Kinshasa flagThe Congolese Government is set to take redelivery of its Presidential Boeing 707-138B (MSN 64 | 9Q-CLK) used by strongman Joseph Kabila for international flights. The aircraft is one of 13 unique aircraft built for Qantas (QF) in 1959 and is also a sister-ship to John Travolta's Boeing 707.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: NTM's strike enters its 12th day as SAA remains defiant.

SAA logoClaims by South African Airways (SA) that a 12 day old strike by the National Transport Movement (NTM) over lack of recognition has not affected its operations, have been hotly disputed by the union's deputy secretary general, Liver Mngomezulu.

► NIGERIA: Chanchangi Airlines to acquire two more 737s in the next 6 weeks with a further 2 jets to come thereafter.

Chanchangi Airlines logoNigerian carrier, Chanchangi Airlines (5B), having resumed operations in December last year, is now set to acquire new aircraft under the auspices of the aviation intervention fund as provided for by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).

► SEYCHELLES: See Video of Air Seychelles' second A330 set to start ops in March.

Air SeychellesSeychellois national carrier, Air Seychelles (HM), today took delivery of its second Airbus A330-200. The aircraft is scheduled to make its first test flight in February and will subsequently enter active service in March to launch Air Seychelles’ new international schedule, which includes new services to Hong Kong and increased frequencies to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg and Mauritius.

► MAYOTTE: Air Caraïbes codesharing with Corsair on its Madagascar, Réunion, Dzaoudzi routes.

Air Caraïbes (TX), the regional airline of the French Caribbean, has since 10JAN13 expanded its codeshare operation with Corsair International (SS), which covers the latter’s France – Indian Ocean routes to Madagascar, La Réunion and Dzaoudzi (Mayotte).

Monday, January 28, 2013

■ KENYA: Fly540 issues statement regarding its legal battle with Lonrho Aviation.

Fly540 Ghana
Further to the press comment made by the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper (“EasyJet’s chairman quits after Stelios rows”, Section 3: Business, Page 1), Five Forty Aviation Ltd confirms that it has instructed its lawyers to recover an acknowledged debt of USD6.8million from Lonrho Aviation Ltd.

► SOUTH KOREA: SA Tourism looks to woo Korean Air as South Africa increasingly looks East to bolster its tourism numbers.

Korean AirIn a bid to woo more Asian tourists, South African Tourism, the South African department responsible for marketing the country as a tourist destination, has said it intends to lobby Korean Air (KE) to start flights between Seoul and Johannesburg and Cape Town.

■ NIGERIA: Bombardier appoints ExecuJet Nigeria as a Line Maintenance Facility for its Business Jets.

BombardierBombardier Aerospace has named ExecuJet Nigeria in Lagos as a Line Maintenance Facility (LMF) for its line of Challenger 300, Challenger 604, Challenger 605, Global 5000, Global 6000, Global Express and Global Express XRS business jets.  The facility will complement ExecuJet’s centre in Lanseria, South Africa, which has been part of Bombardier’s Authorized Service Facility (ASF) network since 2002.

► KENYA: fastjet in talks to "partner" Jetlink Express; refutes allegations it owes money to Fly540 founder.

fastjetJetlink ExpressThe "investors" bankrupt Kenyan regional operator, Jetlink Express (J0), mentioned have turned out to be none other than fastjet (FN). In a scenario that resembles its ongoing battle to acquire defunct South African LCC 1Time (T6), fastjet has mentioned that its interest in Jetlink revolves around the latter "owning the traffic rights for all local destinations, as well as a number of regional routes."

► ALGERIA: Alitalia to start Rome Fiumicino - Oran from late March.

AlitaliaItalian carrier Alitalia (AZ) will, starting 26MAR13, commence 3x weekly Rome (Fiumicino) – Oran, Algeria flights on board a CityLiner Embraer E175 aircraft. 

► BOTSWANA: SA Airlink to start Johannesburg - Kasane from late March.

SA AirlinkIn addition to announcing flights to Vilanculos, Mozambqiue, SA Airlink (4Z) will commence a scheduled Johannesburg – Kasane (Botswana) service, from Friday 22 March 2012. The initial schedule will operate on Days 1357 departing Johannesburg OR Tambo at 11h45 arriving back in Johannesburg at 15h50. From August 2013 the service will operate daily.

■ KENYA: Kenya Airways releases its Operations Report for Q3 2012 (October - December).

Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways (KQ) today released its Operations Report for the Third Quarter of 2012; October to 31st December 2012.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

► SAUDI ARABIA: Egyptair to boost services for Summer 2013.

EgyptairEgyptian national carrier EgyptAir(MS) is to tentatively expand its service to Saudi Arabia during the Summer 2013 season. Planned new routes and/or additional flights as follows.

■ NIGERIA: FAAN makes good on its threats to deal with derelict aircraft; proceeds with clean up in Lagos.

FAANThe Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) this week made good on its threats to remove abandoned and derelict aircraft from airport environs starting with the cleanup of Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport where, it is reported, 13 aircraft are awaiting disposal.

► RWANDA: Rising demand forces RwandAir to lease 737-700s, but how long until profitability and ultimately, privatization?

RwandAirRiding its current wave of strong passenger figures, Rwandair (WB) are to phase out their two Boeing 737-500 in favour of the larger, more economical Boeing 737-700. Rwandair currently operates two Boeing 737-500s.

■ ZIMBABWE: Air Zimbabwe's IOSA due to be completed by the end of February.

Air ZimbabweStruggling Zimbabwean national carrier Air Zimbabwe (UM) is confident about its ongoing IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) with its completion due at the end of February, in time for UM's anticipated roll out of new regional and possibly, international flights.

► GHANA: Antrak Air to launch Kumasi - Tamale from 28 January.

Antrak AirGhanaian domestic operator Antrak Air (4O) is to launch daily Kumasi - Tamale flights using an ATR72-500 effective tomorrow Monday 28 January 2013.

► MOZAMBIQUE: SA Airlink to start Johannesburg - Vilanculos from March 2013.

SA AirlinkFollowing the withdrawal of Federal Air (7V) from the route earlier this month, SA Airlink (4X) is to introduce 5x weekly Johannesburg (ORTIA) - Vilanculos, Mozambique flights effective 22 March 2013. The flights will initially operate 3x weekly (Days 135) to be increased to 5x weekly (Days 12357) from July 2013.

► MAURITIUS: Air France, Air Mauritius to take their relationship to the next level?

Air France logo
Air Mauritius
Relations between Air France (AF) and Mauritian national carrier Air Mauritius (MK) could develop into a closer strategic and financial partnership following a state visit to France on 21 January by the Prime Minister of Mauritius.

■ CAMEROON: New boss Boertien envisages 26 aircraft, a cargo hub, maintenance and training facilities in a peek at his 5 year plan for Camair-Co.

Preliminary tid-bits regarding new CEO Matthijs Boertien's future plans for Cameroonian carrier Camair-Co (QC) have been revealed with the creation of 1'000 jobs via an envisaged fleet of 26 aircraft, a training centre, a maintenance unit, and a cargo hub being amongst the highlights. In the meantime, Boertien has moved to improve the carrier's relationship with its suppliers and staff in an attempt at rebuilding the carrier's battered morale and reputation.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

► EGYPT: AlMasria Universal Airbus A321 declares fuel emergency after protracted military exercises exceed their time allocation.

AlMasria Universal Airline
Bungling on behalf of air traffic control at Cairo International Airport almost caused a serious incident today when an AlMasria Universal Airbus A321-200, (MSN 666 | SU-TCC) operating flight UJ-107 from Yanbu, Saudi Arabia to Cairo, was forced to declare a fuel emergency after a forewarned military exercise at the airport, surpassed its allocated time.

► TANZANIA: South Africa's Mango sets sights on East Africa with Zanzibar a possible launch destination.

South African Low Cost Carrier Mango (JE) is set to expand into the East African market in the coming 18 months according to Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout with the strongest contender on the carrier's list said to be Zanzibar, where the carrier operated a limited charter service in December.

■ SOMALIA: New Immigration building opened at Mogadishu Aden Adde International Airport.

SomaliaThe new Immigration Department building at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport was officially handed over on Sunday 14, January. Built on behalf of the Somali  Department of Immigration by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the project was funded by the Japanese Government.

► LIBYA: Ryanair in negotiations with Tunisia, Egypt and Libya over possible flights.

Irish low cost megacarrier, Ryanair (FR), has announced that it is looking at starting flights to Tunisia, Libya and Egypt "over the next few years," though any potential flights would depend on the deregulation of their own aviation industries as well as the signing of an Open Skies agreement with the European Union.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

► SOUTH SUDAN: Turkey's AtlasJet wins tender for national airline; to launch with two aircraft.

Turkey's Atlasjet (KK), is to establish a private airline in South Sudan following the opening of bids on January 23,  in the South Sudanese capital, Juba. In September, Murat Ersoy, the President of Atlasjet (KK), led a 25-member strong Turkish delegation to Juba, scouting for potential business opportunities.

■ GHANA: The outcome of talks between the GCAA and Delta Airlines over allegations of the latter's shoddy service.

GCAAThe Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has met with officials of the Delta Airlines (DL) at the GCAA Head Office in a bid to resolve complaints from passengers stemming from flight delays, cancellations and poor customer service.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: SAA, Mango, Comair all object to fastjet's 1Time licence transfer designs as Skywise's ASLC application fails.

fastjetIn a rare show of unity, South African carriers Mango (JE), South African Airways (SA) and Comair Group (owners of BA Comair (BA) and Kulula (MN)) have collectively objected to the South African Air Services Licensing Council, a state regulator set to convene next month, over fastjet's (FN) proposed transfer of 1time’s operators licence, who are applying for a Ministerial exemption in order to fast track the process.

► GHANA: Two new startups looking to start ops: Eagle Atlantic Airlines and Air Ghana.

Eagle Atlantic Airlines (EAB) is planning to launch regional operations from its Accra hub should it acquire its Air Operator Certificate (AOC). According to its website, Eagle Atlantic plans to operate a single McDonnell Douglas MD-82 to Abuja, Lagos, Abidjan, Conakry, Freetown, Monrovia, Dakar.

► TANZANIA: Air Tanzania's DHC-8-300 completes repairs in Kigoma; resumes ops to Dar es Salaam.

Air TanzaniaAir Tanzania (TC) yesterday resumed its Kigoma - Dar es Salaam route after its Bombardier DHC-8-300 (MSN 474 | 5H-MWF) was grounded in Kigoma on its début flight 10 days ago following an in-flight cracked windshield.

► ZIMBABWE: Ethiopian introduces extra 3x weekly Lusaka, Harare service from mid February.

Ethiopian Airlines
Effective 27 January 2013, Ethiopian Airlines will adjust its Zimbabwe and Zambia operations with 3 out of its 7 weekly Addis Ababa – Harare – Lusaka – Addis Ababa flights to operate as Addis Ababa – Lusaka – Harare – Addis Ababa. Then, effective 18 February, an additional 3x weekly red eye flight operated with a Boeing 737-700 will be introduced bringing the overall frequency to 10.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

► KENYA: Kenya Airways to seek compensation over possible 787 delivery delays.

Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways (KQ) will seek compensation from Boeing regarding any possible delays in the production of its nine Boeing 787s, the first of which is due later this year, the Kenyan carrier has said in a press release.

► KENYA: Jambo Jet to possibly launch after Q1 as fastjet encounters more law suits.

Kenya AirwaysfastjetDespite being granted an Air Service Licence in October 2012 by the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) for the launch of its low-cost subsidiary, Jambo Jet, Kenya Airways has yet to make headway with the carrier's launch. Competitor fastjet (FN) has also not had an easy time with news that the Tanzania-based LCC is facing increasing problems with its predecessor, Fly540's, creditors.