Thursday, February 28, 2013

● LIBYA: LYCAA releases final report on crash of Afriqiyah 771; blames lack of pilot coordination, somatogravic illusions.

AfriqiyahLibya's Civil Aviation Authority has released its final report on the crash of the Afriqiyah Airlines (8U) Airbus A330-200 (MSN 1024 | 5A-ONG) operating as flight 8U772 from Johannesburg, South Africa to Tripoli, Libya, which crashed on approach into Tripoli International Airport in May 2010. According to their findings, air crash investigators have blamed "the limited coordination and cooperation between the two crew members" exacerbated by fatigue and coupled with  the effects of somatogravic illusions (i.e. an optical illusion that can result in spatial disorientation) as the mitigating factors in the crash.

► SOUTH AFRICA: TAAG Angolan Airlines goes 3x weekly to Cape Town from April.

TAAG logoFrom 1 April, TAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola (DT), Angola's national carrier, is to boost its Luanda - Cape Town frequency from twice weekly to 3x weekly, with the addition of a Wednesday flight. Ops are flown with a Boeing 737-700.

■ SOUTH SUDAN: Kiir issues decree founding Civil Aviation Authority as new airline, South Supreme Airlines, is born.

South SudanSalva Kiir, the President of South Sudan, on Tuesday issued a decree formally establishing the country's first civil aviation authority (South Sudanese Civil Aviation Authority - SSCAA), tasked with regulating and developing the fledgling nation's aviation and airline industry. The authority will be overseen by a board of seven members, headed by Police General Agasio Akol.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

► SIERRA LEONE: Senegal Airlines starts Dakar - Freetown, adds extra Conakry flights on-board Brussels Airlines A330s.

Senegal AirlinesSenegal Airlines (DN) has launched Dakar - Freetown (Sierra Leone) flights in conjunction with Brussels Airlines (SN). Since 25 February, the Senegalese national carrier has been placing its code "DN" on Brussels Airlines' Dakar - Freetown sector of its Brussels - Dakar - Freetown flights. Similarly, Senegal Airlines has also placed its "DN" code on Brussels Airlines' Dakar - Conakry sector, effectively adding 3 extra weekly frequencies to its previous 7x weekly flights.

■ MAURITIUS: Maldives and Mauritius ink BASA; daily intra island flights slated to begin "before July."

MaldivesMauritius has signed a Bilateral Air Services Agreement with fellow Indian Ocean islanders, the Maldives, at a ceremony held on 26 February in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis. Under the accord, designated carriers from both Mauritius and the Maldives will be able to jointly operate direct flights between Beijing and Mauritius, and Maldives and Mauritius.

■ ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian Airlines MRO certified for both Bombardier Q-Series airframe maintenance and CFM56-3/7 engine overhauls.

Ethiopian AirlinesEthiopian Airlines MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) division has upgraded its product and has now been granted approval by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide full airframe maintenance services for Bombardier’s Q100, Q200 and Q300 turboprop aircraft. Additionally, it has also been certified to provide overhauls for the CFM International CFM56-3 and CFM56-7 engine respectively.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Kulula 737 suffers engine failure during take off roll in Cape Town forcing closure of runway; no injuries.

kululaA kulula (MN) Boeing 737-800 (MSN 28612 | ZS-ZWP) operating flight MN104 from Cape Town International to Johannesburg, South Africa, at 15h00L suffered an engine failure during its take off roll. One of Cape Town's two runways was subsequently shut for a brief period to allow for inspection and clearance of any debris.

► NIGERIA: Saudia Cargo boosts Hong Kong - Lagos flights on back of strong demand.

Saudia CargoSaudi Airlines cargo division, Saudia Cargo (SV), has announced that it will add one additional weekly flight on its Hong Kong - Lagos route effective March 2013. Overall, the increase will result in there being 9 weekly flights from Hong Kong and 8 to Lagos, its West African hub.

► JAPAN: Egyptair to reduce Tokyo Narita ops from 31 March.

EgyptairAs per the 27FEB13 GDS timetable and inventory display, Egyptair (MS), starting 31MAR13, is to reduce its Cairo – Tokyo Narita service from 3 to 2 weekly. 

► ZAMBIA: Proflight set to take delivery of a 737 in May for use on Lusaka - Livingstone flights during UNWTO.

Proflight ZambiaDomestic operator Proflight Zambia (P0), is looking to take delivery of a Boeing 737-200ADV in late April for use on its domestic routes during the upcoming XXth United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly to be jointly held in Livingstone & Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in August this year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

►► ETHIOPIA: ASKY Airlines now codesharing with Ethiopian on the latter's West Africa, Brazil flights.

Ethiopian Airlines[UPDATE 26 FEBRUARY] Ethiopian Airlines (ET) and its West African subsidiary ASKY Airlines (KP) have expanded their code-sharing agreement to now cover the majority of Ethiopian's routes between Ethiopia and West Africa with Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Benin, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Burkina Faso now operating with an ASKY IATA code (KP).

■ TANZANIA: Precision Air sees a 6% increase in pax uplifted over NOV12 - JAN13 period.

Precision Air Tanzania's Precision Air (PW) says it has registered a 6% growth in passenger traffic for the period NOV12 - JAN13 with an overall growth of 13% for the period APR12 to JAN13.

► NIGERIA: Discovery Air outlines its planned route network though launch date is still uncertain.

Discovery Air NigeriaNigerian startup Discovery Air has outlined its intended route network with various domestic and regional destinations planned. The Lagos based carrier intends to launch commercial flight services with a fleet of Boeing 737-300s and Bombardier CRJ-200s, though when exactly, remains uncertain.

► TANZANIA: fastjet to start daily Kilimanjaro - Mwanza & Zanzibar ops from mid March.

fastjetTanzanian LCC Fastjet (FN), is to expand its network with the announcement today of the launch of daily Kilimanjaro - Mwanza and daily Kilimanjaro - Zanzibar flights effective 18 March. Both flights will operate with an Airbus A320.

► EGYPT: Sky Cruise hot air balloon explodes in mid flight over Luxor; 19 dead.

EgyptA hot air balloon belonging to Sky Cruise - Egyptian Airship & Balloon Co. of Luxor, this morning burst into flames in mid air, before plummeting to the ground killing 19 tourists who were on-board. Two passengers - the balloon pilot and a tourist  - were said to have survived, but have sustained serious burns and have been taken to a local hospital in Luxor, about 450km south of Cairo.

► EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Air Annobón finally starts operations with daily Bata - Malabo flights.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA flagEnigmatic Equatoguinean startup, Air Annobón, has at long last launched scheduled flights, albeit one month ago. Operations are understood to have commenced on 25 January using only one (and not two) BAe146-300s.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Comair Ltd takes SAA's current and previous bailouts to the High Court; disputes their legality.

Comair LtdSouth Africa's Comair Ltd, the British Airways (BA) franchise owner for South Africa and owner of LCC kulula (MN), is to dispute the legality of South African national carrier, South African Airways (SA)'s ZAR5billion bail out from Government last year and its previous injections amounting to ZAR11billion, in the High Court in Pretoria tomorrow.

► ICELAND: Air Madagascar to transfer its A340 onto Air Atlanta Icelandic's registry in hopes of using them on EU bound flights.

Air MadagascarAir Atlantic IcelandicAir Madagascar (MD) has entered into an agreement with Icelandic ACMI specialists Air Atlanta Icelandic (CC) which will result in Air Madagascar transferring
its Airbus A340 onto Air Atlanta Icelandic's registry. The aircraft will therefore fall under the supervision of the Icelandic Civil Aviation Authorities and will allow the Malagasy national carrier to resume flights to Europe using its "own" equipment, despite its categorization as an "Annex B" class carrier on the EU No Fly List.

► KENYA: Renowned conservationist, "Dangerous Flights" cameraman die in crash near Mt Kenya.

KenyaA renowned Kenyan conservationist, Dr Anthony King, and a cameraman for Discovery Channel aviation show "Dangerous Flights", John Driftmier, were killed on Sunday 24 February when their light aircraft, an Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat (MSN 239 | 5Y-LWF), crashed near Mt Kenya.

► SOUTH AFRICA: CemAir acquires LuxAir; to launch scheduled ops to Sishen, Lephalale from Johannesburg ORTIA.

CemAirSouth Africa's CemAir, has announced its acquisition of LuxAir, a South African ticketing agent with a niche market on the business routes between Johannesburg (ORTIA) and Lephalale, a coal mining town in the Limpopo province of South Africa immediately east of the Waterberg Coalfield, and Johannesburg (ORTIA) - Sishen, a large iron ore mining town in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Monday, February 25, 2013

► NIGERIA: Overland Airways goes 6x weekly from Abuja to Akure.

Overland Airways logoNigerian domestic operator, Overland Airways (OJ) will soon launch 6x weekly Abuja - Akure flights. The carrier's website currently lists the flight as already open and operational.

■ COTE D'IVOIRE: Air Cote d'Ivoire signs up for ADSoftware's AirPack suite.

Air Cote d'IvoireIvorian carrier Air Cote d'Ivoire (HF) has signed a deal with French aviation software firm ADSoftware for the use of its AirPack Fleet Management System and Logistics Solutions system.

■ GAMBIA: New board appointed for Gambia International Airlines.

Gambia International Airlines logoA new board of directors has been appointed at Gambian national carrier, Gambia International Airlines (GC), following an inauguration ceremony held at the company’s headquarters at the Banjul International Airport last week.

► SAUDI ARABIA: Nile Air to start Alexandria - Gassim from late May.

Nile AirEgyptian airline Nile Air (NP) will from 26 May 2103, expand its international operations with the launch of 3x weekly Alexandria/Borg el Arab - Gassim, Saudi Arabia flights.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Area gynaecologist ventures into airline market with PE - East London flights.

BluCraneAir logoNew South African domestic startup, Blu Crane Air, the brainchild of Port Elizabeth gynaecologist Dr Marcus van Heerden, is to start operations in the coming weeks (tentatively 4 March) between the Eastern Cape towns of Port Elizabeth and East London in South Africa using six-seater twin-engine Cessna 414 aircraft.

■ COTE D'IVOIRE: Arab Contractors awarded $30mln contract to build new cargo terminal at Abidjan's international airport.

Cote d'IvoireEgyptian construction firm, Arab Contractors, have signed a contract with the government of the Ivory Coast for USD30million for the upgrading of Abidjan's Félix Houphouët-Boigny International Airport's cargo facilities.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

► SUDAN: Sun Air wet-leasing A320 from Jordan Aviation.

Sun AirSudan's Sun Air (S9) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 (MSN 2061 | JY-JAT) wet leased from Jordanian ACMI outfit Jordan Aviation (R5) writes aviation newswire CH-Aviation.

■ GABON: New Airport Infrastructure Levy to pay for new Libreville Airport.

GabonThe Gabonese Government has announced that, from 1 September 2013, it will introduce an Airport Development Levy to be included in the price of all passenger tickets, to pay for the construction of Libreville's new airport located in Andeme, 60km outside Libreville.

► ERITREA: Eritrean Airlines signs deal with Sudan Airways; looks to expand into West Africa.

Eritrean AirlinesEritrean Airlines (B8), has signed a deal with Sudanese national carrier, Sudan Airways (SD), that will result in the Eritrean national carrier,operating various flights on behalf of Sudan Airways to the UAE and South Sudan. Eritrean is also looking to boost its own international frequencies to Dubai, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Italy with West African flights also in the pipeline.

■ NAMIBIA: NAC to launch "FlyWindhoek" initiative aimed at luring more traffic to Hosea Kutako International Airport.

Namibia Airports Company logoThe Namibia Airports Company (NAC) is in the process of setting up its formal air service development initiative dubbed "FlyWindhoek", aimed at boosting passenger traffic at Windhoek's Hosea Kutako International Airport by bringing in more international tour operators and scheduled and charter airlines.

► MOZAMBIQUE: See a pic of MEX-Moçambique Expresso's first Embraer E145 Jet.

LAM Mozambique AirlinesAs previously reported by The African Aviation Tribune, MEX-Moçambique Expresso (MXE), the domestic and regional subsidiary of LAM Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (TM), is set to receive the first of two Embraer ERJ145s (MSN 145.266 | C9-MEX).

■ GUINEA: SOGEAC to embark on Phase 2 of Conakry Gbessia International Airport's expansion plan.

Société de Gestion et d'Exploitation de l'Aéroport de Conakry (Conakry Airport Authority - SOGEAC) the Guinean state enterprise charged with managing Conakry Gbessia International Airport, is to embark on the second phase of renovations at the airport following the completion of Phase I, started in 2009.

Friday, February 22, 2013

■ ZIMBABWE: Former head of Zimbabwean cricket board, Osias Bvute, named new chairman of Air Zimbabwe.

Air ZimbabweZimbabwean Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Minister, Nicholas Goche, has appointed a new board tasked with turning around bankrupt national carrier, Air Zimbabwe (UM) with the former head of the Zimbabwean cricket board, Osias Bvute, named as Chairman of the board.

■ BOTSWANA: Puma Energy Co. opens new $3mln fuel storage depot at Maun International Airport.

Puma Energy Co.Puma Energy Co. today commissioned a USD3million (BWP27million) aviation fuelling facility at Maun International Airport, northern Botswana. The airport serves as the country's primary gateway to the Okavango Delta and the Moremi Game Reserve.

■ ZIMBABWE: CAAZ takes first step in establishing own aviation academy.

CAAZControversial Zimbabwean diamond outfit, Mbada Diamonds, has handed over a USD500'000 office block to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), of which one of the buildings will be used to help establish an aviation training academy.

► RWANDA: KLM to boost Kigali, Entebbe frequencies to daily from April.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines(KL) will, from 5 April, boost its frequency on its Amsterdam to Entebbe, Uganda via Kigali, Rwanda route from 6x weekly, to a daily service with the introduction of a Tuesday (Day 2) service.

► SENEGAL: Air Méditerranée to start Dakar in April; Oran, Algeria in June.

Air MéditerranéeAir Méditerranée (ML) has continued with its push into Africa with the announcement of two new African routes to be served from April and June respectively. Effective 3 April, French carrier will start a 1x weekly Marseille - Dakar, Senegal service while from 21 June until 6 September, a seasonal 1x weekly Montpellier - Oran, Algeria service will be launched.

■ TANZANIA: Air Tanzania allegedly tries to evade court ordered building evaluation over unpaid debts.

Air TanzaniaIn yet another case of a deadbeat Tanzanian airline not paying its bills, national carrier, Air Tanzania (TC), who was threatened with the auction of its headquarters, Air Tanzania House, after it failed to settle a debt of over USD700'000 (TZS1.1billion) owed to Leisure Tours & Holidays Limited for car rentals, has allegedly obstructed the court ordered evaluation of their building.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

■ GHANA: Government once more looking to partner private sector in launching new national carrier. Fifth time lucky?

GhanaFollowing the successful conclusion of feasibility studies, Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama says the Ghanaian government is to partner the private sector under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative in the establishment of a new national airline before year end.

► INDIA: Air Mauritius adjusts India/Hong Kong ops during September.

Air MauritiusAirlineRoute reports that, as per the 21FEB13 GDS timetable and inventory display, Air Mauritius (MK), during the month of September 2013, is to adjust its operational aircraft in service to India and Hong Kong.

► AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijani Airlines to operate two one-off charters to Egypt, Morocco for Novruz holiday.

Azerbaijan AirlinesAzerbaijan Airlines (J2) has announced it will operate two one-off charter flights from Baku to Egypt and Morocco respectively, in connection with the Novruz holiday, a traditional Iranian holiday which celebrates the New Year, and the coming of Spring.

► ZAMBIA: Kenya Airways to operate Harare via Livingstone flights from June 'til October.

Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways (KQ) will launch 3x weekly Nairobi, Kenya to Livingstone Zambia and on to Harare, Zimbabwe flights effective 2 June until 25 October. The route will operate with an Embraer E190 jet.

► ALGERIA: Tassili Airlines to launch domestic ops from 4 March; outlines intended route network.

Tassili AirlinesAs was speculated about last year, Algeria's Tassili Airlines (SF) will, at long last, launch its first scheduled domestic flights to eleven destinations beginning 4 March, in what marks Algeria's first steps towards the deregulation of its airspace.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

► GABON: Nationale Regionale Transport dominates domestic market in 2012 says AdL.

GabonGabon's Nationale Regionale Transport (NRG) has come out Gabon's most dominant domestic carrier for the year 2012, according to statistics released by L’aéroport de Libreville (Libreville Airport - AdL). Nationale saw a 7% increase in passengers carried on 2011.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Qatar Airways reduces capacity to Joburg, Cape Town & Maputo from 31 March.

Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways (QR) will from 31 March adjust its capacity on its Doha – Johannesburg – Cape Town route and its Doha – Johannesburg – Maputo route.

■ ETHIOPIA: New BASA signed with Spain raises hopes for an eventual Ethiopian Airlines' Madrid service launch.

EthiopiaThe signing of a new Bilateral Air Transport Agreement  (BASA) between Ethiopia and Spain has reignited hopes of Ethiopian Airlines (ET) finally launching its currently shelved Madrid route plans. SpainThe BASA was signed yesterday in Addis Ababa by the Spanish Ambassador to Ethiopia Miguel Angel Fernandez Palacios Martinez, and the ECAA's Director-General, Colonel Wesenyeleh Hunegnaw.