Friday, February 15, 2013

► SUDAN: Sudanese Government in talks with Antonov over purchase of An148s/158s for Sudan Airways.

Sudan AirwaysAntonovSudan’s Transport Minister, Ahmed Babiker Nahar has signed a preliminary deal with Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer, Antonov, for the purchase of  five Antonov aircraft for onward placement in Sudan Airways (SD). The move was precipitated by Sudan Airways' inability to access Western aircraft owing to US trade sanctions against Khartoum.
Mr Nahar said that the five aircraft will be either Antonov An-158 or An-148 regional jets with financing to tentatively come via a loan from Antonov.
"A contract about delivering planes has not been signed yet. Talks are going on," a spokeswoman [for Antonov] said, adding that the question of financing the deal was still being discussed.
Source [Reuters]

Antonov AN148 Ukraine
Antonov AN148
Russian aircraft are becoming increasingly popular in countries where stringent US sanctions exist, with Iran in particular, also set to purchase a fleet of the new Antonov-158 jets for its ageing airlines' fleets.

Once a prominent player in the East & North African market, Sudan Airways' fleet has now been whittled down to just two A300-600s and four Fokker 50s, though half are currently grounded over maintenance issues. 

Past attempts by the carrier's sole shareholder, the Sudanese Government, to privatize, and in the process modernize, Sudan Airways have come to naught with the most recent case being the Kuwait-based Aref Investment Group. Aref originally planned to turn Khartoum into a regional hub by investing more than USD1billion in Sudan Airways by 2012 with fleet renewal plans to have included three Airbus A330. However, Aref sold off their 49% stake in Sudan Airways in September 2011 citing "the cessation of South Sudan" amongst the mitigating factors.