Tuesday, April 30, 2013

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): FlyCAA boss decries heavy taxation in the DRC as discouraging a safety-first mentality amongst airlines.

Jean-Marc Pajot, the Director of Congolese domestic and regional operator, FlyCAA (a tie up between CAA - Compagnie Africaine d'Aviation (FPY), and flyCongo (EO)) says the DRC's heavy taxation of aircraft and related sundries seriously discourages and impedes airlines from pursuing a "safety-first" mentality.

► ZIMBABWE: New startup, Rainbow Airlines, wants in on the action.

ZimbabweNascent carrier, Rainbow Airlines, is set to join Zimbabwe's growing list of privately backed carriers seeking to exploit the country's under-served and overpriced domestic and regional markets, a Government Gazette published last Friday reports.

► JAPAN: EgyptAir to reduce Tokyo Narita to 2x weekly from May.

EgyptairDespite previous utterances claiming it would immediately cease its Tokyo and Osaka flights citing poor loads and little to no government support for the flights, Egyptair (MS), as per the 30APR13 GDS inventory display, will, during the Winter 2013/14 season, continue to operate a twice weekly Cairo – Tokyo Narita flight using a Boeing 777-200ER.

► SENEGAL: ASKY Airlines boosts Dakar ops to 6x weekly with new flight via Ouagadougou.

Ethiopian Airlines' (ET) Lomé, Togo-based subsidiary, ASKY Airlines (KP), has boosted its operations to Dakar, Senegal from 3x to 6x weekly during the course of the last month or so via the introduction of  new flight which goes via Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

► ETHIOPIA: National Airways eyes Fokker 50s, Embraer ERJ170s for future ops.

National Airways logoEthiopia's National Airways (7N) is planning to add several Fokker 50s and to acquire Embraer ERJ-170s in the near future as the airline looks to expand beyond its current operations that are limited to helicopter charter flights, ad-hoc charter ops and a single scheduled weekly flight to Hargeisa (Somaliland) set to be extended to Djibouti.

► MAURITIUS: Thomson Airways plans 1x weekly Gatwick - Mauritius 787 flight from May 2014.

British charter outfit, Thomson Airways (BY), will, from May 2014, launch a 1x weekly service from London Gatwick to Mauritius on-board Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

► ZAMBIA: Ethiopian Airlines turned off further expansion into Zambia over poor loads on Ndola flights.

EthiopianEthiopian Airlines (ET) says very poor loads on its Addis Ababa – Ndola – Lubumbashi (DRC) – Addis Ababa flights launched back in late March are a cause for concern for the airline, with the Ethiopian carrier now hesitant to further expand into Zambia.

Monday, April 29, 2013

► ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian plans changes to Johannesburg, Toronto from May/June.

Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is planning to deploy its B777-200LRs on its daily Johannesburg route effective 05MAY, replacing its current B767-300ER service, and as from 19JUN, a third weekly Addis Ababa - Toronto flight will be introduced using a B787-8.

► CHAD: Air France adds tech stop in Ndjamena on Bangui outbound flights until late May.

Air France logoFrench carrier Air France (AF) is extending operational changes to Bangui until late-May 2013, where it’ll operate via N’djamena, Chad on the outbound flight, as a technical stop. 

►► NIGER: Afriqiyah to tentatively resume Niamey flights this month following inter-governmental talks.

Afriqiyah[UPDATE 29 APRIL 2013] Libyan carrier, Afriqiyah (8U), is expected to resume twice weekly flights to Niamey, Niger later this month following discussions held in Tripoli between the Nigerien ambassador, Hassan Maloune, and the Libyan Minister of Transport, Abdel Kader Mohamed.

► CANARY ISLANDS: Mauritania Airlines International eyes Las Palmas as first EU destination from early May.

Mauritania Airlines logoMauritania Airlines International (L6) has set Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands as its first European destination following the removal of Mauritania and all its airlines from the EU's No Fly List. Thrice weekly flights are scheduled to begin on May 8.

● CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): AFRAA sees strong short term growth in African air travel market as doomsayers remain pessimistic about the long term.

The African air travel market growth is set to remain strong with an increase of 5.2% projected for this coming year, Elijah Chingosho, the Secretary General of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has said in Brazzaville. Doom-sayers in the industry, however, remain very pessimistic about the long term future of the continent's airlines given their inability and/or disinterest in merging.

► ALGERIA: Air Algérie now eyeing two Ethiopian Airlines MD11Fs for Cargo ops.

Air Algérie logoAir Algérie (AH) is planning to add two Ethiopian Airlines Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11Fs (possibly (MSN 48758 | ET-AML) and (MSN 48780 | ET-AND)) to its Cargo division as part of its fleet renewal and business turnaround plan.

■ BELGIUM: Government awards Brussels Airlines 2 extra Kinshasa slots; Jetairfly to lodge complaint with EC.

JetairflyBelgian LCC, Jetairfly (TB) has lodged a complaint with the European Commission following a decision by the Belgian Secretary of State for Mobility, Melchior Wathelet, to award two additional frequencies between Brussels and the Congolese capital of Kinshasa to Brussels Airlines as outlined under a newly revised Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) signed between Congo and Belgium in February this year.

► NIGERIA: Cronos Airlines launches Malabo - Port Harcourt; plans Lagos and Abuja later this year.

Equatorial Guinea-based carrier, Cronos Airlines (C8), has officially launched flights to Port Harcourt in Nigeria out of its hub in Malabo. The carrier also plans to add flights to Abuja and Lagos during the course of the year as part of its Nigerian expansion plans.

► ANGOLA: Airbus bemoans TAAG's staunch loyalty to Boeing, claiming B777 deal price was excessive.

TAAG logoReports out of Angola claim that attempts by European aircraft manufacturer EADS, the parent company of Airbus SAS, to get their foot into the Angolan market via TAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola (DT), have been rebuffed outright.

► MALAWI: Kenya Airways granted rights to Blantyre; 5th Freedom rights to Lusaka reinstated.

Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways (KQ) says it has been granted approval by the Malawian Government to begin flights into Blantyre's Chileka Airport effective June 3, 2013. In addition, its 5th Freedom Rights on the Lilongwe (Malawi) - Lusaka (Zambia) vv. sector of its Nairobi - Lilongwe - Lusaka - Nairobi vv. flights have also been reinstated. Neither of the developments at this time of writing, however, currently reflect on the GDS.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: fastjet appoints Kyle Haywood as head of its new South African operation.

fastjetFresh from announcing its new planned South African market-entry, Tanzanian-based LCC fastjet (FN) has revealed Kyle Haywood as the head of the airline's new South African venture with partner, Blockbuster, now known as "fastjet Holdings."

Sunday, April 28, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Forensic audit reveals $20million loss for SA Express in FY 2010/2011.

SA ExpressFollowing a long, painstaking forensic audit, South African Express (SA Express) (XZ) has finally released its 2010/2011 Financial Year results posting a USD20.6million (ZAR187million) loss.

► SEYCHELLES: Air Force takes delivery of first Do-228 Patrol aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics.

Seychelles flagThe Seychelles Air Force has taken delivery of a Dornier 228 patrol aircraft following a donation from the government of India as agreed to under an agreement signed between the two nations in 2011 in which India would provide a once-off grant of USD28.79 million for the supply of the maritime aircraft.  A further aircraft is due in 2014.

► UNITED KINGDOM: AV Cargo Airlines plans African cargo ops from May onwards.

AV Cargo Airlines logoAV Cargo Airlines, the phoenix that has risen the ashes of Zimbabwe's bankrupt Avient Cargo Airlines (Z3) has introduced the first of three planned additional MD11 freighters (MSN 48746 | N278WA) into its fleet with flights to Africa planned in due course.

► COTE D'IVOIRE: Air France to deploy A380 on Abidjan flights from late 2014?

Air France logoAir France (AF) is considering deploying its Airbus A380-800 onto its Paris CDG - Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire route from September 2014 onwards, press reports out of the Ivorian capital claim. Should the move come into being, it would be Air France's second A380 destination in Africa after Johannesburg, South Africa.

► KENYA: (Video) Ethiopian successfully resumes 787 ops with flight to Nairobi; Frankfurt to follow.

Ethiopian Airlines
Boeing's incident plagued aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, has successfully resumed operations for Ethiopian Airlines (ET) following the replacement of the aircraft's problematic Li-ion battery; the cause of  the Dreamliner fleet's grounding since mid-January.

Friday, April 26, 2013

► ZAMBIA: Air Namibia acquires 5th Freedom rights to Lusaka - Harare vv. sector from May 1.

Air NamibiaAir Namibia (SW) is set to enter the ever competitive Lusaka - Harare market through the granting of 5th freedom rights on the route effective May 1. The schedule is as follows:

►► Happy Birthday to us - The African Aviation Tribune celebrates one year online! ◄◄

Dear All,

Today marks The African Aviation Tribune's first birthday; with nearly 1'500 posts now down in the database, she has come a long way since the very early days when it was simply a matter of cutting and pasting news articles. In terms of readers, in the 12 months The Tribune has been online, we have now developed a strong following in the African airline industry with industry professionals from airlines, MROs and aircraft lessors amongst others forming the crux of our readership.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

■ DJIBOUTI: Ethiopian Airlines signs MoU with Djibouti Ambouli International Airport to aide trade facilitation.

Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport regarding the transport of goods using both  sea-air and air-sea means throughout the Horn of Africa. 

► SEYCHELLES: South African Airways, Air Seychelles sign codeshare deal.

Air SeychellesAir Seychelles (HM), the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, today http://i.imgur.com/C8XZUip.png?1?8978announced that it has entered into a codeshare agreement with South African Airways (SAA), the national airline of the Republic of South Africa. The first phase of the agreement will see South African Airways place its “SA” code on Air Seychelles’ non-stop flights between Johannesburg and Seychelles. South African Airways will also place its code on flights between the two largest islands of Seychelles, Mahé and Praslin, subject to approvals.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: SAA delays début bond issuance; warns it will play hardball with Airbus and Boeing in future fleet renewal talks.

SAA logoSouth African Airways (SA) is to delay its début USD160million (ZAR1.5 billion) bond sale, originally slated for March, until its chief financier and backer, the South African government, approves the airline’s recently submitted turnaround plan. The turnaround plan will also play a pivotal part in deciding the airline's long term fleet acquisition plans; a bone of serious contention in the recent past.

■ KENYA: Siginon Aviation's new $10million cargo facility at Nairobi JKIA on track for September opening.

Siginon Aviation logoSiginon Aviation says its planned USD10million new cargo facility at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is on track for a tentative September 2013 launch. The facility will become JKIA's sixth and will add to its current processing capacity of 200'000 tonnes of cargo annually.

► FRANCE: See Pics of Libyan Airlines' first A330 due for delivery next month!

Libyan Airlines logoLibyan Airlines (LN) is set to take delivery of its first of two Airbus A330-200 (MCN 1412 | 5A-LAR) due in the coming weeks. The order is part of a larger deal for four of the aircraft of which the other two are due in Libya in May 2014.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Solenta Aviation takes delivery of its fourth Embraer ERJ145 - now available for charters.

South African aircraft lease and charter specialist, Solenta Aviation, has taken delivery of its fourth Embraer ERJ145LR with the aircraft now available for ACMI or full charter leasing in Africa and the Middle East. With its other three ERJ145s contracted to dedicated Oil clients, Solenta sees the addition of the fourth "as a strategic advantage over our competitors, enabling them to launch the aircraft on charters or long term lease without delay."

■ SOUTH AFRICA: ExecuJet extends Cape Town MRO capabilities to include Q300 support.

ExecujetExecuJet Africa, part of the ExecuJet Aviation Group, is expanding the support capabilities at its Cape Town International Airport facility to cover the Bombardier Dash 8-Q300 aircraft, due to growing demand in the region.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: 1Time liquidation to be brought forward as deal with fastjet now more and more unlikely

1TimeOn the back of  news that fastjet (FN) has entered into a partnership with South African investment firm Blockbuster and Federal Air (7V) with flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town set to start in late May, 1Time's liquidator says he has applied to have the proposed total liquidation date of the airline brought forward.

■ KENYA: Kenya Airways releases its Operations Report for Q4 2012/2013 (January - March).

Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways (KQ) has released its Operations Report for the Fourth Quarter of 2012/2013; January 1 to 31st March 2013.

■ ZIMBABWE: Government to open up airport services sector through proposed unbundling of CAAZ.

CAAZVarious airport services in Zimbabwe could soon be opened up to other players following reports from Harare that the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe is to be unbundled into two separate entities in line with the country's National Transport Policy.

► LIBYA: Afriqiyah eyeing more West African flight resumptions "in due course".

AfriqiyahLibyan carrier, Afriqiyah (8U), is set to relaunch flights to West Africa in the coming weeks as the carrier seeks to re-establish its former Sub-Saharan network, suspended following the fall of Muammur Gaddhafi's regime.

► RWANDA: Rwandair announces further changes to its Summer 2013 schedule.

RwandAirAirlineRoute reports that as per the 23APR13 GDS timetable and inventory display, Rwandan national carrier, Rwandair (WB), will further revise its planned operation for Summer 2013 season, effective 01JUN13. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): Lubumbashi Airport to close 3 days a week from May to October as RVA finally upgrades crumbling infrastructure.

DRCLubumbashi International Airport (also known as Luano International Airport) is to be closed for three days a week between May and October 2013 due to maintenance and upgrading works being done to the airport terminal and runway 07/25.

► SOUTH AFRICA: fastjet to enter South African market under JV with local investment firm; to use FedAir's AOC.

fastjetAs previously speculated in this post, Tanzanian LCC, fastjet (FN), has indeed struck a deal with South African investment firm, Blockbuster, in which flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town will be operated under Federal Air's (7V) AOC. If all regulatory approval is obtained, flights should début from May 31

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

► KENYA: fastjet, Don Smith agree to kiss and makeup.

fastjetTanzanian LCC, fastjet (FN), has announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Don Smith, CEO of FiveForty Aviation Limited which trades in Kenya as Fly540, thereby paving the way forward for the two to end a long standing legal battle over payment and licensing agreements in Africa.

► ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian secures lease with ALC for two 777-300ERs due to arrive in mid-2015.

Ethiopian Airlines
Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corporation has announced the signing of a 12-year lease agreement with Ethiopian Airlines (ET) for two new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in May and June 2015.

► RWANDA: RwandAir signs up for one dual-class Bombardier Q400NG.

RwandAirFresh from their latest fleet upgrade, Rwandan national carrier, RwandAir (WB), has announced the signing of a firm purchase agreement with Canada's Bombardier Aerospace for one Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner. The Q400 will be used to replace the airline's current older Dash8-200 used to ply domestic and close regional routes.

Monday, April 22, 2013

► EQUATORIAL GUINEA: (Pics) Punto Azul's first ERJ145 touches down in Malabo - domestic ops to follow.

Punto Azul The first Embraer ERJ145 (MSN 145244 | PR-PSQ) to be operated by National Airways Corporation on behalf of Equato-guinean carrier Punto Azul (ZR), has touched down in Malabo.

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): Government proceeds with setting up of new national carrier as concerns arise over LAC's liquidation.

LAC Congo logoCongolese Minister of Transport and Communication, Justin Kalumba, has said previously announced plans for the setting up of a new national carrier to replace LAC - Lignes Aériennes Congolaises (4V), now in liquidation, are at an advanced stage, though there are concerns as to the fate of LAC's property, equipment and staff, who had been promised a renewed future once a new airline was established.

■ TANZANIA: See Rendering for Dar es Salaam's new $170million Terminal III to be built by BAM International.

Tanzanian Airport AuthorityThe Tanzanian Airport Authority has signed a contract worth USD170million with Dutch construction firm, BAM International, for the construction of a new international terminal (Terminal 3) at Dar es Salaam's Julius Nyerere International (JNIA).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Government planning to merge SAA, Mango, SA Express into one holding company?

SAA logoSouth African Airways (SA) and its subsidiaries, Low Cost Carrier Mango (JE), SA Express (XZ) (and possibly SA Airlink (4Z) though no mention is made of it) could be merged into a single holding company according to a leaked SAA communique.

■ SENEGAL: Atoumane Fall, DG of Civil Aviation Authority, fired as a result of the 1900D crash in São Tomé & Principe.

ANAC Senegal logoReports out of Senegal state that Atoumane Fall, the director of the Senegalese Civil Aviation and Meteorology authority, Agence Nationale de l'Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie (ANACIM) has been fired as a result, it is claimed, of the recent disappearance, and presumed crash, of a Beechcraft 1900D in the Gulf of Guinea, just off the coast of São Tomé & Principe.

Friday, April 19, 2013

■ NAMIBIA: Air Namibia allegedly tries to back out of A330 deal with Intrepid; Government served with $130million bill.

Air NamibiaThe Namibian press reports that the Government has been served with a Notice of default following national carrier Air Namibia's (SW) attempt at cancelling a USD130million deal signed last year for two Airbus A330-200s with US-based Intrepid Aviation, a privately held commercial aircraft lessor.

■ DUBAI: Mercator signs up Algeria's Tassili and Ghana's Antrak for its Avantik PSS.

Mercator logoMercator, the aviation IT solution provider, has signed up Algeria's Tassili Airlines (SF) and Ghana's Antrak Air (4O) to Avantik suite, a Passenger Services System (PSS) aimed at low cost and regional carriers.

■ GAMBIA: Government ratifies BASAs with Kenya, Saudi Arabia.

Gambia flagGambia's parliament has moved to ratify two Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA); one with Kenya, paving the way for possible Kenya Airways flights (KQ) and the second, with Saudi Arabia.