Monday, August 12, 2013

► TUNISIA: Syphax Airlines given greenlight to deploy its A330; long haul ops possibly due in autumn.

Tunisian private operator, Syphax Airlines (FS), has at long last been granted authorisation to use its A330-200 (MCN 345 | TS-IRA) by the Tunisian authorities (Office de l'Aviation Civile et des aéroports de Tunisie - OACA) following weeks of costly inactivity in Tunis where it has been undergoing scrutinization and checks.

Syphax Airlines
BusinessNews Tunisia states despite the carrier being tentatively awarded its airworthiness certificate in June, the OACA had held back on the official notification owing to various "concerns" ("several errors and inconsistent data," and "late submission") which related to the aircraft's maintenance. This is now said to have been resolved, with Tunisair Technics to now be responsible for the airline's maintenance while operational checks, and storage of spare parts will be provided by Air France Industries as initially agreed. Syphax chairman Mohammed Frikha had originally stated that he did not trust Tunisair to cover the carrier's MRO requirements given the tense relations between his airline and the national carrier.

The aircraft will tentatively be deployed onto planned longhaul routes (Beijing, Montreal among others) in autumn of this year, though in the meantime, it will be used to service high demand routes on the airline's busy summer schedule.

The announcement comes as the airline posted revenues of TND25.6million (USD15.6 million) for the second quarter of its 2013/14 Financial Year with signs the Tunisian tourism sector is recovering amidst the ongoing unrest in neighbouring Libya and Egypt.