Friday, May 31, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Competition Tribunal okays acquisition of Lanseria Airport, but with conditions attached.

South Africa's Competition Tribunal has approved the proposed acquisition of Johannesburg's Lanseria International Airport near Johannesburg by black economic empowerment company Holdco though conditions have been imposed on the deal.

► TANZANIA: Air Tanzania planning to resume Tabora flights via Kigoma from June 1.

Air TanzaniaAir Tanzania (TC) has announced the resumption of 3x weekly flights to Tabora in Western Central Tanzania. Flights will launch on Saturday JUN01 using a Bombardier Dash 8-300. Flights on Days 1 and 6 will operate from Dar es Salaam direct to Tabora on the outbound with the inbound going via Kigoma. Day 4 will see a reversal of that; flights to Tabora will operate via Kigoma on the outbound with the inbound going direct to Dar es Salaam.

► QATAR: Qatar Airways announces direct Tripoli, Casablanca flights from June 1.

Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways (QR) has announced an increase in capacity between Qatar and North Africa with its flights to Tripoli and Casablanca going non-stop, effective 01JUN. Effective 01JUN, scheduled services to Tripoli will be decoupled from the Egyptian city of Alexandria while at the same time, flights to Casablanca will be decoupled from Tunis.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Mthatha Airport's new runway now active; hopes to attract more carriers.

Eastern CapeFollowing extensive works, an SA Airlink (4X) flight from Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport became the first aircraft to christen the new 2'700x60m runway 14/32 at Mthatha (formerly Umtata) Airport in the Eastern Cape. Both the Mthatha Airport runway and Terminal building upgrade projects form part of the wider King Sabata Dalindyebo Presidential Intervention Project led by the National Department of Transport and implemented by the Eastern Cape Department of Transport.

● IATA: Africa's April passenger traffic grows 4.7% on 2012 buoyed by strong economic growth.

IATAThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced global passenger traffic results for April showing a 3.2% increase in demand over April 2012. On the back of strong economic growth, the emerging markets, Africa in particular, are continuing to lead air travel growth, with all regions reporting year-over-year gains.

► TOGO: AfricaWest Cargo Airlines acquires a 737-300F, two ATR72Fs for planned regional expansion.

AfricaWest Cargo Airlines logoAfricaWest Cargo Airlines (FK) has announced the addition of a Boeing 737-300F with two ATR72Fs set to join its fleet in June and October respectively. The cargo operator intends to use the aircraft as part of its plans to expand throughout Africa during 2013 and 2014.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

► MALAWI: Kenya Airways to start 3x weekly flights to Blantyre from August.

Kenya AirwaysFollowing its granting of rights to serve the city, Kenya Airways (KQ) has outlined its tentative timetable to Blantyre, Malawi which it plans to connect Nairobi with via a 3x weekly Embraer E190 operated flight, set to début from August 2.

► NIGERIA: Brazil's GOL Transportes Aéreos actively considering direct flights to Nigeria.

GOL Transportes Aéreos logoOn the back of a recent announcement by Nigeria's Arik Air (W3) that it was keen to launch direct Lagos - São Paulo flights by August of this year, so Brazil's GOL Transportes Aéreos (G3) has announced that it is now "studying the possibility" of opening a new route between Brazil and Nigeria. 

■ CAMEROON: Government now mulling privatization of Camair-Co.

Leading on from our previous report on its pending restructuring plan, Camair-Co (QC) is now set to hold its Annual General Meeting in Douala on June 7 to discuss a possible privatisation plan coupled with a share capital grant.

► CONGO (KINSHASA): SA Express resumes Lubumbashi ops as RVA beckons carriers to return.

SA ExpressSA Express (XZ) has announced a tentative resumption of its flights to Lubumbashi on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays following an announcement by the Congolese airport's authority, Regie des Voies Aériennes (RVA), that Luano International Airport's runway 07/25 would not be closed entirely during rehabilitation works.

► NIGERIA: Ghana's Fly540 supposedly granted rights to serve Nigeria; Antrak Air to follow.

Fly540 GhanaReports out of Ghana claim that Fly540 Ghana (5G) has at last been tentatively granted traffic rights to Nigeria following the intervention of the Ghanaian Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

► MOZAMBIQUE: LAM plans Cape Town and Durban, Blantyre and Lilongwe in 2014; to cover all SADC capitals by 2017 with Brazil ops also on the radar.

LAM Mozambique AirlinesMarlene Manave, the CEO of LAM - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (TM) has announced ambitious route expansion plans that will see the Mozambican carrier serving all Southern African Development Community (SADC) capitals by 2017 with Brazilian flights to follow.

► CHINA: Ethiopian to intermittently deploy 787 on Guangzhou route from May 'til mid June.

As per the 29MAY13 GDS timetable/inventory display, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is planning to deploy its fleet of 787 aircraft onto its Addis Ababa – Guangzhou route on selected dates between 31MAY13 and 14JUN13, replacing the current 777-200LR.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

► SOUTH AFRICA: Air Zimbabwe's A320 grounded in Johannesburg following birdstrike.

Air ZimbabweIn a tale of very bad luck, Air Zimbabwe's (UM) first Airbus A320-200 (MCN 630 | Z-WPM) was today Wednesday May 29, temporarily grounded at Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport following a reported birdstrike. The A320 had only just been put into active service with the airline this past week.

► TUNISIA: Ukraine International Airlines to start 4x weekly Enfidha flights this summer.

Ukraine International Airlines (PS) logoUkraine International Airlines (PS) in Summer 2013 is operating Kiev – Enfidha, Tunisia service, offering 4 weekly flights with Boeing 737 aircraft. Schedule as follow.

► KENYA: Kenya Airways eyes greater presence in Middle East, Africa as part of long term strategy.

Kenya AirwaysKenya Airways (KQ) has outlined further key developments in terms of its planned route network and fleet upgrades that form its previously announced 10 year vision, Project Mawingu.

► SOUTH AFRICA: TAAG to tentatively switch Johannesburg from the 777-200ER to the -300ER from July.

TAAG logoTAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola (DT) is to tentatively increase capacity on its 4 weekly Luanda – Johannesburg route with effect from 05JUL13. During the month of July, the 777-300ER will replace the -200ER on 3 out of 4 weekly flights. Thereafter, all 4 weekly flights will be operated using a -300ER model from 04AUG13.

► ZIMBABWE: First Embraer ERJ135 deployed into active service for Air Zimbabwe.

Air ZimbabweFresh from the recent arrival and deployment into active service of its Airbus A320-200 (MCN 630 | Z-WPM) on its Harare - Johannesburg flights, Air Zimbabwe (UM) has now taken delivery of its first of two Embraer ERJ135 (Reg ?).

► MAYOTTE: New Indian Ocean regional carrier, Ewa, eyes Madagascar, Tanzania, Comoros and Mozambique flights from Q4.

Mayotte flagLa Réunion-based carrier, Air Austral (UU), is set to partner the Mayotte Chamber of Commerce and Industry among other shareholders in setting up a new regional carrier to be based out of Dzaoudzi.

■ ETHIOPIA: Brazil, Ethiopia sign a revised BASA.

EthiopiaBrazil and Ethiopia have signed a revised Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) following a visit by Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, to Ethiopia where she attended the recently ended African Union 50th Anniversary celebrations. Four cooperation agreements covering agriculture, air transport, science & technology and education were signed on Friday May 24 after President Rousseff and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam held talks on bilateral cooperation in the areas of mining and investment financing.

► LIBYA: Emirates resumes Tripoli with 3x weekly flights via Malta from September.

EmiratesEmirates (EK) will resume three-weekly passenger flights to Tripoli from September 1, 2013, 30 months after it moved to suspend them in light of the Libyan Uprising of 2011. Flights will operate via Malta on the inbound with a Boeing 777-200ER in a three-class configuration.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

► CANADA: Ethiopian to operate via Rome to/from Toronto from mid June 'til late October.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET), from 16JUN13 to 26OCT13, are to adjust their planned operation on the Addis Ababa – Toronto route. In addition to a 3rd weekly frequency being introduced, the airline will operate the Toronto service with technical stop in Rome, in both directions.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Skywise due in the skies from August 1 as DoT pours more cold water on fastjet's plans.

Johannesburg-based carrier, Skywise, the brainchild of several ex-1Time (T6) board executives, is aiming for an August 1 launch, exactly 1 month after fellow entrants, fastjet (FN), via their tie up with Federal Air (7V), plan to launch their operations.

► KENYA: Astral Aviation outlines expanded regional cargo network; to replace DC9s with MD83Fs.

Astral Aviation logoKenyan cargo operator, Astral Aviation (8V), has announced an enhanced intra-African freighter schedule which is based on a cautious expansion strategy to increase connectivity from its Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International hub to the East African region.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Government to forge ahead with plans to acquire "one or more" VVIP jets.

South African Government SealSouth Africa's  Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has announced the acquisition of one or more new VVIP aircraft during the course of the current financial year. According to the minister, the added aircraft will give the South African military its own airlift capacity.

► SEYCHELLES: Qatar Airways to axe Seychelles flights from September.

Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways (QR) are set to abandon their daily A319-operated flights to Mahé, Seychelles with effect from 01SEP.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Comair Ltd signs deal with Investec to finance purchase of four 737-800s.

Comair LtdFollowing a previous transaction which saw South Africa's Comair acquire four new Boeing 737-800s for its LCC, kulula (MN), the airline group has selected Investec Aviation Finance to act as financier of the pre-delivery payments and as lead arranger and advisor on the term finance for Comair’s additional four Boeing 737-800 purchases.

► CONGO (KINSHASA): Korongo's only aircraft suffers wing damage in Lubumbashi; Safair 737 being leased in the meantime.

Korongo AirlinesKorongo Airlines (ZC) sole remaining aircraft, a Boeing 737-300 (MSN 25070 | OO-LTM), on the evening of Friday May 24, suffered damage to its left wing tip while taxiing to its parking position at Lubumbashi's Luano International Airport, the carrier has announced.

► NIGERIA: Ethiopian deploys 787 onto Lagos route until late June.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET), from 27MAY13 to 30JUN13, are to change their operational aircraft on their Addis Ababa – Lagos route, where Boeing 787 aircraft now replace B777-200LR aircraft on a daily basis.

Monday, May 27, 2013

►► CHINA: Egyptair cancels plans to boost Beijing flights to 4x weekly from July.

Egyptair[UPDATE 27 MAY] As per 13MAY13 GDS Inventory display, Egyptair is currently planning to add a 4th weekly Cairo – Beijing flight, starting 01JUL13. The new flight will operate from Cairo on Mondays, Wednesdays from Beijing. Reservation for the new flight, however, is not currently available.

■■ EGYPT: Cairo International Airport shelves plans to partially close in the early hours from June onwards in bid to cut costs.

Cairo International Airport logo[UPDATE 27 MAY] From 1 June onwards, Cairo International Airport, one of the Middle East's most important aviation hubs, is to partially close during the early morning hours in a bid to reduce soaring costs as the Egyptian government struggles to pay its ever increasing power bills.

► NIGERIA: AeroContractors planning big regional push before Q4 of this year.

Nigeria's second largest airline, Aero Contractors, is considering a big push into the subregion following the recent announcement of its inaugural flights to Douala, Cameroon's largest city, set for today 27 May.

■ LIBERIA: Equatorial Guinea to finance the expansion of Monrovia's Roberts International Airport.

Equato-Guinean strongman, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, has agreed to arrange the financing and construction of infrastructure at Liberia's sole international airport, Monrovia's Roberts International Airport, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Thales to upgrade ATNS South Africa's Radar system, ATM systems.

Thales logoThales and Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS) Company of South Africa have announced the recent signing of contracts including the replacement of the legacy ATNS ATM system with Thales' TopSky-ATC and the installation of Thales 970s Radars at the Wakkerstroom, Potgieterus and Rhodes radar sites. The contract also provides for a support and maintenance agreement for all existing ATNS radar sensors and TopSky-ATC systems.

► CHAD: New carrier, AG Air, begins ops using a 737-300 leased from Georgian Star.

AG Air, a new Chadian carrier, has taken delivery of a leased B737-300 (MSN 24717 | 4L-IMA) from Georgian Star International.

■ CAMEROON: Camair-Co allegedly seeking government funds ahead of massive restructuring exercise.

The new CEO of Cameroonian national carrier, Camair-Co (QC), Matthijs Boertien, has reportedly asked the carrier's sole shareholder, the Cameroonian government, for funding to help support the airline for the next six months as part of a restructuring exercise.

► ZIMBABWE: See Pics of Air Zimbabwe's first A320 fully painted in new colours.

Air ZimbabweAir Zimbabwe (UM) has taken re-delivery of its Airbus A320-200 (MCN 630 | Z-WPM) following recent pre-entry-into-service checks carried out at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.

Friday, May 24, 2013

► CHINA: Kenya Airways reduces Bangkok - Guangzhou route in early 2014.

Kenya AirwaysAs per the 23MAY13 GDS timetable/inventory display, Kenya Airways (KQ) is currently displaying service reductions on its Nairobi - Bangkok - Guangzhou route, effective 10FEB14. The airline plans to operate 5 weekly instead of a daily service, however further changes remain possible in the next few months.

► ANGOLA: TAP Portugal to boost Luanda frequencies between June and September.

TAP Air PortugalIn line with its increased flights to former colony Mozambique this summer, Portugal's TAP Portugal (TP) will also increase its weekly frequencies between Lisbon and Luanda, Angola, from daily, to ten times weekly for the period  June 8 to September 29. During the period an additional 3 weekly day time flights (ex-Lisbon) will operate.

► PERU: South African Airways considering Lima flights as talk of possible codeshare deals with Brazil's TAM and Azul grows.

SAA logoSouth African Airways (SA) has expressed interest in commencing flights to Lima, Peru according to Carlos Canales, the head of Peru's National Chamber of Tourism (Cámara Nacional de Turismo del Perú - CANATUR).

■ NIGERIA: US-based Flight Source International, AvonHeli Systems planning to establish MRO facility in Nigeria.

Flight Source International logoUS-based Flight Source International, in cooperation with Nigeria’s Avon Heli System West Africa Limited, is planning to establish a helicopter and aircraft MRO hangar facility in Nigeria, Avon CEO, Mr. Ajayi Aremu, has said.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

■ UGANDA: UCAA to upgrade Entebbe departure lounge; to finalize master plan for expansion works.

Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority logoUganda's Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has contracted Arch Design Architects & Engineers to redesign the entire departure area of Entebbe International Airport as part of plans to improve the airport and its ageing facilities.

■ UNITED KINGDOM: Two Arik Air hostesses stopped with 6kgs cocaine, 60 cartons of smokes.

Arik AirOn Monday, May 20, two Arik Air (W3) air hostesses were apprehended by UK Border officials at London Heathrow Airport from Lagos, Nigeria after they were found in possession of six kilograms of cocaine with a street value of about GBP600'000 in addition to 60 cartons of cigarettes.

► GUINEA BISSAU: ASKY Airlines to start Bissau from July 15; plans South Africa, Angola and possibly Europe in future.

Ethiopian Airlines' West African subsidiary, ASKY Airlines (KP), is set to commence flights to Bissau, the capital of Guinea Bissau, from July 15 following the signing  of an agreement between the Bissau-Guinean civil aviation authority (Agência da Aviação Civil da Guiné-Bissau - AACGB) and ASKY officials.

■ ANGOLA: TAAG renews its IOSA certificate until May 2015.

TAAG logoFollowing an audit conducted between January 27-31 of this year, TAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola (DT), the Angolan national carrier, has had its IATA Operational Safety Audity certificate renewed until May 22, 2015, TAAG Quality director, Joaquim Fortes, has announced. 

■ NIGERIA: Akwa Ibom State approaches Bombardier, Lufthansa Technik over possibility of MRO facility, new regional airline.

Nigeria flagThe local government of Nigeria's Akwa Ibom State has approached various international firms among them Canadian aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier Aerospace and Lufthansa Technik, over the possibility of them partnering the government in its project to build and operate an MRO Hangar facility at Uyo's new Ibom International Airport, currently under construction. A new regional carrier, Ibom Airlines, is also planned.

■ ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian set to become Africa's first pan-global carrier - report.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) could well become Africa's first Pan-Global carrier having already realised its initial goal of being the continent's first truly Pan-African airline. In an interview with industry standard, Airline Weekly, CEO Tewolde Gebremariam set forth his airline's future expansion plans which include the possibility of hubs in the West Coast of the US and a direct Mozambique - Brazil route amongst others.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013