Wednesday, July 31, 2013

■ ALGERIA: Fire in Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport control tower temporarily disrupts flights.

Authorities at Algiers Houari Boumediene International Airport were on Monday, July 29 forced to divert all inbound flights to Wahran and Annaba airports after a fire broke out in the control tower at 18h00L. 

■ LIBYA: Italy's Salini-Impregilo reawarded Kufrah International Airport upgrade contract.

Italian construction conglomerate, Salini-Impregilo, have had a 2010 contract to renovate and upgrade the airport at Al Kufra in the south-eastern Libyan desert, reactivated with construction set to go ahead from the end of August. 

► UNITED STATES: JetBlue, South African Airways ink codeshare deal.

US-based domestic and regional carrier, JetBlue Airways (B6), and South African Airways (SA) have announced a bilateral codeshare agreement aimed at connecting the carriers’ networks via New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington’s Dulles International SAA logoAirport (IAD). While the agreement is still pending U.S. Department of Transport regulatory approval and subject to receipt of foreign government operating authority, it will allow customers to purchase a single ticket combining SAA and JetBlue-operated flights and is an expansion of an interline agreement first inked in 2010.

■ BOTSWANA: Parliamentary inquest picks holes in Air Botswana's operations, finances.

Air Botswana
A Batswana parliamentary inquest into the operations of state-owned national carrier, Air Botswana (BP) has uncovered purported oversights in the airline's fuel procurement, fleet selection and employee accountability procedures.

► TANZANIA: Precision Air goes all prop as last 737 is withdrawn from service.

Precision Air Tanzania's Precision Air (PW) has reportedly retired its last remaining B737-300 (MSN 28573 | 5H-PKS) from service with the aircraft now listed by a US-based leasing firm as being available for either sale or lease immediately. The move effectively leaves the Dar-es-Salaam based carrier with an exclusively turboprop fleet of five ATR42s and five ATR72-500s.

► NAMIBIA: Kenya Airways, Air Namibia sign codeshare agreement.

Kenya AirwaysKenya Airways (KQ) and Air Namibia (SW) have announced the signing of a new code-share agreement paving the way for daily connections between the airlines’ Air NamibiaNairobi and Windhoek hubs through Johannesburg in South Africa and Lusaka in Zambia. This code-share agreement with Air Namibia brings the total number of code-share arrangements that Kenya Airways has signed with other international carriers to twenty.

► COTE D'IVOIRE: Air Cote d'Ivoire rolls out Kinshasa, Ndjamena, Niamey, Pointe Noire from late August.

Air Cote d'IvoireAir Côte d’Ivoire (HF) will from late August 2013 gradually roll out 4 new regional destinations - Kinshasa, N’Djamena, Niamey and Pointe Noire - boosting its presence in both West and Central Africa.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

■ UNITED KINGDOM: Government donates airport security equipment to Angola, Kenya.

The British Government, via its Safe Skies initiative aimed at improving airport security measures in force around the world, has donated security equipment to both Kenya and Angola in a bid to enhance the quality of security screening procedures at both Kenyan and Angolan airports.

■ KENYA: KAA begins talks with local government concerning lengthening of Malindi Airport runway.

Kenya Airport Authority KAA
Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has begun talks with the Kilifi County government ahead of a planned expansion of Malindi Airport's runway 17/35 in which the plans to acquire more than 25 hectares of land from about 100 families on the southern boundary of the airport to facilitate the airport’s expansion. 

► NIGERIA: Med-View Airlines leasing a 747-300 for Hajj/Umrah flights; 767s a possibility.

Nigeria's Kano-based Med-View Airline (VL) has leased an B747-300 (MSN 23032 | TF-AME) from Icelandic ACMI specialists, Air Atlanta Icelandic (CC), with plans to add two B767-300s for use on Hajj and Umrah flights this year.

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): Construction of new runway at new Boma International Airport nears completion.

DRCProgress on building the Democratic Republic of the Congo's fifth international airport, to be located in Lukandu, a village 12 km from the town of Boma, Bas-Congo, near the mouth of the river Congo, is advancing with the first phase of funding and construction nearing completion. So far, a 3'000m clay runway has been built and inaugurated by the governor of Bas-Congo, Jacques Mbadu Situ, who recently landed on the strip as a means of showing his faith in the project.

► SOUTH AFRICA: fastjet starts Johannesburg from September 27 as yet another board member resigns.

fastjetfastjet (FN) has announced that its first international flights, from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg, South Africa, will début from September 27. Initial frequencies will be limited to 3x weekly though this is expected to grow in line with demand. Flights will operate with an Airbus A319.

Monday, July 29, 2013

► KENYA: Missing Cessna 206F wreckage found in Aberdare forest; no survivors.

The wreckage of a Cessna U206F Stationair (MCN U206-02880 | 5Y-BUG) that disappeared on Thursday July 25 while en-route from Lentille Airstrip in Laikipia, Kenya to Nairobi Wilson Airport, has been found. All 3 persons on board (two American tourists and the pilot Captain Harro Trempaneau) are dead.

► NIGERIA: Ethiopian to add 4x weekly Addis Ababa - Enugu flights from late August.

Ethiopian AirlinesFollowing from this post, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) will tentatively launch 4x weekly flights from Addis Ababa to the south-eastern Nigerian city of Enugu with effect from August 24. The service will mark the first international flights to the airport, which currently only sees domestic connections from Arik Air (W3).

► CZECH REPUBLIC: Royal Air Maroc starts 3x weekly Prague flights from February 2014.

Royal Air Maroc RAMRoyal Air Maroc (AT) will, from February 17, commence 3x weekly flights from Casablanca to Prague, Czech Republic on board its Embraer E190 jets on lease from Denim Air ACMI. The two cities last saw direct service over thirty years ago.

► BURKINA FASO: Colombe Airlines, Ethiopian appointed official carriers for Hajj.

Burkinabe carrier, Colombe Airlines, has been selected by the government to operate the country's Hajj & Umrah flights. In a recent announcement, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) was also appointed an official operator for the pilgrimage.

► ZIMBABWE: Lufthansa not coming back to Harare any time soon: Dünhaupt

German carrier, Lufthansa (LH), will not be returning to the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, any time soon,  group communications director for Africa, Mr Aage Dünhaupt, has said, but would instead continue to maintain a presence in the market via a codeshare with its Star Alliance partner South African Airways' (SA) multiple daily Johannesburg - Harare flights.

■ MAURITIUS: Air Mauritius holds annual AGM; re-elects board.

Air MauritiusMauritian national carrier, Air Mauritius (MK), held its Annual Meeting of shareholders at the Grand Baie International Conference Centre in Port Louis on July 25, 2013 under the chairmanship of Mr. Appalsamy (Dass) Thomas. 

► CHAD: Royal Air Maroc eyeing 3x weekly Bangui via N'djamena flights from mid December.

Royal Air Maroc RAMNot to be outdone by regional rivals, Tunisair (TU) who themselves have already begun rolling out new West and Central African routes, Royal Air Maroc (AT), are planning to launch a 3x weekly service to the Chadian capital, Ndjamena. The route will operate onwards to the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, before returning direct to Casablanca using a B737-800 effective December 20. The route therefore means Bangui will see a service increase from the current 2x weekly flights, operated via Douala, Cameroon. RAM have been granted 5th Freedom rights between Ndjamena and Bangui.

► TANZANIA: Tropical Air starts 3x weekly Zanzibar - Mbeya via Dar es Salaam flights.

Tropical Air logoZanzibari carrier, Tropical Air, on July 19 officially launched a 3x weekly service from Zanzibar to Mbeya via Dar es Salaam using an ATR42-300. Flights in reality operate to Songwe International Airport which serves the town of Mbeya.

Friday, July 26, 2013

► FLEET UPDATE BULLETIN: SA Airlink, Africa Charter Airline, Trans Air Cargo Services, Air Zimbabwe, Syphax Airlines, Badr Airlines.

The following is a fleet update bulletin for aircraft that are in use, have been in use or will be in use for these listed airlines: SA Airlink (4Z), Africa Charter Airline, Trans Air Cargo Services, Air Zimbabwe (UM), Syphax Airlines (FS), Badr Airlines (BDR).

■ GAMBIA: Construction of new $3mln Gambia International Airlines cargo facility at Banjul begins.

Gambia International Airlines logoConstruction of a new USD3million cargo terminal at Banjul International Airport has officially commenced following a ceremony presided over by Gambian vice president and Minister of Women's Affairs, Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy, on Tuesday. Once complete, the facility will be turned over to the Gambian national carrier, Gambia International Airlines (GC).

► SOUTH AFRICA: Skywise still aiming for an August launch as SACAA has yet to issue it an AOC.

SkyWise logoNascent South African Low Cost Carrier, SkyWise (SWZ), says it has already paid deposits on two Boeing 737-300s though operations, still scheduled for August as previously reported, will only begin once the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) issues it an Air Operator's Certificate.

► NIGER: Air France A330 grounded in Niamey after a stowaway's dead body discovered in city suburb.

Air France logoAn Air France A330-200 (MCN 519 | F-GZCL) operating as flight AF547 from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to Paris CDG via Niamey, Niger, has been grounded in the Nigerien capital since Thursday after a dead body, believed to have fallen from the aircraft as it approached Diori Hamani International Airport's runway 09R/27L, was discovered in one of the city's arrondissements.

■ UNITED KINGDOM: Stelios' easyGroup increases its shareholding in fastjet to 5.81%.

fastjetTanzanian LCC, fastjet (FN), has announced that easyGroup,  the investment vehicle of Mr Stelios Haji-Ioannou has increased its stake in the airline from 3% to 5.81% in lieu of all royalty and consultancy payments due to the group up until year end.

► SOUTH AFRICA: SAA officially issues tenders to Boeing, Airbus for 23 widebodies.

SAA logoConfirming former interim CEO Nico Bezuidenhout's statement regarding an order for 25-30 widebody aircraft, likely to be either 787s or A350s, South African Airways (SA) Chief Financial Officer, Mr Wolf Meyer, has confirmed that the airline has indeed issued a tender to both Boeing and Airbus for "twenty-three" aircraft, set to be delivered from 2017 onwards.

► ZIMBABWE: Twice weekly Air Zimbabwe Vic Falls - Johannesburg flights resume from today.

Air ZimbabweAir Zimbabwe (UM) has pushed back the resumption of its much anticipated Victoria Falls - Johannesburg route to today, Friday, July 26. Originally announced as operating 3x weekly from July 12, flights will now only operate on Fridays and Sundays with an Embraer ERJ145 (MSN 145607 | ZS-BBH) leased from South Africa's Solenta Aviation.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

► PORTUGAL: HiFly refutes all claims pertaining to its A310 and the Tunisian authorities.

Portuguese ACMI firm, HiFly (5K), has refuted all claims pertaining to a tentative leasing deal with Tunisian national carrier, Tunisair (TU), for an A310-300 (MCN 565 | CS-TEX), in which a report carried by Tunisian television station, Watania2, and referenced here by The African Aviation Tribune, claimed the aircraft had been denied an airworthiness certificate on the grounds of non-compliance.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Condor begins seasonal Frankfurt - Cape Town ops from mid October.

CondorGerman charter carrier, Condor Flugdienst (DE), will commence its seasonal operations between Germany and South Africa, starting October 16 and ending April 22. The twice weekly flights will operate using a wingletted B767-300ER.

► MOROCCO: Royal Air Maroc names Sukhoi, Bombardier and Embraer for possible 100-seater tender.

Royal Air Maroc RAMRoyal Air Maroc (AT) says it will tender for between 12 and 15 new 100-seater aircraft should trials with two Embraer E190s, currently on lease from Holland's Denim Air ACMI, prove to be successful. Among the contenders mentioned are Bombardier's C-Series, Embraer E190 and surprisingly, Sukhoi's Super Jet 100.

► ZIMBABWE: SA Express adds fourth weekly Durban - Harare flight from early August.

SA ExpressEffective August 4, SA Express (XZ) plans to increase its frequency on its Durban - Harare route to four weekly flights. The additional flight will operate on Sundays on-board CRJ200 aircraft. 

■ NIGERIA: Jet A1 fuel shortage hits the country; Abuja, Lagos worst affected.

For the last two days, Nigeria has been hit by a scarcity of Jet A1 aviation fuel, triggering numerous flight delays in some of the nation's airports, with Abuja and Lagos the worst hit. Some international operators have been forced to add sectors to Accra, Ghana to circumvent the shortage whose cause is not yet known.

► SENEGAL: Senegal Airlines operating a CemAir CRJ100 as grounded A320 causes headaches.

Senegal AirlinesSenegal Airlines (DN) has, since earlier in the year, replaced an ATR72-200, (MCN 460 | ZS-XCB), wet-leased from Solenta Aviation, with a CRJ-100, (MCN 7338 | ZS-CRJ), wet-leased from fellow South African operator, Lanseria-based CemAir. 

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Denel SOC posts strong $7.3million net profit for 2012/13 Financial Year as revenue grows 10%.

DenelSouth African state owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate, Denel SOC Ltd, has posted a net profit of USD7.33million (ZAR71million) for its most recent 2012/13 financial year, buoyed by a 10% increase in revenue - thanks in part to an increase in demand for its products in Africa, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and South America - a restructuring of its debt and a reduction in its expenditure.

► SOUTH AFRICA: British Airways starts A380 service to Johannesburg from February 2014.

British AirwaysBritish Airways (BA) will, starting 12 February 2014, begin introducing the Airbus A380 aircraft on its London Heathrow – Johannesburg route, where it’ll operate 3 times a week, replacing the Boeing 747-400. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

►► ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian Airlines maintains Brussels, Paris from December; drops Munich plans.

[UPDATE 27 AUGUST] Ethiopian Airlines (ET) will tentatively begin serving Stockholm via Munich, Germany daily effective December 1. Flights will operate using a Boeing 757. Also from December 1, Brussels will be dropped from the Ethiopian national carrier's network leaving Paris CDG to be operated direct.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Eurocopter authorizes Denel Aviation to provide MRO services to Super Pumas.

Eurocopter has expanded its partnership with South Africa’s Denel Aviation on helicopter repair and maintenance. Under the new contract with the European helicopter manufacturer, Denel Aviation has received authorization to offer its repairs and servicing capabilities on Super-Puma helicopters in Southern Africa.

► ALGERIA: Air Malta reduces, now suspends, Algiers flights until mid August, just 3 weeks after their launch.

Air Malta logoAccording to the GDS, Air Malta (KM) has suspended its Malta Valletta - Algiers flights, barely one month after their June 17 launch with a twice weekly A319 service.

► KENYA: ALS-Aircraft Leasing Services axes scheduled Kenyan, South Sudanese operations?

Nairobi-Wilson based operator, ALS - Aircraft Leasing Services (K4) has reportedly ceased offering scheduled services between Nairobi and various remote strips in northern Kenya and South Sudan.

► SOUTH AFRICA: SAA takes delivery of first two of twenty A320s from Airbus.

SAA logoSouth African Airways (SAA) has taken delivery of its first two A320s, (MCN 5637 | ZS-SZA) & (MCN 5680 | ZS-SZB), out of a total of twenty A320-200s ordered from Airbus. The development will allow SAA to expand its Sub-Sahara regional route network and boost revenue in the rapidly growing market.

► UGANDA: fastjet outlines further African licencing plans with Uganda, Zambia now mentioned.

fastjetFurther to a previous report in which fastjet (FN) allured to being in talks with four unnamed African carriers over possible partnerships, company Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Richard Bodin, has said that his airline, in addition to now having a "confirmed licence" in Nigeria, was now close to completing the initial steps for applications to fly in Uganda though gave no further details.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

►► TUNISIA: DGAC reportedly refuses to certify Tunisair's leased HiFly A310.

TunisairThe prospects of Tunisair (TU) operating an A310-300 (MCN 565 | CS-TEX) on wet-lease from Portuguese ACMI specialists, Hi Fly (5K), for the duration of summer are getting slimmer and slimmer following reports that authorities in Tunis have refused to certify the aircraft on the grounds that it was not compliant with local "safety and air-worthiness regulations."

► SEYCHELLES: Kenya Airways adds extra flight to Mahé until late August.

Kenya AirwaysKenya Airways (KQ) has increased its services between Nairobi and Mahé, Seychelles with effect from July 6 until August 31. The new flight operates on Saturdays and is expected to handle the anticipated rise in demand for flights to the island. Equipment on this route varies according to demand.

■ KENYA: So close yet so far as Jetlink Express struggles to sell its recovery plan to all its creditors.

Jetlink ExpressKenya's Jetlink Express (J0), grounded since November last year, has managed to convince 70% of its unpaid creditors to accept a business recovery proposal which would see the Kenyan domestic and regional carrier back in operations come October 1, though one, Kenya's Equity Bank, has remained adamant that it wants to see the bankrupt airline wound up and its debt of USD8.1million settled forthwith.

■ SENEGAL: Menzies Aviation pulls out of Senegal after local partner is implicated in Karim Wade corruption trial.

Menzies Aviation logoGlobal passenger, ramp and cargo handling services provider, Menzies Aviation, has withdrawn its support and ceased doing business in Senegal after its local partner, Aviation Handling Services (AHS), was placed under judicial administration following an investigation into the alleged corrupt business activities of the former Minister of State for International Cooperation, Regional Development, Air Transport, and Infrastructure, Karim Wade, the son of former Senegalese president, Abdoulaye Wade.

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): See Renderings for Kinshasa N'djili International Airport's new passenger terminal due in 2014.

DRC Congo Flag


Kinshasa's N'Djili International Airport's New stop-gap International Terminal

French airport equipment firm Alpha Airports, the winner of the Build-Operate-Transfer contract for this project, has commenced the construction of Kinshasa's Ndjili International Airport's new USD21million Terminal. The works were officially launched by Congolese prime minister, Mr Augustin Matata Ponyo and are expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2014.

► BELGIUM: brussels airlines modifies Banjul, Dakar, Freetown and Monrovia from late October.

Brussels AirlinesBelgian carrier brussels airlines (SN), will from October 27, 2013 adjust its operations to the following West African destinations including: Banjul, Dakar, Freetown and Monrovia.

Monday, July 22, 2013

► ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian Q400 reportedly suffers engine problems on finals into Axum; makes a safe landing.

Ethiopian Airlines
An Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Bombardier Q400 operating a domestic flight ET128 from Addis Ababa to Axum, Ethiopia, on Wednesday, July 17, reportedly suffered engine problems on its port side shortly before touchdown at Axum's Emperor Yohannes IV Airport.

■ VIETNAM: Ethiopia, Vietnam sign Bilateral Air Services Agreement.

Ethiopia and Vietnam have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a Bilateral Air Services Agreement following talks between officials from the Ethiopian Civil Aviation EthiopiaAuthority (ECAA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (Cục Hàng không Dân dụng Việt Nam - CAAV) in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, recently. According to a statement by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, the MoU was signed by Colonel Wossenyeleh Hunegnaw for the ECAA and by his Vietnamese counterpart, Vo Huy Cuong, after two days of discussions held between officials from 11-12  July 2013.