Monday, September 30, 2013

► NAMIBIA: (Video) Air Namibia takes delivery of first of two A330s from Airbus.

Air NamibiaAir Namibia (SW), the Windhoek based national airline of Namibia, has taken delivery of its first A330-200 (MCN 1451 | V5-ANO) from Airbus at a ceremony in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is the first of two A330s being leased by Air Namibia from US lessor, Intrepid Aviation, on 12-year contracts.

■ NIGERIA: New law banning wet-leases for longer than 6 months comes into effect from October 1.

NCAAThe Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority's (NCAA) decree that no Nigerian carrier, whether scheduled or charter, will be able to wet-lease foreign aircraft for the purposes of commercial operations for periods longer than six months is set to come into effect from October 1.

► BOTSWANA: Kalahari Airways eyes flights to New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong via its Gaborone hub.

Denis Coghlan, the chief executive officer of the ambitious Botswana-based startup, Kalahari Airways, has outlined his longterm vision for the company in which he sees the establishment of Gaborone as a regional hub for flights to Hong Kong and the United States in addition to London.

■ SINGAPORE: Singapore signs Open Skies treaties with Tanzania, Sierra Leone.

Singapore has  announced the signing of Open Skies Treaties with Sierra Leone and Tanzania respectively on the sidelines of the ongoing 38th session of the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) being held in the Canadian city of Montreal from 24 September to 30 September.

► KENYA: Kenya Airways' LCC, Jambo Jet, to launch in 1Q 2014 - Naikuni.

Kenya Airways
Dr Titus Naikuni, the Managing Director of Kenya Airways (KQ), has announced that his airline's Low Cost subsidiary, Jambo Jet, will be operational during the first quarter of 2014. The news comes after Willem Hondius, a former executive with Dutch LCC Transavia, was recently appointed CEO of the startup.

► SOUTH AFRICA: SA Express rolls out Cape Town - George, Joburg - Pietermaritzburg, Kruger/Mpumalanga from November.

SSA ExpressA Express (XZ) is set to commence three new domestic South African flights with effect from November 1: Cape Town - George, Johannesburg (ORTIA) - Kruger/Mpumalanga and Johannesburg (ORTIA) - Pietermaritzburg. With the exception of the Pietermaritzburg flights which operate onboard a Q400, both other routes are operated with a Bombardier CRJ200.

Friday, September 27, 2013

► RÉUNION: Air Austral's Ewa Airlines due to launch from October 29 as A380 talks go on (and on).

Air Austral
Réunion-based airline, Air Austral (UU), has set October 29 as the launch date for its new regional startup, Ewa Airlines, which will serve the Indian Ocean region as well as Mozambique and Tanzania with an ATR72-500.

► FLEET UPDATE BULLETIN: Canadian Airways Congo, Sudan Airways, CEIBA Intercontinental, Westair Bénin, Kush Air, Petro Air.

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: Canadian Airways Congo, Sudan Airways, CEIBA Intercontinental, Westair Bénin, Kush Air, Petro Air.

► KENYA: Astral Aviation signs lease deal with Atlas Air Worldwide for one B747-400F due shortly.

Astral Aviation logoKenyan cargo carrier, Astral Aviation (8V), has signed a deal with US-based ACMI specialists Atlas Air Worldwide for the lease of one B747-400(F), Astral's first widebody freighter, for use in expanding its Africa-Europe cargo operations.

■ LIBYA: LYCAA awards Italy's ENAV, TechnoSky, ATC overhaul and upgrade contracts.

The Libyan Civil Aviation Authority (مصلحة الطيران المدني‎ - LYCAA) has awarded L'Ente Nazionale di Assistenza al Volo (ENAV), the Italian state-owned company specializing in air navigation services together with its subsidiary Techno Sky, two contracts for the supply of consultancy, technical and training services to assist in the modernisation of the LYCAA's systems and its organisational and regulatory processes.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: SA Express posts $65'000 profit for FY2012/13; plans fleet acquisition in 2H 2014.

SSA ExpressA Express (XZ) has reported a small net profit of ZAR650'000 (USD64'930) on the back of a 14% rise in revenue for its 2012/13 Financial Year, airline CEO Inati Ntshanga announced at the airline's AGM on Wednesday, September 25, in Johannesburg. Turnover also rose by ZAR270million, from ZARR2.021billion in 2012 to ZAR2.295billion in 2013.

► SOUTH AFRICA: DoT redtape forces Fastjet to suspend launch of Dar es Salaam - Johannesburg flights.

fastjetfastjet (FN) has announced that its first international flight between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg, previously scheduled to take place on Friday 27 September 2013, has been temporarily postponed owing to what it claims are "unexpected administrative delays caused by  a very late request for additional documentation by the South African Department of Transport".

Thursday, September 26, 2013

► COTE D'IVOIRE: Air Cote d'Ivoire's November regional expansion plans outlined.

Air Cote d'IvoireReferencing our previous report, AirlineRoute has outlined Air Cote d'Ivoire's (HF) revised regional traffic expansion plans, set to come into effect from mid-November. Various changes to its existing timetable are also to be effected.

► MOROCCO: Royal Air Maroc outlines planned Summer 2014 network additions.

Royal Air Maroc RAMRoyal Air Maroc (AT) will,  in Summer 2014, be adding four new European services to its network beginning March 30, 2014. Among the planned services are flights to Montpellier, Venice. Flights will use a combination of B737NGs and Embraer E190s.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Litson & Associates appointed Argus Int'l strategic partner for African market.

Cincinnati-based specialized aviation services firm, Argus International, Inc. has appointed Cape Town-based Litson & Associates as its latest global strategic partner. Litson & Associates will support Argus' elite charter ratings and due diligence program by performing audits to Platinum, IS-BAO, and IOSA standards, and will also deliver other safety related services throughout Africa.

► NIGER: Air Force's two Diamond DA42s' upgrade to be footed by the US Navy.

Nigerien Air ForceThe US Navy will reportedly foot the bill for an upgrade to the Nigerien Air Forces' fleet of two Diamond Aircraft DA42 surveillance aircraft, (MSN ? | 5U-MRX) & (MSN ? | 5U-MRZ), used for border surveillance missions to inhibit smuggling and to protect critical infrastructures.

► SHARJAH: LCC Air Arabia looks to West African market for possible expansion.

Air Arabia logoAdel Ali, the CEO of Sharjah-based LCC, Air Arabia (G9), has pointed to the underserved, underexploited West African market as his airline's next point of focus. Mr Ali made the announcement during a recent 2013 Dubai Airfinance Conference briefing.

■ AIRBUS: Airbus releases its 2013-32 Global Market Forecast.

As aviation becomes increasingly accessible in all parts of the world, future Journeys will increasingly be made by air particularly to and from emerging markets. According to European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus' latest Global Market Forecast (GMF) in the next 20 years (2013-2032), air traffic will grow at 4.7 per cent annually requiring over 29,220 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at nearly USD4.4 trillion. Some 28'350 of these are passenger aircraft valued at USD4.1 trillion. Of these, some 10'400 will replace existing aircraft with more efficient ones. With today’s fleet of 17'740 aircraft, it means that by 2032, the worldwide fleet will double to nearly 36'560 aircraft. 

► CAMEROON: Camair-Co to bid for one of Air India's B777-200LRs?

Cameroon's national carrier, Camair-Co (QC), has reportedly set its sights on acquiring one of Air India's five B777-200(LR)s that were recently put up for sale. Abu-Dhabi-based megacarrier, Etihad (EY), has also expressed an interest in the jets.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

■ ANGOLA: Menongue International Airport to come online before 2014 - Ceitas.

ENANAManuel Ceitas, the CEO of Angola's airport and air traffic authority (Empresa Nacional de Aeroportos e Navegação Aérea - ENANA), says that Comandante Kuenha International Airport, situated in the near-central Angolan town of Menongue in Cuando Cubango Province, could become operational before the end of this year given that its rehabilitation and expansion works are almost complete after nearly 6 years of work.

► CONGO (KINSHASA): International Trans Air Business deploys its B737-200M into service to Kinshasa.

Lubumbashi-based carrier, International Trans Air Business (ITAB), deployed its B737-200(M) (MSN 21959 | ZS-PVU) into service on September 10 with its maiden flight being to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.

■ NIGERIA: Canada's FLYGT signs AFIRS contract with an unnamed Nigerian operator.

Canada's FLYHT Aerospace Solutions has announced the signing of a contract with an undisclosed Nigerian airline for the installation of its Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRS) 220.

■ MAURITANIA: Mauritania Airlines International signs B737 MRO contract with Sabena technics.

Mauritania Airlines logoMauritania Airlines International (L6), the national carrier of Mauritania, has outsourced its maintenance support and spare-part requirements for its fleet of two B737-500s and a single B737-700 to Belgian MRO specialists, Sabena technics, until 2018.

► NIGERIA: Emirates SkyCargo to start Kano flights from early October.

Emirates (EK) cargo division, Emirates SkyCargo, is set to launch a once weekly dedicated freighter flight from Dubai to the northern Nigerian city of Kano with effect from October 4, 2013. The flight will operate on board a B777F.

► SOUTH AFRICA: FlySafair outlines its tentative schedule; operational launch due in mid-October.

In spite of a pending legal application by both Comair Ltd and Skywise to block its launch, nascent South African Low Cost Carrier FlySafair (FA) has outlined its initial timetable for multiple daily Johannesburg - Cape Town flights, now tentatively scheduled to launch on October 17. Flights will be operated by a fleet of B737-400s. Reservations are now open.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

■ NAMIBIA: Government mulls closer cooperation with China; Tianjin flights for Air Namibia?

Namibia's Minister for Trade & Industry, Calle Schlettwein, says his government is considering cooperating with the Chinese aviation sector, with Tianjin in northern China, a potential new destination for the state-backed national carrier, Air Namibia (SW).

► EGYPT: Tourism downturn hits local carriers as MidWest suspends its AOC.

Egypt flagIt isn't just national carrier, Egyptair (MS), that is bearing the brunt of the downturn in Egypt's tourism downturn, with the country's local carriers now having also begun to reduce operations in light of weaker demand.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Denel establishes Spaceteq, a new satellite & space engineering unit within Denel Dynamics.

DenelSouth African state owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate, Denel SOC,  has announced the formation of Spaceteq, a new business unit within Denel Dynamics, set to focus on the satellite and  space engineering sector. The initiative is inline with the South African government's Departments of Science & Technology (DST) and Trade & Industry (DTI) call to exploit high-technology manufacturing niches, among which is satellite production.

► SOUTH SUDAN: (Pics) Rwandair begins its 3x weekly Kigali - Juba service.

RwandAirRwanda's national carrier, Rwandair (WB), launched its long awaited flights to the South Sudanese capital, Juba with its maiden flight on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The 3x weekly flights operate on-board a CRJ900.

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): RVA, Welthungerhilfe sign $15mln contract to rehabilitate Goma Airport runway.

After the successful issuance of a tender in August, German NGO Welthungerhilfe (German for "World Hunger Aid") and the Democratic Republic of the Congo's air navigation services and airport management provider, Regie des Voies Aériennes (RVA), have signed a USD15million contract to rehabilitate 500m of Goma International Airport's runway 18/36, previously covered with hardened lava.

► CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Trans Air Congo adds a fourth B737-300 on lease from Star Air.

Trans Air CongoThe Republic of Congo's Trans Air Congo - TAC (Q8) has bolstered its operations with the addition of yet another South African B737-300, (MSN 27346 | ZS-VDP), on lease from Johannesburg-based ACMI specialists, Star Air (BRH).

► MOROCCO: Royal Air Maroc to establish Rabat as second local base; eyes five new routes before year end.

Royal Air Maroc RAMAs part of plans to establish Rabat as its second local base after its main hub in Casablanca, Royal Air Maroc (AT) says it will launch twenty-two new flights from the Moroccan capital before year end.

Monday, September 23, 2013

● OPINION: The Legal Basis of the Court Application against FlySafair by Rob Baker.

In the interests of stirring more debate and offering a more broadly-based platform for the flow of information, ideas and opinions here on The African Aviation Tribune, I have introduced a new section to offer African aviation professionals, insiders, analysts and spectators a chance to voice their opinions, ideas and points of view on any subject pertaining to the field of Aviation in Africa.

■ BURUNDI: Air Burundi to require nearly USD4million to resume operations.

Air Burundi logoAir Burundi's (8Y) Group Managing Director, Emmanuel Habimana, says a return to service will prove costly both for the airline and its backer, the Burundian government, given the highly competitive nature of the market in the region. Overall initial startup costs are expected to total BIF6billion (USD3.9million).

► COTE D'IVOIRE: Air Cote d'Ivoire to roll out new destinations once a third A319, two Q400s arrive in November.

Air Cote d'IvoireAir Côte d’Ivoire (HF) says it will roll out the new part of its regional expansion programme, set to include new services from Abidjan to Lagos, Kinshasa, N'Djamena, Niamey, Monrovia, Freetown and Bangui, from mid November. The new routes were due to have launched in late August.

► ALGERIA: Tassili Airlines delays international expansion 'til 2014 as subsidies for southern flights now an option.

Algerian domestic and regional carrier, Tassili Airlines (SF), has reaffirmed its plans to launch regional charter flights, albeit only in early 2014 as opposed to the previously planned deadline of late 2013.

■ CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Air CEMAC launch now delayed 'til early 2014 as more talks with Air France are due in October.

Air CEMACIn yet another unsurprising development regarding the formation and launch of Central Africa's bloc-based initiative, Air CEMAC, the airline's launch has now been pushed back until January 2014 pending the finalization of protracted talks with strategic partner, Air France (AF).

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Imperial Logistics accuses SAA Cargo of anti-competitive practices.

South African logistics and freight specialists, Imperial Logistics, has joined the growing list of South African private firms taking action against state-backed carriers with a request to the Competition Commission of South Africa to initiate a market inquiry into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by South African Airways' (SA) freight division, SAA Cargo, in the domestic overnight express airfreight market.

► KENYA: TUIfly Nordic to begin B787 Mombasa flights from December as Edelweiss pulls out from 2014.

TUIfly Nordic(6B), the Stockholm-based charter subsidiary of the TUI Travel international leisure travel group, is set to offer a once weekly B787 service between Scandinavia and Mombasa, Kenya with effect from December 22 until March 30, 2014.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

► ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian Airlines clarifies its 787 order plans in light of media mixup.

Ethiopian Airlines logo
Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has moved to clarify various misleading international media reports regarding its 787-fleet ambitions. According to Ethiopian Television, it has been widely reported that the airline has an additional eight aircraft on order on top of the thirteen 787s it has currently signed up for, of which five have now been delivered. 

■ SOUTH AFRICA: mango to boost recruitment of black cadet-pilots as demand dictates.

South African LCC, mango (JE), and regional operator, South African Express (XZ), have announced that, leveraging an existing SAX Cadet Pilot scheme, the airlines will cooperate to see cadet pilots from disadvantaged or previously disenfranchised backgrounds absorbed into mango’s pilot body as per growth requirements. The initiative forms part of Mango’s greater transformation and social engagement programme.

► KENYA: First photos of Kenya Airways' first B777-300ER emerge.

Kenya Airways
The first photos of Kenya Airways' (KQ) first B777-300(ER) (MSN ? | 5Y-KFA) have emerged with the airliner now set to undergo painting and a B1 test flight ahead of its planned delivery to Nairobi next month. The aircraft, one of two on 12 year-leases with General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), is set to début operations with a Nairobi - Guangzhou flight due on November 19. 5Y-KFA will feature 28 Business Class seats in a 2-3-2 layout and 369 Economy Class seats in a 3-3-3 Layout. The second B777-300ER is due in May 2014.

■ GHANA: Mahama appoints new boards, bosses for Ghana Airports Company, Civil Aviation Authority.

Ghanaian president, John Mahama, has reconstituted the Boards of both the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) appointing new board chairmans and members.

● NIGERIA: IATA boss calls for greater Public/Private cooperation to enable aviation to better propel African economic growth.

IATADuring a speech in Lagos, Nigeria on September 17 to mark Aviation Day Africa, Tony Tyler, the CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), called on public and private stakeholders to work together to address critical priorities to enable aviation to do more to drive economic growth in Africa.

► GHANA: Eagle Atlantic Airlines outlines initial West African launch timetable, network.

Ghana's Eagle Atlantic Airlines (E2) has outlined its initial West African regional service schedule now set to tentatively launch on October 21, 2013. Flights between Accra, Abidjan, Freetown, Dakar and Monrovia (Roberts) will operate on-board the airline's leased McDonnell Douglas MD82.

■ NIGERIA: AJW Aviation signs PBH contract with Nigeria's Skypower Express Airways.

AJW Aviation, a British complete aircraft spares support specialist, has been selected by African airline Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited to provide power-by-the-hour support to its B737-300F, (MSN 24209 | 5N-BMA).

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

■ SOMALIA: Favori LLC takes over Aden Adde Int'l as Minister repudiates leaked UN letter as a "hoax".

Turkish firm, Favori LLC officially assumed control of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport from Dubai-based SKA Logistics on Saturday September 14. Somali Minister for Information, Abdullahi Herso Elmoge, said the process of handing over control of the facility was completed on the morning of Sunday September 15.

► SPAIN: Arik Air flight to Heathrow diverts to Mallorca after pregnant passenger suffers severe pains, bleeding.

Arik AirArik Air (W3) flight W3101 from Lagos, Nigeria to London Heathrow, Untied Kingdom, was on Sunday, September 15, forced to divert to Palma Mallorca Airport, Spain, after a pregnant passenger required urgent medical attention while onboard.

► TANZANIA: Auric Air announces new Njombe flights while Flightlink goes double daily to Mtwara.

Tanzanian operators Auric Air (H8) and Flightlink have announced the launch of two new domestic routes. Auric has started a 4x weekly operation from Dar es Salaam to Njombe via Iringa while Flightlink has begun double daily Dar es Salaam to Mtwara, south-eastern Tanzania flights. Both routes became effective September 16.

► FLEET UPDATE BULLETIN: Overland Airways, Aero, Blue Bird Aviation (Kenya), Swazi Airlink

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: Overland Airways, Aero, Blue Bird Aviation (Kenya), Swazi Airlink.

■ TANZANIA: Everett Aviation secures chopper contract with Norway's Statoil.

Everett Aviation Tanzania has secured a multi-year helicopter contract with Norwegian petroleum giant, Statoil. Under the deal, Everett will lease three new AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters from a major operator in Q4 of this year in support of Statoil’s offshore drilling operations in Tanzania and Mozambique in which two choppers will be used for crew change work whilst the third will be a high specification, dedicated search and rescue aircraft.

► ETHIOPIA: National Airways now eyeing a pair of ERJ135s for its fleet.

National Airways logoEthiopian private airline, National Airways (7N) has reportedly abandoned previously announced plans to acquire and operate Fokker 50s and Embraer EMB-170s, and now has its sights set on Embraer ERJ-135s instead. 

► MOZAMBIQUE: Qatar Airways granted rights to Johannesburg - Maputo from late October.

Qatar AirwaysQatar Airways (QR) has tentatively been granted local traffic rights on the Johannesburg - Maputo, Mozambique sectors of its 3x weekly flights between Doha, Qatar and the Southern African nations with effect from October 27, 2013.