Showing posts with label Legal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Legal. Show all posts

Monday, February 4, 2013

■ ZAMBIA: Resolution of Significant Safety Concern takes Zambia one step closer to being removed from ICAO & EU blacklists.

ZambiaFollowing the resolution of what the International Civil Aviation Organization termed "a Significant Safety Concern", Zambia has taken a crucial step towards being struck off the ICAO's Safety Watch List, with removal from the EU's No-Fly List now a distinct possibility.

■ TANZANIA: Now Canada's AvMax Aircraft Leasing wants their pound of Fastjet flesh.

fastjetAvMax Aircraft Leasing has joined the growing list of disgruntled suppliers demanding their money from Fastjet (FN). The Canada-based ACMI firm recently wrote to Fastjet stating it had moved to deregister three of its aircraft previously leased to Fastjet's predecessor, Fly540 Tanzania, over USD2million worth of unpaid leasing and maintenance bills.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: NTM's strike enters its 12th day as SAA remains defiant.

SAA logoClaims by South African Airways (SA) that a 12 day old strike by the National Transport Movement (NTM) over lack of recognition has not affected its operations, have been hotly disputed by the union's deputy secretary general, Liver Mngomezulu.

Monday, January 28, 2013

■ KENYA: Fly540 issues statement regarding its legal battle with Lonrho Aviation.

Fly540 Ghana
Further to the press comment made by the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper (“EasyJet’s chairman quits after Stelios rows”, Section 3: Business, Page 1), Five Forty Aviation Ltd confirms that it has instructed its lawyers to recover an acknowledged debt of USD6.8million from Lonrho Aviation Ltd.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: SAA, Mango, Comair all object to fastjet's 1Time licence transfer designs as Skywise's ASLC application fails.

fastjetIn a rare show of unity, South African carriers Mango (JE), South African Airways (SA) and Comair Group (owners of BA Comair (BA) and Kulula (MN)) have collectively objected to the South African Air Services Licensing Council, a state regulator set to convene next month, over fastjet's (FN) proposed transfer of 1time’s operators licence, who are applying for a Ministerial exemption in order to fast track the process.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

► KENYA: Jambo Jet to possibly launch after Q1 as fastjet encounters more law suits.

Kenya AirwaysfastjetDespite being granted an Air Service Licence in October 2012 by the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) for the launch of its low-cost subsidiary, Jambo Jet, Kenya Airways has yet to make headway with the carrier's launch. Competitor fastjet (FN) has also not had an easy time with news that the Tanzania-based LCC is facing increasing problems with its predecessor, Fly540's, creditors.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

■ KENYA: New Civil Aviation Law provides KCAA with framework necessary to attain FAA Cat 1 status; US flights to follow?

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority logoThe signing into law of The Civil Aviation 2013 Bill by Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki on Monday 14 January has presented the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) with the legal framework necessary to ensure safer, more secure airports and airspace. Conformity to internationally recognised standards could then lead to the possibility of long sought-after Kenya - US flights.

Monday, December 3, 2012

■ KENYA: Court orders Kenya Airways to reinstate 455 axed employees effective immediately.

Kenya AirwaysAn industrial court in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, has ordered Kenya Airways (KQ) to reinstate some 450 employees, effective immediately, who were laid off in August/September as part of spending-cuts at the carrier.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

■ NIGERIA: (Pics) FAAN again gives aircraft owners 1 month to clean up airport boneyards.

FAAN logo
The Nigerian Federal Aviation Authority (FAAN) has issued a 1 month ultimatum to the country's aircraft owners and operators, to remove all  abandoned aircraft that litter Nigeria's 8 major airports or risk legal proceedings as the country moves to cast off the stereotypical image of African aviation - decrepit potholed taxiways and runways, poorly maintained colonial era terminal buildings and above all, the obligatory aircraft boneyard filled with rusting 707 hulks (and the occasional Antonov tossed in for good measure).

Monday, October 1, 2012

■ ALGERIA: More government protectionism as Minister says Low Cost Carrier would be "unprofitable".

Algerian GovernmentDespite protests outside offices of Algeria's national carrier Air Algérie (AH)  in both London and Paris two weeks ago, calling for the liberalisation of Algerian skies, the Algerian Government has remained adamant that the creation of any Low Cost Carrier (LCC) in the country would not be profitable; a move that the Algerian media says, smacks of government protectionism for both Air Algèrie and AigleAzur (ZI).

Monday, September 3, 2012

■ KENYA: Kenya Airways Layoffs Debacle takes new twist after revelations KQ execs were awarded 25% payrises over the last year.

Kenya AirwaysQuite a few eyebrows were raised in Nairobi during the presentation last week of Kenya Airways' (KQ) annual report in which it was revealed that executives' wages at the airline had risen by almost 25% over the last year; a development that comes at a time when the airline is facing protracted legal battles and now even Prime Ministerial condemnation over plans to lay off (or as KQ would prefer, "outsource") 650 'excess' employees cited by the company as being amongst the causes for their 57% slump in profits last year.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

► ZIMBABWE: Wilderness Safaris applies for a commercial airline licence.

Wilderness SafarisYet another player is attempting to enter the Zimbabwean airline market, this time its regional safari operators Wilderness Safaris whose Zimbabwean arm has applied for a commercial airline licence to service domestic, regional and international routes.

Established in 1983, Wilderness Safaris is a conservation organisation and ecotourism company dedicated to providing responsible tourism in the areas in which it operates camps and safaris namely: Botswana, Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles.

Wilderness' pending entry into the Zimbabwean aviation scene along side Sol Air, Fresh Air, Phoenix Air, Bumi Air and Anjin Investments, comes as some players in the troubled country's tourism industry have had to take matters into their own hands and provide their own air services - case in point "Bumi Air", a recently established air service operating between Harare, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge (near Kariba) and Victoria Falls - a route that used to be plied by Air Zimbabwe.

Bumi Air at Charles Prince Airport, Harare, Zimbabwe
Bumi Air in Harare (Luck Brown)
In July, controversial diamond mining firm, Anjin Investments, a 50/50 joint venture between the government-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company Ltd of China, also applied for a commercial airline licence to service domestic, regional and international routes, having acquired a new 12-seater corporate-commuter aircraft shortly thereafter.

Prospects for an established national carrier akin to the now quasi-defunct Air Zimbabwe appear to be bleak to non existent. Having asked rival South African Airways in early August to be the official carrier for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly (UNWTO) set for next year in Victoria Falls, it appears that not even the Zimbabwean Government is banking on Air Zimbabwe (UM) returning to viable and reliable service any time soon, though with 2 Airbus A320s already painted in UM colours, Air Zimbabwe may just have the last laugh.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said:
"Even if Air Zimbabwe was flying, what we are looking at is access to destinations,” Kaseke said. “We look at an airline that has got the most connection from all destinations. “So South African Airways is well connected because it flies to far many more destinations than any other airlines. “So it’s not about Air Zimbabwe’s woes that we are talking about here. “Even if Air Zimbabwe was not having any problems, I think the first reasonable decision would be to say South African Airways is the preferred airline.”"

1Time at Harare Airport, Zimbabwe
1Time/FreshAir in Harare (Luck Brown)
In recent weeks, the stakes have been upped - South African LCC 1Time recently announced its entry into a joint venture with local outfit Nu-Aero, to be called "Fresh Air" with scheduled flights to start flights in September,  Emirates (EK), 1 year on from its inaugural Harare flight, is to next year increase capacity on the route to a Boeing 777-300ER whilst LAM Mozambique (TM) and Dutch carrier KLM are both set to return from late October. With more and more international carriers expressing interest in serving Harare, local players are going to find it harder and harder to create and maintain a viable niche for themselves should they choose the regional and international route.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

■ KENYA: Courts block Kenya Airways staff layoffs.

Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways' (KQ) move to can over 300 of their employee's in a bid to reduce its bloated wage bill following a hefty 57% knock on profits in Q1 of the 2012/2013 Financial Year, has been put on hold by the Kenyan courts "until a lawsuit brought by the Aviation and Allied Workers Union (AAWU) challenging the layoffs is heard and determined."

The Union alleges in its suit that Kenya Airways, in addition to the Minister of Labour and the Attorney General, did not follow the prescribed procedures in labour law when announcing and planning for the restructuring exercise.
"The respondent [Kenya Airways] is hereby restrained by way of temporary injunction from proceeding with any negotiations or any staff rationalization that may render members redundant pending the hearing," Judge Onesmus Makau said in court orders seen by Reuters on Saturday.

This development comes after a Tuesday meeting between the Kenya Airways board and the AAWU to discuss the redundancies, never took off (pardon the pun):
"The AAWU, which maintains that it had not been informed in advance about the retrenchment until last Thursday, had requested a meeting with KQ to present its proposal, and a date was fixed for yesterday.“We never met. They never contacted us,” Mpojiwa said yesterday evening."

A court date for the case has been set for 21 September 2012.

Titus Naikuni
Titus Naikuni (StandardMedia)
Kenya Airways has been subject to numerous union backed strikes over the past few years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 all of which had to do with salary-related grievances and all of which invariably cost the airline dearly as Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni pointed out that in addition to high oil prices and an excessive workforce, "significant annual staff salary increments, and costly decisions driven by the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) negotiations with the staff unions had driven labour costs to unsustainable levels."

Under the intended restructuring plan, various junior staff and management were given until 10 August 2012 to adhere to the voluntary redundancy programme. In the likely event that adequate numbers were not reached, then mandatory lay offs would have to be effected. As part of the downsizing exercise, Naikuni noted that some positions would be declared redundant and in some cases, the airline would have to "outsource labour and services in some of the non-core functions of the airline, due to the technical nature of the industry."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

► EGYPT: 4 drunks onboard Oman Air arrested on arrival in Cairo.

Oman Air
Four drunken male passengers have been arrested in Egypt after their Oman Air flight WY405 from Muscat, Oman touched down at Cairo International Airport yesterday.

Oman Air 737 A4O-BB Cairo Airport Arrests
Oman Air 737 "A4O-BB" (Paul Moiser)

The Aviation Herald states that the four men were intoxicated during the flight and causing an inconvenience to other passengers. 

Shortly after the Boeing 737-800 (A4O-BB) landed, the 4 men apologized to the captain for their behaviour, who accepted their apology. 

They were then over handed over to Egyptian Police and taken into custody.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

■ SOUTH AFRICA: VelvetSky in liquidation; SAA likely to get USD$750m government cash injection.

South African Airways logoSouth African Airways (SA) says it is optimistic that its request for ZAR6billion (USD$733million) from the South African Government will be granted, thereby allowing it to proceed with its planned fleet renewal as reported previously by The African Aviation Tribune.

Monday, May 14, 2012

■ BOTSWANA: Open Skies deal signed; will Air Botswana survive more competition?

Air Botswana
The Botswana Government has recently signed two Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) with Mauritius in Gaborone agreements bringing to nine the number of BASAs signed - the other eight being with Belgium, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

► ZAMBIA: Zambezi Airlines to resume flights next month.

Zambezi Airlines logoFollowing numerous court cases and the repossession of its aircraft by lessor GECAS, Lusaka-based, Zambian airline Zambezi Airlines (ZJ), is scheduled to restart services from next month.

Friday, May 11, 2012

► NAMIBIA: 3 arrested for fraud at Air Namibia.

Air NamibiaReports from the Namibian press state that 3 people have been arrested for fraudulently obtaining airline tickets from a staff member at the national carrier Air Namibia (SW), who has since been suspended whilst investigations are carried out into the matter.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

► ZIMBABWE: Air Zimbabwe resumes flights with 3 passengers as High Court blocks share sell off.

Air ZimbabweIt seems years of mismanagement, poor planning and lack of customer service have once again come back to haunt Zimbabwe's national carrier Air Zimbabwe (UM), as reports state that the airline carried just 3 passengers between Harare and Bulawayo on its first day back in the air, after an hiatus of nearly 3 months.
"State Enterprises Minister Gorden Moyo confirmed the flight, but said he was surprised the airline had resumed operations when the government is still looking for an investor to partner the company, saddled with a $140 million debt.

The airline’s Boeing 737-600(sic), with a capacity of 126 passengers, left Bulawayo with only three people on board. Air Zimbabwe is planning to have three flights a week between Harare, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo.

Moyo cautioned the move may backfire as the national airline does not yet have the capacity to embark on such operations due to lack of funds and a crippling debt. "

This is not the first time the airline has caused controversy by flying near empty aircraft. In 2005 Air Zimbabwe jet flew 6,000 km (3,728 miles) from Dubai with a solitary passenger aboard.

To add insult to injury, the High Court in Harare also blocked the attempted sale of Air Zimbabwe's shares in National Handling Services, pending determination of an Air Zimbabwe's workers’ application for the airline to be placed under judicial management, and thus, allow them to recover some USD$40 million still owed in back wages.

At present, Air Zimbabwe owes creditors over USD$100 million, resulting in the airline ceasing foreign operations following attempted seizures of Air Zimbabwe aircraft in both Johannesburg and London Gatwick.

"While an application to place Air Zimbabwe under judicial management over debts to the tune of $140 million was pending, the workers picked up information that there was Government communication directing the company’s group chief executive to transfer the shares to a Government nominee firm. 

That did not go down well with the workers who felt the move was meant to strip Air Zimbabwe of its assets and frustrate the pending court application. Air Zimbabwe owes the workers $35 million and other creditors over $100 million.

Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Mr Patson Mbiriri wrote the letter on March 26 this year advising the firm to transfer the shares. Part of the letter read: “Pursuant to the Cabinet decision of Air Zimbabwe Holding Private Limited dated 28 February 2012, Air Zimbabwe Holdings should immediately transfer its shareholding in National Handling Services to a nominee company wholly owned by the Government, which nominee company will hold Government shares in NHS."
 Read More Here [The Herald]