Friday, January 4, 2013

● KENYA: AFRAA launches Fuel Procurement Tender for 1bn litres of JetA1.

The African Airlines AssociationThe African Airlines Association's (AFRAA) has finalized its second bulk Jet A1 fuel tender awards for 2013 with volumes bought increasing to over 1 billion litres, up 300 million litres on 2012, with the number of participating airlines also increasing from 8 to 13 members. The increase in membership comes as the effects of drastically high global oil prices have continued to take their toll on airline's bottom lines, not just in Africa, but the world over.

► TANZANIA: Air Tanzania to resume Kigoma from 10 January with Mbeya, Tabora, Mpanda, Arusha, Zanzibar and Mtwara to follow.

Air TanzaniaTanzanian carrier Air Tanzania (TC) is to resume flights between the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam and Kigoma, the regional capital of western Tanzania with daily Bombardier DHC-8-300 operated flights to start 10 January 2013. Additionally, flights to Mbeya are also tentatively planned for 20 January with Tabora, Mpanda, Arusha, Zanzibar and Mtwara to follow in due course.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

► BENIN: Westair Bénin announces vast West African expansion with Dakar, Conakry, Banjul and Lagos to come.

Westair BeninBéninois carrier Westair Bénin (WH) has announced plans to expand operations out of its Cotonou base to Dakar, Conakry, Banjul and Lagos having already announced a greatly expanded network and timetable in mid December.

■ NIGERIA: Government to forge ahead with plans to buy 30 aircraft for use by local operators.

NigeriaThe Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has announced a Nigerian government initiative to buy 30 aircraft as part of its plans to improve viability and safety in the local industry. Funding is to come via the USD1billion (NGN300billion) Aviation Intervention Fund set up by government and disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with Bank of Industry (BOI).

■ TANZANIA: fastjet ruffles first feathers as TCAA encourages more LCCs to start operations.

fastjetMore low cost carriers are set to join the Tanzanian aviation scene in the coming year amid reports that Low Cost Carrier, fastjet (FN), has begun to ruffle its first feathers following its launch on 29 November.

► ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian announces 787 operational changes for Q1 2013.

EthiopianOnline aviation resource AirlineRoute states that Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is to apply further changes to its planned Boeing 787 operation over the coming three months.

► KENYA: Jetlink Express hoping to resume ops by 31 March.

Jetlink ExpressNews reports out of Kenya state that bankrupt Kenyan regional operator, Jetlink Express (J0), grounded since November owing to a liquidity crunch, could resume operations by the end of March, if talks with potential investors come through.

► NIGERIA: Dana Air to resume flights tomorrow 4 January 2013.

Dana AirNigerian carrier Dana Air (9J) is to resume flights on Friday, 4 January 2012 using a fleet of five MD83s. Initial operations will resume with Abuja-Lagos with schedules to be announced "in due course".

► ALGERIA: Air Algérie in talks to buy 787-8s, 737-800NGs and A330s as international expansion plans move forward.

Air Algérie logoAlgerian carrier, Air Algèrie (AH), in an announcement via its official Facebook page, is to forge ahead with the first stage of its previously announced renewal plan with the carrier said to be negotiating a deal for the purchase of an undisclosed number of Boeing 787-800s, that it hopes to "make concrete very soon." Delivery of the first aircraft is scheduled for 2017.

■ MALAWI: Establishment of new Airports Authority to aide improvement of ageing airport infrastructure.

MalawiThe Malawian Government is optimistic that the establishment of a new independent airports management company - the Malawi Airports Authority - will provide the country with a unique opportunity to improve its ageing infrastructure.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

►► KENYA: Rwandair boosts Nairobi with 5 additional flights starting 25 January.

RwandAir[UPDATE 3 JANUARY] Following the announcement late last year of a new partnership between Kenya Airways (KQ) and Rwandan national carrier, RwandAir (WB), the latter have announced an increase in their weekly frequencies to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, served via Entebbe, Uganda. Effective 25 January, Rwandair will add an extra 5 weekly flights to Nairobi using a Canadair CRJ900.

► TUNISIA: Tunisia joins Madagascar, Malawi in offloading its unwanted Presidential Jet(s).

TunisiaTunisia is to auction off the Boeing 737-700 (MSN 29149 | TS-IOO) of deposed president Ben Ali, now on display in Dubai. A sale date of January 2013 has been announced though the overseer of the auction, Tunisair's CEO, Rabah Jrad, did not divulge the name of the aircraft's potential buyer.

► COMOROS: Government acquires Let410 with aims of rebuilding national airline.

ComorosThe Comorian Government on Saturday 29 December 2012, took delivery of a 19 seat LET 410 UVP-E20 (D6-NWD) with the aim of launching a dedicated inter-island air service. The move comes after the crash of an Inter Îles Air (ZXA) Embraer 120ER off the coast of Hahaya, Grande Comore in late November left the islands' local aviation industry reeling.

► NIGERIA: Med-View Airlines set to start daily Lagos - Owerri, Abuja - Yola flights.

Nigeria's Med-View Airline (VL) has announced the launch of daily flights between Abuja - Yola and Lagos- Owerri as the airline moves to expand its network following its launch in November.

► SUDAN: Kenya Airways B737-700 suffers engine failure after take off, returns to Khartoum; no casualties.

Kenya AirwaysA Kenya Airways Boeing 737-700 (MSN 32371 | 5Y-KQG) operating flight KQ320 bound for Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday 1 January 2013, was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after take off from Khartoum International Airport, Sudan, following an engine failure. No casualties have been reported.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

■ TUNISIA: Tunisair to axe 1'700 jobs, dramatically grow Africa network as part of plans to return to profitability.

TunisairRabah Jrad, the CEO of Tunisian national carrier Tunisair (TU), has said the airline intends to reduce its workforce of 8'500 employees by 1'700 workers between 2013 and 2014, as part of a restructuring plan to help reduce its bloated payroll, following a USD98.3million (EUR77.2million) loss for 2011.

► CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Karinou Airlines to go regional in early 2013.

Karinou Airlines logoAmidst a turbulent political climate, Karinou Airlines (KRN), formerly Africa Airlines, has outlined plans to launch scheduled regional operations out of Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, possibly in early January.

► IRELAND: See Pics of FirstNation Airways' first A319 christened "Faith."

first nation logoThe first pictures of Nigerian carrier First Nation Airways (FRN) first Airbus A319-100 (MSN: 647 | 5N-FND) on lease from the International Leasing Finance Corporation (ILFC) have emerged from Ireland.

► GAMBIA: Gambia Bird announces big network expansion effective 10 January 2013.

Gambia Bird logoIn confirmation of our previous post, Gambian carrier Gambia Bird (3G) has officially announced new routes to Bamako (Mali), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Douala (Cameroon) with the new destinations set to launch from 10 January. The expansion comes after Gambia Bird (3G) took delivery of their second Airbus A319 (MSN 4691 | D-ASTB) in early December.

► CHAD: The case of Toumaï Air Tchad and the dodgy Boeing 737-300.

Toumai Air TchadA confiscated Georgian-owned Boeing 737-300 (4L-IMA) could soon join the fleet of grounded Chadian national carrier, Toumaï Air Tchad (9D). However, the acquisition is shrouded in controversy as the Chadian private press allege that the aircraft is to be diverted to Sky Air Corp, a local company owned and run by Zakaria Déby, the son of Chadian strongman, Idris Déby, who incidentally, is also the boss of Toumaï Air Tchad.