Thursday, April 4, 2013

■ MAURITIUS: First commercial flight operates from SSRIA's new terminal in preparation for the grand opening later this month.

The Louis Berger Group Inc., the program manager of  Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport's (SSRIA) airport expansion project on behalf of Airport Terminal Operations Ltd., a company formed by Airports of Mauritius Limited (AML) and Aéroports de Paris Management, recently celebrated the first commercial test flight - an Air Mauritius flight (MK) - from the New Terminal Building at the airport.

■ BOTSWANA: Namibia, Botswana sign agreement on coordinated Search & Rescue operations.

Botswana and Namibia have signed agreement letters on civil aviation Search And Rescue (SAR) that will coordinate services in the country to meet domestic needs and international standards. The agreement will also ensure support during accidents as well as an overall plan for the coordination of civil search and rescue operations in the event of an air disaster.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: SAA officially hands over Turnaround Plan #9 to Government for approval.

SAA logoSouth African Airways (SA) has submitted its Long-term Turnaround Strategy, its 9th in 13 years, to the Public Enterprises Minister, Malusi Gigaba. The handover was made yesterday to the Minister by Ms. Dudu Myeni, the acting Chairperson of the SAA Board of Directors on behalf of the airline and comes as one of the preset conditions the airline had to ascent to when it received its USD600million bail out from Pretoria.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

► FLEET UPDATE BULLETIN: Vulkan Air (South Africa), Air Namibia (SW), Fly540 Angola, Atlas Aviation Kenya.

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: Vulkan Air (South Africa), Air Namibia (SW), Fly540 Angola, Atlas Aviation Kenya.

► UGANDA: Air Uganda announces changes to Juba, Dar es Salaam ops effective 1 May.

In continuation to our previous post, Air Uganda (U7) has updated its schedule with changes to Entebbe - Dar es Salaam, Entebbe - Juba (South Sudan) routes coming into effect from 01MAY.

► KENYA: Kenya Airways outlines first B777-300ER routes due in early November.

Kenya Airways
AirlineRoute writes that as per the 03APR13 GDS timetable and inventory display, Kenya Airways( is to introduce Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to its operation starting November 2013, initially on flights to Amsterdam and London Heathrow. Planned Boeing 777-300ER service as follow.

►► BOTSWANA: Air Botswana officially announce new destinations; new timetables loaded.

Air Botswana
[UPDATE 03 APRIL 2013]  Following on from our previous post on the topic, Air Botswana (BP) have announced their new updated timetable with new destinations including Johannesburg (Lanseria), Cape Town,  Nairobi (Kenya), Lilongwe, Blantyre (Malawi) and Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) as new destinations from the Batswana carrier's hub, Gaborone. Lusaka, Zambia will also see a third extra Wednesday frequency served in tandem to Lilongwe, Malawi which will receive a twice weekly service (one direct and the other via Lusaka.)

► WESTERN SAHARA: Royal Air Maroc launches direct Gran Canaria - Laayoune flights; Cargo ops to come in June.

Royal Air Maroc RAMRoyal Air Maroc (AT) is planning to boost both cargo and passenger services out of Laâyoune, the capital of Western Sahara (also known as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic) with the recent launch of flights to Gran Canaria  and Royal Air Maroc Cargo flights from Dakar to Casablanca via Laâyoune set to begin in June 2013.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Air Mauritius to resume Durban flights "soon".

Air MauritiusAir Mauritius (MK) is looking to return to Durban, South Africa after having dropped the route in late October 2012 citing poor loads. In addition, the carrier will also offer "convenient connections to the Far East" as it seeks to exploit the growing Africa - Asia market.

► LIBYA: Libyan Airlines looking to dramatically boost international and domestic market share in 2013/2014.

Libyan Airlines logoLibyan Airlines (LN) is aiming to boost its passenger numbers by 11% in 2014, to 1.5million as the carrier seeks to secure a 50% market share of Libya's international traffic.

► DUBAI: Kenya Airways acquires 5th Freedom rights on Dubai - Hong Kong sector of new Nairobi - Dubai - Hong Kong flights.

Kenya AirwaysKenya Airways (KQ) has acquired fifth freedom rights on the Dubai - Hong Kong sector of its new Nairobi - Hong Kong flights, set to begin 13JUN. The new flights will operate out of Nairobi 3x weekly.

■ NIGERIA: Airjet Routing awards Evergreen Apple groundhandling contract for Lagos MMA.

Evergreen Apple Nigeria logoEvergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) has been selected by Avjet Routing, the Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based aviation business services company, to serve as its preferred ground handler in Nigeria with principal services being provided at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

►► TANZANIA: Air Uganda planning for Entebbe - Kilimanjaro flights; launches "Crane Class" product.

[UPDATE 2 APRIL] Air Uganda (U7) has revealed that it is in the process of planning a new route from its hub in Entebbe to the Tanzanian tourist mecca of Kilimanjaro. Currently, the airline operates to the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam.

► ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian Airlines to boost Muscat, Brazzaville & Kinshasa services from mid June.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET), will, starting 16JUN13, add a 5th weekly service to its Addis Ababa – Muscat route while from 18JUN13 service to Brazzaville and Kinshasa will increase from 7 to 10 flights weekly. In addition, the existing daily Addis Ababa – Kinshasa – Brazzaville – Addis Ababa service will be adjusted.

■ MAURITIUS: Zambia, Mauritius set to sign BASA in near future.

ZambiaMauritiusFollowing the 2nd session of the Zambia-Mauritius Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation held in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, last week, Mauritius and Zambia have agreed to sign a Bilateral Air Services Agreement in the near future, aimed at promoting and enhancing trade between the two countries.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Former 1Time founders place blame for airline's demise on BEE investors' shoulders.

1TimeThe former founders of defunct South African LCC, 1Time (T6), have placed the blame for the carrier's demise squarely on the shoulders of the Black Economic Empowerment consortium who acquired a 25% shareholding in the airline.

Monday, April 1, 2013

► SOMALIA: African Express Airways timetable changes for Somalia, Kenya, Yemen, UAE traffic.

 African Express Airways LOGONairobi-based African Express Airways (XU), has adopted numerous changes to its regional & Horn of Africa operations. Most notable are the dropping of Aden (Yemen) - Berbera (Somaliland) - Mogadishu flights, the suspension of Sharjah (UAE) - Berbera - Mogadishu - Wajir - Nairobi flights until June and the introduction of Nairobi - Mogadishu - Wajir flights from early April.

► BOTSWANA: Air Namibia to axe Gaborone from late May.

Air NamibiaAir Namibia (SW), will from 31MAY, axe its 4x weekly Windhoek - Gaborone, Botswana flights. The rationalization comes after the carrier announced it would drop its Johannesburg - Windhoek - Accra, Ghana service from 10APR13.

► OMAN: Oman Air looks to expand Africa network as part of efforts to become profitable.

Oman Air logoOmani national carrier, Oman Air (WY), is planning to increase its services to Africa - with Casablanca first in line - as part of its plan to become profitable. The move comes after the airline posted a loss of USD253million (OMR97.47million) for 2012.

► SOUTH AFRICA: SAAF Agusta A109LUH crashes near Kruger; 5 dead.

South African Air ForceThe South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has confirmed the death of five people who died on the evening of Saturday 30 March, when their South African Air Force Agusta A109 Light Utility Helicopter crashed around 19h00L just north of Satara, Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga.