Wednesday, June 5, 2013

■ NAMIBIA: NAC to begin $6.8million upgrade of Walvis Bay Airport shortly.

Namibia Airports Company logoThe Namibia Airports Company (NAC) has announced plans to begin the USD6.89million (NAD67million) upgrade of Walvis Bay Airport which will ultimately result in it becoming the country's second international airport after Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek.

► TOGO: Benin-based trader comes to rescue of broke Mauritania Airlines flight left stranded in Lomé, Togo.

Mauritania Airlines logoPassengers on board a Mauritania Airlines International (L6) flight, L6101, from Nouakchott to Abidjan via Bamako, Mali, on Monday June 4, were left to fend for themselves after their flight was diverted to Lomé, Togo following poor visibility and bad weather in the Ivorian capital.

● IATA: Who said what during IATA's recently ended 69th AGM.

IATAAs the 69th International Air Transport Association's Annual General Meeting came to a close on Tuesday in Cape Town, South Africa, many a speech and promise was made by various industry heavyweights (both African and international), politicians and analysts. Herein lies a brief summary of the more interesting, relevant bits.

► COTE D'IVOIRE: Air Cote d'Ivoire to acquire two Q400s as Aga Khan Fund moves to divest.

Air Cote d'IvoireAérienne de Participation-Côte d'Ivoire, the holding company for the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), has announced that it is to sell off its 15% shareholding in Ivorian carrier, Air Cote d’Ivoire (HF). The move comes as Air Cote d’Ivoire is planning to boost its capital base from USD4.92million (XAF2.5billion) to USD49.2million (XAF25billion) effective today, Wednesday June 5.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

► SEYCHELLES: Air Seychelles inks codeshare with CSA Czech Airlines; Etihad codeshare now includes Australia

Air SeychellesAir Seychelles has announced two new codesharing developments. Firstly, it has extended its codeshare agreement with equity alliance partner Etihad Airways (EY) to include new connections to Australia on Etihad flights operated via Abu Dhabi. Secondly, a new codeshare deal has been reached Czech carrier, CSA Czech Airlines (OK), in which passengers of the two airlines will be able to book and travel between Prague and the Seychelles on one ticket, while connecting via Abu Dhabi.

■ TANZANIA: Direct Maintenance's stations in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro approved for EASA Part 145.

Direct Maintenance logoDutch-based line maintenance provider, Direct Maintenance, has announced that its two Tanzanian line stations at Dar es Salaam (DAR) and Kilimanjaro (JRO) have been approved for line maintenance under the company's EASA Part-145 approval. Following an initial start during 2012 for launch customer Qatar Airways (QR), both stations were recently added to the EASA approval thereby offering the same capability to a larger customer base.

► CHINA: Kenya Airways, China Southern expand codeshare to encompass more routes.

China SouthernKenya Airways (KQ) has expanded the scope of its code share agreement with Kenya Airwaysfellow SkyTeam member, China Southern Airlines (CZ). Under the expanded agreement, Kenya Airways will code share on China Southern Airlines services from Bangkok to Wuhan, one of the busiest cities in Central China that is an important centre for trade, finance and transportation.

► NIGERIA: New national carrier, "National One", to début soon - Princess Stella

NigeriaThe Nigerian government is set to venture into the airline sector once more with a new national carrier, "National One" (this is disputed though as other sources have listed the name as "Nigeria 1") to tentatively take to the skies in the near future, Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, has stated.

► EGYPT: Air Memphis, at last, begins flights between Egypt and Iran.

Air Memphis logoEgyptian carrier, Air Memphis (MHS), has at long last launched operations between Egypt and Iran following the arrival of its DC9-30 in Tehran on Friday, May 31. The jet then ferried a plane load of Iranian tourists to the Egyptian tourist town of Aswan, the head of the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority, Mohammad Sharif, confirmed.

■ ZIMBABWE: Air Zimbabwe sends 600 employees on forced leave in bid to cut wage bill.

Air ZimbabweAir Zimbabwe (UM) has embarked on a staff rationalization project to trim down its bloated workforce from 1020 down to roughly 300 as part of streamlining measures aimed at turning the loss making airline into a viable, profitable entity.

► NIGERIA: Hak Air, West Link Airlines granted AOCs by the NCAA.

Hak Air logoWest Link Airlines logoHaving applied for it in February, Nigerian start-ups, West Link Airlines and Hak Air, have now been granted Air Operators Certificate (AOC) by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), with the path now free for them to commence domestic flights.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Ethiopian wants more 787s as SAA eyes 25+ A350s or 787s for delivery from 2017 on.

SAA logoEthiopian
During the ongoing International Air Transport Association's (IATA) 69th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Cape Town, South Africa,  two of Africa's heavyweights, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) and South African Airways (SA), have hinted at their proposed future fleet acquisition plans with Ethiopian looking for more 787s and SAA considering either the 787 or its rival Airbus' A350 offering.

Monday, June 3, 2013

►► SAUDI ARABIA: Ethiopian revises its planned boost to Saudi Arabia/Dubai frequencies from mid June.

Ethiopian Airlines
[UPDATE 03 JUNE] As per 06MAY13 GDS timetable/inventory display, Ethiopian Airlines is planning to increase its capacity to Saudi Arabia and the UAE from 17/18JUN13. Planned changes are as follows.

► ETHIOPIA: AWAS, Ethiopian sign buy/leaseback deal for two 737-800s, the first of which has been delivered.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) and Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services (AWAS) have announced a purchase and leaseback transaction deal in AWAS will purchase and lease back to Ethiopian two new 737-800 aircraft that the airline had previously ordered directly from the manufacturer. The first aircraft (MSN 40966 | ET-AQM) was delivered on Thursday May 30, with the second to come in 2014.

► FRANCE: (Pics) Tunisia's Syphax Airlines' first A330 almost ready for delivery.

Tunisian private carrier, Syphax Airlines (FS), has had its first Airbus A330-200 (MCN 345 | F-WJKG) roll out the paint-shop in Toulouse in preparation for its planned delivery later this month.

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): RVA signs $2million contract with Thales for Kinshasa N'djili Airport AeroNav upgrade.

Thales logoAs part of ongoing efforts to spruce up its poor aviation safety record, the Democratic Republic of the Congo's air navigation services and airport management provider, Regie des Voies Aériennes (RVA), has signed a USD2million (CDF1.8billion) contract with French aeronautical systems manufacturer, Thales, for the supply of navigation equipment to Kinshasa N'djili International Airport.

► ALGERIA: Air Algérie now says it wants two ex-KLM MD11s for its freighter fleet.

Air Algérie logoAlgeria's national carrier, Air Algérie (AH) has announced it will take delivery of two former KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL) McDonnell Douglas MD-11s on five year leases following their conversion into cargo freighters.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Ex SAA boss Vuyisile Kona takes dismissal to court.

SAA logoVuyisile Kona, the former interim CEO of South African Airways (SA), has taken his dismissal by South Africa's Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba to the High Court in Pretoria.

► CAMEROON: Camair-Co to replace 767 with a leased 777 Christian Perchat says.

Cameroon's Camair Co (QC) is reportedly in talks with an undisclosed aircraft leasing company regarding the possible addition of a Boeing 777 to its fleet. The jet will be used to replace its current lone 767-300ER used for long haul flights to France.

■ TANZANIA: fastjet looks to reduce holding in Fly540 Tanzania as its Ghana, Angola, Kenya outfits "all underperform".

fastjetfastjet (FN), in its results for the 18 month period to 31 December 2012 has said that its Fly540 businesses in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Angola - acquired from Lonrho Plc - have "all seriously underperformed relative to expectations" with management having now taken the necessary steps to restructure these businesses and remove legacy inefficiencies. Overall, fastjet says it had posted a loss before tax of USD55million, including USD23.5million of write-downs of goodwill and other matters. As a consequence, the airline says it will focus its attentions on its nascent South African operations with plans to reduce its majority shareholding in Fly540 Tanzania to various undisclosed Tanzanian shareholders.