Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dear Everyone,

It is with a very heavy heart that i must suspend publishing The African Aviation Tribune (TAAT) for the foreseeable future owing to a recent family bereavement back home in Zimbabwe. 

Rest assured however, once all that has to be done is done, I will be back, and so will TAAT for that matter.

Take care, and God bless.


Ivan Nadalet
(Editor of The African Aviation Tribune)

Friday, October 4, 2013

■ SÃO TOMÉ & PRÍNCIPE: Newly installed São Tomé Int'l runway lights sabotaged twice; treachery suspected.

Following their installation at the airport in July, the São Toméan airport management company (Empresa Nacional de Aeroportos e Segurança Aérea - ENASA) has reported that the runway lighting system in place along São Tomé International Airport's runway 11/29 has been vandalized twice in the last two weeks, leading to allegations of sabotage.

■ GHANA: Antrak Air boss threatens Accra with legal action if plans for national carrier progress.

Antrak AirThe founder and Chairman of domestic Ghanaian operator, Antrak Air (4O), Alhaji Asuma Banda, has threaten legal action against the government should plans to establish a new national carrier proceed. Earlier this year, Minster of Transport, Dzifa Attivor, had set forth a proposal involving the creation of a new national carrier, albeit under a  a Public/Private Partnership.

■ SENEGAL: South Africa pledges to develop Dakar as a regional hub; to help set up new MRO facility.

With the recent conclusion of President Jacob Zuma's state visit to the West African country, South Africa has pledged to help Senegal develop Dakar as a West African hub, with particular emphasis on exploiting the city's new airport, Blaise Diagne International, set to be completed in late 2014.

► NIGERIA: Associated Aviation EMB 120 crashes on take off from Lagos MMA; 13 confirmed dead.

An Associated Aviation (SCD) Embraer EMB-120, (MCN 120174 | 5N-BJY) operating as a charter flight from Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport to Akure (Nigeria), crashed shortly after takeoff from runway 18L yesterday at 09h32L. The turboprop was carrying 13 passengers and 7 crew onboard of whom 13 have been confirmed dead with one unaccounted for. Survivors were taken to hospital in downtown Lagos.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

► EGYPT: Prospects for Air Memphis' continued Iran charters fade as Cairo suspends tourism ties with Tehran.

Air Memphis logoAs previously speculated, the change in power in Cairo has led the country to suspend tourism links with Iran for what Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zazou, stated were "reasons of national security". Mr Zazou's statement comes just 5 months after the then Islamist-backed government of Mohammed Morsi reached out to Tehran in a bid to restore relations, severed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

● IATA: African airlines' August pax traffic up 5.4% on 2012 as freight continues downward trend.

IATAThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for August showing a strengthening of the healthy demand trend of the last few months. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 6.8% compared to August 2012. Capacity increases over the year-ago period lagged demand at 5.6%. This pushed the load factor to match the record high of 83.4% set in July 2011. In terms of its Passenger traffic results, African airlines’ traffic climbed 5.4% compared to August 2012. Meanwhile August international air freight demand was up 3.6% on the previous year. That is considerably better than year-to-date performance of a 0.7% expansion. However, African carriers' cargo experienced another decline in freight volumes, down 9.7%.

■ BOTSWANA: CAAB dramatically improves its ICVM rating; taking active measures to resolve outstanding SSCs.

Following the visit by an inspection by a International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) assessment team to Botswana in April,  to conduct an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM), the country has now been as having achieved 59.6% of Effective Implementation as compared to 27.8% in 2006. The purpose of the ICVM was to check the progress made by Botswana following the safety audit carried out in May 2006 which showed at the time that Botswana was at 27.8% of Effective Implementation.

■ EGYPT: Qatar Airways awards Egyptair M&E Cairo line maintenance contract.

EgyptAir Maintenance & Engineering has been awarded a contract to provide line maintenance services for Qatar Airways (QR) at Cairo International Airport. The first flight arrived on Tuesday October 1 where senior staff were present to welcome the crew and flight attendants.

■ ZIMBABWE: Edmund Makona appointed Air Zimbabwe interim CEO as forensic audit now fingers upper management.

Air ZimbabweAir Zimbabwe (UM) has appointed its head of Quality, Safety & Security, Mr. Edmund Makona, as its acting Chief Executive Officer following the recent suspension of incumbent Mr Innocent Mavhunga and acting Managing Director, Ms Grace Pfumbidzayi. The two were suspended to allow for further investigations after a recent forensic audit of the airline's operations uncovered alleged financial discrepancies in its insurance premium payments for the period 2009 - present.

► NIGERIA: FirstNation Airways resumes operations with Lagos - Abuja flights.

first nation logoNigerian domestic carrier, First Nation Airways (FRN), has resumed operations with its maiden flight between Lagos and Abuja on September 30. Flights are onboard the airline's fleet of two A319s, leased from the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

► GABON: Lufthansa to drop Frankfurt - Pointe Noire via Libreville from late December.

German carrier, Lufthansa (LH), will from December 23, 2013 cancel  its existing 5x weekly Frankfurt to Pointe Noire (Republic of Congo) via Libreville (Gabon). The flights operate on board a PrivatAir (PT) Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 

■ ANGOLA: Government to spend EUR1.6billion on aviation infrastructure by 2016.

ENANAThe Angolan government, by 2016, will have invested EUR1.6billion into the construction and rehabilitation of thirty domestic airports, including sixteen new ones, Manuel Ferreira de Ceita, the CEO of Angola's airport and air traffic authority (Empresa Nacional de Aeroportos e Navegação Aérea - ENANA), has said.

■ ALGERIA: Austria, Algeria to renegotiate BASA in push to establish direct flights.

Algeria and Austria are set to commence negotiations over a proposed revision of their Bilateral Air Services Agreement signed in 1991, Austria's Ambassador to Algeria, Ms AloisiaWorgetter, announced on Sunday September 29. According to her, the direct air link will facilitate both increased travel and business between the two countries through the estbalishment of direct flights. At present, there are none.

■ MOROCCO: Bombardier proceeds with construction of its first African manufacturing facility in Nouaceur.

BombardierCanadian aircraft & train manufacturer, Bombardier Aerospace, has held a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony on the site of its future manufacturing facility situated in the now-open Midparc Casablanca Free Zone, in Nouaceur, Morocco. The occasion was attended by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, various Bombardier suits as well as Moroccan and Canadian dignitaries.

■ NIGERIA: NCAA releases list of all 26 carriers licenced to operate in Nigeria in bid to curb illegal operators.

NCAAAs part of efforts to clamp down on illegal charter airline operations in the country, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has released a list of licensed scheduled commercial and charter airlines on its registry with only 26 operators having so far been cleared for operations.

► KENYA: Astral Aviation outlines B747-400F plans; to codeshare with Emirates SkyCargo on Joburg - Nairobi flights.

Astral Aviation logoNairobi-based cargo operator, Astral Aviation (8V), and ANA Aviation Services have announced a new strategic partnership in Africa following the delivery of a B747-400F (MSN 29261 | N408MC), on wet-lease from ACMI specialists, Atlas Air (5Y), on September 27.

■ MALAWI: Ethiopian's CFO Kassim Geressu appointed boss of Malawi Airlines.

Malawi flagMr. Kassim Geressu, the Chief Financial Officer of Ethiopian Airlines (ET), has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the carrier's nascent Malawian venture, Malawi Airlines. Mr Geresu's appointment was confirmed by Tewolde Gebremariam in a press conference held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

► CHINA: TAAG increases Luanda - Beijing frequencies to 2x weekly; a 3rd due in 2014.

TAAG logoAngolan flag carrier TAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola (DT) has at long last added a second weekly frequency to its Luanda - Beijing, China route. The added Friday flight became effective September 21 and will be followed by an additional third frequency next year.

■ RWANDA: AviAssist Foundation holds annual Airport Rescue & Firefighting ARFF course in Kigali.

AviAssistThe AviAssist Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization that provides safety support  to African countries and companies and aims to inspire and promote professionalism in African  aviation safety, has announced the successful conclusion of a week-long annual Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting ARFF training course in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

► CHAD: Toumaï Air Tchad resumes limited operations with Hajj charters.

Toumaï Air TchadToumaï Air Tchad (9D) has resumed limited operations using its ex-Georgian Star International (GST) B737-300 (MSN 24717 | TT-EAZ) for Hajj charter flights from N'Djamena to Madinah, Saudi Arabia. 

► SOUTH AFRICA: Airlink resumes Skukuza ops from June 2014; rebuffs SA Express' recent route launch announcement.

SA AirlinkSouth Africa's Airlink (4Z) has delayed the launch of flights to Skukuza from the previously announced March, to June 2, 2014. According to the carrier, it will commence direct daily flights between Johannesburg and Skukuza as well as Cape Town and Skukuza from Monday 2 June 2014 using an Embraer 135.

■ TANZANIA: fastjet posts $24.9million loss for 1H 2013; turns to Zambia, Malawi for next route roll out.

fastjetfastjet (FN) has announced a USD24.9million EBIT loss for the first half of its 2013 Financial Year ended 30 June 2013. In its statement, the company said that its Tanzanian LCC is now profitable "on an underlying route level basis", though it did post operational losses of USD9.1million and USD4.2million in 1Q and 2Q of this year respectively.

■ EGYPT: Egyptair's revenue has risen 60% on last year's numbers, Cairo Aerocity to get underway soon: Fadel

EgyptairEgyptair (MS) generated EGP20.7billion (USD3billion) in revenue for its latest 2012/2013 Financial Year, a rise of 63% on that recorded for 2011/2012, Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation, Abdel Aziz Fadel, has announced. Speaking in Cairo outlining the current state of Egypt's civil aviation industry, Mr Fadel did however concede that, despite the rise in revenue, the airline was still struggling to turn a profit as it is saddled with EGP11.5billion (USD1.7billion) in debt.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: LCC Skywise battles on with AOC Certification process.

SkyWise logoSouth African startup, Skywise (SWZ), will likely miss a deferred October launch date after the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) revealed that, to date, the airline had completed 3 of the 5 steps necessary to obtain its Air Operators Certificate.

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.