Sunday, September 30, 2012

► COTE D'IVOIRE: Egyptair to resume Abidjan flights before year end?

EgyptairAfter a meeting on Thursday between Ahmed Tarek Abdelakher, the Chargé d'Affaires of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Ivorian Prime Minister Jeannot-Kouadio Ahoussou, it was announced that Egyptian national carrier Egyptair (MS) would l resume flights between Abidjan and Cairo in the coming next three months.

► MADAGASCAR: Air Madagascar to ask for USD9million bailout as part of 18-month plan to return to profitability.

Air MadagascarAfter the ordinary and extraordinary general meetings of shareholders in the Malagasy capital Antananarivo on Thursday last week, Malagasy national carrier Air Madagascar (MD), has announced plans to pull the airline back from the brink of bankruptcy, and return it to profitability within an 18 month time frame.

► ZIMBABWE: Air Zimbabwe being "encouraged" to comply with global safety standards by IATA: Goche

Air ZimbabweZimbabwean national carrier Air Zimbabwe (UM) has been suspended from IATA for failing to comply with the Association's stringent Operational Safety Audits (IOSA) despite having been given a 90 day grace period. According to Zimbabwean Minister for Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development, Nicholas Goche, the letter the airline received from IATA was "not that bad" and that UM had "been encouraged" to comply with global safety standards.

► KENYA: Turkish Airlines launches Kilimanjaro, Mombasa from December.

Turkish AirlinesThere at last seems to be some good news for the Kenyan city of Mombasa as Turkish Airlines (TK) announced today that it would commence a 5x weekly, Boeing 737-900ER operated flight routed Istanbul (Turkey) - Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) - Mombasa (Kenya) - Istanbul effective 4 December.

► BURUNDI: United Arab Emirates & Burundi sign Air Services Agreement MOU.

Burundian Government The Burundian Government and the United Arab Emirates, last week signed an air services Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and initialled an Air Services Agreement 'ASA', which could lead to the start of bilateral air services between the two countries, sometime in the future.

► JAPAN: EgyptAir to use A330 instead of A340 to Osaka.

EgyptairEgyptair (MS) is to use an Airbus A330-200 instead of the previously announced A340-200 on its Cairo - Osaka Kansai, Japan route, set to resume from 1 December 2012 after it was dropped last year in January owing to the then tense political situation in Egypt.

►► TUNISIA: Emirates cancels planned Tunis reduction to 5x weekly service from December.

Emirates[SEE UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM] Following on from its previous announcement, Dubai based carrier Emirates (EK) will, from 1 December 2012, reduce its weekly service from Dubai to Tunis, Tunisia, from daily to 5x weekly; Mondays and Sundays being nixed. 

► SOMALIA: Turkish Airlines boosts Djibouti and Mogadishu flights from 2013 on.

Turkish AirlinesTurkish Airlines (TK) will, starting from 26 January 2013, increase its current 2x weekly Boeing 737-800 operated  Istanbul – Djibouti – Mogadishu (Somalia) service, to 3x weekly by adding a Saturday flight to the roster.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: New SAA boss announced as mass resignations preempt mass firings.

SAA logoIn a dramatic chain of events, the entire boardroom scene at South African Airways (SA) changed literally overnight, when eight of its 14 board members, including its chairwoman Cheryl Carolus, pre-emptively resigned their positions on Thursday evening, following a leaked media report earlier in the week that allured to looming dismissals at both SAA and its sister regional carrier, SA Express (XZ).

► NIGERIA: Arik Air uses FAAN debacle to settle old scores.

Arik AirDespite having reached an accord last Saturday with the Nigerian Government that saw Nigeria's now largest carrier Arik Air (W3), resuming domestic operations following 3 days of suspended flights, in addition to Aviation Minister Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi dropping a lawsuit against Arik Air (who alleged that she had demanded five per cent equity participation in the airline), Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide's airline made their vendetta with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) personal by blacklisting from their flights, the FAAN's Managing Director, George Uriese along with 26 others. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

► SOUTH SUDAN: Turkey's AtlasJet in Juba scouting for potential deals.

Murat Ersoy, the President of Atlasjet (KK), a Turkish airline based out of Florya, Istanbul, Turkey with both domestic and international scheduled passenger services, is the leader of a 25-member strong Turkish delegation currently visiting the South Sudanese capital of Juba, scouting for potential business opportunities.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

► ALGERIA: Air Algérie Boeing 737 lands short of runway at Algiers; no injuries.

Air Algérie logoAn Air Algérie (AH) Boeing 737-800 (MCN: 34164 | 7T-VKA), operating domestic flight AH6231 from Tamanrasset, Algeria to Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport on 18 September 2012, at 03h25 local time, reportedly landed ahead of the runway threshold on the paved surface of the runway end safety area, to the right of the extended runway centreline, thereby taking out a number of runway end and edge lights during the subsequent roll out. 

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Heads to roll at SAA & SA Express as neither are able to present their FY 2011/12 annual reports by September 30.

SAA logoReports coming out of South Africa suggest that South African Airways (SA) is set for a top level shake-up in the near future. The looming shake up comes after a woeful presentation by SAA last week, in which it sought further government aid in the form of a USD750million bail out, failed to impress neither the South African Minister for Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, nor Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan both of whom stipulated that management would have to rethink their future action plan and come up with a better one if it was to secure the funds.

► UNITED KINGDOM: Air Arabia Maroc to start London Gatwick from late October 2012.

Air Arabia Maroc
In a move that could be construed as one-upmanship, Moroccan LCC Air Arabia Maroc (3O) has tentatively announced that it will be starting flights from both Tangiers and Casablanca to London Gatwick airport, effective 28 October 2012 using an Airbus A320. There will be 5 overall weekly flights: 3 ex Casablanca and 2 ex Tangiers.

► UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Emirates announces various equipment changes to Accra & Abidjan, Lagos, Entebbe and Nairobi effective 2013.

EmiratesDubai based carrier, Emirates (EK), has announced various changes to some its African destinations, effective from between January and February of next year.  

For other previously announced updates, see these posts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

► ZIMBABWE: Minister admits new Victoria Falls Airport terminal will not be ready for UNWTO event.

Zimbabwe GovernmentZimbabwean Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development, Nicholas Goche, has come clean on events surrounding the refurbishment and expansion of Victoria Falls Airport, set to be one of the main transit points (the other being at Livingstone, Zambia's Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport) for next year's United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly.

Monday, September 24, 2012

► ETHIOPIA: Bole International Airport expansion tenders awarded; new apron to be completed by January 2013.

Ethiopian Airports EnterpriseThe Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) has announced that the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport's apron expansion programme is on track for completion by January 2013. Contracted to China Road and Building Construction Company and with supervision work being done by a local Ethiopian firm - the Transport Construction Design Consultancy Share Company - the EAE expects the new apron to ease the persistent aircraft parking problem the airport faces, particularly during large international conferences.

► GHANA: SSNIT to inject USD3million into Africa World Airlines.

Ghana Africa World AirlinesGhana's fifth and newest carrier Africa World Airlines (AW), the joint venture between China's HNA Group, the China-Africa Development Fund, SSNIT (Ghana's Social Security and National Insurance Trust) and SAS Finance Group, which launched its domestic operations between Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale on Friday 21 September, received a further shot in the arm on Saturday when the SSNIT revealed it would inject "between three and four million dollars into the new airline."

►► ETHIOPIA: Wishy-washy Ethiopian Airlines attempts to make up its mind with new 787 destination route list.

Ethiopian Airlines
After at least 3 revisions and constant changes to its intended Boeing 787 Dreamliner launch routes, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) appears to have finally made up its mind and will take the very diplomatic route of flying their 787 to a variety destinations as a means of showcasing their latest aircraft.

Ethiopian's 787 in Seattle (moonm)

► COTE D'IVOIRE: Air Cote d'Ivoire outlines future route network; to start ops in "late October".

Air Cote d'IvoireAfter taking delivery of its first Airbus A319-100 (MCN: 2213 | TU-TSA) leased from Air France last week in Abidjan, Air Cote d'Ivoire (VRE), the joint venture between the Government of Ivory Coast, Air France and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, has announced that intends to commence operations towards the "end of October".

► RÉUNION: Air Austral boss Malé gives carrier 3 months max to come up with A380 decision.

Air Austral
Réunion-based French carrier, Air Austral (UU), is reportedly still in negotiations with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus SAS over a possible deal involving two A380s, albeit, not for the 840-All-Economy-Seaters that were envisaged by previous boss and company founder, Gérard Ethève, prior to his departure from the carrier in April this year.

● SOUTH AFRICA: (Pics) Africa Aerospace & Defence 2012.

 Africa Aerospace & Defence 2012

South Africa, and Africa's, largest exhibition of air, sea and land capability, Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2012, swung into action today at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof near Pretoria, South Africa.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

► NIGERIA: Arik Air & Nigerian Government kiss and make up; ops to resume tomorrow.

Arik AirAfter a two hour meeting between the board of directors of Nigeria's Arik Air (W3) and Ministers from the Nigerian Federal Government in a bid to resolve Thursday's impasse and suspension of flights, Arik Air have stated, via their website, that they will be resuming flights tomorrow Sunday 23 September 2012, after presumably, reaching an agreement.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

►► UNITED STATES: Dreamliner delivery delays force Ethiopian to postpone Washington 787 route launch by 11 days.

With their second Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (MCN: 34746 | ET-AOR) now due on 26 September 2012, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) have announced a delay in their inaugural Addis Ababa - Washington DC, USA scheduled service, from 20 September 2012, to 1 October 2012.

► SENEGAL: Angry husband calls in bomb threat to delay Royal Air Maroc flight to Casablanca; gets backtraced.

Royal Air Maroc RAMThe Senegalese press is reporting a bomb scare on-board a Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-800 as it was about to depart from Dakar's Léopold Sédar Senghor (Yoff) International Airport early this morning, bound for the Moroccan city of Casablanca.

► GHANA: EgyptAir confirms deal with CTK CiTylinK; to use Accra as hub.

EgyptairConfirming our previous report, Egyptair (MS) and foundering Ghanaian carrier CTK CiTylinK Airlines (CTQ) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Headquarters of the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation in Cairo, Egypt which will see "both airlines promoting air transportation expansion in West Africa."

► BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA: Libya's Buraq Air tipped for minority shareholding in B&H Airlines.

Buraq Air logoTripoli based Buraq Air (UZ), a private Libyan airline that operates scheduled domestic and international services to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, has been tipped as the most likely candidate to acquire a 49% in Bosnian airline BH Airlines (JA).

► NIGERIA: Arik Air suspends local ops indefinitely citing FAAN harassment.

Arik AirJust when things couldn't seem to get any worse following the demise of Air Nigeria (VK) in early September, Nigeria's largest private carrier Arik Air (W3) today suspended domestic operations indefinitely citing what it called "the persistent hostility of the Ministry of Aviation and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) management" who "were trying to destroy the airline for their own financial benefit."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

► UNITED STATES: Ethiopian Airlines Cargo accepts its first Boeing 777F.

In a ceremony in Seattle, Washington today, Ethiopian Airlines Cargo celebrated another first in its history when it officially took delivery of their first (and Africa's first) of six Boeing 777F (MCN: 41846 | ET-APS) freighters. The first two 777Fs (i.e this one and the next) are on a 10 year dry lease contract from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).

► UNITED KINGDOM: Royal Air Maroc to resume London Gatwick flights from March 2013.

Royal Air Maroc RAMMoroccan national carrier RAM Royal Air Maroc (AT) will resume its discontinued Casablanca - London Gatwick service with a 3x weekly service from 27 March 2013. The Boeing 737-800 operated route will then increase to 10x weekly during Northern Summer 2013.

► ITALY: Ethiopian Airlines resumes Milan Malpensa via Rome-Fiumicino.

Since 10 September, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has resumed operating its daily Addis Ababa - Milan Malpensa flight via Rome, Fiumicino; a route it last operated up until 31 May of this year.

Previously Milan was routed via Brussels with Rome being an intermediate stop on the Stockholm, Sweden flight.

► GAMBIA: Gambia Bird to start ops on 1 October with flights to Dakar; to fly to Barcelona as well.

Gambia Bird logoFollowing the arrival of its Airbus A319-100 in Banjul, The Gambia on Monday, Gambia Bird, the new 90/10 venture between German carrier, Germania (ST) and the Gambian government, has announced it will commence ops on 1 October 2012, with its first flight being Banjul, The Gambia to Dakar, Senegal.

► ZIMBABWE: Air Zimbabwe's debts in South Africa allegedly paid off with flights to Johannesburg to resume in coming weeks.

Air ZimbabweFollowing on from our previous report on the topic, the Zimbabwean Government has paid off ailing national carrier Air Zimbabwe's (UM) outstanding debts in South Africa with the airline now said to be resuming flights to Johannesburg "in the next few weeks", though this has yet to be corroborated by independent sources.

► LIBYA: Libyan Airlines set to receive A320s and A330s in coming months.

Libyan Airlines logoIn a press statement issued today in Tripoli, Libya's Undersecretary in the Ministry of Transportation for Aviation and Air Transport, Engineer Fawzi Baltamer, announced that carrier Libyan Airlines (LN), will by year end receive two Airbus A320s. Additionally, a pair of A330s are expected in the first quarter of next year (2013).

► SENEGAL: Corsair International launches 4x weekly Paris - Dakar from October.

● NIGER: Remembering UTA Flight UT772, twenty three years ago today.

Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the bombing of UTA Flight 772 on 19 September 1989, a somewhat forgotten incident that bears strong similarity with a larger, more widely publicized bombing that occurred a year earlier; that of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988.

McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 "N54629" UTA772
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 "N54629" UTA772

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

► EGYPT: Israel's El Al looks to ditch Cairo flights amid a deteriorating Middle East.

El Al logoCiting heavy security requirements and high operational costs, Israeli carrier El Al (LY) is seeking official approval to abandon its weekly Tel Aviv, Israel - Cairo, Egypt flight, a move likely to be blocked by Israel's government, given its now strained relations with the new Egyptian Presidency of Mohammed Morsi.

► SOUTH AFRICA: BA Comair increases Durban – Cape Town Weekday flights from late October 2012.

British Airways
South African franchise, British Airways (Comair) (BA/MN), has announced an increase in their Durban – Cape Town weekday flights with the addition of 3x to 4x additional daily flights, with effect from 29 October 2012. 

The flights are operated with a mixture of Boeing 737-300s and Boeing 737-400s.

► EGYPT: Egyptair officially announces Roshdy Zakaria as its new Boss.

EgyptairEgyptian carrier Egyptair (MS) today officially announced the appointment of Roshdy Zakaria, the airline's former deputy Vice President of Flight Operations, as their new Chairman and CEO.

Zakaria has spent much of his 30 year career with Egyptair where he has held various positions, including that of chief pilot examiner and instructor on the Airbus A300B4 and the Boeing 767/777.

► KENYA: See Pics of 748 Air Service's Bombardier Dash 8!

Nairobi-based air charter specialists 748 Air Services (SVT) is set to receive its first Bombardier Dash 8-400 (MCN: 4013 | 5Y-SMJ) from Amsterdam, Holland where it has just received its paint-job in 748's livery.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Air France extends Cape Town route into May 2013.

Air France logoAir France (AF) is to extend its seasonal Paris CDG (France) – Cape Town (South Africa) operation for the Northern Winter 2012/13 season.

The thrice weekly Boeing 777-200 operated route will remain in effect from 28 October 2012 until 12 May 2013, instead of the previously announced date of 30 March 2013.

Monday, September 17, 2012

► TANZANIA: FastJet sets Dar es Salaam, then Nairobi as first launch hubs.

FastjetFastJet, the nascent Pan-African LCC carrier being planned by Stelios Haji-Ioannou of easyJet fame, today announced that its first operating base would be in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, followed by Nairobi, Kenya, pending the certification of the Airbus A319 there.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

► NIGERIA: Ethiopian to start Enugu; wants Kano, Port Harcourt and added Abuja frequencies too.

Ethiopian AirlinesEthiopian Airlines (ET) is looking to start flights to the southern Nigerian city of Enugu, in addition to a planned expansion to Port Harcourt, Kano (northern Nigeria) and an increase in its Abuja flight frequencies, currently flown 5x weekly with the airline's Boeing 777-200LR.

► KENYA: Brussels Airlines cancels planned Mombasa route launch; increases Kigali frequency.

Brussels AirlinesOriginally planned to go ahead from 1 October via Nairobi, Belgian carrier, Brussels Airlines (SN), has announced it will not be launching once weekly flights to the Kenyan port town of Mombasa "due to administrative reasons".

Friday, September 14, 2012

► ANGOLA: Aeroflot pulls out of Luanda from mid October.

AeroflotRussia's Aeroflot (SU) is to pull out of the Angolan capital, Luanda effective 16 October 2012. The route - Moscow Sheremetyevo – Hurghada, Egypt – Luanda, Angola - is presently served twice weekly by an Airbus A320.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

► FRANCE: Egyptair increases capacity to Paris from December 2012.

Egyptian airline, Egyptair (MS), will from 1 December 2012, replace its current daily Airbus A330-300 operated service to Paris Charles de Gaulle, France with a larger Boeing 777-300ER. 

This comes after the carrier previously announced that from 28 October 2012 it would increase frequencies on the route from daily to 11x weekly.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Airports Company South Africa bounces back with a USD22million profit for FY 2011/2012.

After a heavy loss of USD26.8million during the 2010/2011 Financial Year, The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) announced yesterday that it had made a profit of USD22million for the 2011/2012 Financial Year, though it is unlikely that any South African airlines will be joining in the celebrations, as the main factor behind ACSA's return to profitability - a 70% hike in its tariffs - is one of the reasons why 1Time is in Business Rescue and Comair Limited posted no dividend for the same Financial Year.

► BOTSWANA: Air Botswana planning Nairobi, Lilongwe, Blantyre, Cape Town, Lanseria flights from October onwards?

Air Botswana
Reliable Zimbabwean aviation blog, Harare Airport Blogger, is reporting that Botswana's national carrier, Air Botswana (BP), is planning to launch various new regional routes with effect from 28 October 2012, though these reports have not yet officially been confirmed by Air Botswana itself.