Friday, November 30, 2012

► RÉUNION: See Pics of Corsair International's sexy new A330 at Roland Garros!

Corsair InternationalRéunion, the French Overseas Territory in the Indian Ocean, was the first recipient of Corsair International's (SS) recently delivered Airbus A330-300; the first of two with the second due in late January 2013. The new aircraft are part of a renewal programme that follows a EUR300million recapitalization of the carrier by parent company, TUI, the largest tourism group in the world.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Fly Go-Air delays launch until 10 December, to use a Beech 1900.

Fly Go-AirSouth African start-up Fly Go-Air (KEM) has announced that it will now launch operations on Monday 10 December with its debut route still to be Johannesburg Lanseria airport to Kruger/Mpumulanga International Airport.

■ ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian successfully issues bond for $363m with backing from US ExIm Bank.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) on 28 November 2012, successfully placed its first bond issue with the backing of the US Export-Import Bank, to finance several brand new Boeing 787-8 aircraft ordered for the Ethiopian national carrier. (A bond is a certificate of debt (usually interest-bearing or discounted) that is issued by a government or corporation in order to raise money; the issuer is required to pay a fixed sum annually until maturity and then a fixed sum to repay the principal.)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

■ SENEGAL: ASECNA signs $35million contract with Thales, INEO Engineering for Radar, ATM Systems.

The Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (L'Agence pour la Sécurité de la Navigation aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar) or ASECNA has signed a USD35million contract with a French consortium comprising Thales Air Systems SAS and INEO Engineering & Systems for the supply and installation of Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radars (MSSR) with Mode S capability in addition to its Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems.

■ GABON: Cargolux looks to expand sub-Saharan network as Luxembourg signs new BASA with Gabon.

Luxembourg-based cargo carrier, Cargolux (CV), is set to benefit from the recent signing of a new revised Bilateral Air Services Agreement between Gabon and Luxembourg, on 26 November 2012.

► TANZANIA: (Pics) fastjet's inaugural revenue flight to Mwanza.

fastjetLCC fastjet (FN) finally became a reality with the launch today of its maiden route from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza followed by Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro later in the morning.

► EGYPT: Air Arabia Egypt launches Alexandria - Kuwait, Riyadh ops.

LAir Arabia logoCC Air Arabia Egypt (E5) this past Monday (25 November 2012) expanded its operations with new services to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. 

■ EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Iberia goes 7x weekly to Malabo as Spain, Equat'l Guinea sign off on BASA.

Equatorial Guinea and former colonial power Spain have formally signed a Bilateral Air Services Agreement between the two countries during an official visit to Spain by the Equato-Guinean Minister of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation, Agapito Mba Mokuy. The agreement has paved the way for Spain's Iberia (IB) to increase its flights to the Equato-Guinean capital, Malabo, from 6x weekly, to 7x weekly effective 1 December 2012.

■ TANZANIA: Construction of Terminal III Extension to Dar es Salaam's Julius Nyerere International Airport to finally go ahead?

TanzaniaConstruction of the new Terminal III complex at Dar es Salaam's Julius Nyerere International (JNIA) Airport is set to proceed once a suitable qualified contractor has been found by the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA).

■ NAMIBIA: Air Namibia strike ends as pilot's union accepts management's offer.

Air NamibiaAfter nearly 2 weeks on strike and protracted negotiations that severely disrupted Namibian national carrier Air Namibia's operations, the Namibian Pilots Association (NAPA) has acquiesced to Air Namibia management's initial offer of a 5% pay rise.

► CHAD: Kenya Airways rumoured to have dropped Ndjamena flights citing high taxes, poor loads.

Kenya AirwaysReports out of Chad claim that numerous passengers have been left stranded in the Chadian capital Ndjamena after Kenya Airways (KQ) "suddenly" dropped its Nairobi - Ndjamena route. In corroboration, reservation system Amadeus shows no flights available either now, or in the future, though no official confirmation has yet been heard from the Kenyan national carrier itself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

► KENYA: Skyward Int. Aviation set to receive first Fokker 100; another Fokker 50.

Swiss aviation newswire CH-Aviation is reporting that Kenyan aircraft charter company "Skyward International Aviation" is set to receive their first jet - a Fokker 100 (MSN 11307 | 5Y-SIA) in addition to a Fokker 50 (MSN 20111 | 5Y-MIS).

■ SPAIN: Rwandair awards Iberia contract for CRJ900 maintenance.

The maintenance division of Spanish carrier Iberia (IB), Iberia Maintenance, and Rwandan carrier Rwandair (WB) have signed a comprehensive contract which will see the Spanish firm being responsible for the up keep and maintenance of the components of Rwandair's two brand new Bombardier CRJ900s.

► COTE D'IVOIRE: Corsair International to start 4x weekly Abidjan flights from 2013.

Corsair InternationalFrench carrier Corsair International is to expand its presence in West Africa with the addition of Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. Effective 1 March 2013, Corsair will serve the Ivorian capital 4x weekly from Paris Orly with an A330-300.

► TANZANIA: See Pics of fastjet's inaugural non-commercial flight!

fastjetfastjet (FN) yesterday (Tuesday 27 November) celebrated its launch with its inaugural non-commercial flight from Dar es Salaam; a 40-minute round trip over the Indian Ocean above Zanzibar. Note: the carrier's official inaugural revenue flight is scheduled for Thursday 29 November.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

■ MAURITANIA: Mauritania joins Libya, Madagascar in arguing their case to be struck off the EU Banned Carriers List.

Mauritania has joined a growing list of African countries trudging off to the Belgian capital  and seat of the European Union, Brussels, to argue their cases to be struck off the dreaded EU No Fly List. Last week, a Mauritanian delegation, led by the Minister of Equipment and Transport Yahya Ould Hadmine, held a meeting with officials from the European Union in Brussels to present their full report on air transport security and safety standards in Mauritania.

► COMOROS: Inter Îles Air Embraer 120 ditches into Indian Ocean shortly after take off; no casualties.

Inter Îles Air logoComorien radio is reporting the ditching of a local Inter Îles Air (ZXA) Embraer 120ER (MSN: 120-149 | D6-HUA) off the coast of Hahaya, Grande Comore this afternoon Tuesday, November 27, 2012. Reports state that all on board survived.

■ NIGERIA: Embraer provisionally agrees to partner Government in Nigerian airline refleeting initiative.

EmbraerFresh from the announcement of its intention to open its first African Authorized Aircraft Service Facility (AASF) in Kenya next year, Embraer, the Brazilian regional aircraft manufacturer, has provisionally agreed to collaborate with the Nigerian Government's efforts to assist domestic Nigerian airlines in acquiring new aircraft "at concessionary rates."

■ ZIMBABWE: Government crafts law to protect Air Zim from creditors; puts 74% stake in UM up for grabs.

Air ZimbabweThe Zimbabwean Government is once again looking for a strategic partner for Air Zimbabwe (UM). In a new proposal, a 74% shareholding in the ailing national carrier is to be put up for grabs after a previous deal with China's Hainan Airlines (HU), in February, broke down over Air Zimbabwe’s reluctance to grant Hainan a 65% stake rather than 45% as proposed.

Monday, November 26, 2012

■ KENYA: Jetlink Express bankruptcy sucks in Ministers as creditors go to court.

Jetlink ExpressBankrupt Kenyan regional operator, Jetlink Express (J0), grounded since 16 November due to the inaccessibility of USD2million worth of funds currently locked up in South Sudan, has suffered yet another blow as creditors have begun to move in to secure their interests.

■ KENYA: Embraer to open an Authorized Service Facility in Nairobi with Kenya Airways in 2013.

EmbraerEmbraer, the Brazilian regional aircraft manufacturer, has set its sights on Nairobi, Kenya and partner Kenya Airways (KQ) as a potential base for its first Authorized Aircraft Service Facility (AASF) in Africa to be opened in early 2013.

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Group SAA finally releases its 2011/2012 Financials; records USD163.2million operating loss.

SAA logoSouth African Airways (SA) has at long last, released its financial report for the Financial Year 2011/2012 ending 31 March 2012. In its brief, signed off by the airline's previous board, the carrier reported an operating loss of USD163.2million (ZAR1.3billion) despite its total revenue being up six percent on the previous year. Overall, the group posted a ZAR32million Total comprehensive loss.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

► CAMEROON: Turkish Airlines to start 4x weekly Yaounde, Douala flights from late December.

Turkish AirlinesTurkish Airlines (TK) has announced another route into Central/West Africa; this time to Cameroon. The Turkish carrier, which recently celebrated adding its 200th aircraft to its ever growing fleet, will serve the cities of Yaounde and Douala 4x weekly with a Boeing 737-900ER effective 21 December 2012.

● SOUTH AFRICA: South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) warns of looming strike.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has given notice of an impending strike by members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) set for tomorrow Monday 25 November 2012.

Friday, November 23, 2012

●● SOUTH AFRICA: All set for the 44th AFRAA General Assembly to be held from 18-20 November in Johannesburg.

44th AFRAA General Assembly

[UPDATE 23 NOVEMBER 2012] The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) is set to convene its 44th Annual General Assembly slated for the 18th – 20th November 2012, and to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa's commercial hub, Johannesburg. 

►► OMAN: Ethiopian increases Muscat frequency from late November on.

Ethiopian Airlines will from 27 November 2012 increase its Addis Ababa – Muscat, Oman flights from the current 3/4x weekly, to daily. The flight is operated with a Boeing 737-700.

►► CAMEROON: Arik Air to start Lagos - Douala from late August.

Arik Air[UPDATE 23 NOVEMBER 2012] Nigerian private carrier Arik Air (W3), is to launch a 3x weekly (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) service between Lagos, Nigeria and Douala, Cameroon using a Boeing 737-700, starting Thursday 30 August 2012.

►► NAMIBIA: Air Namibia issues next round of updates as Strike persists.

Air NamibiaDue to the increasing length of the previous post, a new one has been started to cover the latest update on Air Namibia's (SW) on-going  NAPA industrial action.

■ TUNISIA: Royal Luxemburg Soparfi SA set to invest in unnamed Tunisian carrier shortly.

Royal Luxemburg Soparfi SAItalo-Luxembourger financial holding company, Royal Luxemburg Soparfi SA, are set to invest in an as-yet undisclosed Tunisian airline. Exact details on the deal are still murky at this stage.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

● ANGOLA: TAAG, Pimentel Araújo elected to Chairmanship of AFRAA.

TAAG logo
Linhas Aéreas de Angola better known as TAAG Angolan Airlines (DT) were this week elected to the chairmanship of the Executive Committee of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), during their recently ended 44th Annual General Meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

► ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian announces 787 route changes to Johannesburg & Dubai for December.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) continues to adjust its Boeing 787 operations with changes for the month of December 2012 as follows:

■ ALGERIA: Construction of new Terminal at Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport set to begin in 2014.

Flag of AlgeriaThe Algerian government has forged ahead with its previously mentioned plans of transforming Houari Boumediene International Airport in the Algerian capital, Algiers, into an international hub. In an interview with Algerian paper Tout sur l'Algérie, the airport's CEO Tahar Allache allured to a new terminal to be built by 2018 and which will accommodate 10 million passengers per year, in addition to extra-wide-bodies such as the Airbus A380.

► NIGERIA: Aero Contractors to start daily Abuja-Calabar flights from December.

Nigerian airline, Aero Contractors (AJ), will from 1 December 2012, commence daily Boeing 737-500 flights between Abuja and the south eastern city of Calabar, Cross River State.

► LIBYA: Tunisair goes Sfax - Tripoli, Benghazi from April 2013.

TunisairFresh from announcing better pax uptake and stronger financials for November 2012, Tunisair (TU) will, starting 2 April 2013, expand its Boeing 737-600 operations from the Tunisian city of Sfax to Libya.

► SOUTH AFRICA: kulula to start Joburg - East London flights from 2013.

kululaFrom 1 March 2013, South African LCC, kulula (MN), will launch flights between Johannesburg ORTIA and the coastal Eastern Cape city of East London. The airline says it will operate two return flights a day on the one-hour trip, using its new 189-seater Boeing 737-800. 

►► THAILAND: Ethiopian Airlines boosts Bangkok, Hong Kong flights from late November.

[UPDATE 22 NOVEMBER 2012] Ethiopian Airlines (ET), will from 24 November 2012, increase its Addis Ababa – Bangkok – Hong Kong 767 operated service from 4x weekly, to daily. As a result, Bangkok will see an increase from 7x to 10x weekly flights.

► TANZANIA: fastjet outlines Zanzibar, Kenya, Uganda ops as TCAA grants it full operational approval.

fastjetWith the first of its fleet of Airbus A319s having now having arrived in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam, nascent low-cost carrier fastjet (FN) has been granted  full approval to operate the aircraft  by the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA). Its team of 35 pilots, 65 cabin crew and 7 maintenance specialists on the ground actively preparing for launch, the carrier has outlined its regional expansion plans as demand for its flights has totalled to more than 8'000 bookings in their first week on sale.

► LIBYA: See Pic of Air Libya's ARJ100 in their new swanky livery!

Air LibyaAs mentioned in our previous post, Air Libya (7Q), the private Libyan carrier formerly known as Tibesti Air Libya, is set to receive its first BAe146-300/ARJ100 (MSN: 3234 | 5A-FLB) in the carrier's new corporate identity and livery.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

► MOROCCO: Ryanair to resume London Stansted, Luton - Marrakech from 2013.

Infamous Irish LCC, Ryanair (FR), have confirmed the resumption of two London - Marrakech, Morocco routes to its winter schedule, with 8 weekly flights to/from London Stansted (4 per week) and London Luton (4 per week) from February 2013, as late additions to its winter 2012-13 schedule

► HONG KONG: Air Mauritius to go 3x weekly to Hong Kong from July 2013.

Air MauritiusFresh from last week's announcement of direct Shanghai flights from 2013, Air Mauritius (MK) will from 2 July 2013 add a 3rd weekly flight on its Mauritius – Hong Kong route. The 3rd weekly flight is expected to be maintained into the Northern Winter 2013/14 season as well.

■ NIGERIA: NAMA switches to Automated Flight Planning.

NAMAThe Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) has, effective 15 November 2012, switched from the analogue method of preparing flight plans to an automated flight plan system, that can be accessed here. In addition, the system is compatible with changes announced to the ICAO model flight plan form and ATS Messages (Amendment 1 to 15th Edition of PANS ATM Doc 4444) which came into effect on 15 November 2012.

● STRIKES! African aviation scene hit by wave of strikes as Namibia, Mozambique, Libya and Kenya affected.

StrikeThe season for go slows and strikes appears to have hit the African aviation scene this week with 4 countries reporting industrial action, either planned, or ongoing.

► SOUTH AFRICA: New LCC airline Skywise to launch in Q1 2013 using 737-300s.

As previously reported by The African Aviation Tribune, the original founders of defunct South African LCC 1Time have indeed revealed that they are planning to launch a brand new low-cost carrier, called Skywise, in South Africa during the first 3 months of 2013.

■ ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian opens first phase of New Cloud Nine lounge in Addis Ababa.

EthiopianEthiopian Airlines (ET) has opened the first phase of its new business class (Cloud Nine) lounge at its main hub, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. The phase now features modern facilities and amenities and is available exclusively to premium travellers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

■ NIGERIA: (Pics) FAAN again gives aircraft owners 1 month to clean up airport boneyards.

FAAN logo
The Nigerian Federal Aviation Authority (FAAN) has issued a 1 month ultimatum to the country's aircraft owners and operators, to remove all  abandoned aircraft that litter Nigeria's 8 major airports or risk legal proceedings as the country moves to cast off the stereotypical image of African aviation - decrepit potholed taxiways and runways, poorly maintained colonial era terminal buildings and above all, the obligatory aircraft boneyard filled with rusting 707 hulks (and the occasional Antonov tossed in for good measure).

► ANGOLA: See Pic of Guicango's Embraer 120 in new company colours!

Angolan private carrier Guicango Agência de Viagem (NCL) has had its first non-Russian aircraft - an Embraer 120 (MSN: 120212 | D2-FFZ) painted in the company's new livery and corporate identity.

■■ MOZAMBIQUE: Search for missing South African pilots to end Friday.

Mayday[UPDATED 20 NOVEMBER 2012] The search for two South African pilots who went missing on 27 October as they flew home to South Africa is to be called off Friday. 

Bryan Simms, 60, and his son Robert, 22, from Midrand, Johannesburg, were flying back to Lanseria airport, Johannesburg in a Beechcraft Baron 58 (MSN TH-737 | ZS-JPG). They had departed Lilongwe, Malawi en route to Lanseria when contact was lost around 45 minutes from Beira airport, Mozambique.

Monday, November 19, 2012

► SOUTH AFRICA: Mango to start Joburg & Cape Town to PE flights from December.

South African LCC Mango (JE) are to launch daily return flights between Johannesburg and the coastal city of Port Elizabeth as well as Cape Town and Port Elizabeth effective 5 December. Johannesburg - PE bookings will be available from Tuesday 20 November.

► SOUTH AFRICA: Singapore Airlines Cargo launches new dedicated Johannesburg flights.

Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQ) has announced various changes to its world cargo routes, in addition to the announcement of a new direct Singapore - Johannesburg, South Africa dedicated terminator service. The changes have been in vigour since 28 October.