Fly540 extends services to Meru,Fly540 Angola likely to launch flights this week

Meru National Park is one of Kenya’s least crowded but will soon receive more visitors following the launch of flights to Meru by Fly540, the fast expanding regional airline.


 The services are operating three times weekly on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday via Nanyuki from Wilson Airport using a Cessna Caravan aircraft. This leaves Wilson at 3.00 pm and arrives in Nanyuki at 3.45 pm departing Nanyuki at 4.00 pm to arrive at Kina Airstrip in Meru at 4.15pm.

The return flight leaves Meru at 4.30pm and arrives in Nanyuki 15 minutes later. Departure from Nanyuki is scheduled for 5.00pm to arrive in Wilson Airport at 5.45 pm.

Nixon Ooko, the Fly540 Operations Director said, “We are keen to make more tourist destinations accessible by air as it gives visitors more time to enjoy their game viewing. Our flights to the Mara, Amboseli, Nanyuki and Samburu have become very popular and we hope to see more tourists visiting Meru National Park.”

In other news,talk is rife that Fly540 Angola will launch flights on Monday 20th December,2010.But why is the launch shrouded in so much secrecy?Wolfgang H Thome,eTurbo News correspondent,calls it "Angola Factor" which would be translated to mean "uncertainties with governmental decisions and turn abouts ... nothing is 'done' until it's 'done' 


Kenya Airways Launches Rome;to codeshare with Alitalia

Kenya Airways airline launched its new route on Thursday, and is currently the only carrier to link the two countries directly.Services will operate three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Alitalia Image Courtesy
 Flight KQ121 from Rome's Fiumucino airport leaves at 10.25am, arriving into Nairobi at 7.05pm.
The flight from Nairobi (KQ120) leaves at 12.55am, arriving into Rome at 6.30am.In the past, flying between Italy and Nairobi often involved a back-track, for example via Paris or Zurich.

 The new Rome - Nairobi flight marks the start of the commercial co-operation between Alitalia and Kenya Airways, which will see the introduction of code-sharing flights on some routes operated by the two carriers.

Alitalia is codesharing on the route (applying its AZ code to flights), and will represent Kenya Airways in the Italian market through its own sales network.Alitalia will also codeshare on flights operated by Kenya Airways between Nairobi and Mombasa, while other destinations in Africa will be covered by an interline agreement, as both airlines are Skyteam members.
Interlining is when both passengers and their bags can through-check, when travelling on a single ticket. This agreement will also cover passengers opting to fly between the UK and Nairobi with Alitalia and Kenya Airways, via Rome.

From Nairobi it will also be possible to reach other destinations served by the Kenyan company (Malindi, Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, Entebbe, Bujumbura, Kigali and Lusaka) thanks to an interline agreement between the two companies.In return, Kenya Airways will apply its “KQ” flight code to Alitalia flights from Rome to Milan Malpensa (and viceversa) connecting with the service between Nairobi and Rome.

Fly540 Angola to Launch Flights in one week

Fly540 Angola, subsidiary of Lonrho, will commence daily Luanda-Cabinda-Soyo services in a week according to a close source.Earlier in the month ,Lonrho issued a statement saying it would commence the Fly540 Angola operations "by the end of 2010".While we have been kept guessing as to the exact date of the launch of the operations,reliable source has told us that the launch date "could be somewhere between 20th-22nd December" as  they are planning to commence operations before Christmas.

The services are likely to commence with a single aircraft serving the north of the country from Luanda three times daily. In the future an additional two aircraft are contracted to arrive from Europe within four to six weeks.Fly540 Angola would be the first private sector International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) registered airline for Angola.

Touchdown East Africa:The Rapid growth of aviation in East Africa

Kenyan business journalist Terryanne Chebet has been hosting an interesting four part series into aviation in East Africa on Citizen TV.

Her first episode shows "Who is who" in the aviation sector in East Africa.Here is a quick summary:
Rwandair: 100% owned by the government of Rwanda
Precision Air:34% owned by Kenya Airways and 52% owned by Michael Shirima and 15% by investors after an IPO issue
Air Uganda:Owned by Aga Khan through his Meridian flagship
Jetlink:Captain Elly Aluvale,Kiran Patel,Raila Odinga(Kenyan PM) and Musalia Mudavadi(Kenyan Deputy PM)
Fly540The first Kenyan LCC:majority owned by Lonrho Africa
Kenya Airways: 23% owned by the Kenyan government,26% by KLM and 51% by investors through shares
OneJetOne:To fly from July 2011 after clinching a $55 million deal with a Chinese aviation investor HNA Aviation Group

Watch the first three episodes on YouTube:




Almada Portugal:Is TAAG Airlines becoming a flying coffin once more?

Plane scattered debris over Almada before being forced to return to Lisbon airport A year and a half after having been authorized to resume flights to Portugal, the Angolan airline TAAG, is again involved in serious problems related to the safety of its planes.

On December 6, a little after having taken off from Lisbon's Portela Airport, passengers and crew that were aboard the Boeing 777 to Luanda heard a noise and intense vibration caused by a number of parts that came loose from the engine of the airplane. The parts fell on the streets of the town of Almada, causing some physical damage and injuring two but not seriously.

Faced with this complex situation, the pilots were forced to alter the flight and emergency land at the airport in Lisbon. The more than 120 passengers were taken to a hotel and it is said that TAAG does not intend to reimburse customers for their return to Angola.

In parallel, the company already made it known, through its representative in Portugal, that it will take responsibility for the results of the incident, by way of an investigation already underway, to determine cause of the fault.

In 2007, the European Union put TAAG on its black lits of airlines prohibited from flying in European airspace after France had detected serious deficiencies in the safety of its airplanes.

At the time, and to minimize the loss, TAAG opted to rent planes from South African Airlines, including crews from that country.

In 2009 the restriction was partially lifted and the EU recommended that the Angolan airline resume flights between Luanda and Lisbon, with the Instituto Nacional de Aviação Civil (National Civil Aviation Institute) commiting to do inspections on the aircraft that operated this route. Apparently, the collaboration was not adequate.

Yesterday ,in a press release,TAAG offered to pay damagescaused by the incident.The press release reads:
TAAG Angola Airlines would like to inform that the flight DT651 operating with a three (3) years old equipment B777-200ER took off this morning at 10:51 hours from Lisbon to Luanda with 125 passengers on board.

A few minutes after take-off, pilots felt a vibration on the right engine. Emergency procedures were taken and the commander decided to return to Lisbon airport where he landed safely and smoothly at 11:31.

Passengers on board did not notice any abnormality and at this moment are waiting in an Hotel on the Portuguese capital for a flight to their final destination.

TAAG is gathering information about possible consequences of the incident to assume all liabilities.

 What remains to be seen is how this sad episode will influence the relationship between TAAG and the European Union and with its customers who have for a long time complained about the national carrier for a number of different reasons, delays being the most common one.

Green Solutions:Follow aviation proceedings at COP16

Follow the proceedings on COP16 and give us your thoughts about what should be done to make our skies greener?
Follow COP16 on Twiter

Jetlink Flies high in East Africa:Next stop,Asmara

Information was received from Jetlink, one of Kenya’s successful private airlines, that following the launch of their flights from Nairobi via Kisumu to Mwanza they have now also been cleared to commence operations to Asmara / Eritrea. This new destination will come hot on the heels of Hargeisa in Somaliland, a relatively stable breakaway part of Somalia seeking independence and recognition as an independent country. 
 The airline has also confirmed that they have signed interline agreements with such prominent global airlines as Emirates, Brussels Airlines and Qatar Airways, which will allow passengers on either airline to be ticketed through to their final destination and receive their bags, subject to customs clearing points, at their final destination.

Air Traffic Controllers in East Africa now targetted by Gulf States

International airlines, especially those based in the Gulf region, have in the past made it almost a habit to snap up trained pilots, cabin crew and technical personnel from carriers in Eastern Africa to the dismay of local airlines who incurred heavy training expenses. Even ‘bonding’ has not fully stopped the outbound migration of such skilled individuals, as some pilots reportedly do receive ‘their money back’ from new employers, after quitting and paying off their ‘bond’, while yet others who decided the stay on successfully negotiated substantially better pay and terms and conditions from their employers – as repeatedly reported here in past editions.

 The next aviation target group now appear to be the air traffic controllers, who like pilots, cabin crew and engineers are paid relatively little – by international standards that is – though of course have very handsome salary packages compared with the rest of the local labour market.

An upcoming shortage of ATC’s has according to a source in Nairobi triggered offers to such individuals to resign and sign up for lucrative contracts abroad, which would potentially leave the East African skies exposed should such a trend in the first place exist and then prevail. Training air traffic controllers, like is the case with pilots, is a lengthy and costly exercise and control tower staff are already working at near maximum capacity. Any reduction therefore could potentially leave screens unmanned and overwork the remaining staff, or see trainees turned out faster than should be the case. It is thought that the minimum time required to train ATC staff is three years but specialised training can push this to several more years before being fully qualified to work ‘alone’. 

 Figures given by a source in Entebbe of air traffic control staff across the entire East African Community are less than 400 in the ‘best scenario’ while some put the figures nearer to the 300 mark, which if true underscores the need to not only actively recruit new trainees but also create a work environment and pay packages commensurate with their responsibility and skills.

Even if traffic across Eastern Africa is nowhere near the intensity of Europe or the key Gulf airports, it still needs to be conducted safely and securely which requires sufficient staff on duty, on call and as back up. Only recently was it reported here that the Ugandan air traffic controllers celebrated the anniversary of their global organisation and it is now better understood why the numbers of the ‘celebrants’ was relatively small in numbers. 

Courtesy Wolfganghthome's Blog

East African Safari Air Express:First Casualty in Airfare wars in Kenya

East African Safari Air Express, airline coding B5, has halted all flights in the face of ever stiffer competition in particular on their main routes to Juba / Southern Sudan and shrinking traffic to what used to be their ‘plum destination’ Lokichoggio / Northern Kenya. 
 The airline, which was operating aged equipment of the early generation DC9’s never managed to achieve what for instance their erstwhile partner and latter day rival Jetlink managed, to convert their fleet to modern day jets with superior operating parameters in particular as far as fuel burn was concerned, leave alone firming up market perception about ‘being on the move’ and not standing still. 

Some weeks ago the DC9 fleet was effectively grounded in a last ditch effort to cause a financial turnabout, and substituted for two South African registered BAE 146. That however too did not stop the bleed apparently and ever more dismal loadfactors seem to have scared off the joint venture partners from South Africa. It is understood that when they withdrew their planes the end game approached rapidly for EASA and the halt of operations finally confirmed this.

In particular the route to Juba has in recent weeks become substantially more competitive, after Kenya Airways finally entered the frame and commenced daily flights between Nairobi and the Southern Sudanese capital, and together with Jetlink – they are operating twice a day in fact on their modern CRJ200 jets – they will undoubtedly try to see off other competition to this highly profitable destination. The use of EASA’s outdated, worn and far from state of the art aircraft was surely one of the many reasons why B5 in the end operated with what some say barely 30 percent load factor while those using newer jets operate well near with full house on every departure. On the Juba route this development also serves notice to other operators with old equipment, which is expensive to maintain, and the coming weeks will tell the story if others presently operating in Kenya will follow EASA to the exit.

In a twist of sorts, a senior Kenya Airways manager – now taken to court by Jetlink together with KQ itself – made comments last week about B5 not going to operate, but in a mistaken belief seems to have packaged EASA with Jetlink, which in fact not only operates but has just added new routes, and now faces a court case over libel. 

While we await the outcome of this case – some sources have indicated that KQ may wish to settle this out of court in view of the blunder by their employee – the aviation industry in Kenya is undoubtedly now facing a period of ‘survival for the financially fittest’, as Kenya Airways slug it out on the main routes between Nairobi and Mombasa, but of late also Nairobi to Kisumu, with Jetlink and Fly 540. Ever newer and ever lower fares, as reported yesterday when KQ launched a ‘stand by fare’ of 3.000 Kenya Shillings (1 US Dollar is worth about 80 Kenya Shillings) one way between Nairobi and Mombasa, inclusive of all taxes, make operations now only viable when combined with high loadfactors, and the next few months will let aviation observers and the general public know who has the fortitude of deep pockets and high loads and who else might have to face the inevitable and join EASA in the history books of Kenyan aviation. Watch this space for the very latest information on aviation developments in Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean region.

Courtesy  Wolfganghthome's Blog

Fly540 Angola close to commence Operations by end of 2010, Fly540 Ghana to launch in 2011

Lonrho is due to start operating the first private commercial airline in Angola, with daily flights due to begin next week, the chief executive of the group said whilst presenting the group’s results for the financial year ending in September.

"We are going to start operating flights from Luanda to Cabinda and to Soyo next week," said David Lenigas, adding that initially the company would operate with a single aircraft, with a further two due to arrive in angola in four to six weeks.

Lonrho, which is a stakeholding company with assets in 17 African countries, already owns Fly540, an airline operating in Kenya since 2006, and competition in Angola is made up of charter flight companies.

"The demand for an international standard domestic and regional airline in the booming Angolan economy is clearly evident. The establishment of Fly540 Angola and the process of launching the first private sector International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) registered airline for Angola has been a long and difficult procedure. This has involved the training and education of staff to the standards required for an international airline. Fly540 Angola should commence commercial operation by the end of 2010",the company said on its website.

The chief executive of Lonrho also said that in the first quarter of 2011, Fly54 would set up a regional operation in the capital of Ghana, Accra, from where it would fly to Senegal and Equatorial Guinea.

The Ethiopian Airlines:The mother, the child and the mistress

The long wait....This is an interesting  reblog from Victoria Moore's piece on Flight Global.Should Ethiopian Airlines stick to a 50 year marriage with Boeing that refuses to deliver the Boeing 787 or should ET get the "energetic French mistress" who will deliver the Airbus A350 by 2017?Enjoy the read
Flight Global journalist Victoria Moores

"I was in sunny Ethiopia last week for the African Airlines Association annual general assembly. It was 23° out there - in sharp contrast to today's snowy London landscape. During the conference a charming story emerged, which I was told has been playing out for the last couple of years. I thought I'd share it with you.

We were welcomed by an address from Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Girma Wake, which went something like this: "The Boeing 787 has refused to come out of Seattle and our first 777-200LR was delivered mid-week. Boeing says there is a tradition: the mother should be allowed to leave the room before the child. Now that the 900th 777 has left, we have every hope that the 787 will follow the mother."

Ethiopian's 10 787s were due to start arriving back in 2008, making them two years late. There is no doubt that Ethiopian is annoyed with Boeing, despite their 50-year relationship. Wake continues: "When you've been married for over half a century, we [Ethiopian] won't ask you [Boeing] for a divorce because there is no chance that we want to end our marriage. We've been together for 50 years and have seen good and bad times together. The wedding took place 50 years ago, the marriage is still on, let's make sure the 787 solidifies [our relationship]."

But at the Airbus-sponsored farewell cocktail, the analogy continued. Airbus sales vice-president for North Africa Francois Cognard joked that it was "great timing on the part of Boeing" to deliver Ethiopian's first 777, just as the airline hosted the AFRAA meeting. He insisted that the AFRAA secretariat should commit to returning to Addis Ababa for their general assembly in 2017, when Ethiopian will take its first Airbus A350. He quipped: "By 2017, the energetic French mistress will be here." 

I caught up with Cognard later, to compliment him on his speech. He said: "When I came to Ethiopia two years ago, everyone was talking about the long-married couple [Ethiopian and Boeing]. I wanted to introduce myself and make light of things, so I made a reference to Ethiopian needing a French mistress."

I like his style."

South Africa introduces high-tech boarding passes for improved passenger convenience

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and the airlines have introduced a new, cutting-edge, air travel convenience with the implementation of a system that allows passengers to make on-line or mobile flight ticket bookings and print their own boarding passes. The system went live early September 2010 for domestic flights and is working well.
A Lufthansa Mobile Boarding Pass
International travelers will be able to use the new 2-D barcode as soon approval has been received from the Department of Home Affairs whilst 1Time Airline will only be ready next year.Bar Coded Boarding Passes (BCBP) use IATA industry standard 2D bar codes. Because they can be accessed from anywhere - even a mobile phone - they offer more convenience for the passenger.

Historically, airline global applications for mobile phone technology have been restricted due to different regional formats. The IATA standard uses existing codes: Aztec and Datamatrix which are used extensively in Europe and North America; and QR which is widely used in Japan. All three are proven technologies and can be read by a single scanner type that is cost effective and readily available globally.

 “The 2-D barcode verification system is the new standard in air travel that has been adopted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), thereby bringing South Africa in line with global practices. Passengers will no longer have to queue at the airport for check-in as their seat is assigned at the time of booking, while they can also print their boarding pass on any home laser or ink-jet printer. There are equally positive benefits for airlines, as the volume of people using their check-in desks will diminish, while giving them real-time monitoring of which passengers have already checked into the secure area,” says Bongani Maseko, ACSA’s Group Executive for Airport Operations.

ACSA has been working with industry players and partners over the past two years to put in place the system that requires the implementation of certain technologies, standards and functionality. The overall objective of the new system is to simplify the check-in process for the airlines and provide greater flexibility and convenience for air travellers.

IATA developed a detailed technical specification for the 2-D barcode system to ensure compliance and interoperability between the different participants. ACSA has worked with industry bodies such as the Airlines Association of Southern Africa and the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa to ensure a smooth and collaborative implementation.

The system is being rolled out in a phased manner, starting with O.R. Tambo, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein International Airports, and George and Kimberley Airports. King Shaka International and our three other airports will be operational by the end of the year.

Maseko explains that airlines will offer a 2-D barcode printing service at their check-in counters for passengers who do not have the ability to print their pre-booked boarding pass. Passengers who use the 2-D boarding pass are required to carry positive identification, which must be produced at the boarding gate. An on-going education and information campaign will be implemented by ACSA to help passengers and the industry to make the necessary adjustments to this new system.

The system will be available for domestic travel on the following media: Check-in counter printed boarding passes, Common-User Self-Service printed boarding passes, Home printed boarding passes and Mobile devices. For international travelers, all of the above will be scanned, except for the 2-D boarding passes on mobile devices. It will be available for international travelers after the necessary approvals have been obtained from the Department of Home Affairs.

Airports Company South Africa to replace xylophone announcement jingle with vuvuzela blasts
FED UP WITH PASSENGERS IGNORING FINAL BOARDING CALLS, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has announced plans to replace the traditional three-tone xylophone PA announcement jingle with three blasts from a vuvuzela.

An ACSA spokesman stated: “Our office is still awash with those annoying plastic horns from the World Cup - what better way to put them to use and help get the planes away on time.” ACSA also plans to use as many as possible in foundations for apron extensions.
A view of the runway at O.R. Tambo International Airport's Terminal

Air Mauritius Recruits new Cabin Crew

Air Mauritius has recently recruited more than 35 cabin crew to join its existing team of some 490 stewards and hostesses and to ensure its smooth operations.The CEO Mr. Raj Bungsraz has been personally involved in the recruitment process.
 The new recruits will undergo normal training in Safety and Emergency Procedures as well as customers service and be thoroughly tested before starting to serve as cabin crew.

Luanda Airport Handles 2 million passengers in the first half of 2010

The 4 de Fevereiro International Airport in Luanda, Angola, dealt with over 2 million passengers in the first half of 2010, the airport’s managing director, Joaquim Cunha said Saturday in Luanda.

According to Cunha the figures can be compared to those seen before the airport’s terminal was refurbished and extended, when it processed around 1.8 million passengers per year.

The work to modernize and extend the international airport, which required investment of around US$74 million, included extending departures and arrivals areas, with the departure area increasing the number of check-in desks from 12 to 26 and the arrivals area receiving three new luggage conveyors.

Support services such as customs, tax police and the Foreigners and Migration Service also gained modern equipment, equipped rooms and improved working conditions.

The airport has three new car parks with capacity for 856 cars, including specific areas for disabled drivers and an automatic system to control and manage the car parks.

Angola’s airport management company, Empresa Nacional de Aeroportos e Navegação Aérea (Enana) has been carrying out a programme of refurbishment, modernisation and equipment of around 30 large, medium-sized and small airports across the country, as part of a project estimated to cost around US$400 million, under the terms of the Public Investment Programme

Email Us at

1time Airline is BEE Empowered through agreement with Mtha Aviation
South African aviation group 1time would raise R65,1-million to expand its airline and related businesses by selling a 25% interest in the group to a black economic-empowerment (BEE) consortium.Mtha Aviation.

 The group entered into a subscription agreement with Mtha Aviation and the SKMT Sunrise Investment Group to become its strategic BEE partners.The parties have formed an investment holding company, Oakleaf Investment Holdings, to acquire and hold the 25% stake in the 1time group. Mtha would own 83% of Oakleaf and Sunrise the balance.

Oakleaf would subscribe for 70-million shares in the aviation group.1time has negotiated with a third-party to fund the BEE deal.To that end, 1 000 preference shares in Oakleaf would be issued to the third-party funder for a total of R63,15-million, representing 97% of the required funding.The remaining R1,95-million would be paid in cash by Mtha and Sunrise.

1time adds it will use the money to expand its airline, aircraft maintenance and charter businesses “and to increase the group's BEE shareholding to realise its vision and strategy to create the largest
low cost airline in South Africa. The specific issue provides 1time with the opportunity to meet both of these objectives.”

“The improved BEE shareholding will significantly strengthen the group's BEE credentials, re-enforcing the group's commitment to a multi-faceted approach to BEE, which aims to increase the number of previously disadvantaged individuals who manage, own and control the company.”said a 1time executive

 Mtha Aviation has revenues of about R100 million a year and is involved in training of aviation personnel and aircraft maintenance. Mtha MD Busi Maqungo said the company had been approached to acquire a stake in 1time. "It was clear from the beginning that any new investor needed to bring capital to the table in order to fund 1time’s expansion. Not only were we able to do that, we were a good fit for 1time in that we are also involved in the aviation sector."

On inception of the company Mogwele Investments owned 5% of 1time Airline. They have now evolved as a 3% shareholding partner in the entire 1time Holdings group. Mogwele Investments is a black empowerment company, represented by Sipho Twala who serves on the airline's board assuming the position of chairman of the Group.
1time Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Orsmond, said: "1time is the first privately owned airline to commit itself to the objectives and targets set out in the Aviation Transport Charter. These objectives include a targeted 25% black empowerment shareholding. The airline is furthermore committed to consistently offering the lowest airfares to the general public to make air travel accessible to those previously denied the opportunity to travel by air." 

More Info:Formally established in 2007 by professionals in the aviation industry with collective experience of more than 40 years.The company was built in response to the need for organizational reconfiguration and change management challenges in the aerospace sector in South Africa.Its vision and mission is to be world class aviation consulting firm in the African continent.
Managing Director:Busi Maqungo

Lufthansa's African Dream

 Five decades after launching its first flight to Africa,the Lufthansa group has now increased its focus on the African market with renewed vigor.As part of its strategy,the most important growth markets on the continent-South Africa,Egypt,Angola,Kenya,Nigeria,Ghana- have been integrated into the Group’s global route network and are served by frequent connections.
German Federal Minister of Transport at that time, Hans-Christoph Seebohm, a guest on Lufthansa’s inaugural flight to Lagos on March 4, 1962, is greeted by Chief Ben Oluwole.
 The high economic growth rate in Africa has translated into higher passenger numbers for the German carrier.In 2009,Lufthansa grew by 15% in Africa(40% in Nigeria alone).Lufthansa has also partnered with Ethiopian Airlines,Egypt Air and South African Airways within the Star Alliance.

Currently,Lufthansa serves 18 destinations in Africa with 115 flights per week from Frankfurt and Munich. Together with its partners SWISS, Austrian Airlines, bmi and Brussels Airlines, the Lufthansa Group serves a total of 39 destinations in Africa with 269 flights per week.In 2009 alone,Lufthansa increased its capacity to Nigeria by 40%.
A Lufthansa A380 in the air
Expansion of the route network has focused on West and Central Africa.Also, in the past few years, the logistics specialist Lufthansa Cargo has considerably expanded its activities in Africa.
"We wanted to be strong through partnerships with African airlines and we wanted to have a partner in the heart of Africa",says Antinori.

 How important is Africa to Lufthansa?According to Lufthansa's marketing and sales chief,Thierry Antinori,"Africa with 950 million people is the biggest continent after Asia Pacific.You have a lot of resources...and you have a middle class that is growing and traveling.You have a lot of investors like the Chinese and other Asians ...this means Africa is important strategically for Lufthansa as a global airline" ............To show how important Africa is to us,our first destination with the new A380 was to Johannesburg"

SITA delivers milestone survey on the future of aviation safety training in Africa

Following a comprehensive survey of more than 100 stakeholders in the African aviation industry, SITA today confirmed the delivery of data to ICAO on the capacity and demand for aviation training in Africa.

The online database was developed at the request of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). It is part of the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa (Africa-Indian Ocean (AFI) Plan) which addresses the concerns expressed by the ICAO Council regarding the safety status of aircraft operations in the AFI Region. The database was prepared by SITA with the assistance of air traffic management consultancy, Helios.

The SITA/Helios team worked closely with the AFI Training Experts Working Group to design a survey to assess the aviation training needs and resources of the Continent and collected data to inform future roadmaps for training harmonization.

Rob Watkins, SITA Regional Vice President, Africa, speaking at the ICAO regional seminar in Mozambique, said: “This survey has been a significant undertaking. More than 100 detailed responses were gathered from training organisations, regulators, air navigation service providers, airlines and maintenance organisations across Africa.

“SITA’s in-country experts ensured that a wide cross section of stakeholders responded to the survey, guaranteeing that the information gathered will be put to good use to help improve aviation safety in Africa. SITA’s contribution demonstrates our commitment and dedication to the air transport community in Africa.”
From the surveys and face-to-face consultations, key themes on training availability and harmonization across Africa were identified and presented to the AFI Training Experts Working Group. These included discussion on syllabus development, regional coordination and information sharing.

Recommendations and an action plan for harmonizing aviation training in Africa were adopted at the Pan-African Aviation Training Coordination Conference held in Cairo, where over 30 African States were represented.

South African Airways becomes Hahn Air's new IET partner

Hahn Air has activated Interline e-Ticketing (IET) with South African Airways (SAA). A total of 231 airlines can now be issued on HR-169 e-documents.

Hahn Air has implemented a new IET agreement with South African Airways, one of the leading airlines of Africa. The flag carrier of South Africa and member of Star Allliance completes the portfolio of African partner airlines within Hahn Air's e-ticketing platform.

 As a result, with the recent finalisation of the new IET agreement, Hahn Air offers a total of 231 airlines for ticketing on insolvency-insured HR-169 e-documents to travel agents around the globe.

More Info:Operating the industry's leading universal ET-Platform, Hahn Air's mission is to connect 100,000 travel agencies worldwide through every GDS or the Internet, with all technically capable airlines of the world. The goal is to provide seamless access to passenger data at all boarding points, across all continents.

Libyan Airlines Launches Mobile OnAir

GSM/GPRS service over  Inmarsat SwitchBroadBand satellite service on Libyan's new Airbus A320 fleet

Just three months after EgyptAir launched on-board mobile and internet services, Libyan Airlines has began offering its passengers OnAir's mobile connectivity services based on Inmarsat SwitchBoard.The service is currently available on Libyan's fleet of single-aisle Airbus A320 aircraft flying international routes between Libya,Europe,Middle East and north America.

Libyan Airlines' customers can now stay connected using their own GSM mobile phones or smartphones.As soon as the aircraft reaches an altitude an altitude of 10,000 feet, passengers can make and receive voice calls,send text and multimedia messages or emails and access the internet through GPRS.

Mr. Emhemed Abrebish ,member of Board Directors and CEO Libyan Airlines said,"Providing this service is part of our ongoing drive to differentiate what we offer and to constantly improve levels of service for our customers.As we renew our fleet of aircraft,Libyan Airlines passengers will be able to stay in touch with family,friends and colleagues while they travel.Since the launch of our connectivity program last month,we have already experienced a very good pick up of the GSM service,particularly the voice element.With the fast growth of Smartphones in Libya,we should expect even more use of service in the next few months."

"Today's launch comes as demand for inflight passenger communications is rising rapidly.I am convinced that onboard mobile communications will be a must-have for most airlines within the next three years," said Ian Dawkins,CEO of OnAir.

Kisumu Airport Resumes International Services after five decades of "silence"

The beautiful Western Kenyan capital of Kisumu has once again opened its skies to the world with Jetlink now offering flights from Kisumu to Mwanza Tanzania.Kisumu used to be the gateway to Kenya in the 30s and 40s with now defunct Imperial Airways and South African Airways offering flights from South Africa to the lake side city.
Kisumu town, Jinja, Uganda
Kisumu City
Photo Courtesy:This travel blog

The airport however rapidly lost its importance with the emergence of Nairobi and Mombasa as major commercial and tourist hubs respectively and the politico-economic marginalization of the region in the succeeding decades.It has been handling domestic flights since.The launch of the Jetlink flights is a major boost and vote of confidence in the airport  given its strategic and central location in the East African Community and COMESA region

The launch of international flights will be a boon to horticultural and the fish industry as produce can now access international markets directly without incurring the extra cost of transporting them to Nairobi.
The new Kisumu airport would put Kisumu on a par with regional centres such as JKIA, Entebbe in Uganda and Mwanza in Tanzania, which receive direct international flights.

International consultants and senior KAA officials launched the bidding for the construction work last year.
According to the Kenya Airports Authority,Kisumu airport will be able to handle 200,000 passengers and be a formidable cargo transit point into the Great Lakes region and beyond.
The onus is now on the residents of the lakeside city to take full advantage this exciting opportunity and build the small city into a regional hub.

Afriqiyah Airways launches Tripoli-Beijing service

Building on its success of connecting many capitals in the African continent and the rest of the world, through its hub in Tripoli, Afriqiyah Airways has launched direct flights to Beijing, China. 

Beijing, Afriqiyah's new landing point, represents the airline's furthest destination at an impressive distance of 9260 kilometers.Flights on Airbus A330 from Tripoli to Beijing will operate every Tuesday-Thursday, departing at 10:00am, while flights from Beijing to Tripoli will depart at 5:30am.

The Libya based airline started the twice a week service to meet the rising travel demand from the Chinese business people and laborers seeking to work abroad.A stark indication of China's economic and technical cooperation with Africa is illustrated by the fact currently about 60% of the Chinese passengers to Africa are technicians and 25% are individual tourists.


Kulula "Going into Africa":Flying into Tanzania has joined forces with Comair(Comair is the operator of British Airways in South Africa), who has acquired the rights to fly 5 weekly return flights to the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam departing from the Oliver Tambo International Airport Johannesburg.

British Airways will be operating the new route and the flights will also be integrated and sold through the distribution network.Online booking began yesterday 4th November 2010 tickets will be available for travel one way between 4 November 2010 – 31st March 2011 or "until the seats sell out" with a promotional fare 0f R999 one way.

The flights will be operated by British Airways and check-in opens 2 hours before departure and close sharply 45 minutes before your flight.None of the kulula ancillary products such as excess baggage are available for this new route and because the flight is operated by British Airways passengers cannot part pay using their kulula moolah(points from kulula's Jetsetter loyalty program) 

The introduction of additional flights to Dar es Salaam will bring a much needed alternative service and competitive pricing to a market that is currently only serviced by one airline operator.South African Airways currently enjoys a virtual monopoly with three and half hour non stop flights from Dar es Salaam(DAR) to Johannesburg(JNB).

The route is also serviced by Kenya Airways(via Nairobi),a flight that takes 15 hours,Ethiopian Airlines(via Addis Ababa taking over 10 hours and also via Maputo) ,by Emirates via Dubai stopover-Cape Town-Joburg(by SAA),by British Airways (nonstop) and via Durban


LAM Mozambique Airlines Increases Services to Nairobi and Angola

LAM - Mozambique Airlines now offers one more weekly flight to Nairobi,increasing its flights to Nairobi from two to three a week .The flights began on Monday, November 1, 2010. According to the airline,the new offer is one of the novelties of the new schedule already in place.
The new weekly flight to Nairobi leaves Maputo shortly after midnight on Mondays, and flies directly to the Kenyan capital. The two other flights, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, both stop at the northern Mozambican city of Pemba.

The new direct flight to Nairobi will increase travel options for passengers flying with LAM  to one of the most preferred destinations in Africa,with several advantages for business travelers to China, India, Dubai and West African countries.
A LAM Flight Attendant
Nairobi is one of the most popular destinations for passengers of LAM, and the airline considers the Maputo-Nairobi service a sustainable one,serving both tourists and businesspeople.
The operations of this third frequency of flights between Maputo - Nairobi - Maputo are completely made from  the new International Airport Mavalane, Maputo, where LAM successfully debuted on 28 October 2010 .LAM  also increased its frequency to Luanda,Angola. 

The flights to Nairobi are an alternative to Johannesburg for passengers whose final destination is in Europe or the Middle East. The Maputo-Luanda route has become popular among well-off Angolans, who regard Maputo as a friendly, and relatively cheap tourist destination.

Congo Brazzaville Airport "powder keg" to be demined

Areas around the Republic of Congo’s (ROC) main Maya-Maya Airport are to be demined for the first time since the end of the 1997 civil war.

Maya Maya Airport Brazzaville
According to the Congolese army, the area around the airport was severely affected during the June to October 1997 war that pitted President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s forces against those of deposed former president Pascal Lissouba.

Col. Frédéric Ingani, head of the defence ministry’s weaponry reserve, described the airport demining zone as a powder keg, saying many of the remnants of war had not exploded.

“The munitions pose a great risk to the surrounding population [estimated at thousands]. On the site we have found shells, rocket launchers, grenades and other unexploded devices,” he told IRIN.

The European Union-funded project aims to help consolidate peace and security in the area and will involve the clearance of explosive materials and the training of army soldiers in mine detection and the removal of explosive materials.

The ROC experienced several civil wars between 1993 and 2003 and has since engaged in a long process of disarmament, demobilization and mine clearance.

About 878,000 weapons and munitions were destroyed between June 2007 and December 2009 by the Mines Advisory Group, mainly in the cities of Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire and in five other regions.

These included 70 Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS), over 125 huge aircraft bombs, 867 rockets, and 4,803 anti-personnel landmines. The group has also trained members of the ROC army to handle explosives.

Flight Global launches a cool new aircraft tracking service, Atlas

Flight Global has launched a beta version of a a real-time aircraft tracking system called Atlas that allows you to track thousands of aircraft in near real-time(there is a 5 minute delay);you can view origins,destinations and altitude displayed in real-time,aircraft registration,type,model and flight number;centre map on any international airport,aircraft trails,active SBS boxes and airport locations. 

The real-time aircraft tracking service overlays aircraft/airline flight data onto Google Maps to provided a flight tracking service. You will need Adoble Flash player version 10.1 to use Atlas which means I am still  unable to fully experience this wonderful platform.

Flight Global plans to extend global coverage with the service once they've approved the beta version of Atlas.People with SBS boxes will be invited to join the Atlas members network and  as new SBS boxes come online, then the coverage will grow rapidly. Southern Africa,East Africa and West Coast of Africa is covered but as expected,the rest of Africa is still a white spot!
Try Atlas


Fly540 Turns 4 and opts for a "two hub" approach

The regional low cost airline Fly 540 is turning four years old soon, having commenced flight operations between Nairobi and Mombasa with an ATR 42 aircraft in November 2006.
Now, four years down the line and growing from strength to strength with operation centres in Uganda and Tanzania, the ‘teething’ period has undoubtedly come to an end and Fly 540 is now Kenya’s leading domestic airline in terms of scheduled flights across the country to airports, aerodromes and airfields in locations, one would not immediately associate with regular flights but rather with the more costly version of air charters.
Fly540 Image courtesy

 As a result, the airline has now opted for a two hub approach in Nairobi, when it moved all the safari operations to Wilson Airport, which is nearer to the city and the preferred choice for business trips to up country destinations and the national parks.

Regional flights by jet to Entebbe, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Mombasa and Malindi, but also to Eldoret and Kisumu, continue to take off from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to ensure easy connections for transit passengers, while those flying into Nairobi and then going on an ‘air safari’ need to take a road transfer from JKIA to Wilson.

At Jomo Kenyatta International Airport the fleet is ‘mixed’ between CRJ200 aircraft and ATR’s (both of the 42 and 72 types) while the safari flights from Wilson Airport are operated on both ATR’s and smaller twin engined ‘commuter’ planes like the Beechcraft 1900. Well done Fly 540, and undoubtedly the birthday cake will have your trademark ‘orange’ icing – Happy Landings and Happy Birthday …


Email Us at

Rebranding Kenya Airways:What Our airline should look like

 Readers of my blog should now be familiar with Kyle Hwang,the young airline nerd from Pretoria ,South Africa and an aspiring airline livery designer with very interesting ideas.Last month,we blogged about Kyle's redesign of South African Airways livery in which he dared to reintroduce the controversial apartheid era Springbok logo.

When I saw the awesome Redesign ,I was convinced our national carrier,KQ could do with a little help from Kyle.KQ's livery isn't that bad,at least compared to the old KA livery,for once ,our flag colours are boldly displayed but the livery doesn't incorporate any cultural symbol from Kenya!An airline livery(especially for a national carrier) should accentuate the culture and history of the country.What comes to mind when you think of Kenya?Of course the Maasai and the prominent shield on our flag.At the risk of sounding politically incorrect,let me say that that shield,an idea from a brilliant founding father of the country,is "our Springbok" and it should be on our national carrier's livery.
The Kenyan Shield:A symbol of national struggle for freedom

Now Kyle has done a Kenya Airways Redesign incorporating the shield.Here is his take on the livery:

Requested by Sam from Flight Africa. When he asked me to do a KQ livery I was a bit confused. I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. But then after I did some research, I couldn’t find anything right with it either. Complaints that came up were that the brand looks cheap. It was designed by Boeing (who goes to Boeing these days for livery designs I mean c’mon!) and has a typical American cartoonized image of Africa. My attempt strongly uses the colours of the Kenyan flag with the black replaced by a more charcoal colours to give it a more upper class feeling. Gone are those ugly paint splotches at the back as they are replaced with more elegant Kenyan colours. The logo depicts the Samburu shield found on the Kenyan flag with the letter K in the middle. “The Pride of Africa” titles stay. That was at least right  Read Kyle's Blog

 East African Airways:The Airline for Kenya,Uganda and Tanzania

 The "Old" Kenya Airways

 Kenya Airways after the 2005 rebranding

 The future:Time to introduce our national symbol:The shield

What's your take on KQ's livery and the above redesign?
Email Us at

Aircraft crashed in the Congo after crocodile on board escaped and sparked panic

A stowaway crocodile on a flight escaped from its carrier bag and sparked an onboard stampede that caused the flight to crash, killing 19 passengers and crew in August this year.
The croc had been hidden in a passenger’s sports bag – allegedly with plans to sell it – but it tore loose and ran amok, sparking panic.

The wreck of the Let 140 that crashed in the Congo after a crocodile caused panic onboard
A stampede of terrified passengers caused the small aircraft to lose balance and tip over in mid-air during an internal flight in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The unbalanced load caused the aircraft, on a routine flight from the capital, Kinshasa, to the regional airport at Bandundu, to go into a spin and crash into a house.

Testimony from the sole surviving passenger:
"One of the passengers had hidden the animal, which he planned to sell, in a big sports bag, from which the reptile escaped as the plane began its descent into Bandundu.
"The terrified air hostess hurried towards the cockpit, followed by the passengers."

David Learmount,Operations and Safety auditor at Flight Global concurs that the passenger action(to rush forward) was enough to destabilize the aircraft to cause it to crash.In his post That Crocodile Crash,David explains,"The answer is yes, particularly when the aircraft was so close to the ground that the pilots would have had only seconds to attempt to resolve the situation before impact."

So what should be done to prevent future accidents like this? 
David:  "...the painfully obvious solution to prevent further accidents like it is to prevent passengers bringing crocodiles - or other dangerous animals - on board. But in the DR Congo, which has had the worst aviation accident record in the world for two decades, this sort of event is, unfortunately, just 'part of life's rich tapestry'. "
The crocodile that caused the fateful crash was found and cut into pieces after the accident.

Email Us at

Uganda CAA to hold hearing on air service licence applications

The long awaited and much overdue public hearing of new and renewal applications for the consideration of air service license applications. It has become practice to administratively grant or deny new applications, depending on their merit while waiting to accumulate enough applications to warrant a public hearing.

According to information availed to this correspondent,the 16 listed applicants-10 of which are ‘new’ and 6 of which are for the renewal of existing licenses-will be required to appear before the licensing committee of the Board of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority on the 25th of November, starting at 11 a.m. prior to which the committee will have a meeting in ‘camera’.

Venue is the Imperial Royale Hotel in the heart of the city. What has already become apparent though, after the publication of application details, is the proposed use of relatively ‘old’ aircraft by applicants, such as Fokker 27 and Fokker 50, DC 9-30 series aircraft, DC 8 and DC 10 cargo aircraft, which once granted would again make Africa a ‘dumping ground’ of ageing early generation ‘sky howlers’ by companies which clearly value cheap acquisitions over environmental concerns such as carbon and noise emissions. 

Amongst those seeking license renewals are such long standing companies like Eagle Air, Mission Aviation Fellowship, DHL Aviation (Kenya) and the Uganda Air Cargo Corporation, all of which are expected to pass with flying colours considering their records. In comparison Kenya for instance holds quarterly meetings as the demand for air service licenses there leads the entire region, while other member states of the East African Community hold their regular licensing hearings as and when demand so requires.

Source :Wolfgang Thome's Blog

Air Uganda Flies with ZAP

Air Uganda has partnered with mobile phone operator Zain to use its money transfer service ZAP as a ticket payment solution for its customers.Airlines across East Africa have been adopting mobile payment as mobile commerce continues registering a strong growth in the region.last year ,Kenya Airways partnered with Safaricom to offer ticket payment via Safaricom's MPESA service.

A customer will now be able to pay for all domestic and some regional flights by ZAP by simplygoing to their phone menu.You don't have to dial the Air Uganda call centre or login to the website.Here is how it works:
Get the Phone Menu and select Zain
Select ZAP
Select "nickname"
Enter Nick-name "AIRUGANDA"
Enter Amount in Shillings
Enter Password
Enter Reference e.g Sam J. KGL
Wait for Confirmation of Successful transaction

Special IATA Report - Aircraft Financing: Risk and Reward

How to finance new aircraft is always an important decision for airlines. The shocks and stresses of the modern aviation environment make the decision critical

New aircraft are the lifeblood of a growing industry intent on delivering improvements in reliability, environmental performance and fuel efficiency.

Some 12,000 new aircraft are scheduled to be delivered through 2020. They are expensive machines that represent an investment of $1.3 trillion. For an industry that has averaged a loss of $5 billion a year over the past decade, paying for those aircraft is a considerable undertaking.

An airline looking to obtain a new aircraft has a number of options, but each one comes with its challenges. Whether buying an aircraft directly through a secured loan or using one of a variety of leasing opportunities, airlines need to find the right financing vehicle for their business model. “It is a vital decision for any airline CEO,” says Brian Pearce, IATA Chief Economist. “Airlines must get the financing right for a sustainable future.”
The current financial environment is not making life any easier. Kostya Zolotusky, Managing Director of Capital Markets Development at Boeing Capital Corporation, agrees there was a concern over liquidity in 2009, but believes the situation is gradually improving. “The cost of capital is a little more expensive than it was in the 2004-2007 timeframe but, relative to historical norms, its cost and availability are reasonable,” he notes. 

Zolotusky believes the market is generating opportunities, and new structures are enhancing financing options. For example, the adoption of the Cape Town Convention may move Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETC) beyond their US homeland. A stronger US Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, the emergence of Chinese banking finance, and the first aircraft-secured Islamic bond transactions also offer plenty of potential. Regulatory frameworks such as Basel II—an enhanced banking agreement that determines the level of capital banks must hold—further improve prospects. Basel II basically allows banks some flexibility in the risk associated with aircraft financing, thereby encouraging deals. “Overall, there is good creativity,” says Zolotusky.
But such innovation sparks an even bigger question: is having access to these creative ideas and what is effectively subsidized finance a good thing for the industry at large? At its root, acquiring new aircraft should be a simple matter of supply and demand. But it rarely is that simple.

At the recent IATA AGM, David Bonderman, founder of the Texas Pacific Group, pointed out that even if airlines go bust, the number of aircraft in the skies doesn’t change. There is never any rationalization in the industry and over-capacity, partly made possible by easy financing, remains the biggest danger. “In most industries, losers lose and go out of business, whereas in the airline business the losers lose but don’t go out of business—they just come round with another name,” Bonderman says.

“1,340 aircraft will be delivered this year and only 500 are for replacement,” agrees Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO. “The discipline of chasing profits, not market share, is the only way to protect the bottom line.”

Buying Time

Aircraft cost a lot of money. But their worth is not only tied up in the nuts and bolts of a state-of the-art asset. Having aircraft on the books involves a lifetime of financial management. The question for airlines is whether taking the trouble to buy an aircraft still represents a shrewd investment?

Kostya Zolotusky, Managing Director of Capital Markets Development at Boeing Capital Corporation, says that an aircraft is an extremely valuable asset. Even if aircraft are expensive they represent good value. “It’s not necessarily the airplane price that matters most but rather how much value can we deliver through the improved efficiencies and capabilities of our products,” he concludes.

Airbus has a similar view, emphasizing that the mobility of aircraft, unlike fixed real-estate, makes it possible to use them anywhere in the world. They can be easily moved to another customer. Like Boeing, the European manufacturer helps customers find financing and is also sourcing new financing possibilities.
Max Sukkhasantikul, Consulting Analyst at the Frost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defense Practice, notes that the commercial life of an aircraft could be as much as 25-30 years if converted to serve the freighter markets. “On its completion of service life, it can be sold for recycling, where at least 50% of its materials can be recycled, which account for approximately 80% of the aircraft weight,” he adds.

Pre-delivery payments

Such value doesn’t come cheaply. Buying an aircraft requires a huge capital outlay even before it arrives. Pre-delivery payments (PDPs) are typically a percentage of list prices. Considering that a smaller aircraft from Airbus or Boeing is about $75 million on the book, airlines will typically have to pay out $15-20 million over two or three years in advance of the aircraft delivery.

It is not easy to obtain PDP financing from traditional sources in the current market, according to most financial commentators. The cost can easily go significantly above Libor (the inter-bank lending rate). Some lenders do finance 100% of PDPs, but these deals tend to be for airlines with stronger credit ratings. For all airlines, utilizing internal resources is a drag on liquidity and PDPs are a deadweight cost that does not increase airline revenue or reduce costs prior to delivery of the aircraft.

Additionally, loans mean a high level of debt and that could be fatal in recessions like the one just witnessed or one-off events such as the ash cloud that shut down European airspace in April.

Owning an aircraft also requires an airline to take residual risk. Assuming a typical depreciation policy that sees an aircraft being depreciated to 15% residual value over 25 years, a $75 million aircraft will be worth $11.25 million at the end of its useful life. Selling it on won’t be easy either.

“Traditional markets such as China, Russia and India don’t want old aircraft any more,” says Chris Tarry, Analyst at CTIARA. “And it is very difficult for African carriers to find the finance to buy them.
“At the same time, depreciation is now commonly worked out at the 16-20 year period rather than 25 years,” he continues. “So we don’t know how the mechanisms at play now will work through the system.”

Currency concerns

The risk is heightened for airlines whose functional currency for accounting purposes is not US dollars. At the time of acquisition, the cost of the aircraft will be translated into home currency at the prevailing exchange rate. As aircraft prices are denominated in US dollars and fixed assets are recorded at historical exchange rates, fluctuations in currency could have a considerable effect on the impairment analysis of the aircraft.

Despite such problems, the data does not show any significant increases in the number of aircraft retirements. So most old aircraft do find a home. For example, some US airlines are flying aircraft that have fully depreciated and are out of their accounting life. “It’s also true that an old aircraft holds its value,” says Brian Pearce, Chief Economist at IATA. “Aircraft residual values in many cases look high compared with the cash flows generated by the airlines operating the asset.”

Opportunities in Leasing

Article Source

Guest Blog:Aviation Surge for Morocco

This article is a reblog from the View from Fez.The View from Fez was formed in 2005 to promote interest and understanding of life and culture in the Medina of Fez and Morocco.

Surging passenger arrivals and new links with Europe highlight a healthy period of growth in Morocco’s aviation sector, which has been benefiting from the government’s airport expansion and open skies initiatives,
Passenger traffic for the summer months of May, June and July saw an average percentage point rise of 13% on the prior year, according to data released by Office National Des Aéroports, with the kingdom’s airports handling 1.59m passengers in July alone.

Casablanca remains the dominant hub, accounting for 49% of all passenger traffic for the year-to-date period. However, Tangier (37.3%) and Nador (21.8%) all witnessed double-digit passenger growth for the first seven months of 2010, with Fez seeing arrivals grow by 39.2%.

Overall, it has been a bad year for global aviation. The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland playing havoc with air travel for weeks, even forcing the closure of eight of Morocco’s airports for one day in May. The disruption, which forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights, came on top of a 3.5% decline in global passenger demand in 2009, according to the International Air Transport Association.

A Royal Air Maroc 737-500
 Morocco, however, has been an exception to the gloomy outlook, with almost uninterrupted growth in passenger numbers since 2007. A government drive to develop aviation infrastructure and boost visitor numbers has largely been credited for the positive trend.

Between 2005 and 2008 the government launched a €670m strategy to modernize and expand most of the country’s 12 airports. This included a €173m upgrade of Mohammed V Airport in Casablanca, doubling its annual capacity to 8m passengers, as well as terminal upgrades and runway extensions in Tangier, Al Hoceima, Essaouira, Errachidia, Dakhla and Marrakesh.

Office National des Aeroports is inviting firms to pre qualify by September 30 for a huge new terminal project at Marrakech International, which will double the airport’s capacity, and a €56m upgrade of Fez Saiss. Both developments are to be financed through loans from the African Development Bank.

Another significant contributor to growth has been an aviation deal signed between Morocco and the EU in 2006. The open skies agreement, which removed all capacity restrictions, was the first of its kind between the EU and a non-EU member.

The deal allows any number of airlines from the EU and Morocco unlimited rights to fly between any city-pair involving the country and EU member nations without significant restrictions on capacity, frequency or price.

As a result of the accords, a flurry of new airlines have entered the Moroccan market over the last three years. In February 2010, Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, announced a new route between Edinburgh and Marrakesh commencing in May 2010. This was followed by an announcement by the UK-based low-cost carrier EasyJet that it plans to open a new route between Fez and Paris in November 2010. The carrier already operates flights to Casablanca, Marrakesh, Tangier and Agadir. Air Arabia Maroc, a low-cost airline set up as a joint venture between various Moroccan investors and Sharjah's Air Arabia, was also launched in late 2009.

Airlines and airports are not the only beneficiaries of the government’s drive to improve its profile in the aviation sector. In recent years, Morocco has also emerged as an industrial subcontracting base for larger European space and aeronautics contractors. Today the sector employs 7000 workers at 90 companies, with an export volume of €520m.

The country has also created additional incentives to attract new aerospace firms, with total exemption from corporate tax for five years, partial responsibility for personnel technical training costs, and the development or expansion of new special aeronautic industrial areas like Nouasseur, near the Casablanca international airport.

"We want to create 15,000 additional jobs in the aviation sector and want it to generate €360 million of GDP between 2009-2015,” a government official told the Morocco Board News Service, a national news agency, in January. Earlier this year the Ministry of New Technologies and Finance signed a €12 million deal with Zodiac Aerospace Maroc to begin research and production of aeronautical equipment.

In a move likely to further boost passenger arrivals, the Caisse de Depot et de Gestion, a state-run investment fund, announced in September that it would invest €1bn in tourism projects in over the next five years. This comes on top of Morocco’s massive Plan Azur, an ambitious government-backed plan launched in 2002 to boost visitor arrivals to 10m per year.

Provided Morocco continues to invest as enthusiastically in the tourism and transport segments as it has done in recent years, the country’s defiant growth trajectory looks set to continue.

Source:View from Fez

Kenya Airways Cabin Crew Recruitment : Say Yes in just 4 days

We recently wrote a post about Kenya Airways cabin crew recruitment due to close in four days time.Some of our readers have been sending applications for cabin crew positions to us!

If you missed the ad in the newspapers,the original ad is as shown in photo above.Open the photo in a new tab and magnify the text.The text reads as follows:
Kenya Airways is looking for warm,friendly,multilingual cabin crew from across East Africa-Kenya,Tanzania,Uganda,Burundi,Rwanda.If you have experience as cabin crew on any East African Airline,just get in touch with us now and see your career take off with Africa's premier international airline.Send your CV to by 22nd October,2010...Come on,all you have to say is Yes!Oui!Ndio!
Note that they are recruiting experienced cabin crew from other East African Airlines and that the deadline is on 22nd October,2010.
Good Luck and Happy Flying!