Frequent Flyers in Africa: A Richer Menu

The World Cup has surely offered Africa a unique opportunity! The once dark skies of Africa are once again open to booming aviation; European and Middle Eastern carriers are building more partnerships with African airlines more than African airlines are building amongst themselves; African Flyers now have a chance to choose amongst a rich variety of frequent Flyer programs and airline alliances! The era of the state airlines, flag carriers, is fading fast and aviation in Africa is surely becoming a “normal business”! So what are the choices available for Africans who virtually live and work at 35,ooo feet?
If you are a frequent flyer, always remember to join airline loyalty programs! It takes a few minutes to sign up these days; just do it on the airline website and get your frequent Flyer ID.Remember to enter this number whenever you are booking a flight; you could get a fare discount, 'free' flights,car rental,luxury hotels,leisure and lifestyle benefits,flight  upgrades, plus lots of goodies when you earn the all important frequent Flyer Miles or points!

There are still not many Frequent Flyer Programs in Africa but when you fly with major legacy carriers like Ethiopian, KQ, SAA or Egypt Air you get a chance to earn points here and there! Air Uganda also offers a FF program in conjunction with Air Mali and Air Burkina but since there is no air bridge between East and West Africa; your options are really limited.  Some smaller innovative budget carriers like Kulula also offer loyalty programs but the real bread and butter is definitely in the “BIG FOUR”

While there are complaints that these programs are tailored for the rich/affluent flyers or that they turn members into mindless drones willing to fly an airline or airline alliance at any cost just to accumulate miles and become ‘Elite’ Club members (Miles Millionaires); these programs can enrich your travel experience in many big ways and mind you, when you don’t claim your miles, you make the airlines way much richer! Airlines are quite innovative when they suck every dime and nickel from your purse so always use your miles to slice the icing a little! Steven Frischling has written a great piece on how not using your miles definitely makes the airlines way much richer!,giving them "free money"

Rewards are meant to make the airlines, hotels and car rental companies rich and keep you flying the airline but they are also made to make you feel very special when you travel. To make you  ” feel like a Star” as the guys at Turkish Airlines would tell you! Air travel used to be a luxury but these days it’s a matter of taking you from point A to B! A little novelty at 35,000 feet, in a posh hotel or in lounge is definitely welcome!

Being in a frequent flyer program offers you some great goodies on your flights. For one, there is the hard earned and sometimes cumbersome flight upgrade! You might book a business class and ‘find yourself’ flying first class on some airlines!

Emirates recently relaunched frequent Flyer program ‘Skywards’ even offers you more goodies including online shopping on Emirates Store and Emirates High Street or a vacation fit for a King in one of Emirates Holidays Hotels! All paid by your miles! You can also earn Skywards Miles by buying souvenirs and stuff on the Emirates stores! South African Airways is also a partner of Emirates’ Skywards program so you can earn miles even on SAA flights!

Ethiopian Airlines too has unveiled hot new services for its Sheba Miles Frequent Flyer Program members till June this year (I am member too).You can stay at the Panorama Hotel in Addis and earn the all important miles and you can also have your Sheba Miles account credited with 5000 miles if you refer a frequent Flyer to Sheba Miles and they attain the Blue Status! Ethiopian Airlines Sheba Miles program is also integrated with Lufthansa’s Miles and More Program! You also earn Sheba Miles when you fly Togolese Start-up ASKY that was launched early this year in which ET owns a 25% share.

Kenya Airways Flying Blue program which is in conjunction with KLM/Air France allows you to accumulate miles in 45 destinations serviced by the Kenyan carrier including 38 African destinations, some solid Pan African Miles! On top of these is the seamless access to major European hubs!

If you’ll be in South Africa, don’t forget to explore the magic and humour of Kulula, the airline that “does not take itself too seriously”, for inter city travel and along the way, you can sign up for the Kulula Jetsetter frequent Flyer Program!

Uganda’s carrier, Air Uganda, owned by the Aga Khan Fund for International Development offers frequent Flyer program, Celestars along with Air Mali and Air Burkina(under the Meridiana Group).Air Uganda services East African routes only but if you want an air bridge to West Africa, it’s best to fly Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines and earn quality miles!

Always when not sure about an airline’s loyalty program, do a little research(or contact us) on the airline’s programs and code share agreements  and see if the airline has a frequent flyer program or whether its program is integrated with that of a major international carrier! That way, you can ensure that you collect great miles at every point across Africa as you go about your business and enjoy this historic World Cup!

African Airlines Must Go Green

If Something is Inevitable Embrace it!
"Europe will fail"!That was Giovanni Bisignani's response to the European Union's Unilateral approach towards combating climate change through its Emissions trading system that will take effect from 2012!Will it?

Most African airlines flying to Europe will fall under the scope of this directive including Kenya Airways,Ethiopian Airlines,South African Airways and Egypt Air!While the major African Airlines have the capacity to comply with Europe's green taxes,most of which will fund government programs not related to combating climate change or aviation;some African airlines will face difficulties.

Kenya Airways has already complied with Europe's ETS after having submitted a Carbon Emissions Management and Monitoring Plans that will enable the carrier measure, manage and reduce its carbon footprints but IATA prefers global approach rather than a unilateral approach!The rationale being that other regional blocks are likely to come up with a patch work of green taxes across the globe thus complicating the business environment even further!iATA prefers a multilateral approach though ICAO.
IATA's Green Plane

According to the IPCC,aviation contributes 2% of the global carbon emissions,"a small part of the bigger problem" as IATA CEO Giovanni Bisignani states but this has not prevented the airline body from dreaming big as always!Being a small part of a serious problem,there is still a serious challenge to do even better,states IATA strategy document on combating climate change!IATA has an ambitious vision of achieving carbon neutral growth in the medium term and to build a plane that produces no emissions within 50 years.IATA's Green plane!
IATA's four pillar strategy for the future includes:
  • Investing in Technology:
  • Improving Operational Efficiency
  • Building and Using Efficient Infrastructure
  • Positive Economic Instruments to Provide Incentives 
 Homegrown Solutions
While most smaller African airlines are unlikely to meet IATA's ambitious targets,some legacy carriers have devised innovative plans to make the continent greener.Africa suffers most from climate change and African firms should be at the forefront of making the continent greener through green innovations and conservaton schemes!Some African airlines have taken environmental conservation quite seriously;at the forefront is Ethiopian Airlines which in 2008 launched an ambitious tree planting program,FLYING GREENER, which has seen it plant close to 8 million trees so far!

South African Airways is striving to reduce its carbon footprints via IATA's four pillar strategy by operating a younger fleet and fleet modernization.South African domestic budget carrier Kulula has adopted some symbolic approches that includes passengers making a small donation when they book a ticket through its green program.

African airlines must take bold steps in environmental conservation and combating climate change not just as a form of corporate responsibility but because it makes business sense!Fuel efficient fleet will lower fuel costs and in the future,with schemes like ETS it will reduce your taxes too!

Dapo Olumide Quits Virgin Nigeria

Dapo Olumide has quit Virgin Nigeria soon after businessman Jimoh Ibrahim acquired a controlling stake in the airline;a move which sent jitters in the aviation fraternity!Nigerian aviation does not trust Mr.Jimoh given his past with NICON Airways. The resignation is apparently unconnected to the acquisition(we are yet to get full details)!He was replaced by Ethiopian Mr.Kinfa Fekadu was until this appointment the Chief Operating Officer at the Ethiopian Airlines.
Nigerian Eagle Airlines CEO Captain Dapo Olumide with Kenya Airways CEO  Dr.Titus Naikuni during the signing of codeshare agreement in August 2009

Dapo Olumide was a formidable force and a change manager who transformed the debt ridden airline(accumulated by Virgin Group) into a force to be reckoned with!He was an aviation professional par excellence and during his tenure Nigerian Eagle Airlines relisted by IATA in the IOSA certification,the first under a Nigerian managemnt!Nigerian Eagle Airlines is the first and only airline in Nigeria to acquire an IOSA certification and has one of the best safety records in West Africa!A captain with 28 year experience, Olumide earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, USA in 1980 after which he joined Aero Contractors in 1982.

He became Virgin Nigeria CEO in May last year and during the period he oversaw the private carrier's signing of code share agreements with Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines;the airline also underwent a rebranding in September 2009 changing its name from Virgin Nigeria to Nigerian Eagle Airlines.He described the rebranding as "not just about name change but a new dawn that has birthed an aspirational airline that will rule the African skies and a representation of the future of African aviation"The rebranding was meant to give the airline a truly Nigerian and African identity!

In December last year,the airline signed an MOU with Delta Airlines to "explore areas of commercial cooperation that will expand travel options between North America and Nigeria."
Last year,during the AFRAA AGA in Mozambique,he was elected AFRAA vice chairman and is known as one of the proponents for the integration and merger of African Airlines.He also received the award of the Best Airline CEO in Africa by Akwaaba African Travel Market Awards.

Dapo Olumide was a great talent for Nigerian Aviation and will surely be missed by the Nigerian and African aviation fraternity;although we bet,he is unlikely to stay on the sidelines for long!One instance I remember vividly was during the signing of the Code Share Agreement with Kenya Airways atop a Lagos Office and Dapo clearly professed is undying love for African aviation:"I have a great passion for African Aviation"


Precision Air:From Rags to Riches

Precision Air Services Ltd. is an entrepreneurial brilliance at its high point. The airline known as PW in IATA two-letter codes is going places! Precision Air’s rags to riches story is the envy of East Africa aviation if not beyond. I, for example, cannot recall any airline in East Africa which came from a very humble background to grow into a formidable airline player and survive for a very long time like PW.

Take for example, Regional Air of Kenya, partly owned by a once powerful and affluent former minister, Nicholas Biwott. This airline was at one time doing so well to the extent of even securing a franchise agreement from British Airways but could not thrive in a fiercely competitive environment in Kenya aviation industry and folded not long ago. Same goes for DAS Air Cargo, owned by a flamboyant Ugandan couple, Mr. and Mrs. Roy. From a small cargo airline outfit, DAS Air Cargo rose to claim Africa’s number one cargo airline until it was uncovered trying to cut corners on key aircraft maintenance programs by the European Union (EU) and was banned from flying into Europe. DAS Air tried to comply with EU requirements, but the damage was too much to recover, and in 2007, the airline caved in.

Precision Air Services is a brainchild of a very illustrious aviator, Mr. Michael Shirima. Mr. Shirima is a man with visionary ideas. He quit his job as director of operations in the formative stages of Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) in the 1970s to start his small airline outfit based at Kilimanjaro International Airport to deal mainly in aerial spraying and later ventured into air charter operations using a Cesna 402 aircraft, particularly in the national parks and game reserves. Gradually, Precision Air diversified its services as a scheduled airline but mainly in tertiary markets like Arusha/Kilimanjaro-Zanzibar-Dar Es Salaam. As it gradually consolidated its market position and through exploitation of Air Tanzania’s weaknesses, Precision Air went full throttle to take the national airline head-on in key markets.

In 2000, South African Airways (SAA) took note of PW’s potential and made some advances to Mr. Shirima to have a stake in his airline, but this initiative fell through. In 2003, when it became obvious that SAA was going to be a winner in the privatization of Air Tanzania Corporation, Kenya Airways (KQ) withdrew its bid at the eleventh hour and quickly charmed its way into suitor-ship of PW, which culminated into KQ taking a “minority” 49 percent shareholding in PW. Since then, there has been no looking back for Mr. Shirima’s pet project. Kenya Airways took over management of the airline and gave it new impetus, which has seen PW become a leading aviation powerhouse in Tanzania in terms of market share. Statistics indicate that PW is now controlling about 65 percent of the domestic market (amongst first tier airlines) while ATCL plays second fiddle at 35 percent.

With the recent acquisition of a brand new ATR 42-500 aircraft, PW has done it again. This makes PW’s fleet of ATR model to seven aircraft plus one B737-300, which is used on the Dar Es Salaam-Mwanza route and Dar Es Salaam-Nairobi on a code shared flights with KQ. PW’s competitor, ATCL, has a fleet of two Dash 8 aircraft and B737-200, which was crippled recently while landing at Mwanza Airport. Compared to ATCL/SAA ill-fated tie-up, Precision Air’s partnership with Kenya Airways has gone much better except for a few misgivings here and there.

Firstly, PW flights on the Dar ES Salaam-Johannesburg route were started with great hope but only lasted for a brief period because apparently PW could not take the heat in the marketplace and had to quit. Even after the suspension of ATCL flights to Johannesburg in November 2008, PW has missed the opportunity to fill the void, leaving SAA a virtual monopoly player on this lucrative route. With KQ’s synergies, PW was expected to bring a formidable challenge on this route for the benefit of the traveling public.
Secondly, there is a strong perception that despite Mr. Shirima being the non-executive chairman of Precision Air, the airline is not under effective control of Tanzanians as per the spirit of the Chigaco Convention of 1944 on airlines. It is alleged that all key decisions regarding PW emanate from Nairobi and, therefore, for a foreseeable future, the airline will basically remain an appendage of Kenya Airways as purely a feeder airline of KQ at its Nairobi hub.

Thirdly, even with a superior fleet, PW is still grappling with maintaining its schedule integrity. PW is very notorious at changing its schedules at short notice and this is a nagging problem that needs fixing lest it tarnishes the generally positive public image of the airline.

Having said that, credit must be given to PW for coming this far from a very modest beginning. Obviously there has been some challenges along they way but PW has stood a test of time both as an airline and a corporate entity. To put some icing on the cake, in 2008 Precision Air Services Ltd. was voted as the most respected company in Tanzania in yearly joint survey by Price Cooper Waterhouse and the Nations Group of Kenya. This is not a mean achievement given the competitive corporate environment obtaining in the country with the likes of Tigo, Vodacom, Tanzania Breweries, etcetera, who are on the cutting edge of technological innovation and customer service delivery.

With the coming of the fifth new ATR aircraft and two more to go, the travel trade industry is comforted by the fact that PW is going from strength to strength and will sooner than later fulfill its mission of extending its services both domestically and regionally. For instance, flights from Tanzania to Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been on PW’s drawing board for a very long time, and the market is eagerly waiting.

Currently the only way to reach Lubumbashi from Tanzania by air is via Nairobi on KQ or Johannesburg on SAA, which costs an arm and leg. The resumption of Johannesburg services as recently promised by the airline’s chairman cannot be overemphasized. ATCL is not likely to resume Dar-Johannesburg flights anytime soon given the restructuring exercise that is currently going on at ATC House. So it can only be PW that can venture into this important market and rescue the customers who at the moment are at the mercy of SAA particularly during the coming FIFA World Cup.

However, it has not been plain sailing for PW to reach where it is now. Indeed, the airline investment is not for the weaklings. Sometimes it takes undying passion for aviation like Mr. Shirima’s to be able to make it, because the airline industry is a very devious business fraught with many bottlenecks and challenges. All this calls for patience, resilience, and good vision in order to succeed. Despite some qualms on PW, we can look at the airline with pride and high hopes as it continues to register one positive milestone after another.

courtesy etn

South African Airways Launches a Mobile WAP Site

As we wrote a couple of months ago,millions of Africans are using their cell phones to access the web,including me.Mobile web is so convenient;I can read latest information on African airlines and access thousands of airline applications! Just like the social media was the great hype of 2008/2009;mobile web is  quickly becoming an important tool for airlines especially those operating in Africa!

Kenya Airways developed its nice little WAP site last year offering information on fligh status,schedules,special offers,baggage information and a nice Google Sites interactive feature.

  South African Airways has just launched its very own mobile portal allowing customers to access comprehensive travel and airline information from just one point of reference, anywhere, anytime, using their cellphone.

The portal allows travellers to access the information from a capable cellphone device such as: airline flight schedules; directions to airline lounges at airports around the world; flight arrival and departure information; and destination information such as weather forecasts for any city in the world and a currency converter.

This new initiative is in partnership with Star Alliance, who developed the Common IT Mobile Platform, which SAA used to launch its own portal for customers - making SAA the first airline in Africa to have launched the new service.
The portal is a universal feed able to access information on any airline and destination in the world.

An Interview With Mr. Arjun Ruzaik, Chief Executive Officer of OneJetOne

Arjun Ruzaik is the Chief Executive Officer of OneJetOne, Kenya’s first domestic, regional and international low cost/budget airline set to launch in 2010. The fleet will consist of Airbus A320 and A330, flying to and from our Nairobi hub, to all major cities in Africa, Middle East, Europe and Asia. African Aviation recently talked with Mr. Ruzaik, who explained the challenges he faces in the short and long term.
African Aviation: How has the recent economic crisis affected the plans of OneJetOne?

Arjun Ruzaik: We believe it has pushed back our start-up by at least two years.

African Aviation: Turning to the year ahead, what is your outlook on the potential recovery?

Arjun Ruzaik: We believe the worst is over and the future looks extremely favourable
African Aviation: What lessons have been learned from the economic crisis of the past 12 months?
Arjun Ruzaik: African aviation industry will inevitably be the last to recover.
African Aviation: How do you see your domestic and international route network evolving in the coming year?
Arjun Ruzaik:  It appears extremely favourable for a start-up Low Cost Carrier.
African Aviation: Can the East-African market support that kind of growth?
Arjun Ruzaik:  Given the particular characteristics of a start-up Low Cost Carrier, yes.
African Aviation: Where would you like OneJetOne to be in five years from now?
Arjun Ruzaik: The leading Low Cost Carrier in Africa.
African Aviation: What are you most concerned with in terms of future challenges?
Arjun Ruzaik: For a Low Cost Carrier (LCC), it has to be the price of fuel and for African aviation in particular, the transparency of the governments and its aviation authorities.
African Aviation: How are you controlling the costs?
Arjun Ruzaik: From a start-up LCC perspective, its an area thats fundamental to our longevity and success, and as such, the process starts from the very top
African Aviation: The issue of aviation and the environment is not going away. Does the industry have the right strategy for the years ahead?
Arjun Ruzaik: We believe it does.
African Aviation: Are airports finally getting the message about the need to cooperate with airline partners?
Arjun Ruzaik: In sub-sahara Africa, NO. However, closer to home we believe that Kenya Airports Authority is an exception to the rule where it tends to formulate and operate with an “out-of-the-box” kind of way...a win-win for all concerned.
African Aviation: How is your relation with the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authorities?
Arjun Ruzaik: Professional and we are extremely excited in KCAA’s recent approach to implementing the new KCARs (Kenya Civil Aviation Regulations)...a much awaited and “about-time” legislation.
african aviation newsAfrican Aviation: The European agency recently announced the list of airlines banned from the European airspace due to safety concerns. Thirteen of the 17 countries affected by the ban are from Africa. What needs to be done to improve safety in Africa?
Arjun Ruzaik: Funding, training and empowering the Civil Aviation Authorities.
African Aviation: Can you please tell us about your first potential destinations?
Arjun Ruzaik: Mombasa and Kisumu.
African Aviation: You are expected to launch operations with a fleet of Airbus 320 and Airbus 330. Can you please tell us when can we expect the first deliveries?
Arjun Ruzaik: Towards the latter part of 2010
African Aviation: Why do you think the Airbus is the right aircraft for a company like OneJetOne?
Arjun Ruzaik: OneJetOne’s promoters’ past vast experience with the A320 and A330, and its benefits for a start-up LCC with our business plan
African Aviation: Why should our readers fly with OneJetOne?
Arjun Ruzaik: PRICE PRICE PRICE and an amazing experience each and everytime.


Battle for African Skies as Ethiopian Airlines Gets Ready to Join Star Alliance

Ethiopian Airlines is seemingly getting ready to finish discussions and negotiations with Star Alliance later this year, likely to coincide with the upswing in traffic carried via Addis Ababa to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup. These suggestions and rumors are now rekindled since the airline has confirmed added aircraft orders and is aggressively renewing its fleet in preparation of things obviously yet to come.

The airline’s Fokker 50 fleet is being replaced with more modern and larger Bombardier Q400s, with delivery of the first such aircraft reported here last week, and extra B737-800s are due to join the fleet from the middle of 2011 onwards.

More wide bodies are also on order, such as the Airbus A350 – 12 on order – the B777-200LR - 5 on order – and the long-delayed but now back on track B787 Dreamliner – 10 on order. The new aircraft, when delivered, will allow Ethiopian Airlines to retire their ageing fleet of B767s, which have been a workhorse on the long-distance network.

Star Alliance will be getting a shot in the arm for their global traffic into Africa, and the geographical position of Ethiopian Airline's home hub of Addis Ababa will further strengthen Star’s competitive efforts to grab the lion’s share of traffic in, out, and across Africa, considering that they already have Egypt Air and South African Airways flying under their banner and covering the different regions of the continent. In fact, Ethiopian Airlines will be bringing an added component into play, considering that they manage an airline in Togo in which they hold a 25 percent stake and which could be very useful in capturing yet more traffic from west Africa into the Star Alliance network. Since the collapse of Air Afrique, in which almost a dozen countries from west Africa were involved, there has been a vacuum in that part of Africa and, the absence of a dominant and strong carrier will only aid Ethiopian Airlines' efforts to give their new west African "baby" added wings.

Meanwhile, the KLM/Air France led Skyteam will undoubtedly hold more strategy sessions with Kenya Airways of how to counter these developments, for Ethiopian Airlines and Star Alliance, and develop their own ballgame via Kenya Airways, which presently is an associate member of Skyteam and playing a vital role in that alliance’s expansion plans and future standing in Africa. Already "patch invasions" are notable, as Ethiopian is now flying a daily scheduled service from Addis to Mombasa, giving convenient connections to their network passengers to the Kenyan beaches, while operating twice daily between Addis and Nairobi already, compared with Kenya Airways single daily service, indicating a disparity in demand for seats on one airline over the other. Addis Ababa is also the seat of the African Union headquarters, besides being the capital of Ethiopia.

Unlike Kenya Airways, Ethiopian is also already on the lucrative route to Juba, something Kenya Airways is expected to remedy soon, however, especially in view of several private airlines from Kenya already operating to the southern Sudan, who have privately dismissed the concerns Kenya Airways has so far put forward to explain their absence from this important regional destination. In fact, the rest of the region has seen an expansion of flight frequencies to daily and more by Ethiopian, offering convenient connections in both directions for passengers originating in Eastern Africa and overseas travelers on business or holiday transiting in Addis.

"The battle for the African skies,", is set to intensify, with the two main protagonists being driven by their own strategies and also as proxies of the alliances one already belongs to, and the other one is soon to join. Interesting times ahead for African aviation, especially for the couple of quality airlines holding their own against global competitions on the continent.

SAS Gets a Window into Africa:Ethiopian Code share with Scandinavian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, recently entered into a code share agreement with Scandinavian Airlines, one of the founding members of Star Alliance, providing travelers with better connectivity and a broad range of services between Europe and Africa.

The new code share agreement, which took effect as of March 29, 2010, will strengthen Ethiopian’s flight network between Addis Ababa and Scandinavian countries. Likewise, the agreement will enhance Scandinavian Airlines route network providing customers an easy connection via Ethiopian’s strategic hub in Addis Ababa to a wide variety of destinations in Africa including Johannesburg, Harare, Lusaka, Luanda, Lilongwe, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Kigali, and Bujumbura.

Scandinavian Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance, is an established home carrier in Scandinavia and is recognized as a symbol of quality and reliability in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Ethiopian Chief Operating Officer, Ato Tewolde G. Mariam said, “This agreement between the two airlines will provide wider choices of destinations to travelers. We are indeed pleased to partner with Scandinavian Airlines to provide seamless travel services to our customers with wider choices of destinations.”

The partnership will allow Ethiopian ShebaMiles members to accumulate miles whenever they travel on a scheduled Scandinavian Airlines flight. Passengers in Scandinavian’s EuroBonus program will be able to use their miles to exotic destinations such as Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Mombasa, and Nairobi. Likewise, Ethiopian Airlines’ passengers will be able to earn miles when traveling on Scandinavian. In addition, ShebaMiles Silver and Gold members will be able to enjoy lounge access at Stockholm. Similar benefits will be given to Euro Bonus (SAS’s Frequent Flyer Program) members on Ethiopian Airlines flights.

South African Airways promotes greener skies with organic wine on flights

South African Airways (SAA) is for the very first time offering an organically produced wine on board its flights for First and Business Class customers.

The Waverley Hills Sauvignon/Merlot 2007 is a local South African wine produced using only natural ingredients and was selected by SAA to be offered on board its flights in March and April 2010.
The wine was selected amongst many hopeful entrants during SAA’s rigorous wine selection process for 2010.

The airlines serves this organic wine to SAA customers as step forward for the airline in promoting a reduced carbon footprint and greener flying but is it really enough?Remember the Ethiopian Airlines Flying Greener Program with its ambitious plan to reforest Ethiopia by planting millions of trees?

However being organic, the wine is free of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and natural predators are introduced into the vineyards to combat friendly insects and pests.
All vineyards are irrigated with pure mountain spring water and are located on a natural watershed areas where both the Breede and Berg rivers originate. This area is renowned for its diverse fynbos (indigenous flora), giving the wines a unique herbaceous characteristic.

The wine is certified as organic by SGS (Societe Generale de Surveillance), the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. Waverley Hills is also BRC and HACCP certified to guarantee excellent quality wines.
Waverley Hills made the leap into the organic wine market in 2000 with 30 hectares of vineyards and olive groves planted since.
SAA offers approximately 70 South African only wines on board its flights throughout the year. The airline has for more than 20 years promoted the local wine industry through its annual selection process.
More than 1000 wines are entered into the annual wine selection each year and some of the best selected to fly on board SAA flights through the year.

South African Airways, Mango Air offices raided in price-fixing probe

South African Airways, the state- owned carrier, and its low-cost fruity airline Mango, had their offices raided by the South Africa's antitrust regulator as part of an investigation into price collusion during the soccer World Cup. The Competition Commission seized documents and electronic data in the March 31 raids, which included a search of the offices of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa, the agency said in an e-mailed statement today.

The commission said on Jan. 28 that it’s investigating Comair Ltd., which is part owned by British Airways Plc, 1time Holdings Ltd., SA Airlink and SA Express for allegedly colluding to fix the price of air tickets during the soccer tournament, which begins on June 11. South Africa is expected to attract 350,000 visitors to the matches, according to FIFA, the soccer governing body.

Last week’s raid was “prompted by the commission’s suspicion SAA and Mango might have withheld information having a bearing on the investigation,” the commission said. Documents seized “will now be analyzed together with other information gathered to determine whether a contravention of the Competition Act has taken place.”

SAA is giving its “full support” to the commission’s probe and wants to “ensure that matters are brought to a resolution as soon as possible,” the airline said in an e- mailed statement today. SAA said in January that it was cooperating with investigators in exchange for leniency from prosecution.
Airlines Association.

Chris Zweigenthal, chief executive officer of the Airlines Association, confirmed that documents were taken by the commission last week. The association hadn’t previously been asked by the commission to provide information for its investigation, he said.

“We fully complied with them,” Zweigenthal said in a phone interview today. “I’m not aware of any price-fixing in the industry. We are waiting to see what comes out of this investigation.”
The South African government expects the World Cup, the most-watched sporting event, to add 0.5 percent to gross domestic product.

World Travel Awards for Africa:Vote for Your Favorite African Airlines and Airports!

This year's World Travel Awards is around the corner and this is a great chance for you to vote for your favourite African airline and airports!The African and Indian Ocean Gala ceremony will be held on July 7th 2010 at Sandton Convention Centre located in "City of Gold",Johannesburg,South Africa!And you have just 90 days to vote for the airlines and airports that treat you like a star!

Africa's Leading Airline:
  • Air Namibia
  • Egypt Air
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
Africa's Leading Low Cost Airline
  • 1Time 
  • Fly540 
  • Jet4You 
  • Kulula 
  • Mango
 Africa's Leading  Airports
  • Cairo International Airport,Egypt
  • Cape Town International Airport,South Africa
  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,Nairobi
  • O.R.Tambo International Airport,South Africa

Inside Look;Ethiopian Cabin Crew Graduates

2011 Ethiopian Airlines Graduates
As is always said,flight attendants are the face of an airline!It was pure joy for these Ethiopian Airlines Cabin crew trainees who graduated today from the Ethiopian Aviation Academy to begin life at 35,000 feet!Congratulations from Flight Africa!

2008 Ethiopian Airlines cabin crew Graduates
2009 Ethiopian Airlines Cabin Crew Graduates with former CEO Girma Wake

2009: Ethiopian Cabin Crew Graduates with CEO Girma Wake

FIFA meets its match in Kulula's wit and wicked sense of humour

Article Courtesy Rhea Singh,

Republished from RheaSport

Budget airline Kulula had felt FIFA's wrath when the world football authority blocked their ad in which it said that it was the 'Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What'.

FIFA felt that the ads - framed by soccer balls, soccer players, vuvuzelas (horns), and in the green and blue Kulula colour - pushed the limits of the copyright on the combined use of these symbols too far.
Kulula, in turn, felt that FIFA's reaction had been a "bit over the top," and that it was extreme to claim association with the representation of everything that relates to the World Cup including the South African flag and vuvuzelas.

The airline vowed that there would definitely will be another ad, and they stuck to their word. Only this time they are wittier! In a Sunday Times(South Africa) ad, Kulula seemed to mock FIFA's approach to marketing that ties any company to the World Cup by publishing a full page ad which refers to 2010 as ‘Not next year, not last year, but somewhere in between’. Since FIFA has a problem with the South African flag being used, an ad on the borders has two hanging pieces of cloth labelled, "Colourful beach towel? Flag?"

Knowing about the world football authority's feelings towards the use of vuvuzela's in advertisements, the ad is illustrated by golf tees which look a lot like a certain plastic trumpet but to reassure FIFA is labeled, "Definitely, definitely a golf tee'.

Continuing in the same spirit of not annoying FIFA, the ad is quick to point out, "No, they're running shoes" next to a pair of what appear to be football boots without studs, towards the bottom of the ad.
In the middle of the page is an imposing structure that, at first glance, looks like a football stadium. Kulula had been told that they cannot use the Cape Town Stadium in their ads. So, not wanting to offend the mighty FIFA, they assure you that structure is, in fact, ‘Storm's River suspension bridge’.

FIFA is notorious for their lack of a sense of humour. They are sure to react to this latest volley of advertising, but it certainly looks like they have met their match!