Turkish Airlines Aggressive Expansion in Africa

Turkish Airlines is extending its African reach.As part of its expansion policy in Africa, Turkish Airlines, a Star Alliance member, will soon commence flight operations to Accra, Ghana, en route Lagos this month and Elexandria,Egypt.This is happening at a time when the Turkish government is busy building closer diplomatic ties with African nations.

The Managing Director of Turkish Airlines, Nigeria, Mr. Orhan Guven, who is supervising the expansion drive in West and Central Africa made this known at the weekend in Lagos According to him, “We are glad to announce the beginning of operations to Accra, Ghana in June so as to allow more of our teeming passengers to West Africa fly with us” “The flight will commence from Istanbul, Turkey carrying passengers for Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana with passengers for Lagos dropped first while the flight continues to Accra and back to Lagos for the return journey to Istanbul.

On June 14, Turkish Airlines inaugurated its new three-times-weekly non-stop service between Istanbul, Entebbe (Uganda) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) today.Presently, Turkish Airlines operates to Dakar, Senegal; Entebbe, Uganda and Dar a Salam Tanzania, Nairobi Kenya in the West and Central Africa region.

Current Schedule for the Accra Route:
Flight No Days Departure Arrival
TK623 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Istanbul 15:20 Lagos 20:10
TK624 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Lagos 22:10 Istanbul 06:20

Planned schedule as of July 15th 2010 : 
Flight No Days Departure Arrival
TK623 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Istanbul 14:15 Lagos 19:15
TK623 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Lagos 20:35 Accra 20:35
TK624 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Accra 21:45 Lagos 23:45
TK624 Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday Lagos 01:05 Istanbul 09:15

Arik Air Reduce capacity on Johannesburg Route

Nigeria’s largest commercial airline Arik Air is from 19JUN10 reducing its capacity on the Lagos – Johannesburg service, switching from Airbus A330-200 back to Boeing 737-800.
                                                A new Arik Air Airbus A33-200
A330 aircraft service was introduced in April 2010. The route ,launched in June 2009,was previously serviced by newly acquired Airbus A340-500 aircraft.Meanwhile, service on 17JUN10/18JUN10 was operated by Airbus A340-500,the plane that flew Nigeria’s senior national soccer team, the Super Eagles to Durban,South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.

Arik Air joined the Lagos-Joburg route following the exit last year of Nigerian Eagle Airlines and Bellview Airlines thus giving South African Airways a virtual monopoly.

Kenya Airways to Fly to Italy Again

Kenya Airways,recently announced that they will commence flights to Rome again, a destination dropped long ago when the cooperation with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines started. At the time, the route was no longer considered viable, but passengers often complained that in order to get to Italy, they first had to fly an extra 2 hours north, only to then overfly their country again enroute to Kenya and the same again on the way home.

The Italian capital will be the most southerly entry point for Kenya Airways into Europe and will tap once more into the lucrative Italian holiday market for Kenya and also add capacity for air cargo between the two countries without having to trans-ship it first via other European waypoints.

First hand perspective on airlines in South Africa

So you might think that South Africa is a rainbow nation and not ready to host a World Cup. But either way, it has a rather rich and diverse aviation world. Here’s a quick look at the airlines

South African Airways  is the national flag carrier of South Africa. SAA is one of six airlines in the world to fly to all continents of the world. Clearly the dominant airline at OR Tambo International Airport, their fortress. SAA has a 4 star Skytrax rating and is also a member of Star Alliance.

Besides the multi coloured Ndizani livery that bought the national Olympic team to Atlanta in 1996, the airline has not had a single special livery except the Star Alliance planes. Oddly enough, SAA is also not the official airline of the FIFA World Cup.

SAA is however pretty infamous on their home turf. Rivals Kulula.com have made SAA pay several anti-competitive fines. SAA was also blamed for the shut down of Nationwide Airlines.
SAA CEOs have also not had one of the best rides. Andre Viljoen is generally a nuisance in the public’s eye, receiving many letters to retire. Viljoen was however the pioneer of SAA’s Airbus fleet refurbishment program. Khaya Ngqula, Viljoen’s predecessor had to retire because of mismanagement (fraud in my opinion!). He has also been the one taking credit for Viljoen’s Airbus program which proved to be quite successful.

Current CEO Siza Mzimela seems to bring the airline some hope. The former CEO of South African Express (SAA’s strategic partner) may restore the airline to their former glory (SAA won the best Business class seat award in 2004 and 2nd best Business class in 2005).

Having revamped their logo recently, SAX is having a much better independent-from-Mother-SAA feel. You can consider SAX as a Southwest/Frontier African equivalent. SAX offers their passengers meal boxes on their domestic flights but here comes the catch- your paying sky rocket fees for a LCC…

The Hummingbirds is what I call them. They literally crashed into a school ground last year and had 3 accidents in a time span of 4 months. With the possibility of the airline closing down, Airlink employees quickly wrote some comments on Facebook hoping that it would save their airline. As a result, more journalists pointed fingers to Airlink’s then rapidly shrinking reputation. Will The Hummingbirds ever be successful? If the day arrives when SAA brings SAX and Airlink back under their wing.

You cannot miss Mango’s B737-800 from the ground. They are mango coloured! Mango is SAA’s response to the flood of low cost carriers (LCC) in South Africa. Mango took SAA’s cabin and put Mango logos all over it, like a real cheap LCC.
Also, their inflight magazine is called “Juice.”

If it wasn’t for their sponsor planes, you could also spot 1time from the ground. The are red, hot red! The first time I flew 1time (1time.aero back then) I flew the Nando’s plane. It was red and decorated with Nando’s chicken catch phrases. (“This plane flies at 30,000 feet and 60,000 chicken feet”). 1time’s planes now consists of the Avis, Pushkin Vodka (not for sale to persons under 18!), the Smiley Plane and Go Zanzibar. “More nice, less price,” is their slogan.

Definitely one of the success stories of South African Aviation. Flying 101 has caught international attention and even on Airline Reporter. Kulula is actually a British Airways Comair initiative that has bought the spark back into the LCC industry. Kulula has also been voted best LCC to Africa.
Their liveries include Flying 101 of course, Jetsetter, Camoplane, Zippy plane, da udder plane, THIS WAY UP and 3 World cup celebrating planes sponsored by Europcar.
Kulula was asked by FIFA to remove the “Unofficial National carrier of the You-know-what” titles because for copyright infringements.

What?! An European carrier in the midst of South African unknowns? Comair operates plenty of domestic flights for BA. The only catch is that your are bound to be flying some old 737 that makes a lot of noise.
So hopefully when you watch the soccer on TV you will remember that South Africa also has a pretty rich aviation industry!

Reblog courtesy of Airlineworkersunite.com by Kyle Hwang

Flight Africa wishes you a Super World Cup 2010

Hello readers,this is probably our last post before we immerse ourselves into what is to be the long awaited day in Africa's history!With 13 minutes to the opening ceremony,we are rushing to catch a glimpse of the action in South Africa!Have a great World Cup and Happy Flying!

Air Nigeria:A New Brand and a New Livery

The new owners of former Virgin Nigeria Eagle Airlines, NICON Group, have renamed the airline, Air Nigeria. With the renaming of the airline, the new owners have dumped the Virgin Nigeria brand, owned by Richard Branson.

The airlines new name and logo was unveiled in Lagos, by the chairman of NICON group, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim. Mr. Ibrahim said the change in name became necessary to make the controversial carrier indigenous. Mr. Ibrahim also said the first branded aircraft for the airline in the new name will arrive in Nigeria next week from France.

He said the remaining aircraft in the new name would follow suit and the branding from the old name, Virgin, will be concluded in reckoning time. Mr. Ibrahim said the focus of the turnaround of the troubled airline would address financial distress before focusing on human resources engineering.

The new livery on the aircraft with the name Air Nigeria, was displayed to pressmen in a slide by the airlines managing director, Mr. Kinfe Kahssaye.The livery looks very much like the Nigerian Eagle Airlines livery unveiled last year during a re-branding by former CEO Dapo Olumide.

SA youth votes Mango coolest low cost airline

SA youth votes Mango coolest low cost airline for second year running in Generation Next Awards Mango was this year again recognised as the coolest low cost airline in South African skies at the Generation Next awards in Johannesburg this week. The airline, overall second to South African Airways, pipped its budget peers to pole position in the annual survey of 5800 young South Africans. In 2009, Mango was also ranked coolest low cost carrier.

Thrilled Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout says that the youth market remains one of the most important brand seeding platforms for any business. “Brand loyalty, engagement and perceptions are formed early,” he says, “and this is the point where future influence over purchase decision making is founded.” Coolness is about more than just advertising, it’s about the innate culture of a business, what a brand represents and certainly, today, the many layers available to engage and communicate with people.”

Mango has focused much of its energy into innovation; not only through its payment channels and wide distribution network but also through its communication. Mango has embraced social media as a medium to talk directly to our customers and share in the conversation with platforms on Mxit, Facebook, Twitter and a new blog. The airline’s online presence has attracted a community of thousands. Many from the youth market segment.

“Mango is an airline of firsts,” says Bezuidenhout, “first to accept Edgars and Jet retail account cards, offer bookings through Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper Money Market Counters, first in social media and the first airline to implement a green fee among others. That is what we are about: Innovation. To my colleagues and I, that is what makes it cool working at Mango. This culture, I believe, mirrors outward.”

courtesy of flymango blog