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

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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 …


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