Uniformfreak: Website with Historic and Current Flight Attendant Uniforms

Uniforum Freak probably has almost every flight attendant uniform for world's major airlines from as far as the 60s and 70s. The website is maintained by a former KLM flight attendant who eventually fell in love with airline uniforms! Some of the classics include the following on their Facebook page:
The website can be accessed here: http://www.uniformfreak.com  Many uniforms for African airlines can be viewed here, including past uniforms.

Air Algerie new Uniform

Sabena Airlines Uniform
Sri Lankan Airlines

Work can be republished with attribution. Email Us africadomainnames@gmail.com

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MeetAtTheAirport.com: New Online Dating and Social Networking Site That Connects Air Travelers At The Airport

Just in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday travelers, a new international dating and social network website was launched by Miami entrepreneur, Steve Pasternack, which helps travelers make connections at the airport. It’s not about connecting flights, but more like connecting people on a social level or experience. The unique social networking site, MeetAtTheAirport.com specializes in bringing together airline travelers while waiting for their flight in an airport. It is for the traveler whose flight is delayed, has connecting flights, or those who want to meet up early over drinks or coffee. The site offers profiles and photos of fellow travelers and helps match people with similar interests who will be at the same airport at the same time. The site is free to all users.

Safety is always a concern for anyone that uses any online dating or matchmaking site. But, because of the strict security precautions that are taken by all airports today, this venue has now become one of the safest places to meet someone new.

“Meeting someone new at the airport is always exciting. About eight months ago I was sitting in an airport doing nothing for several hours because of a delayed flight. I noticed how many of the people, like myself, were heading to the airport lounge with the intention of getting a drink or to possibly strike up a conversation with someone of the opposite sex. That’s when I realized how great it would be to pick up a cell phone and log into a website that specifically showed you who was in the airport with you and who was interested in meeting someone new. Some people are looking for romance, others to network for their business. The possibilities are endless.” says founder Steven Pasternack.

This online site is a new and exciting way of connecting people with one another. It is original and unique as it is a pioneer in the next trend for online social networking.
Membership is Free.

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A new wave of ‘rash decisions’ in Nigeria’s aviation industry

AT last, the row between the Ministry of Aviation and the United Kingdom over the controversy generated as a result of allegations that the later systematically chased a Nigerian airline out of the Abuja-London route is coming to an end.

The Nigerian flag carrier, Arik Air, had petitioned the Ministry of Aviation, alleging that British Airways ‘elbowed’ it out of the Abuja-London route; leading to the Ministry threatening to cut BA’s frequencies into Lagos to three from seven, followed by a schedule that could have made it impossible for the airline to continue with its operations to Nigeria.

The ministry called for dialogue with a view to normalizing what it said was an imbalance in the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA).

British Airways, which had received so many bashes over the dispute between the two governments, had told its own side of the story that BASA is a deal between two countries and it does not any way a party to the agreement. The attack on the airline is said to be the only option left to government to arm-twist the carrier in a bid to get the attention of the British government.

Just on Tuesday, the Ministry after a meeting with the British authorities in Abuja over the face-off said it has ‘succeeded’ in getting something out of its action. This is where the action of the Ministry needs to be scrutinized and that validate the view of most people that the sector should brace up for more of such ‘actions’ that seems to have yielded little or no result.

Spokesman for the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi in a statement he sent to reporters in Abuja said, “The Nigerian government and the British authorities held high level negotiation this (Tuesday) morning. These discussions are still on going. The outcome thus far is as follows;

  • With respect to the high fares charged by British Airways and the associated regional imbalance, the airline made an offer of a 20 per cent reduction in the lowest Business Class fare between Nigeria
  •  The Nigerian side considered this as insufficient. The Nigerian government is still very concerned about the regional price disparity. We strongly believe that this regional imbalance should be dismantled. In other words, BA should offer the same or similar fares from Nigeria to the UK, as is the case in any other equidistant destination within West Africa.
Obi disclosed that the British authorities requested to be given an opportunity to carry out an independent study of the regional pricing disparity in the UK/Nigerian aviation market.

He equally stated that with respect to slot at Heathrow airport, seven slots per week from Abuja had been secured for Arik at ‘’prevailing commercial rates”, noting that these efforts will require a review of current slot allocations and additional funding.

“Towards this, FAAN is considering applying commercial slot rates for slots into Murtala Muhammed International Airport in the spirit of BASA.

Two issues stand out here and which tend to vindicate those who believed that the Ministry took decisions that is not in tandem with aviation in the modern day.

By agreeing that Arik will get slots at Heathrow at “prevailing commercial rates”, clearly shows that slots are totally different from BASA and all the intimidation from the foot soldiers from the ministry only goes to show that aviation in Nigeria is totally in reverse gear (apologies to Ijeoma Nwaogwugwu who had been vilified for her views by people who believed that their views were more superior to those who strongly felt that the minister was ill advised on how to pursue her ‘nationalistic posturing”.

One also hopes that they will be humble enough to admit that there is clear difference between BASA and slots, and that BASA does not automatically translate into having slots free of charge.

How come Arik is still going ahead to buy slots to land its Abuja flights in Heathrow at “prevailing commercial rates”.
In a civilised country, the ministry would have been asked to tender a reserved apology for misinforming the nation. What then is the essence of the parley with the British authorities if Arik would still to go London with purchased slots to Heathrow?
The only positive in the whole matter is that the government said it would also introduce slots at the Lagos airport so that airlines like BA, Lufthansa, and Virgin Atlantic Airways can pay.
One expects the ministry or the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to be more creative in their revenue generation drive, rather than the serious situation we have found ourselves.
Regrettably, it means that it had to take the current fiasco for FAAN to know that ‘slot’ could also be done here.
Slots came about because of the high usage of Heathrow. Currently Heathrow has about 98 percent capacity utilisation. What is the capacity utilisation of MMIA?

At times, one begins to question the kind of advice and advisers at the ministry’s disposal to warrant this obvious lack of strong policy to drive a sensitive sector like aviation.

The second aspect of the matter is forcing the carrier to cut down on its airfares on Business Class by 20 per cent. Now if it is wise to cut down on Business Class seats, what happens to economy class passengers? Is airlines business no longer commercialised? Why should an airline be ‘harassed’ to cut its fare in a libralised sector? Why is the ministry not asking Arik for instance to lower it own fare so all UK passengers could migrate to fly with them as a way of helping Arik.

There’s a clause that fares between both countries have “double disapproval”.

This means that before fares decisions are taken, both UK and Nigeria have to agree. It is also important to highlight a part of the BASA, which clearly states that BASA undertakes that both parties shall “within legal and practical constraints” make slots available for the airlines to operate their full entitlements. Note “legal and practical constraints”, which is obtained at Heathrow.

Heathrow has congestion constraints. Has the ministry bothered to ask why airfare from Accra to London is far cheaper than what is obtainable on Lagos-London route, the same six-hour distance? The answer is simple.

Business operations in Nigeria carry more risks than in other African countries, with cost of aviation fuel, high landing and parking charges by FAAN, said to be one of the highest in West Africa.
Has government provided the enabling environment for businesses to survive?

This agenda of the ministry could have been achieved with far more success with a strategic economic diplomacy blue print. No wonder the UK authorities called the bluff of the Ministry over so many of the arm-twisting tactics to succumb to intimidation.

When Air France’s aircraft ran unto herds of cows at Port-Harcourt Airport, six years ago, the Nigerian government looked the other way while the carrier bore the cost and huge inconvenience of having to lodge departing passengers in hotels, coupled with the provision of other allowances to them.

Aviation fuel sells for between N180 and N200 per litre; about the highest in the world, not to mention huge tax paid for parking and landing. All these are factored into the cost of airfare that is fixed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the clearinghouse for global airlines.

Post Courtesy Nigerian Guardian
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Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority fines British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways USD235 for price fixing

Nigeria's tough aviation Minister Stella Oduah as finally cracked the whip. The authorities in Nigeria fined British Airways and Virgin Atlantic $235 million as the dispute over landing slots and ticket prices seemed to escalate last week. The dispute between the two countries began in October after Nigeria threatened to reduce British Airways' service between London and Lagos, after the UK Government failed to allocate slots to Arik Air at London Heathrow Airport.

Flights between Britain and Nigeria almost came to a halt last week but a last minute intervention by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown ensured a 7 day grace period was allowed while negotiations were going on. on Tuesday ensured British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Nigeria's flagship airline Arik Air continue to fly from London to Lagos and Abuja. 

There has been a dispute over ticket prices with Nigeria complaining of regional imbalance in air fare on BA whereby passengers traveling from Lagos/Abuja to UK pay higher fares compared to passengers traveling from Accra to the UK.
Following a series of high level negotiations the British Airways offered to reduce lowest Business Class fare between Nigeria and UK by 20%, an offer that was rejected by Nigeria. The Nigerian government considered this insufficient and was still complaining about the regional disparity in air fare. According to the Minister " We still strongly believe that this regional imbalance should be dismantled. In other words, BA should offer the same or similar fares from Nigeria to the UK as is the case in any other Equidistant destination within West Africa."

The big winner in the week had been Arik Air. Seven landing slots per week at Heathrow Airport was secured for the Nigerian airline during the negotiations.

A deal this week means all flights will continue until the end of the year when the Nigerian government wants something done about the high ticket costs on British airlines.

Nigeria's aviation ministry says British airlines charge far more to fly to Nigeria than to neighbouring Ghana, while it believes Arik Air should not have to pay high costs to land at Heathrow when Lagos airport doesn't charge those fees.

Britain has said that it can't control what private companies who control the airlines and airports charge but it is in constructive dialogue with the Nigerian government.

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Air Mauritius’ second quarter falls deep into the red as carrier hit hard by the European crisis

Air Mauritius’ largest markets were hit hard by the European debt crisis, resulting in a loss in its usually profitable second quarter. The airline reported a net loss in 2QFY2012 of EUR6.3 million, compared to a nearly EUR5 million profit in the same period last year. The European debt crisis that hit Mauritius’ largest markets contributed to the loss and has set the carrier up for future challenges. While Mauritius reported a small increase in tourism arrivals for Oct-2011, thanks to a new air link with China that increased Chinese tourism arrivals by 161%, tourism overall is expected to fall, placing further pressure on the carrier.
Net result slips into red in usually profitable quarter

Air Mauritius’ net loss for 2QFY2012 follows a net profit of EUR4.8 million in 2QFY2011 and a EUR2.7 million profit in 2QFY2010. The deteriorating results were driven by the European debt crisis that is occurring in the carrier’s largest markets of France, the UK and Italy. Ticket sales slumped as consumer confidence in these markets took a hit, leading to an increasing number of travellers postponing or cancelling their travel and leisure plans. The carrier’s high dependence on these markets, coupled with the ongoing issue of rising fuel costs and the volatility of currency exchange rates, led to its significant loss in the period.

Air Mauritius reported a 45% increase in fuel costs for the quarter and a 14.8% increase in overall costs. For 1HFY2012, the carrier spent EUR24.8 million on fuel, which is constantly blamed as one of the carrier’s largest hurdles to overcome.

Due to the conditions in the second quarter, Air Mauritius reported a loss of EUR17.7 million in 1HFY2012. This loss is considerably higher than the EUR6.8 million net loss posted in the same period last year. The carrier’s path to recovery, which was seen in 1HFY2011 through a smaller loss, has been hindered by its recent weak performance.

Traffic up but passenger load factor down

In anticipation of the economic slowdown, Air Mauritius attempted to shift its focus away from its European markets and increase frequencies to emerging markets such as China, India, South Africa and Australia. The carrier added more than 35,000 seats to these markets in 1QFY2012 compared to 2QFY2011, which saw its total passenger traffic rise 4.4% to 336,391 in the period. The launch of its weekly Kuala Lumpur-Shanghai Pudong service helped boost passenger numbers, and at the same time is responsible for the 161% surge in Chinese arrivals to Mauritius in Oct-2011. Air Mauritius hopes to launch the service as a non-stop route in Feb-2012 and increase to twice weekly in Oct-2012, if demand persists.

While the carrier’s shift to emerging markets is showing some benefit, it is not enough to make up for the shortcomings in the European market.

See related article: Air Mauritius improves first quarter loss and eyes full-year profit despite high fuel costs

Air Mauritius passenger numbers and load factor: 2QFY2009 to FY2012
In Sep-2011, Mauritius reported an overall drop in visitor arrivals of 0.8%. Tourists from Europe and Africa fell 1.6% and 6.7%, respectively, which is an indication of the months to come. Arrivals from Asia increased 5.3% due to the carrier’s new focus on Asian routes.
Shares plummet after financial results released

Shares plummet after financial results released

Air Mauritius’ share price remained steady over the past three months with the exception of 11-Nov-2011 when its financial results were released. Before that, Air Mauritius’ shares remained the highest among Comair, Kenya Airways and 1time.

Air Mauritius is embarking on a review of its business model in order to cope with the economic downturn and projected dip in financial and traffic results. This involves continuing its expansion into emerging markets to soften the impact of the inevitable drop in European demand. 
India is Mauritius’ fastest growing trade market...

In addition to increasing its service to Shanghai, Air Mauritius is also planning to launch an extra weekly frequency on its Mumbai route in Mar-2012, which it currently serves three times weekly with A330-200 equipment. Trade relations between Mauritius and India have been improving steadily over the past years, with the country ranking as Mauritius’ second largest import partner and second largest trade partner overall. Trade between the two countries surged 13.5% from 2009 to 2010, to EUR5.6 billion for the year. Mauritius imported EUR5.5 billion worth of goods from India in 2010, an increase of 18.9% from 2009’s levels. Aside from the European Union, India is Mauritius’ fastest growing trade market.

Malaysia has the potential to become a strong market for Mauritius considering the historical, cultural and tourism ties. Both countries were governed by both Dutch and British rulers and gained their independence in the second half of the twentieth century. In terms of populations, both countries have large communities of Chinese and Indian ethnic groups. Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are significant religions in both countries.

Comparison of religious groups in Mauritius and Malaysia: 2000
Mauritius and Malaysia have a tax treaty agreement and a visa agreement – where Mauritian citizens are not required to obtain a visa to enter Malaysia and vice versa. Air Mauritius has been attempting to establish Kuala Lumpur International Airport as a hub for future expansion for some months now. The carrier operates all its Asian services through Kuala Lumpur (excluding Hong Kong and Indian destinations), however, further progress in hub establishment has been slow. In the last quarter, only one new destination to Asia (Shanghai Pudong) was launched and the carrier has not announced plans to launch any additional or new services to the region that it hopes will save it from the European crisis. Expansion into Asia looks less likely now following the carrier’s decision to reduce service to Hong Kong in Nov/Dec-2011 from three times weekly to twice weekly.

Focus on high quality tourism

Another cog in the carrier’s new business plan is likely to include a renewed focus on quality tourism. Air Mauritius’ service to Shanghai Pudong, with A330-200 equipment, is configured with 24 lie-flat business class seats and 251 economy seats. It will bring in a few high-yielding tourists, however, more first and business class services are needed to counter the effects of low arrival numbers from Europe.
Air Mauritius holds more than 50% of capacity in Mauritius...
Air Mauritius expects corporate travel to Mauritius to increase by 90% by the end of 2013 due to its impending efforts, which have not yet been officially announced. The carrier transported 1500 corporate travellers between Apr-2010 and Mar-2011, and expects this to increase by 38% to 2100 by Mar-2012, then to 4000 by Apr-2013. The carrier plans to increase its participation in the Vanilla Islands Tourism Group, and should consider increasing marketing efforts. Since Air Mauritius holds more than 50% of capacity in Mauritius, its success will directly impact the number of tourism arrivals.

Tourism, of any nature, is the backbone of the Mauritian economy. The country’s labour force by occupation falls heavily into construction and industry occupations (30%) and the trade, restaurants and hotels sector (22%). The country has a middle-of-the-road youth unemployment rate of 21.4%. To bring that down even further, job creation through the tourism industry is crucial. Overall, the country’s unemployment rate is 7.8%.
Airports handle high volumes of business class seats, although more needed

Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (Mauritius International Airport) receives a high capacity of business class travellers, yet an extremely small number of first class travellers. The airport’s first class capacity of 0.4% falls well short of the worldwide total of 1.7%.

Mauritius International Airport schedule by class of seat (one-way weekly departing): 14-Nov-2011 to 20-Nov-2011
Other airports in the Vanilla Islands Tourism Group have high business and first class capacity, and collaboratively, the group aims to improve high-yield tourism.

Vanilla Islands Tourism Group airports' first/business/economy class seat capacity: Nov-2011
Air Mauritius believes the global downturn has “set in for the long term” and the reviewing of its business plan is the first step in trying to cope with this. While the review is a step in the right direction, its expansion into Asia has been occurring too slowly and the carrier should have started shifting its dependence from Europe well before 2008, instead of waiting until things worsened.

Air Mauritius’ neighbour, Air Seychelles, has also launched a restructuring effort as it experiences a similar phenomenon from its European market.

Post courtesy

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Press Statement - Outcome of Negotiations between the Nigerian & British Authorities on BASA.

The Nigerian government and the British Authorities held high-level negotiations yesterday and this morning. These discussions are still on-going. The outcome thus far are as follows:

With respect to the high fares charged by British Airways and the associated regional imbalance, the airline made an offer of a 20% reduction in the lowest Business class fare between Nigeria and the UK.

The Nigerian side considered this as insufficient, the Nigerian government is still very concerned about the regional price disparity. We still strongly believe that this regional imbalance should be dismantled. In otherwords, BA should offer the same or similar fares from Nigeria to the UK as is the case in any other Equidistant destination within West Africa.

The British Authorities requested to be given an opportunity to carry out an independent study of the regional pricing disparity in the UK/Nigerian aviation market. We expect the conclusion of this study by the end of the year to facilitate a conclusion on the subject.

With respect to slot at Heathrow airport, seven slots per week from Abuja have been secured for Arik Air at prevailing commercial rates.

As you are aware, FAAN is renovating and upgrading their airports. These efforts will require a review of current slot allocations and additional funding.

Towards this end, FAAN is considering applying commercial slot rates for slots into Murtala Mohammed International Airport in the spirit of Bilateral Air Service Agreement.

The Nigerian flying public is advised to make choices about which airlines they fly as regards the pricing of their tickets.

Finally, the Federal Ministry of Aviation assures Nigerians that their interests with regard safety, security, comfort, service and affordability will remain our priority.

Joe Obi,

SA (Media) to the Hon. Minister of Aviation.

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The Rise of African Aviation

A recent piece argues that despite lacklustre safety records and incomplete liberalisation, air travel in Africa is showing signs of taking off. This does appear to be the case - we are beginning to see African airlines now competing in the long haul market (where returns are high). African airlines are acquiring new widebody airliners at a greater rate than the global airline average. Last year, 32 per cent of African airline demand was for widebodies, as against 23 per cent for the global industry. This has led to new routes. In 2006, there were only 32 weekly flights involving just eight city pairs between the whole of Africa and the USA. By last year, these figures had jumped to 67 weekly flights between 14 city pairs. And a lot of these flights were by African airlines. An area for expansion is Europe - Africa pair where European legacy carriers continue to dominate through restriction of appropriate land slots and lobbying African governments at the expense of African carriers. Unfortunately, the article does not touch on these issues - but still worth a read.
On July 8 2011 a Hewa Bora Airways aircraft, operated by a private Congolese company, crashed in bad weather after missing the runway at Kisangani airport, killing 127 people. Although blacklisted by the EU and the US, Hewa Bora had long been considered the best of the DRC’s airlines, but this means little in a country which holds the world record for aircraft crashes.

Events such as this add to the already tarnished image of African airlines and it is commonly agreed by industry professionals and observers that safety must be the first priority for the development of African aviation. Beyond the negative public image, surprising results and optimism characterise the African air travel sector, which is growing at well above the world average with an estimated annual growth of 6 to 7% for the next 15 years. The sector is also undergoing major changes in its regulation, just as an increasing number of players have moved in to attempt to benefit from the opportunities of this growing market. Air travel is the number one transport mode for international travel in Africa but it is still the case that 70% of the traffic between Africa and the rest of the world is carried on non-African airlines.

The main drivers in the growth of air traffic are the rise of an African middle class who travel for personal reasons, and an increase in business trips, particularly relating to the oil sector. The International Air Travel Association (IATA) reports that “increasing trade and investment links with Asia helped boost the Africa to Far East market, with growth of 17% in premium travel during the year and 21% growth in economy travel”, while the weakening links with Europe are reflecting this change in trade structure. However, growth is not guaranteed. For example, travel to North Africa has fallen in the last few months due to the continued political unrest. Royal Air Maroc, Tunisair and Afriqiyah Airways are struggling as a result.

As passenger numbers rise, airfreight also continues to grow in importance, with figures from July 2011 showing 8.4% growth from 2010. This is a considerable rise and even compares favourably with the excellent results of the Middle East. The air freight market is showing signs of renewed expansion in relation to the increasing trade with Asia, largely fostered by oil and ore exports and imports of telecommunication equipment, machinery, pharmaceuticals and manufactured goods. According to Boeing’s Market Outlook “West Africa, buoyed by foreign interest in petroleum development, shows the strongest growth on the continent”, although some concerns have emerged that the 2011 freight growth forecast may have been overestimated.

The African air travel sector started its transformation in 1999 with the signatures of 44 countries paving the way for a pan-African treaty for the liberalisation, deregulation and opening up of regional air transport markets. More than ten years later the ideals of what is now known as the Yamoussoukro Decision are still only partially achieved, and few countries have truly proven their commitment, among them Uganda and Togo.

These first steps toward an “open sky” policy in Africa were followed by positive changes: large companies took over small airlines and concentrated in main hubs before developing subsidiary companies or partnerships to create more complete networks. Partnerships, working in more isolated regions, were responsible for increasing the passenger flow to larger airports in order to benefit the main airlines. A good example is the Lomé-based Asky Airlines, launched in January 2010 and taking advantage of the liberalisation of the Togolese sector. A subsidiary company of Ethiopian Airlines, Asky now covers 19 destinations and its directors have already announced very satisfying results.

In Uganda the open policy has resulted in the continued growth of air services in both passengers and cargo: the freight sector experienced a 42.7% increase in 2011 despite the fact that the Ugandan national carrier was closed down by the government.

This strategy of opening markets has led to growth but has also had some considerable drawbacks. Small African carriers have multiplied, leading to a decrease in travel prices for passengers, which in turn has weakened airlines which have to bear unchanged high operating cost. Liberalisation has also led companies to neglect non-profitable travel lines which deprives isolated zones of air transport.

With a shortage of sub-Saharan hubs, African flights often have to stop in European airports despite a strong demand for non-stop routes between Africa and other continents. Direct intra-Africa flights between some major cities are still impossible or overpriced.

The issue of access to the air market is particularly relevant in Africa where almost one-third of countries on the continent are landlocked and road transportation is still slow and unreliable due to geographic specificities, political instabilities and a lack of infrastructures. In Nigeria, for example, air travel is by far the easiest way to go between Lagos and Abuja, in the absence of high quality, safe and fast roads or a functioning rail network. Air traffic is a potentially valuable lever for both local and international economic activities. Trade in Africa is highly sensitive to transportation cost and some reports have estimated that a 10% reduction in transport costs could increase trade by 25%.

A fast transport system is crucial for production strategies concerning perishable goods, such as the Kenyan cut flower industry. Exportation of cut flowers, mainly to Europe, represents one of the country’s largest industries and is its second biggest foreign exchange generator. Other time-sensitive and high-value exports such as exotic fruits, seafood or meat also rely heavily on fast and reliable transport at a global scale.

Despite the importance of efficiency, it is widely admitted that the current priority for a reliable air transport sector in Africa must be safety. It has been proven that “poor safety oversight results in more expensive insurance premiums and the inability to develop code sharing and other business arrangements. It also scares away potentially high-yield international customers and potential private sector investors”. African airlines have to improve on several key points such as the age of their fleets, ground level infrastructure and training and maintenance. Where infrastructure is concerned, regional differences appear between North Africa - where 60% of the airports were found to be in excellent condition by a World Bank report in 2009, and sub-Saharan Africa, where only 17% received the same score. Training is a crucial element in this, and many African airports often fail not only in the quality of their training but in their ability to retain qualified workers attracted by lucrative Middle Eastern job offers.

In countries where the road, railway and port infrastructure does not offer efficient transportation, air transport represents a great potential lever for development. Despite liberalisation policies being only partially implemented, the African air sector is showing encouraging results.
Post Courtesy

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Heavy rain causes havoc at Mwanza International Airport, Tanzania(PICTURES)

A four hour heavy downpour in Mwanza city in Tanzania has disrupted air travel in the city, the city's Mwanza International Airport was submerged in water as the photos below show:

A Precision Air Aircraft caught in the floods

Photos courtesy issamichuzi.blogspot.com
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Bombardier Aerospace to Establish Manufacturing Capability in Morocco

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco for the establishment of a manufacturing facility in Morocco. The exact site location will be announced at a later date. Bombardier Aerospace intends to invest approximately $200 million US in equipment, buildings and start-up costs over the next eight years.

Scheduled to be implemented in phases starting in 2012, Bombardier Aerospace’s new Moroccan facility will initially include sub-assembly capabilities for simple structures. The new facility is scheduled to start manufacturing in 2013. Details on the type of components to be manufactured will be finalized in the coming months.

By the end of 2020, employment at the Morocco facility is expected to reach 850 skilled and trained workers. Bombardier Aerospace anticipates that there will be no impact on its current workforce level at other sites as a result of this announcement.

“Globalization of our industry has opened up new markets and new opportunities,” said Guy C. Hachey, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aerospace. “We have progressively extended our business presence around the world and we are continuing today to better serve our international customers.”
“Bombardier Aerospace is committed to a long-term relationship with the Moroccan Government to develop a world-class aerospace industry in the country,” added Mr. Hachey. “By establishing its own fully integrated manufacturing facility in Morocco, Bombardier Aerospace will serve as a catalyst for the aerospace industry in the country and will look for opportunities to share some of its knowledge and complex manufacturing processes.”

Bombardier Aerospace chose Morocco for a number of reasons: internationally competitive manufacturing costs, low shipping and transportation costs, proximity to Europe, and the commitment by the Moroccan Government to the development of the aerospace industry.

The announcement of this new manufacturing facility in Morocco was made during the Dubai Airshow 2011, where Bombardier is currently showcasing its broad spectrum of innovative products, technical expertise, and superior customer support and aircraft maintenance services. Held in the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Airshow, the world’s third largest airshow, places an emphasis on the Middle-East, Africa, Europe and India.
About Bombardier

A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2011, were $17.7 billion, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at www.bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter@Bombardier.

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South African Airways: Johannesburg-Seychelles-Hong Kong, June 1974

South Africa's state carrier alights to Hong Kong, with a stop in the Indian Ocean, commencing in 1974. The wings of SAL/SAA's classic springbok emblem beam like searchlights from its back and crown at the top of the graphic (a more ordinary version of the mark is seen on the cancellation stamp). The routing is absent from the map on the left of this first-day cover. Afrikaans is put in front of English on the envelope, two decades before the indigenous Zulu and Xhosa languages would come to prominence in a post-apartheid society.

Courtesy: The Timetablist

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Air Algérie: The African Destinations, August 2011

Fast-growing, gas-fueled Algeria's spreads it influence in West Africa with flights across the Francophone Sahelian and Sub-saharan region run its state airline, Air Algérie. The destinations, if not the routings, are shown here in a shot from the airline's sleek website.

Note the spelling of Bamako ("Bamaco"), as well as the blue-dot in the middle of the desert, Tamanrasset. Despite being the country's great trans-Saharan way station, Tamanrasset's airport does not seem to have any southbound scheduled services, although more than one airline links it to Paris-Orly.

From the TimeTablist
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Royal Air Maroc: Systemwide Route Map, April 1976

An astonishing vintage route map, a gem of the tremendous collection of the website Timetable Images. Its issue date of April 1976 could be guessed at from the styling alone: a shag-carpet, VW-bus interior striping of the continents that follows neither national boundaries nor time zones, but zigzags to its own groovy pattern. The coastlines of the landmass are geometrically simplified, squared-off while still showing smaller juts such as Crimea and Crete, Cornwall and Cape Cod.

This quadrangularity contrasts to the jet-black route lines. Frictionless, looping ribbons convex proudly from their true navigational path, making for easy reading on the map. Northern European Routes are pulled far out into the Atlantic; Southern European lines ply semicircles over the Sahara. Tripoli and Le Caire are linked by a fanciful arc which touches mainland Greece; Nouakchott, due north of Dakar, is connected to the Senegalese capital by a wide "C" shape.

The labels are in quintessential Microgramma typeface, both on the map and at what stands in for a legend: the spiraling emblem at the bottom left, featuring the Francophone names of the nations which Royal Air Maroc serves. Such a badge seems to be an award to mark this fantastic réseau as a classic achievement of route map graphics.

All this can be admired before even considering the routes themselves, of which there are several treasures: Lille is the sixth metropolitain city served; JFK is reached from both Casablanca and Tangier, before swooping north to terminate at Mirabel; the airline stretches as far east as Koweit.

As can be seen from previous posts, RAM has expanded rapidly across Africa in recent years, but it seems to have yet matched the graphic achievements of amazing cartograph.

Courtesy TimeTablist
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Zambia Airways: A Warm Welcome At Heathrow, c.1980

A colorless advert is a bit of a cold way to boast of a warm welcome, and isn't best to convey the exotic colors of southern Africa. In fact, this 1980s advertisement (the models' clothing suggests that the decade had just turned) gives minimal indication of the adventuresome destination that it purports to promote.

Rather than talk wildlife or people, the bland subject at hand is ease of check-in, which is hardly a selling point for leisure travelers picking a safari stop. And while this topic and the lack of color on the print is dull enough, it is the lack of pigment in the models which is all the more displeasing. While this ad may be directed at British tourists, its strange that even the counter clerk seems not to be of African descent. On the whole, the atmosphere of the page would make one think of the drudgery of Victoria Station, not the glory of Victoria Falls.

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Zambian Airways: Domestic and Regional Routes, c.2008

Via this website, showing the full-extent of the now-defunct Zambian Airways, around the height of its operation in perhaps 2008. Regional operations, apparently with two decrepit B737-200s, reached as far as Harare, Lilongwe, and Lubumbashi from Lusaka, and operated a second base at the center of the copperbelt, Ndola.

This airline is unrelated to the much older, larger, but equally moribund Zambia Airways, which used to stretch from New York to Bombay, with dozens of destinations in between.

Although descendant of an aviation enterprise stretching back to 1948, the formally-named Zambian Airway's reach and lifetime was much more limited. Having come in to the national name in 1998, in the wake of Zambia Airway's 1994 collapse, Zambian Airways itself suspended service in January 2009, which led to the government filing suit against the airline the following month. Zambia today is without a state carrier, although the privately-held Zambezi Airways reportedly covers southern Africa from Lusaka.

From the TimeTablist
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Delta Air Lines African Routes, Summer 2011

It is quite revealing to juxtapose this map with its iteration from two years previous. Delta's expansion into Africa has been an unquestioned success, even if some of its plans for linking the continent have not come to pass.

Aside from the long transatlantic lines coming across the page from Atlanta and JFK, what may be most striking is the appearance of a minihub at Accra's Kotoka, with services to both American gateways, as well as onward flights to Monrovia and Abuja (indirect service to the capital via Ghana surely stings many proud Nigerians; whereas most Liberians are merely thrilled to have the US carrier at all--and revel in its recent announcement of a third weekly Atlanta connection). A third spin-off is optimistically drawn to connect Malabo, the tiny capital of the tiny, and hugely wealthy, oil-rich state of Equatorial Guinea.

Absent is the erstwhile Cape Town service, and there is no mention of Sal in Cape Verde (itself originally conceived as a minihub), nor any onward services to Nairobi and Luanda, the latter entirely excluded from the map. Johannesburg is reached by a long stretch from Atlanta, by-passing the earlier way station at Dakar-Yoff.

The Arab Spring left Cairo off Delta's system for the summer; the airline's only Middle East destination is currently Dubai, besides its connections to Ben Gurion. Amman was tried and dropped. India is still reached from Amsterdam, a legacy of the Northwest Airlines partnership with KLM.

Adapted from the Timetablist

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Amsterdam Schiphol: Arrivals Board at 15:30, 15 Minutes at a European Superhub

From the TimeTablist
A busy evening at one of Europe's superhubs. The fifteen minutes from 6:30pm commences with two of KLM's non-stops from China, one from Sichuan's capital at Chengdu and one from coastal Xiamen. Over the next five minutes, a flock of flights arrives from the corners of Europe: Easyjet from Prague, Alitalia from Milan, and Lufthansa from Munich. A Transavia flight from Lisbon is followed by an airBaltic Riga arrival.

At 40 minutes past the hour, another of KLM's increasing services to East Asia, this a link to its SkyTeam Partner Korean Air's megahub at Incheon, lands concurrently with more regional, low-cost services from Spain and Britain: An Arkefly charter from Mahon, Easyjet from Gatwick and BMI Baby from Nottingham. At quarter til 7, two Air France/KLM code shares get in from Bergen and Berlin.

This brief quarter hour demonstrates the breadth and diversity of Schiphol's connections.

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Kenya Airways: The Central & West African destinations, mid-2010

Still  series from the TimeTablist continues, this time we travel to Kenya with a routemap showing Kenya Airways Central and West African Destinations:

This detail from the previous post shows Kenya's 13 current and 5 future Central and West African destinations, as of July 2010. All proposed routes: Bangui, Brazzaville, Kisangani, Libreville, and Ndola, have been launched as of the date of this post. The addition of dedicated routes to Brazzaville and Ndola, when nearby Kinshasa and Lubumbashi are already served, added to the addition of such secondary destinations as Bangui and Kisangani, show the thickening of Kenya's coverage and the dominance of the airline across the entire continent. The convergence of the route lines on the right-hand side of this detail indicate the vortex of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at Nairobi.

Like Delta Air Lines, its Skyteam alliance partner, Kenya Airways has established something of a regional mini-hub at Accra Kotoka, with routes connecting to Abidjan, Freetown and Monrovia-Robertsfield.

The route lines are a bit confusing: Accra-Nairobi flights do not stop in Douala (but the flight to Douala does connect at Bangui), the Abidjan route did not land in Malabo.

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Kenya Airways: The African Network, mid-2010

From the Timetablist:

Kenya Airways' rapid expansion across its home continent is evident in the great breadth and depth of this route map, especially in comparison with the same article from just a year previous.

Kenya is still predominant across its home region, connecting neighboring East African cities, but with a large number of southbound routes, including a new link to Gaborone, Botswana.

Although not the focus of this and the following post, redlines reaching the page's edges show links to Europe and Asia. The three European destinations are suggested to be above the top of the page, although both Amsterdam and Paris are located on the visible portion of Europe.

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New Boeing Business Jets for Zuma and Motlanthe

The South African  Department of Defence has issued a tender for two new VIP aircraft for President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe, following a problematic procurement process. It seems the President  will be more focused on foreign trips to advance South Africa's foreign policy aims especially with its recent boost in international profile with membership in BRICS, IBSA and UNSC. However there's been an out cry from local media and observers with many seeing this unwanted extravagance in a country still reeling from extreme poverty.

Parallels have been drawn with Western leaders who travel commercial to save their taxpayers money while South frica would like to comandeer 3 business jets for its top leadership. It seems maybe Zuma feels it's time to match Obama's Airforce One.
BB Interior
According to the Ministry of Defence, the department has not yet decided whether it will lease or buy the aircraft. South Africa's Sunday Tribune says the ministry of defence turned to the Treasury to help find R1.6 billion for the new aircraft.


"We are going to buy a plane for the president….The new, bigger plane is going to be responsible for longer international trips such as [to] Europe and America. The current one [a Boeing Business Jet] will be used mainly for domestic regional trips so that when the one is resting, we make use of the other one because right now if the [BBJ] breaks down, we have to go out and rent a plane," he said.

BBJ Concept Interior
In April it was announced that the South African Air Force (SAAF) would lease two Embraer Lineage 1000 VIP jets for five years from AdoAir, at a cost of US$120 million (R800 million). Then later in April it was announced that the lease plan was scrapped and the Air Force would instead on July 1 take delivery of a second Boeing Business Jet and a Bombardier Global Express XRS from ExecuJet.

That date came and went with no aircraft delivered. Then, on July 14 a request for quotation for a VIP transport lease was sent out to ExecuJet, SRS Aviation, Fortune Air, Interjet and AdoAir, with a return date of July 25. However, this was cancelled on August 5.

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South Africa: Velvet Airlines November Promotions and Offers

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Velvet Sky Airlines Offering promotions in November, Flight Africa blog will bring more airlines promotions and travel offers to our readers as we approach the month of December. Stay tuned and keep reading our blog!!
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