Kenya Airways is Going Green,Launches Carbon Offset Program

Kenya Airways is going green,finally.The airline has launched its Carbon Offset Program that offers customers the opportunity to offset the Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions related to their flights in cooperation with International Air Transport Association-IATA.

According to a PR by the airline, "The inbuilt IATA Carbon calculator gives the distances of the flight in question and associates the level of emissions created by that flight per person then indicates the financial contribution that will be devoted to environmental sustainability projects; this contribution is VOLUNTARY. Kenya Airways collects this money on behalf of IATA and then surrenders it to be invested in projects that IATA has identified. IATA only invests in UN-Approved Certified Emissions Reductions-CER projects and voluntary credits. Kenya Airways will support projects within developing countries in line with the UN’s Cleaner Development Mechanisms-CDM."

The IATA-administered industry-wide scheme is a ready-made tool enabling airlines to offer their passengers the ability to compensate for their carbon emissions with contributions towards carbon reduction projects in developing countries.

 Passengerrs booking a ticket via Kenya Airways website can voluntarily contribute a small amount to offset their carbon footprints before they take their flight.The aviation industry contributes 2% of global towards global carbon emissions and has been under pressure to do its part to offset its carbon footprints.IATA developed a four pillar long term strategy that aims at "reducing emissions,not charging for them" but that has not prevented blocs like the EU from adding aviation to its Emissions Trading System.

IATA launched its Global carbon Offset program in 2009 with Portuguese carrier TAP as the launch airline.Other airlines have launched some brilliant carbon offset initiatives with Ethiopian Airlines longer term environmental campaign FLY GREENER a great example.Over 30 airlines run offset programs with different methodologies for calculating emissions and different criteria for offset projects.

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10 Ways to Boost Your Chance of a Free Upgrade When You Fly

As promised late last year,Flight Africa Blog will publish more guest posts from the aviation fraternity.This is an article someone shared with me and we we would like to share with you.For an economy class traveller,a flight upgrade is a dream come true, chance in a life time.In this post,Martin Lane from will show you 10 very easy ways boost your chances of getting that elusive flight upgrade and travel in style!Like a Star!An article we should have shared with our readers much earlier!Enjoy the read:

"Getting bumped up from economy to first class can make a big difference on a long-haul flight. Yet with the costs involved, the dream of travelling in style often remains just that - a dream. We show you how to get an upgrade without forking out.'

 As with anything, getting something for nothing is notoriously difficult, airlines won’t simply upgrade you to 1st class for no reason. However there are some things that you can do to improve your chances, here are our top tips.

1: Pick your airline carefully

Often there are a range of planes transporting passengers on each route. If you choose a flight where the aircraft has a large ratio of first class seats then it will improve your chances of getting an upgrade. You can usually find out the ratio on the airlines website.

2: Be flexible

You're more likely to get an upgrade on an oversold flight - this is where the airline have sold tickets for too many seats in the hope that some passengers won't show.  If everyone does turn up to travel, they have a problem. If you're able to take a slightly later flight, or willing to change who and where you're sitting, they're more likely to bump you up.

3: Make them value your custom

If you are a regular flyer then it's worthwhile joining the frequent flier or loyalty card scheme run by the airline or airlines you most often travel with.
It is usually free to join and members tend to be given priority over non-members when it comes to getting an upgrade. Equally, members within the scheme are often ranked depending on how much they travel with the airline, or the level of membership they hold - the more 'loyal' you are, the more likely you'll get an upgrade if one's available.

4. Book separately

If you are travelling with other people and don’t mind being seated separately then you can improve your upgrade chances by booking separately, after all it’s easier to find 1 first class seat than 2!

5: Get an 'added value' ticket

A small outlay can increase your chances of bagging the elusive upgrade. Some airlines offer 'premium standard' or 'standard plus' tickets that cost a little more but are usually first in line for a full upgrade if one becomes available. A 'standard plus' seat tends to be more spacious and often includes other little perks such as drinks and newspapers to enjoy if you don’t upgraded. However, while it's worth comparing the cost, as an upgrade is by no means a given you'll need to decide whether the possibility - and other perks - are worth the cost.

6: Play the part

It is much easier to ruin your chances than it is to improve them. If you arrive at the airport in trainers and a tracksuit or are loud at the check in desk then you will be the last person they will want to offer a complimentary upgrade. Boost your chances by looking, and acting, the part. Try wearing a suit (or at least smart-casual clothes) rather than jeans and a t-shirt so that you look like you could belong in the first- or business-class cabin.

7: Time your arrival

Checking in with the masses means you will probably be lost in the crowd. There are two different schools of thought with regards to when you should arrive to optimise your chances of an upgrade. If you arrive early and ask politely at check in and they are treating upgrades on a first come basis then you might be lucky and be first on their list. Alternatively some industry experts say that waiting until the last minute sometimes means any vacant first class tickets are offered to the final people boarding.

8: Give them a reason

Sometimes it is the little things that can make a difference, mentioning that you’re travelling to celebrate your silver wedding anniversary or birthday may just make the difference.
Additionally you can take this a little further and ask your travel agent to mark your ticket with a note such as OSI (Other sig info) or SFU(Suitable for Upgrade).

9: Ask nicely

Try to build up a bit of rapport with the check-in staff (or staff at the boarding gate) before you ask whether there is any chance that you could get bumped up a class.

10: Be discrete

When you ask for an upgrade make sure you ask discretely. If you announced to the whole check in lounge that you want an upgrade chances are you will have blown it.

Read the Article:10 Ways to Boost Your Chance of a free Upgrade When You Fly

Kenya Airways Cargo installs electronic cargo monitoring system

Kenya Airways Cargo has completed the installation of an electronic cargo monitoring system, making it the 2nd airline in Africa to achieve this.  Known as E-Freight, the new system is billed as the answer to cargo operational efficacy in a bid to reduce costs, improve transit times, accuracy and the competitiveness of airfreight.

Kenya Airways’ General Manager Cargo, Ms Sauda Rajab said in a statement that the installation of the E-Freight was in compliance with an International Air Transport Association (IATA) led initiative, designed to get all global carriers to make their transactions electronic. Cargo customers are increasingly wanting shorter transit times, lower prices and increased reliability, while customs authorities are pushing for electronic information in advance.

“IATA estimates that with adoption of e-freight (electronic messaging and documentation), the air freight industry could save up to $ 4.9 billion,” said Rosemary Adongo, Area Manager Southern Africa and IOI.
With E-Freight going live, Kenya joins six other aviation nations, including Italy, South Africa, Ireland, Cyprus, Slovakia and Mexico in successfully implementing this technology.  Kenya Airways has conducted successful WET and DRY runs between Nairobi – Amsterdam – Nairobi with DHL Global Forwarders. Currently there are 44 countries and 362 airports that are e-freight ready globally.

Article Courtesy Travelwires

Flight Africa Blog Scoops Third Place in Flight Global's Webbies 2010 Awards!

Dear readers,while we were away,Flight Africa Blog scooped the third place in the Flight Global  yearly awards,Webbies 2010 Awards, in the category "Launch of the Year" that was announced on 14th February,2011.The category was judged by Kevin O'Toole, Flightglobal's Director of Strategy and Alan Peaford, President of the British Association of Communicators in Business (@Grandpois on Twitter)
 We are humbled ,very proud and deeply inspired by this award.This is what the judges said of your favorite aviation blog that gives you an inside look into African aviation: "A refreshing initiative which gives African aviation a fresh, professional voice. Traffic is relatively low but building and the enthusiasm and ambition of the team shows through.
"This site has great potential in what is after all the next big thing in growth markets."

The first place in the category was taken by Bombardier,followed by AirTransparency.
Big Congratulations to them!
We thank all our readers and contributors from the African Aviation fraternity and beyond on this worthy award and look forward to giving our readers  fresh,quality  and timely coverage from the skies of Africa as we contonue to engage aviation professionals from all the corners of continent that is an emerging aviation market. Many thanks to all our readers,contributors and the Flight Global team!

Editor,Flight Africa Blog

More Info:
The Flightglobal Aviation Web Awards (Flightglobal Webbies) celebrate and acknowledge the best and brightest aviation and aerospace websites and digital activities of the last 12 months.

Fadugba to African Airlines:Embrace Mergers

Former secretary general of the Africa Airline Association (AFRAA) and chief executive officer of African Aviation Services Limited (AAS), Mr Nick Fadugba, has advised African airlines to embrace mergers and acquisitions to enhance their chances of survival and also benefit from economies of scale.

He gave this advice while delivering a paper entitled, “Challenges and Opportunities Facing African Airlines” at the Airport Council International (ACI) conference held in Abuja recently.

The advice, according to him, became necessary in view of the fact that African airlines are undercapitalised and are too small and weak to meet the challenges of today’s competitive air transport industry, adding that though air traffic on the continent is growing, the share enjoyed by African airlines is not growing as that of foreign carriers.

Fadugba said, “To benefit from economies of scale and enhance their chances of survival, African airlines have to come together and work together through code-shares, win-win joint ventures mergers and acquisitions so as to form stronger carriers that can grow and prosper”.

 To buttress his point, he cited the United States, where according to him, Delta airlines has acquired North West Airlines; United Airlines acquired Continental Airlines; while in Europe Air France acquired KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and British Airways has merged with Iberia airlines of Spain.

Airline consolidation, the chief executive officer of African Aviation Services Limited (AAS), said is a global reality, which Africa must face up to now or suffer the consequences, adding that more airlines will fail in Africa in the next five years if urgent steps were not taken towards airline cooperation and consolidation.

“I humbly submit to you that without a strong, viable and profitable Africa aviation industry that facilitates business, trade, tourism and social interaction on the African continent and beyond, it will be difficult to create wealth, eradicate poverty and promote sustainable economic development in Africa”

On air safety, the former AFRAA boss stressed that it must be a priority in Africa aviation sector, calling on airline operators in Africa and governments in making this achievable.

He listed the challenges facing the African airports to include safety, security, new technology, funding, passenger facilitation, modernisation, manpower development and debt collection, adding that he is very confidence that practical solutions can be found to these challenges.

In his words, “Airports have a vital role to play in every country as a national gateways and engines of economic growth; rightly or wrongly, airports are often viewed by their users as monopolies with limited competition, high charges, strong revenues and strong margins. But this not always the case”.

 He argued that whether airport’s revenues and costs are based on the Single Till or Dual Till policy, what is certain is that every airport has to strive to improve its Work Load Unit (WLU) through enhanced operational and economic performance. 
Fadugba commended African airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air, South African Airways and Kenya Airlines for the efforts put in place as they grow in aircraft fleet size, aircraft utilisation, route network, traffic load, revenues and overall viability.

1Time Airlines is BEE Empowered

South Africa low-fare airline 1time has struck a deal that will see a black economic empowerment (BEE) consortium acquiring a 25% stake in the aviation group for about R49-million, with the proceeds being used to expand the airline's operations and add new routes.

The consortium includes Mtha Aviation, SKMT Sunrise Investment Group and Oakleaf Investment Holdings 59, and also includes Sipho Twala, a founding shareholder and chairman of 1time.
"We look forward to partnering with the BEE consortium as their solid track record, entrepreneurial spirit and aviation expertise will provide a perfect fit with the 1time culture," 1time Group CEO Glenn Orsmond said in a statement this week. "The funding will give impetus to our growth plans for the airline by introducing new routes into Africa and the Lanseria operations."

According to 1time, state-owned Industrial Development Corporation provided the consortium with the necessary funding required to effect the transaction.
The company's board has resolved to use the new equity capital to expand the airline as well as its aircraft maintenance and charter business, as well as to expand and enhance training facilities for its pilots.
"The vision and strategy of the board remains to create a diverse aviation group consisting of the best low-cost airline in Southern Africa and a world-class maintenance facility," 1time said. "This transaction, having notably strengthened the group's BEE credentials and shareholding, has significantly strengthened the group's ability to reach this goal."

'Exciting' expansion plans

As part of the transaction, Busiwe Maqungo and Blacky Komani have been appointed as executive director and non-executive director of the company respectively.
Maqungo is the current MD of Mtha Aviation. Her career spans various sectors, including academic institutions and Human Sciences Research Council, as well as the private sector and parastatals.
Komani is the chairman of Mtha Aviation. He has 20 years experience in the field of travel and tourism. Based in New York, he was the head of the South African Tourism operation for North and South America for a period of six years.

He currently serves on different boards in the travel and tourism sector and is also an executive director at American Express Foreign Exchange.

"Our participation will focus on the synergies that already exist between the BEE Consortium and 1time, in order to leverage maximum value from the anticipated growth in passenger numbers in Africa," said Komani. "The BEE consortium offers expertise that will maintain and enhance 1time’s competitive edge, thereby delivering sustainable value for all stakeholders.

"We anticipate growth in our market share through an improved range of offerings to our loyal customers, and have very exciting expansion plans in place."

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It's no longer a dream for Africa World Airlines as it secures an Air Carrier Licence

Dreams are finally turning into gold for Africa World Airlines Limited (Africa World),a Ghanaian registered private-sector company formed to provide low cost scheduled airline passenger services from Accra to domestic and regional destinations by a group of Ghanaian and Chinese investors.
The Ghanaian airline startup,with the tagline,"the new generation airline",announced on 4th March the receipt of an Air Carrier Licence(ACL) issued by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority(GCAA).Togbe Afede IV,CEO of SAS Finance Group,one of the investors in the airline, and Chairman of Africa World Airlines Limited,assured the Ghanaian public that the airline intends to revolutionize domestic transportation in Ghana by making air travel affordable to many.

Stated a press release from the company website "The ACL, licence number 222, serves as the authorization for Africa World to commence operation of scheduled air passenger and cargo services within Ghana and the West African sub-region."
The airline is expected to begin operations in July this year.
Air Commodore (Rtd) Kwame Mamphey (left), Director-General of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, presents the Air Carrier Licence document to Togbe Afede XIV, CEO of SAS Finance Group and Chairman of Africa World Airlines, at a ceremony in Accra on 4th March 2011. Looking on is Peter Amaleboba, Director – Economic Regulation of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.
Read the Full PR on the Company Website 

Additional info:Africa World Airlines Limited is a Ghanaian private-sector joint venture between SAS Finance Group, an integrated investment banking and financial advisory firm, and Chinese investment and technical partners. Africa World intends to provide low cost scheduled airline passenger services from Accra to domestic and regional destinations, using jet aircraft throughout its route network. The route network will be structured to create a hub-and-spoke model centred upon Accra, allowing seamless one-change connections between multiple city pairs.

Africa World intends to commence flight operations in mid-2011 with all-jet services from Accra to Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi.