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African Airline News December 2014

A round-up of airline news briefs by Morné Booij-Liewes

african airline news

PARTNERSHIP CONSIDERED

Johannesburg – South African Public Enterprises Minister, Lynn Brown, has admitted that embattled national carrier, South African Airways, would consider an equity partnership as part of its turnaround strategy.

This came a day after Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, said State‐owned entities would not be bailed out. Instead, they would be restructured to make them financially sustainable.

RUNWAY REHABILITATED

George – The rehabilitation of the George airport runway has been completed improving safety through better run‐off and storm water drainage, as well as structural capacity of the pavement surface.

AIRLINE OPERATIONS

Nairobi – Helicopter specialists, LadyLori, has expanded the operational parameters of its operating license to include domestic scheduled operations using an Airbus A320. The carrier has been awarded domestic and international traffic rights, flights from Nairobi to Dar es Salam, Juba, Kigali, Entebbe, Maputo and Lusaka.

BOEING PAIR

Johannesburg – Low cost carrier, Mango, has added an additional two Boeing 737‐800s to its fleet bringing the total of the type operated to 10.

NAMIBIAN EXPANSION

Windhoek – Low cost carrier FlyAfrica has launched a Namibian subsidiary, Namibia Flyafrica, in a joint venture between Mauritius‐based private equity aviation investment group, Flyafrica Ltd. and Nomad Aviation, a Namibian‐based airline. Namibia Flyafrica will operate scheduled regional flights from Namibia to South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

MAINTENANCE SUPPORT

Cape Town – The ExecuJet Aviation Group is expanding heavy maintenance support at the company’s Cape Town International Airport MRO facility to include Bombardier Dash 8‐Q100, ‐Q400, as well as the CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft. The facility was already approved to carry out maintenance on Bombardier Dash 8‐Q300 aircraft.

START‐UP

Cairo – FlyEgypt is a new Egyptian carrier backed by the Talaat Moustafa Group, a prominent Egyptianbased real estate development firm. Also known as T1 Airlines, the carrier plans to commence scheduled flights soon using B737NGs.

ALLIANCES CONSIDERED

Casablanca – Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is considering joining one of the three major airline alliances, Star Alliance, OneWorld or Skyteam with a decision likely in 2015. RAM also plans to launch services to Kenya and Tanzania, as well as taking delivery of its first Boeing 787‐8 Dreamliner before year end.

KENYAN CARGO

Nairobi – Ribway Cargo Airlines, a new Kenyanbased air cargo carrier, plans to start operations using a DC‐8‐70 freighter on non‐scheduled services throughout the region. The carrier also operates Fokker F27 and Fokker 50 freighters.

SOMALI START‐UP

Mogadishu – SomAir is a new Somali based airline that has started scheduled domestic and international flights from the capital city using a DC9‐30 leased from Kenya‐based Pan African Airways.

TURBOPROP DELIVERED

Abidjan – Air Côte d’Ivoire took delivery of the first of two Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s and started scheduled services at the end of October linking Abidjan with Bouaké, Korhogo, Man, and San Pedro. The carrier also revealed plans for cooperation agreements with Arik Air, Air Burkina and ECAIR, as well as adding additional destinations including Lagos, Nouakchott, Abuja, Luanda and Bangui. The airline is in talks with Airbus and Bombardier to renew its existing fleet of aircraft. The carrier needs at least three additional aircraft by 2016.

SENEGALESE GROWTH

Dakar – Senegal Airlines will shortly supplement its fleet, currently consisting of a single Bombardier CRJ100, leased from South African ACMI specialists CemAir, with the delivery of an Airbus A330‐200 and Bombardier Dash 8‐Q400.

INVESTORS SOUGHT

Dar es Salaam – Precision Air has appointed a Dubai‐based consultant to find a suitable foreign partner to provide a $40‐75‐million capital injection in the struggling East African carrier. In return for their funding, the investor will get an undisclosed shareholding in the Tanzanian domestic operator.

ADDITIONAL CAPACITY

Luanda – Portuguese carrier, Hi Fly, has been contracted to provide Angola’s national carrier with additional capacity on its Portugal routes over the Festive Season. Hi Fly will operate 10 extra Luanda – Porto and six additional Luanda – Lisbon flights using Airbus A330‐200 and A340‐300 equipment.

DREAMLINER PLANNING

Casablanca – Royal Air Maroc will take delivery of its first of four Boeing 787‐8 Dreamliners before year end. The carrier plans to operate the type on the Casablanca – Paris route and then to New York.

AIRBUS LEASE

Asmara – Eritrean Airlines has wet leased an Airbus A320 from Ukrainian ACMI specialists YanAir. The type joins a Boeing 737‐800 wet leased from East Air and a Boeing 767‐200ER.

SCHEDULES RESUMED

Monrovia – Gambia Bird has resumed scheduled services between Freetown and London Gatwick after putting in place “extensive safeguards” to ensure the health and wellbeing of passengers and crew against the deadly Ebola virus. Flights were suspended in August when the outbreak began spreading throughout West Africa.

LICENSE SECURED

Accra – Unicorn Air Charter Service has secured an Air Carrier Licence as the first step to securing its Air Operator’s Certificate.

KODIAK DELIVERY

Windhoek – Scenic Air Namibia has taken delivery of a Quest Kodiak 100 10‐seater STOL utility aircraft for sightseeing and air‐taxi operations.

START‐UP FRENZY

Lagos – No less than 17 new start‐up carriers have applied to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for their Air Operator’s Certificates. Hopefuls include Air Taraba, Air Peace, EAN Aviation, ExecuJet Nigeria, Izy Air, Air Jupiter, Manyatta Engineering Services, Toucan Aviation, Baltic Air and Maritime Cargo Services, Oriental Airlines, Meridian Airlines, Millennium Travels and Tours, Okada Air and AirFirst.

LEASE CANCELLED

Harare – Bulgarian carrier, Air Via, has cancelled the planned lease of a single Airbus A320 to new Zimbabwean start‐up, Rainbow Airlines.

 

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