Saturday 10 May 2014

Restructuring of Fly 540 Angola and Ghana

fastjet, Africa’s low cost airline, today confirms that as previously announced, two of its loss-making Fly540 businesses are being restructured with the objective of increasing shareholder value. The Fly540 businesses operate on a traditional airline model and not the fastjet low cost model.
After a detailed evaluation of the potential of Fly540 in both Ghana and Angola, fastjet has concluded that, although these countries present very significant long-term opportunities for the fastjet low cost model, in the short term fastjet intends to fully focus on the considerable potential of opportunities in East and Southern Africa. 
As a key part of the restructuring, two group-owned ATR aircraft previously operating in Ghana and Angola have been taken out of service and are currently in the process of being sold.  While a leased aircraft continues to operate in Ghana, the Angolan operation has been temporarily suspended, pending the return to service of two leased aircraft on completion of required maintenance.  Further details on the restructuring of both 540 operations will be announced in due course.
Fastjet interim chairman and CEO, Ed Winter, said: “Management has been carefully considering how best to restructure the Fly540 business which we inherited and this is a highly significant and very positive development in that process.
“We are currently focused on expanding the low cost fastjet network in East and Southern Africa by establishing bases in Zambia, Kenya and South Africa and these plans are progressing well.  However, our overall vision is to create a pan-African low-cost network and, as such, launching the low cost fastjet model in both Angola and Ghana remains firmly part of the Company’s long-term plans.”

Emirates Group Announces 26th Consecutive Year of Profit

§  Group records AED 4.1 billion (US$ 1.1 billion)  profit; makes largest-ever investment in the business at AED 22.0 billion (US$ 6.0 billion)
§  Emirates makes profit of AED 3.3 billion (US$ 887 million), as revenue increases 13% to AED 82.6 billion (US$ 22.5 billion)
·         Largest-ever capacity increase of 5.9 billion ATKM in airline’s history
§  dnata makes profit of AED 829 million (US$ 226 million), as revenue increases 14% to AED 7.6 billion (US$ 2.1 billion)
·         dnata invests a record AED 850 million(US$ 232 million)

The Emirates Group today announced its 26th consecutive year of profit and company-wide growth, ending the year in a strong position despite competitive pressure and a global economic environment that is only slowly recovering. The financial year ending 31 March 2014 also marked an unprecedented level of investment across the Group, continued expansion of its global footprint, and the achievement of new capacity milestones.  

Released today in its 2013-14 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted an AED 4.1 billion (US$ 1.1 billion) profit, up 32% from last year. The Group’s revenue reached AED 87.8 billion (US$ 23.9 billion), an increase of 13% over last year’s results, and the Group’s cash balance remained strong at AED 19.0 billion (US$ 5.2 billion).
“Achieving our 26th consecutive year of profit in a financial year marked by record increases in capacity and significant business investments across the Group, is testimony to the strength of our brands and our business fundamentals,” said His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
“Throughout 2013-14 the Group has collectively invested over AED 22.0 billion (US$ 6.0 billion), the highest amount ever in one financial year. We know that to be a sustainable and profitable business we have to keep adding value to our stakeholders, our customers, partners and employees. To do this, we need efficient new aircraft, quality products and services, and cutting-edge facilities. Every dirham invested has been carefully considered against short and long-term goals - be it enhancing our capabilities, improving our product, or expanding our business footprint.”  
The Group also continued to invest in and expand on its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by 11% to over 75,000-strong representing over 160 different nationalities, across its more than 80 subsidiaries and companies. Revenue per airline employee increased by 4% to AED 1.9 million (US$ 0.5 million).

“We are moving into the new financial year with confidence, and a strong foundation for continued profitability with our strong balance sheet, solid track record, diverse global portfolio and international talent pool,” said Sheikh Ahmed. “Operating in a dynamic and highly-competitive environment means we have to stay agile, and work even harder to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. With the help of our 75,000 strong multicultural workforce, we have no doubt that we will be able to capitalise on the opportunities in the year ahead.” Similar to the last financial year, the Group declared a dividend of AED1 billion (US$ 280 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai.
Emirates performance

In 2013-14, Emirates increased capacity by 5.9 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKMs), the largest capacity increase in the airline's history in a single year. This brings Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity to 46.8 billion ATKMs at the end of the financial year. The airline also marked a new record of over 1 million block hours in terms of fleet production. 
Emirates received 24 new aircraft during the year, including 16 A380s, six Boeing 777-300ERs and two Boeing 777Fs, bringing its total fleet count to 217. The airline remains the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777 and A380 – both aircraft being amongst the most modern and efficient wide-bodied jets in the sky today. With the delivery of new aircraft, Emirates launched nine new destinations: Boston, Clark, Conakry, Haneda, Kabul, Kiev, Sialkot, Stockholm and Taipei, as well as a new service between Milan and New York. 
Emirates revenue for the first time surpassed AED 80 billion, at a new record of AED 82.6 billion (US$ 22.5 billion). While the average price of jet fuel remained high, it was slightly lower compared to last year and has supported Emirates’ bottom line improvement.
Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 10% over last year to reach AED 30.7 billion (US$ 8.4 billion). Total operating costs increased by 12%, compared to a revenue increase of 13% over the 2012-13 financial year. The airline successfully managed increased competitive pressure across all markets to record a profit of AED 3.3 billion (US$ 887 million), an increase of 43% over last year’s results, and a healthy profit margin of 3.9%.  
Carrying a record 44.5 million passengers, up 13% from last year, Emirates maintained a robust Passenger Seat Factor at 79.4%, nearly consistent with last year’s results in spite of a 15% increase in seat capacity by Available Seat Kilometres (ASKMs). This highlights the strong consumer desire to fly on Emirates’ state-of-the-art aircraft. Passenger yield remained steady at 30.4 fils (8.3 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM). 
Emirates also improved its premium seat factor despite lingering economic uncertainty and strong competition in many markets. Premium and overall seat factor for the airline’s flagship A380 aircraft outperformed the network, underscoring the popularity of Emirates’ premium and A380 product amongst passengers.  
Over 18 million passengers had flown on an Emirates A380 when the airline marked its fifth anniversary of A380 operations in August 2013. In 2013-14, Emirates introduced A380 services to Barcelona, Brisbane, London-Gatwick, Los Angeles, Mauritius and Zurich, bringing to 27 the total number of destinations served by its popular flagship aircraft. Emirates’ Los Angeles service is also the world’s longest A380 flight at 16 hours and 20 minutes.   
Highlighting its sound financials and investor confidence, Emirates raised a total of AED 12.0 billion (US$ 3.3 billion) through a variety of financing structures, mainly to secure its ongoing fleet expansion. Further, eight of the aircraft delivered in the financial year were funded through two corporate bonds issued in early 2013 which raised AED 6.4 billion (US$ 1.8 billion) in funding.  
Significant financing milestones achieved during the year include the issue of a second Enhanced Equipment trust Certificate through a lessor, which tapped into the US capital market to fund four A380s. Another major landmark was achieved through the refinancing of two A380s through the first ever floating rate capital market bond backed by a COFACE (the French Export Credit Agency) guarantee. Emirates closed the financial year with a healthy AED 12.7 billion (US$ 3.4 billion) cash flow generated from operating activities.  
Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30% of overall revenues. East Asia and Australasia remained the highest revenue contributing region with AED 23.8 billion (US$ 6.5 billion), up 14% from 2012-13. Gulf and Middle East revenue increased 17% to AED 8.3 billion (US$ 2.3 billion), and Europe revenue increased 16% to AED 23.4 billion (US$ 6.4 billion), reflecting new destinations as well as increased frequency and capacity to these regions. 
Across the rest of the globe Emirates saw strong revenue increases from Africa up 15% to AED 7.7 billion (US$ 2.1 billion), The Americas up 11% to AED 9.2 billion (US$ 2.5 billion) and West Asia and Indian Ocean with AED 8.3 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) in revenue, up 3%. 
Focusing on customer touch points, Emirates opened a new dedicated airport lounge in Rome, and upgraded its lounges in Paris Charles De Gaulle, London Gatwick and Bangkok. Emirates also announced plans for a new 300-seat contact centre in Budapest to support future growth and supplement its language and response capability, and continued to invest in its onboard product including the installation of Wi-Fi and “live” TV.  
In its first full year of operations, the newly commissioned Concourse A at Dubai airport for Emirates’ growing A380 fleet witnessed a significant passenger throughput with 37% or 8.2 million Emirates passengers departing Dubai enjoying the new state-of-the art facilities, spacious lounge areas to board 27,000 flights. 
Looking forward to 2014-15, Emirates has to date announced five new passenger routes including Abuja, Brussels, Chicago, Kano and Oslo. Defying the industry trend, the 2013-14 financial year has been a strong one for Emirates SkyCargo who for the first time reported a revenue over US$ 3 billion to reach AED 11.3 billion (US$ 3.1 billion) mark, a 9% increase over last year.  
Contributing 15% of the airline’s total transport revenue Emirates SkyCargo continues to play an integral role in the company’s expanding operations. Emirates SkyCargo’s tonnage strongly increased by 8% to reach a remarkable 2.3 million tonnes in a flat and challenging airfreight market, highlighting its ability to grow revenues against the industry norm. This year, freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) decreased by 1%.  
At the end of the financial year, the Emirates SkyCargo freighter fleet had grown to 12 aircraft – ten on operating lease and two on wet lease. Emirates’ Destination and Leisure Management including hotels recorded revenue of AED 623 million (US$ 170 million), an impressive increase of 35% over last year. This positive development was supported by the first full year of operation of the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai, the world’s tallest hotel. The second tower of the hotel will be fully operational later this year.   
dnata performance
In its 55 years of operation, 2013-14 has been dnata’s most successful yet, building on its very strong results in the previous year. dnata grew its revenue to AED 7.6 billion (US$ 2.1 billion), an increase of 14%, through organic growth and as well as strategic international acquisitions. For the first time in the company’s history, dnata’s international business accounted for 50% of its revenue.  
dnata also outperformed last year’s record profit to reach AED 829 million (US$ 226 million). 
In 2013-14, dnata invested a record AED 850 million (US$ 232 million) into its business, laying the foundations for future growth.  
Its key investments included: the development of dnata City – a 20-acre cargo logistics centre at London Heathrow Airport, additional warehousing capacity at seven airports across the UK, and capacity expansion of Freight Gate 3 at Dubai airport. 
dnata's international growth continued with the addition of several new companies in its portfolio including the acquisition of Broadlex, an aircraft cleaning service provider in Australia, and Gold Medal Travel Group, one of the leading distributors of long-haul travel products in the UK. dnata also acquired Air Chefs in Italy, by taking over the remaining 50% stake from Servair.  
Revenue from dnata’s airport operations increased strongly by 15% to reach AED 2.8 billion (US$ 774 million). It remains dnata’s largest revenue stream. The year’s performance was primarily driven by strong volume growth in the UK and Dubai, including first time handling operations at Dubai World Central where commercial passenger flights began in October, and also in a number of dnata’s other global operations including new services from Broadlex. dnata today handles 250 airlines at 27 airports in nine countries and is the world’s largest ground handler of the A380.  
dnata’s cargo handling division grew revenue by 8% to AED 1.2 billion (US$ 318 million), on account of increasing business volumes in the UK and additional road feeder services between both airports in Dubai. Dubai World Central now accounts for 30% of dnata’s cargo handling activities in Dubai.  
dnata’s catering business accounted for AED 1.8 billion (US$ 478 million) of its total revenue, up 25%. The inflight catering business uplifted more than 41 million meals during the year, a sharp rise of 44% on account of dnata’s consolidated operation in Italy as well as its growth in the UK and Australia. 
Revenue from dnata’s travel services division also saw strong growth of 22% to reach AED 662 million (US$ 180 million). This is mainly attributed to business growth in the UK through Travel Republic and the newly integrated business of the Gold Medal Travel Group as of March. The underlying travel services related turnover, measured by net sales value, increased 10% to AED 5.9 billion (US$ 1.6 billion).  
In 2013-14, dnata’s operating costs increased by 15% to AED 6.7 billion (US$ 1.8 billion), reflecting the first months of integrating the newly acquired companies across its airport, catering and travel businesses.   
Similar to last year, dnata’s cash balance of AED 2.4 billion (US$ 663 million) remains strong and the business delivered a solid AED 1.1 billion (US$ 307 million) operating cash flow in 2013-14.  
dnata’s employee strength increased to 23,000, a 14% growth which includes employees from its newly acquired companies. The majority of dnata’s staff, 60%, are based in UAE.   
The full 2013-14 Annual Report of the Emirates Group – comprising Emirates, dnata and their subsidiaries – is available at:

Friday 25 April 2014

PICS: Harare International Airport

Check-in for KLM KL523 HRE-LUN-AMS
An empty departures lounge, pretty common in the evenings
Malawi Airlines Boeing 737-800 taxiing out for its return back to Lilongwe
KLM KL523 Airbus A330-200 shortly after its arrival at Harare Int Airport
Egyptair MS842 departing for Cairo via Dar es Salaam
Special thanks to Léonard Desdoigts for the great pics and trip KLM523 Trip Report HRE-LUN.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

British Airways (Comair Limited) Shortly After Takeoff from Harare, Flying Over Chitungwiza

British Airways (Comair Limited) Boeing 737-300 shortly after takeoff from Harare Int Airport on the way to Johannesburg OR TAMBO flying over Chitungwiza. Once again special thanks to William Whaley on

Sunday 20 April 2014

PICS: Harare International Airport - 04/13/14

LAM Mozambique (TM342) Bombardier Q400 arriving in Harare Int Airport from Maputo via Beira.

Emirates EK713 Airbus A340-300 arriving at Harare Int Airport from Dubai via Lusaka.

South African Airways (SA28) Boeing 737-800 readies for boarding while in the distance SA Express (XZ1613) CRJ200 and Kenya Airways (KQ780) Embraer 190 await departure. Although pretty hard to spot through the aerobridge glass is Egyptair Boeing 737-800 parked for the day awaiting its evening return flight to Cairo via Dar es Salaam. 
Special thanks to Paul Chikwanda for providing the pics.

Emirates reduces flights to 41 destinations for 80 day period, maintains services to all existing points

  • Flight operations adjusted to accommodate necessary traffic reduction at Dubai International, no impact on customers booked to fly
  • Estimated AED 1 billion hit to revenue
  • Grounded aircraft allows operational flexibility for airline’s own “upgrading” projects 
Emirates, which flies daily from Harare to Lusaka and Dubai, will continue to serve all of its worldwide destinations during the 80 day period of runway upgrading works at Dubai International starting 1 May. However, it has had to reduce flights to over 40 destinations, and change timings on some of its flights.
These changes will not impact customers booked to fly between May and July, as the flight schedules have been planned and implemented months ahead of time. Customers or travel agents searching for flight options on Emirates will only see those flights that are available. “Customers who have booked to fly with us, or are considering to fly with us during this time, can be assured that it is business as usual. On routes where Emirates has had to reduce frequency, we have upgraded to bigger aircraft where possible to recover part of the capacity. We have done a lot of preparation work behind the scenes together with all airport stakeholders, to ensure that there will be as little inconvenience to our customers as possible, and we look forward to resuming our full schedule of flights in July,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.
“As the biggest operator at Dubai International accounting for about 50% of traffic, of course we have had to take the biggest hit in reducing flights. There will be an impact on our revenues to the tune of approximately AED 1 billion. However, we understand the need for this upgrading work to be done, and we support it wholeheartedly. It will add much-needed capacity to the airport, and having world-class infrastructure ultimately means a better experience for customers. So we have to take the long-term view and manage the short term pain,” he added. Emirates will ground 20 aircraft in May, 22 in June, and 22 in July, as Dubai Airports launch a comprehensive runway upgrade project which will see both runways at Dubai International close alternatively for resurfacing and other enhancement works.
During this time, Emirates has plans for its own upgrading projects, taking advantage of its “grounded fleet” to perform engineering maintenance and onboard enhancements, ensuring its award-winning fleet operates at top form. These works include phased upgrades to its GCS (Global Communications Suite), an initiative that requires approximately 2,200 man hours of mechanical and avionic work per aircraft. The parked aircraft also provides operational flexibility for an ongoing fleet-wide inflight entertainment system and cabin maintenance improvement campaign. In addition, the Emirates Engineering team will carry out its first-ever landing gear change to a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, the start of a programme which will eventually involve over 70 other Boeing 777s. The landing gear change work occurs once every 10 years in the aircraft’s lifespan.
All Emirates passenger flights will continue to operate from Dubai International Airport (DXB) during the runway upgrading period from 1 May – 20 July, while its freighter operations will move to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) on 1 May as planned.

Monday 14 April 2014

The Big & Small at Harare International Airport

Ethiopian Airlines 787 taxiing out while Malawian Airlines dash8 Q400 taxies in at Harare International Airport. Special thanks to Airway Magazine for the pic.