Sunday, 30 March 2014

New Victoria Falls Airport set to open in April 2015

The Victoria Falls International Airport expansion project which is expected to be completed in April 2015 will have the capacity to handle 1,2 million passengers per annum and can also accommodate three Boeing 747 aircraft at any one time. The completion of the runway will also pave way for the contractors to resurface and extend the current runway to convert it to a taxiway. The civil works are expected to be completed in November paving way for the aircrafts to land on the new 4km runway, while electrical works, lighting, air traffic navigation and instrument landing systems will be completed by the end of the project. Upgrades include not only a new terminal building but also three aerobridges, a new perimeter fence, a broader runway to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft, a new fire station, a new control tower plus an extension to the parking area. In keeping with many modern airports, the new terminal will exploit natural light through a glass façade and provide visitors with an incredible first impression of the Victoria Falls area.
Entrance to the Victoria Falls Airport with the Construction site on the Left
Road heading to the current Victoria Falls Airport Terminal
Facing the current International Terminal with the new Terminal in the Distance
Entrance into the current Domestic Terminal, it was revamped before the 2013 UNWTO summit
The current International Terminal which will be converted into the Domestic Terminal
Looking out at the new Terminal Construction site

On-going Construction Work at the new International Terminal 

Friday, 21 March 2014

CLASSIC PIC: British Airways & Lufthansa 747's at Harare International Airport (HRE) - 1996

CLASSIC PIC - British Airways & Lufthansa 747's at Harare International Airport (HRE) in 1996. This was taken from the view canopy of the old International Airport (current domestic terminal). Both these airlines are currently not flying into Harare.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Comair Limited Announce Order for Eight 737 MAXs

Johannesburg, South Africa, March 19, 2014 Boeing and Comair Limited announced an order today for eight 737 MAX 8s valued at $830 million at list prices. It is the first 737 MAX order announcement for an African operator. The order was booked in December 2013 and was previously unidentified on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website. "We're proud to be the first African operator to announce an order the 737 MAX," said Erik Venter, chief executive officer of Comair, "This investment in Comair's fleet upgrade is fundamental to its business strategy of consistently improving customer service and value, while ensuring a sustainable airline. Our decision to make this investment was not taken lightly and is a critical component in managing our exposure to the volatile fuel price and thus minimizing the impact of the fuel price on airfares."

Johannesburg-based Comair operates Africa's first low cost carrier,, offering flights to South Africa's major cities. Comair is also the franchise partner of British Airways, operating its local and regional Southern African routes. The company currently flies an all-Boeing fleet of 25 Classic and Next-Generation 737s on its and British Airways (operated by Comair) brands. The order for eight 737 MAX 8s will support future fleet renewal and expansion. "Comair has grown over the past six decades by providing a product and service of consistent value, reliability and comfort," said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Africa, Latin America and Caribbean Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The unmatched operating economics of the 737 MAX make it the best airplane for Comair's growth strategy. In addition, the 737 Sky Interior, combined with Comair's excellent customer service, will provide an unmatched passenger experience."
The 737 MAX builds on the success of the Next-Generation 737 – retaining efficiency, economics, reliability and passenger appeal that make this family of airplanes the market leader. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, as well as aerodynamic improvements such as new Advanced Technology winglets, to deliver a 14 percent fuel-efficiency improvement over today's most fuel efficient single-aisle airplanes. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over tomorrow's competition. Along with superior operating economics, the passenger-preferred 737 Boeing Sky Interior will also come standard on the 737 MAX. Drawing from years of research inspired by the travel experience, the 737 Boeing Sky Interior features modern-sculpted sidewalls and appealing features reveals that draw passenger eyes to the airplane's windows, giving passengers a greater connection to the flying experience.
With today's announcement Comair will have a total of 12 airplanes on order from Boeing, including the eight 737 MAX 8s and four Next-Generation 737-800s for delivery in 2015 and 2016. Since its announcement in 2011, the 737 MAX has amassed more than 1,800 orders worldwide.
Source: Boeing

PICS: South African Airways Airbus A320 - New Interior

Bombardier Invests $200 Million In Morocco To Support Africa's Aviation Growth

Africa represents a great investment opportunity for ambitious multinationals, with long-term annual growth projections of about 4.4% a year and a population of 1 billion with ever increasing purchasing power. A key to reaching its enormous potential is to improve connections to, from and within Africa. The boom in the exploitation of oil and gas resources is already driving an increase in air traffic. Currently, however, Africa accounts for just 3% of global air traffic and African airlines for 20% of intercontinental connections. The sector has been held back by high industry costs (namely high fuel costs), inadequate infrastructure at several airports and weak tourism figures, at only 5% of global tourism visits in 2012, according to the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) 2013 General Assembly.
Responding to the globalization of the aerospace industry, which has opened up new markets and new opportunities, Bombardier Bombardier Aerospace gained a foothold in Africa when it began operations in a transition facility near Casablanca one year ago. The eventual permanent facility, currently in construction and due to open in late 2014, represents a $200 million investment that will create 850 jobs by 2020. With this investment, Bombardier believes it can develop a manufacturing capacity that will improve its cost competitiveness and is confident it can provide solutions to respond to African airlines’ profitability issues with its range of commercial aircraft suited to the African market.
Forecasts show Africa will operate 1,100 new airplanes and will have to replace a good portion of its aging fleet over the next 20 years. Of these, 70% will be single-aisle aircraft. Tourism is set to increase, especially with Europe coming out of its economic crisis, and air traffic is projected to grow at an annual rate of 6.1%. Bombardier believes its investment in Morocco, a location chosen for its internationally competitive manufacturing costs, low shipping and transportation costs and proximity to Europe, will serve as a springboard to the rest of the region and help it win an important part of the continent’s demand for new aircraft.
“Africa is the continent of the future in many aspects, including aviation. Our commercial aircraft such as the CSeries, the Q-Series or the CRJ Series – for which we are already producing operational parts in Morocco – are the future of aviation. It is a logical move for us to market our aircraft in Africa where we expect they will significantly contribute to the growth of the sector,” says Ray Jones, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Asset Management, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft during a recent interview at Bombardier’s offices in Casablanca. “Increased profitability should encourage African airlines to provide more routes, better service and better prices.” Bombardier has already booked 201 firm orders for CSeries airliners, and commitments from 18 customers and lessees, underlining the aircraft’s position as a major part of the future of global aviation. The CSeries took its maiden flight in September 2013 and more than 10 aircraft are already in various stages of testing and production.
“Our investment in Morocco shows our dedication to the continent’s economic development which is so intricately linked to regional aviation. We are confident the CSeries can boost the African sector’s ability to meet demands for traffic growth, reduced emissions, improved safety and added comfort,” concludes Mr Jones. Bombardier brings know-how and expertise to the region and is currently in talks to develop its local supply chain. By training local talents and bringing them into their operations and involving local suppliers, it can be a catalyst for an industry that is so closely tied to the continent’s growth.
Source: Forbes

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Emirates EK713 Airbus A340-300 Landing at Harare International Airport HRE

Proflight Zambia Teams up with Kenya Airways

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA–Lusaka-based regional airline Proflight Zambia has signed an interline agreement with Kenya Airways that will enable passengers to travel across the networks of both airlines with a single booking. Under the agreement, customers will be able to purchase joint Proflight Zambia-Kenya Airways itineraries and will be issued with a single combined ticket. This will enable seamless connections to and from Proflight’s ten domestic destinations: Lusaka, Ndola, Livingstone, Mfuwe, Solwezi, Chipata, Mansa, Kasama, Lower Zambezi and Mongu, as well as its two international routes, Lilongwe in Malawi and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. It will also enable Proflight customers to book flights to over 60 destinations within the Kenya Airways network from its hub in Nairobi, Kenya.

The move should draw more leisure and business travels to Zambia, and facilitate wider travel options for passengers from Zambia looking to travel internationally. “We welcome Kenya Airways passengers to the Proflight network in Zambia, and look forward to a long and happy partnership between the two airlines,” said Captain Philip Lemba, Proflight Director of Government and Industry Affairs. Customers will enjoy a range of added benefits, including special fares on itineraries across the two airlines.

South African Airways Launches Travel Trade Website

South African Airways has launched a brand new trade website aimed at providing trade partners with up-to-date information on South African’s national airline. The site has been designed to serve as a useful one-stop-shop for the trade to use and includes details on SAA’s routes and fleet, plus SAA contact information, FAQs as well as the latest news from the airline. It also serves as a platform for trade to download the latest aircraft images and logos if needed, and features a Live Chat function to offer a new way to communicate with the SAA team.
Katie Edwards, Marketing & Comms Executive said, ‘We’re really excited about the launch of our first trade website and the opportunity it presents us to offer a new and engaging way to communicate with our trade partners. We hope it will play an important role in continuing to improve how we work more closely with the trade in the future.’ Gary Kershaw, Country Manager UK for SAA said, ‘We said that SAA needed to improve its relationships with the UK travel trade.  So alongside the new SAA team, the new trade website brings real time, digital news, information and support to our trade partners.’

SAA operates the first direct flight of the day from Heathrow to Johannesburg and has built an outstanding reputation for punctuality, winning the Flight Stats Award for the Most on Time Airline in the World twice during 2013. The airline, a Star Alliance member, operates double daily flights from Heathrow Terminal 1 to Johannesburg connecting to over 30 destinations within Southern Africa.

Windhoek extends $166million lifeline to Air Namibia

Air Namibia is to be bailed out by the Namibian government to the tune of NAD1.8billion (USD165.8million) Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said. Responding to questions on the country's 2014/15 to 2016/17 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) in the Namibian parliament last week, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the funds would be used for the updating of the airline's business plan and payment of outstanding debt.

The motion drew criticism from the Minister of Defence, Nahas Angula, who argued that such heavy capitalization is a burden to the fiscus which, he said, should be focusing more on developing local industry. “I was talking about Air Namibia in relation to Epangelo Mining [state-owned mining company]. We Namibians have no capital, expertise or technology to run a mine. Government has resources so it can enter into partnerships. So I was saying it would be better if the resources given to Air Namibia could have been given to Epangelo,” he said.

In response to the criticism, Air Namibia's spokesman Paul Nakawa said state funding was only temporary and that according to their projections, the airline would be viable in four years time. “We are very well in compliance with the turnaround strategy (plan) and we are optimistic that it should be self-sustainable in year five. As we have been saying on many occasions, the new business plan is aiming to turn Air Namibia’s small size into a virtue by competing smartly and swiftly, and by so doing we will ensure that we are decreasing our dependency on the shareholder. This involves a coordinated commercial strategy, bringing together local market intelligence, competitor analysis, pricing, revenue management and sales," Nakawa said.

Namibia's NewEra newspaper says the airline received NAD472.2million in state funding for the current financial year, down from NAD1.132billion the previous financial year. In the future, Air Namibia is to receive NAD579.8million for 2015/16, and NAD760million for 2016/17.
Source: ch-aviation

SA Airlink Increases Cape Town – George Service from June 2014

SA Airlink from 02JUN14 is increasing operations on Cape Town – George route, with the addition of 4th daily service (on weekdays), on board Embraer 135 aircraft. Operational schedule as follow.

  • SA8621 CPT0715 – 0805GRJ EQV x67
  • SA8625 CPT0930 – 1020GRJ ER3 6
  • SA8631 CPT1130 – 1220GRJ ER3 x67
  • SA8639 CPT1415 – 1505GRJ ER3 x7
  • SA8641 CPT1430 – 1520GRJ ER3 7
  • SA8635 CPT1645 – 1740GRJ EQV x6
  • SA8622 GRJ0830 – 0920CPT EQV x67
  • SA8630 GRJ1045 – 1135CPT ER3 6
  • SA8632 GRJ1300 – 1350CPT ER3 x67
  • SA8638 GRJ1525 – 1615CPT ER3 x7
  • SA8642 GRJ1540 – 1630CPT ER3 7
  • SA8636 GRJ1810 – 1905CPT EQV x6
Source: airlineroute

Ethiopian Airlines Resumes Seychelles Service from September 2014

Ethiopian Airlines from 28SEP14 is resuming Addis Ababa – Seychelles service, which sees the Star Alliance member operates 3 weekly flights, with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
  • ET879 ADD1010 – 1525SEZ 738 157
  • ET878 SEZ1625 – 1940ADD 738 157
Source: airlineroute

Friday, 14 March 2014

Emirates to connect Oslo to its global network

HARARE, ZIMBABWE, March 14, 2014: Emirates, a global enabler of business and trade, will expand its European network with a new daily flight to Oslo, Norway, from 2nd September 2014 marking its third Scandinavian gateway. Operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, the daily service will offer three cabin classes with eight seats in First Class, 42 seats in Business Class and 310 seats in Economy Class. Emirates’ customers in Norway will enjoy the convenience of a non-stop connection to Dubai, one of the world’s most exciting destinations for business and tourism, and convenient onward flight schedules to reach over 21 passenger destinations in the Far East and Australasia, 15 destinations in West Asia, 3 destinations in the Indian Ocean and 10 destinations in the Middle East. Among the most popular destinations for Norwegians include Bangkok, Phuket, Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.  Customers will also be able to experience the Emirates’ flagship A380, connecting to 11 destinations in the Far East, Australasia and Indian Ocean.
“Norway’s resilient economy is built on strong foundations including its dynamic oil, gas,
fishing, telecom and maritime sectors. We believe that Emirates’ new Oslo service will stimulate further growth via trade, tourism and investment flows into the country, by providing critical air transport links with emerging markets in the Middle East, Far East, West Asia and Africa.  We also look forward to introducing new audiences to Oslo and drawing in visitors from a host of points across the global network including the UAE and destinations further East such as India, Pakistan, Thailand, China and Vietnam,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.
Oslo ranks as the fastest-growing capital in Europe, and is home to diverse ethnic communities from Pakistan, Iraq, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Afghanistan and China. Norway is Europe's largest oil producer, the world's second largest natural gas exporter, and is an important supplier of both oil and natural gas to other European countries. The country ranks fourth in natural gas production globally, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The country also is the world’s second largest seafood exporter, with over 2.1 million tonnes of seafood shipped globally in 2013.
The country is also known for its strong shipping sector, and has the fourth largest shipping fleet in the world. Oslo is at the centre of its maritime industry. The city boasts almost 2,000 maritime companies, and has also become a flourishing cruise hub, with more than 588,000 cruise passengers visiting Norway in 2012. Emirates’ new daily service between Dubai and Oslo is expected to strengthen the trade ties which have grown between the UAE and Norway in recent years. Trade volumes between two countries totaled over US $277 million in 2011 according to the UAE Ministry of Trade.  The UAE Ministry of Economy recently reported that there are 17 Norwegian registered trade companies, 38 trade agencies and 244 registered trademarks currently operating and contributing to the growing trade volumes between the two countries.  
Emirates employs 28 Norwegian nationals, including 17 pilots.  As one of the most admired airline brands in the industry, and possessing a strong business model that has delivered consistent growth and profits, it is no surprise that Emirates attracts the best talent from over 160 countries.  In 2013, Emirates received over 76,000 employment applications from Europe alone, across all disciplines. In addition to passenger operations, Emirates SkyCargo will offer 23 tonnes of cargo capacity between the two cities. Popular commodities are expected to be; oil and gas equipment, maritime and ship spares, pharmaceuticals, seafood, chemicals, electronics, telecommunication equipment, machinery, dairy products and fruits and vegetables bound for markets like Vietnam, China and Taiwan.
Emirates new daily flight to Oslo will depart Dubai as EK159 at 0700hrs* and arrives at Oslo Airport, Gardermoen at 1210hrs*. The return flight, EK160 will depart at 1355hrs* and arrives at Dubai International Airport at 2250hrs*. Throughout all cabin classes, passengers can enjoy over 1,600 channels of entertainment on demand on ice, the airline's award-winning in-flight entertainment system.  Passengers on all Emirates’ flights also have generous baggage allowances with 30 kilogrammes for those travelling in Economy Class, 40 kilogrammes for Business Class and 50 kilogrammes for First Class. Emirates’ launch of Oslo will follow the launch of Kano and Abuja in Nigeria on 1st  August and Chicago on 5th August.
*Flight times are as per summer scheduling

LAM Mozambique set for Restructuring, seeking Partner for LAM Internacional

LAM - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique is to be restructured in order to allow it to offer better domestic coverage as well as improve its regional network, the Mozambican government has announced. Outlining the country's new Transport Sector Integrated Development plan (Estratégia do Desenvolvimento Integrado do sector dos Transportes), the Ministry of Transport said the plan envisages LAM serving all capitals of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - Kinshasa, Luanda, Lusaka, Dar es Salaam, Lilongwe, Harare, Gaborone, Windhoek, Johannesburg, Antananarivo, Mauritius and Mahe by 2016.

Expansion will mainly rely on a fleet of three new B737-700s ordered from Boeing in November last year. The carrier also holds options for an additional three of the type. Maputo has also called for the airline's planned longhaul subsidiary, LAM Internacional, to partner successful Mozambican parastatals such as local railway firm CFM, Aeroportos de Moçambique AdM - the local airport and aviation regulator, and local bus transport company TPM among others.

"LAM should introduce intercontinental flights under the umbrella of a new intercontinental air transport company, operating under legal autonomy, that is both viable and functional, so as not to risk contaminating itself by associating with LAM," the development plan read. Announced in 2011, LAM Internacional was an initiative between the state shareholding company Instituto de Gestão das Participações do Estado (IGEPE) and LAM Mozambique. However, owing to a lack of resources, the subsidiary was never able to launch operations, which was to have included flights to China and Brazil.
Source: ch-aviation

Thursday, 13 March 2014

South African Airways (SAA) takes delivery of New Aircraft

South African Airways (SAA) took delivery this week of a further two new A320 aircraft, bringing the total number of narrow bodied aircraft to join the SAA fleet this year to six. The latest two A320s arrived earlier this month, with another A320 (number five) expected in June this year. Aircraft six and seven are expected to arrive in the third quarter and aircraft eight in the fourth quarter. Two of the A320s entered service last year.
Fleet renewal forms part of the three key pillars of the successful implementation of SAA's new strategy, Gaining Altitude. The fleet replacement programme for SAA’s narrow-bodied fleet includes the acquisition of twenty A320 aircraft, which will replace all the Boeing 737-800 aircraft and increase the fleet to support SAA route expansion plans into Africa. “We are very excited about the latest new arrivals in our fleet, which brings our customers the added pleasure of flying on brand new, aircraft. Besides the improved on board offering, customers can enjoy their flying experience knowing that they are travelling with a more fuel efficient aircraft and thus part of the airline’s commitment to being an environmentally responsible airline,” says Kendy Phohleli, SAA  General Manager Commercial (Acting).
In keeping with SAA’s initiatives towards weight reduction, products and material on the new A320’s are made of lightweight materials. “We have put a lot of work into making the Business Class on these aircraft attractive and super comfortable for customers. These aircraft further offer a refreshed on board experience through a number of special features,” says Myriam Bracke, Manager Product.
Interior design of the cabin:
The interior design of the cabin reflects on SAA’s truly South African nature with earthy touches of African colours and ‘elements of surprise’, often seen in South African designs. Materials used are durable leather for the seats and a mix of nylon and wool for the carpets offering lighter and stronger fixtures. Wood look finished floors and the SAA logo in the welcoming area are more special touches.
Aircraft areconfiguredwith 24 Business Class and 114 Economy Class seats.
Economy Class:
Seating in economy class offers apitch of 31 inches,with shared USB and PC power points and an adjustableheadrest. Customers can enjoy a greater sense of living space these slim-line seats offer, which have been upholstered in easy tomaintain leather throughout the cabin. Colours used are dark beige and anthracite grey with touches of red and blue corporate colours.
Business Class:
Business class offers ample leg room with a pitch of 39inches, and seats are arranged with two seats either side of the aisle (four abreast) offering more seat width. The A320s are the first narrow body aircraft in the SAA fleet to offer four seats abreast, offering more space and comfort, in comparison to the five seats abreast on the B737s and A319s. Every seat has a leg rest, and an adjustable headrest, with a recline of about 7 inches allowing the seat to fold out into a cradle position offering super comfort for up to four hour long regional trips. Seats have loads of stowage on the sides, which gives extra width.
“Business class seating offer a 10% improvement on pitch compared to our current business class offering on narrow body aircraft, giving our competitors in the domestic market a run for their money.” A class divider between economy and business class in curtain material with a basket weave print reflects on the South African theme. Mood lights in light blue (on the hand rails) add the final touch to the superb interior ambience of these aircraft. A magazine rack which complements a ‘wrap around’ design will be installed by SAA.
Stow your tablet:
All the seats (except for the first row) have an innovative special feature: the back shell has space to stow a PC tablet, with a USB powerpoint that keeps a tablet powered during the flight, and PC power points in the centre console for additional laptop computer power. “These Business Class seats are a customised design for SAA and we are truly proud of offering our customers this initiative. It is an airline first,” says Myriam Bracke. In the pipeline are Samsung tablets, with in flight entertainment content already loaded, which will be offered to business class travellers on longer African flights.
In flight entertainment:
Customers can watch the in flight entertainment on the classic drop down overhead screens and can look forward to improved quality of flight entertainment experience as well as Airshow’s moving map experience, new on these narrow bodies.As a future innovationSAA is testing new IFE technology where content will be streamed on board to customers’ own devices.
Fuel efficiency:
In a market environment where jetfuel has become the single biggest cost factor for any airline, the A320 has become the aircraft of choice for airlines looking to reduce their fuel bills.  Newer aircraft embody the latest technologies, are also more reliable, more productive and require less down-time for maintenance and repairs. Lower fuel burn means fewer carbon emissions and with the A320's low noise footprint, it's a good neighbour too.
For SAA, where the A320 comes into its own is through its high degree of flight deck operational, training and technical support commonality with the other Airbus types in the fleet, notably its shorter sister, the A319, but also its bigger long-haul cousins, the A330-200 and A340s.

Air Zimbabwe UM139 Embraer ERJ145 Landing in Bulawayo - Joshua Nkomo Int...


South African Express scraps Request For Proposal (RFP) for 30 narrowbodies

South African Express has become the second state-backed South African carrier to withdraw a USD820million Request For Proposal (RFP) tender for thirty narrow body aircraft for use in overhauling its ageing domestic and regional fleet. BusinessDay reports CEO Inati Ntshanga said the withdrawal had been communicated to all relevant shareholders. "Once we’ve finalised our internal processes, we will return to the market to implement our fleet renewal strategy," he said. He did not however give any explanation for the withdrawal though anonymous sources did point to a lack of funding.

Sister carrier South African Airways was forced to retract a Request For Proposals (RFP) tender for 23 new long-haul aircraft by South African Minister for Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, on the grounds that the RFP did not comply with the government’s industrialisation plans. The tender, issued late last year, was worth an estimated ZAR60billion (USD5.8billion).
Source: ch-aviation

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

IATA predicts profitable year for African airlines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast that African airlines will post an industry profit of $100m this year, from a loss of $100m in 2013. Tony Tyler, director-general and CEO of IATA, said the continent’s airline industry continued to be plagued by poor infrastructure, high taxes and restrictive market access policies for intra-Africa connectivity. "This is on top of the intensifying competition that the region’s airlines face on long-haul routes," he said.
The association, which represents about 240 airlines, including carriers such as South African Airways (SAA) and Comair, said the global airline industry was on track for a second consecutive year of improved profitability. This was despite it having slightly revised its industry outlook for 2014 to an industry profit of $18.7bn from the previously forecast $19.7bn. My Tyler said this profit, while it appeared large, had to be contrasted with the global industry’s overall revenue of $745bn. "An $18.7bn profit for an industry that generates $745bn in revenues equals an average net margin of just 2.5%. Put another way, the average fare is about $200 (including ancillaries) and airlines will make about $5.65 for every departing passenger. So, running an airline remains a very tough business."
SAA earlier this year reported an operating loss of R425m for the 2013 financial year. In contrast, Comair reported an operating profit of R365m for the six months to December. Comair CEO Erik Venter said at the time of the release of the airline’s results that it was well placed for a better 2014 financial year. This was despite rising fuel costs, driven by a depreciating rand. In its recently released annual report, SAA said its low-cost subsidiary Mango had achieved its highest turnover and profit to date in 2013, reporting revenues of R1.36bn and a net profit of R39.1m.
IATA said the main driver for its downward revision in profits was a higher oil price, which was expected to average $108 a barrel — $3.50 a barrel above previous projections. It said this would result in airlines’ fuel bill going up by an additional $3bn. But this additional cost was likely to be offset by stronger demand, especially for cargo, as the global economic outlook improved. "In general, the outlook is positive. The cyclical economic upturn is supporting a strong demand environment. And that is compensating for the challenges of higher fuel costs related to geopolitical instability," said Mr Tyler.
Source: BDlive

Air Zimbabwe UM323 Boeing 737-200 Departing Victoria Falls for Harare


Emirates Offers Value for Money Fares Year Round

HARARE, ZIMBABWE, March 12, 2014: Emirates, a global connector or people and places, has emphasised its commitment to offering Zimbabwean travellers year round value for money fares to more than 30 destinations worldwide, while experiencing high quality service and comfort during travel to that dream destination. Economy and Business Class fares to selected cities including Guangzhou, New York, Dallas, Washington, Frankfurt, Dubai, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Geneva offer great value for money.
“The choice of travelling from Harare to Dubai and then onwards to some of our most popular destinations is an easy one to make,” said Emirates Country Manager for Zimbabwe Paulos Legesse. “The attractions and excitement of Dubai has always been a strong draw, and now we have made the option even more compelling with our value-for-money fares.”
Economy Class fares from Harare to Guangzhou, via Dubai, start from US$985 including taxes, while passengers can travel for less than they may think: to New York for just US$1,330 and Perth for US$1,645 including taxes. Business Class fares start from US$3,905 from Harare to Guangzhou and are just US$3,165 to Geneva. Passengers from Harare to Dublin can take advantage of fares from US$1,130 in Economy Class and US$3,615 in Business Class. Value for money fares and the opportunity to stopover in Dubai for shopping and leisure are particular attractions for passengers, with the 96-hour visa in Dubai making the journey even smoother.
Travelling with Emirates’ customers can experience award-winning service from its international cabin crew from more than 120 countries, gourmet cuisine and the airline’s renowned ice inflight entertainment system, which offers passengers hundreds of audio and visual channels on demand.  Customers travelling with Emirates benefit from a generous baggage allowance of 30kg in Economy Class, 40kg in Business Class and 50kg in First Class. Passengers on Emirates flights can also stay in touch with SMS, email and phone connections in every seat.
Meanwhile, a stopover in Dubai is an experience in itself: as well as the world class shopping for which it is famed. Dubai has also become a global centre for sports events, concerts and an increasing number of cultural activities. The city is also home to an impressive display of modern architecture, contrasting with its natural beaches and magnificent desert landscapes – a rich backdrop for visitors and photography enthusiasts.
For enquiries and bookings, please contact your travel agent, visit or visit the Emirates office in Wakefield Road, Avondale, Harare.

fastjet Passenger Statistics for February 2014 and extension of EFF

12 March 2014 - fastjet plc is pleased to announce its passenger statistics for the month of February 2014 and an extension of its existing EFF from £15 million to £25 million.
fastjet Tanzania:
fastjet operations in Tanzania carried a total of 35,100  passengers and achieved a load factor of 76 per cent.  The average yield per passenger was $82, compared to $47 in February 2013.  Total revenue for the month was $2.87m, a 135 per cent increase from February 2013.
Punctuality remained outstanding with 93 per cent of fastjet flights operating on time. Note 5
Fly 540:
As expected, the passenger numbers carried by the legacy 540 businesses, particularly in Angola, continued to fall year-on-year as those businesses undergo significant restructuring.
Extension of EFF
The Company also announces that it has agreed to extend its current Equity Finance Facility ('EFF') with Darwin Strategic Ltd. from £15 million to £25 million.  All other aspects of the initial EFF agreement announced on 14th June 2013 remain unchanged.  fastjet is also in talks with a number of potential long term investors. Whilst these are concluded the agreement with Darwin to extend the EFF is a prudent measure, which provides the Company with the flexibility to raise finance in the short term as required.
Ed Winter, interim Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of fastjet, said: 
"Our February performance continues to demonstrate how well the low cost model is working, producing strong average yields whilst still providing plenty of low-fare seats for passengers booking their seats early.  The continued growth in passenger numbers and yields puts fastjet well on track to become cash generative as the route network and capacity increase."
All Operations Note 1
Month ending
Feb 2014
Feb 2013
Passengers Note 2
Rolling 12 months ending
Feb 2014
Feb 2013
Passengers Note 2
fastjet Operations Note 4
Month ending
Feb 2014
Feb 2013
Passengers Note 2
Load Factor Note 3
Rolling 12 months ending
Feb 2014
Feb 2013
Passengers Note 2
  1.  "All Operations" includes statistics for fastjet Tanzania, Fly540 Kenya, Fly 540 Ghana and Fly540 Angola.
  2. "Passengers" for 540 operations are flown passengers and for fastjet operations are sold seats flown, in both cases excluding infants.  Fastjet bookings are generally non-refundable whereas 540 bookings are in some circumstances refundable 
  3. "Load Factor" is the number of 'passengers" as a percentage of the number of available seats flown.  
  4.  "fastjet Operations" includes only statistics for Fastjet Tanzania operations which commenced on 29th November 2012
  5. "on time" - arrival earlier than or within 15 minutes of schedule.

Lufthansa Technik to provide complete support for Air Namibia's New A330 Long-haul Fleet

The Namibian flag-carrier Air Namibia and Lufthansa Technik AG are continuing their cooperation. The technical support provided since the airline began operating in 2006 is now being continued through a Total Technical Support TTS contract valid through 2018. As part of its comprehensive supply of the airline's current long-haul fleet of two factory new Airbus A330s, Lufthansa Technik has been contracted to provide services for the components, engineering and line maintenance. In addition, Lufthansa Technik will take over the complex support of the customer's lease returns for the former A340 fleet.
"The integrated technical support we receive from Lufthansa Technik allows us to focus optimally on flight operations," emphasized Rene Gsponer, Chief Operating Officer Air Namibia. "We're very pleased to continue to support the growth of this successful airline so extensively," said Claus Peters, Sales Executive Africa and Middle East. Air Namibia offers international and domestic service to destinations in southern Africa as well as daily connections to Germany. Currently the fleet consists of ten aircraft.

Source: aviationpros

Kenya's Fly-SAX Seeks Tanzania Flights

The battle over Africa's skies ramped up a notch Tuesday as Kenyan low-cost carrier Fly-SAX said it was awaiting regulatory approval to launch a new airline based in Tanzania, a move that would put the airline head-to-head with fastjet PLC. Closely held Fly-SAX expects its SAX-Tanzania to make its maiden flight in the second half of the year with a fleet of small planes seating 12 to 80 passengers and serving some of the more remote parts of the country, according to a person familiar with the company's plans. In time, Fly-SAX hopes to get government approval for SAX-Tanzania to fly internationally from Tanzania, in a bid to attract a bigger and more lucrative market, this person said.
"We are launching a new airline to meet the ever-increasing demand for low-cost, efficient and safe air travel within Tanzania from the country's own citizens as well as international tourists," said Don Smith, chief executive of Fly-SAX and Fly 540 Kenya, in a news release prepared for distribution Wednesday. Fly-SAX has appointed Brown Francis as general manager of SAX-Tanzania. Mr. Francis joins from fastjet, where he was director for industry affairs for Tanzania. U.K.-based rival fastjet operates nationally and internationally from Tanzania, where it has effectively become the national flag carrier and has the right to fly to South Africa and Zambia.
The opportunity in Africa for airlines in general, and in particular for a budget carrier, is enormous because of the robust growth of regional economies and the continued development of internationally trading industries. These drivers have already triggered a significant rise in air travel. According to the latest data from trade body International Air Transport Association, air traffic measured by revenue passenger kilometers grew 5.1% from January to November 2013, compared with the same period in 2012. In Tanzania alone, capacity per week has grown to 54,000 available seats per kilometer from just 37,000 five years ago, according to aviation-consulting firm Innovata.
Source: wsj

Turkish Airlines set to increase Kenya Service from June 2014

Turkish Airlines from 16JUN14 is increasing service to Kenya, as Istanbul (IST) – Nairobi (NBO)service raises from 7 to 11 weekly. Boeing 737-800 aircraft operates this route.
  • TK609 IST0050 – 0725NBO 73H x247
  • TK607 IST1820 – 0055+1NBO 73H D
  • TK608 NBO0210 – 0835IST 73H D
  • TK610 NBO0840 – 1505IST 73H x247
Source: airlineroute

Kenya Airways set to Launch Abuja Route

From 03JUN14 Kenya Airways will begin flying four times a week between its hub at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja as it expands its footprint across the continent. Abuja, located in the centre of the country, is a planned city built largely during the 1980s which replaced Lagos as Nigeria’s capital in 1991.

It is the seat of the Federal Government and home to most of Nigeria’s institutions, including the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Abuja is also the headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and the regional headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The new service will help create new opportunities for business, industry and tourism
The airline’s Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Titus Naikuni, said that the introduction of direct flights to Abuja was an illustration of the airline’s commitment towards supporting the continent’s development by facilitating intra-African trade, tourism and interactions between different regions. “This is in line with our long term growth strategy, through which we aim to fly to every African capital by 2016. We are already a premier African airline boasting of the largest network of destinations in the continent,” Dr Naikuni added.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Struggling South African Airlines begs for bailout

Fighting a low rand and high fuel costs with its ninth turnaround plan in 13 years, South African Airways urgently needs a cash injection. South African Airways' (SAA) executives are caught between their continental ambition and lack of cash. Technically insolvent, SAA is reliant on a R5bn ($443m) government guarantee to operate while discussions about a cash injection continue with the treasury. The size of the bailout required has not been disclosed, but an announcement is expected at the end of March.
Monwabisi Kalawe, who took over as chief executive in June 2013 following a purge of board members and executives in the latter half of 2012, says the board is investigating several countries in West Africa as a potential host as it tries to compete with Middle Eastern carriers. "They have been successful in absorbing air traffic to the Middle East and then distributing it. This is a risk for an airline situated at the bottom of Africa. Setting up a hub in West Africa is our attempt to mitigate that risk," Kalawe says. SAA has shortlisted Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal for its hub. It expects it will take a year or longer to finalise negotiations, but this will require an additional capital injection from the treasury.
Smoother Transit:
SAA is also lobbying to scrap transit visas, which would make Johannesburg more attractive to passengers travelling to other parts of the continent. "What we want to see is SAA being the flight of choice on the continent," Kalawe says. Most pressing, however, is stabilising SAA's finances. Its results for the financial year ended March 2013 were delayed by five months as talks continued over the bailout. Despite passenger numbers growing by 8% and the savings realised as a result of its 'Gaining Altitude' turnaround strategy, a 13% decline in the rand against the United States dollar contributed about R700m to its after-tax loss of R1.2bn.
The rand has declined by more than 30% since then, raising fears about the losses it will suffer in the current financial year. "The impact of the weakening rand is severe," says Wolf Meyer, SAA's chief financial officer. Increasing its technical operations on the continent will grow dollar-based revenue and act as a natural hedge, Meyer explains. Even without the challenge of a weakening rand, turning around the airline and reaching the break-even point by 2017/2018, as envisioned by the turnaround plan, will be no easy feat. Gaining Altitude is the ninth turnaround plan in 13 years. The company has not made detailed targets from the latest plan public, so it is impossible to gauge whether the plan is working.
Fuel Cost  Imperative:
Political interference has been rife. Crucial to the plan is upgrading the fleet to more fuel-efficient planes, yet public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba forced the board to withdraw a July 2013 request for proposals for 23 new wide-body, long-haul planes. Gigaba said it lacked "crucial elements of industrialisation and localisation, which are vital to South Africa's policies". New planes will cut SAA's fuel costs, which are currently 35% of operating expenses.
Considering not a single SAA long-haul route is profitable and that plane purchases typically have a lead time of five years, finalising the contract speedily is of great importance. There is no date for finalising the new request. "We are grappling with this new requirement for industrialisation and benefiting South Africa," Kalawe explains. Gigaba also instructed the board that no job cuts will be allowed as part of SAA's plans, as the "social and political cost is very high".

Source: theafricanreport

Proflight Zambia Launches Youth Day Savings Initiative

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Lusaka-based regional airline Proflight Zambia has teamed up with paper technology charity APTERS to encourage young people to develop a money saving ethic, and help disabled children in the process. The Youth Day initiative will see APTERS – short for Appropriate Paper Technology – create 60 hand-crafted “piggy banks” in the shape of Proflight-branded aeroplanes that will be given to children on the airline’s flights this week. And the proceeds paid by Proflight will be used by APTERS to help subsidise the cost of the mobility aids they make for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
“The team at APTERS is doing fantastic work to support less fortunate children and their families and so it was a natural choice for Proflight Zambia to engage them to make these Youth Day gifts,” said Proflight Director of Government and Industry Affairs Capt. Philip Lemba. “The idea is to treble our positive impact: giving children with cerebral palsy a new future, giving APTERS the funding they need for job creation, and giving our younger passengers a fun way to save money. Everyone wins.” Colourful piggy banks have a long history of encouraging children to save money by putting notes and coins in a slot where they are then kept safe until a target amount has been collected and can then be used to buy something special that the child has been saving up for, thus teaching them the value of money and instilling a savings habit.
Appropriate Paper Technology is based at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and was
established in 1990 by three young enterprising and skilled physically challenged people with the aim of producing mobility aids for disabled children using recycled paper as the raw material. The organisation also uses the same technology to make commercial products such as dustbins, file boxes, toys, trays – and now piggy banks – to fund the collection of paper and support its activities. “Most of the mothers of our children with cerebral palsy are not able to pay the full amount for mobility aids. With the help of Proflight Zambia we can top that up so they are ore affordable,” explained APTERS director Kenneth Habaalu, as he showed Proflight sales supervisor Zamiwe Nyemba and Proflight receptionist Louise Bandela around the APTERS workshop where the Proflight piggy banks were being made by production supervisor Darius Banda, technician Peter Banda and assistant Irene Nasolo.
The team use balloons as a framework, on which they paste pieces of paper soaked in flour-and-water glue. Once dry, wings are added, the models are painted, and a slot cut in the top.