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Old April 7th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #201
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Kenya Airways gets green light to recruit foreign Pilots

Kenya Airways has been allowed to recruit foreign pilots, the Government announced yesterday.

Transport assistant minister Njeru Githae said Immigration had been asked to clear the airline to hire pilots from other countries and give them work permits.

There was a shortage of well trained pilots and other top-level crew to meet increasing demand by the national carrier, the minister said.

"Kenya Airways is a world-class airline and it must be allowed to recruit the best staff who will make it have an edge," he told journalists at Safari Park hotel after opening a conference of Sub-Saharan African Touring and Automobile Club.

Last month, Kenya Airways acquired six Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft at a cost of Sh8.6 billion. The airline retired all its Airbus fleet in 2004.

By opting to buy the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, KQ joined 26 other airlines that have together ordered 380 of the aeroplanes to date.

Mr Githae, who read Transport minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere's speech, said 3,000 lives were lost every through road accidents.

In economic terms, the country lost Sh6 billion annually in losses associated with the road accidents.

Eighty-five per cent of accidents arose from human error, while 11 per cent were caused by vehicle defects. Only four in 100 were due to environmental factors.

Mr Githae said a controversial plan to remove 14-seater minibuses from major towns would take up to five years. This is how long it would take to build bus parks outside central business districts.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 06:30 PM   #202
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West Africa sees regional airline as early as 2007

BAMAKO, April 8 (Reuters) - West Africa could set up a new regional airline as early as 2007 to replace defunct carrier Air Afrique, the head of the project said.

Air Afrique, jointly owned by the French government and former French colonies in west and central Africa, collapsed in 2002 under unsustainable debts.

Gervais Djondo, who heads a company set up last year by regional institutions and private investors to create a new regional airline, said the new outfit would differ from Air Afrique because it would be a private company.

It would also be more broadly based than Air Afrique, aiming to cover more west African and southern African countries.

"Being private means being there to make profits -- not to distribute free tickets. That is very important," Djondo told Reuters on the fringes of an African airlines conference late on Friday.

"We are in the launch phase, recruiting an international firm (of consultants) specialised in airlines to conduct the feasibility studies. We have our route map, and I can say that with things advancing as they are it is not impossible we will have our first flight by 2007," he said.

He said feasibility studies would determine exactly how much capital investment was needed, but said he expected it to be at least $100 million.

Djondo heads the company SPCAR, set up last year by West African development banks, private investors and the Central Bank of West African States which is shared by eight mainly francophone countries in the region.

He was speaking to Reuters at the end of the first African Airlines Forum, based on the annual Cannes Airlines Forum, which ended in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday with a resolution backing the establishment of a new regional carrier.

On Thursday African Airlines Association Secretary General Christian Folly-Kossi said many airlines on the continent, including some which sprang up after Air Afrique's demise, were simply too small to compete.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 07:27 AM   #203
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African airlines too small to compete - industry

BAMAKO, April 6 (Reuters) - Many African airlines are too small to compete effectively and need to consolidate for the continent's aviation sector to develop, the African Airlines Associations (AFRAA) said on Thursday.

AFRAA Secretary General Christian Folly Kossi said the demise of multinational airline Air Afrique, Nigeria Airways and Ghana Airways in recent years contributed to gaps in the continent's air services.

Nigeria Airways has since been replaced by privately-run Virgin Nigeria, Ghana International Airlines has been launched and a host of national and private airlines have stepped in to snap up many of Air Afrique's former routes around West and central Africa.

But Folly Kossi said many were simply not big enough.

"Air companies in the region are too small and too weak to compete effectively. The small size of companies in the region constitutes a major handicap when it comes to the structure of their network," he said at the first African Airlines Forum, which opened in landlocked Mali's capital Bamako on Thursday.

Sector development is only possible if consolidation takes place, he said, pointing to well-established airlines such as Libya's Afriqiyah Airways and East Africa's Kenya Airways as models of success.

Africa accounts for around 4 to 4.5 percent of the world's air transport market, said officials at the forum, inspired by the Cannes Airlines Forum held each year in France.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #204
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Military plane crashes in northern Kenya, killing 7 politicians, 6 others
By TOM MALITI
10 April 2006

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A military plane traveling to a peace conference in northern Kenya crashed while attempting to land Monday, killing a Cabinet minister, two assistant ministers and four other lawmakers, along with at least six other people.

The plane crashed into a hill near the town of Marsabit, 450 kilometers (280 miles) northeast of Nairobi, while carrying political leaders to a meeting intended to ease tribal tensions along the Ethiopian border, said Parliamentary Speaker Francis ole Kaparo.

"This is the worst tragedy to hit the National Assembly," he said. "We have lost a lot of very good people in this crash."

Kaparo said the lawmakers on the plane were Minister for Youth Affairs Mohammed Kuti; the assistant minister for internal security, Mirugi Kariuki; the assistant minister for regional development authorities, Titus Ngoyoni; the deputy leader of the opposition KANU party, Bonaya Godana; Abdi Sasura; and Dr. Guracha Galgallo Boru.

Also on board was a Kenyan member of the East African Legislative Assembly, Abdullahi Adan, a retired army general who served under former President Daniel arap Moi, Kaparo added.

Kaparo said he would adjourn parliament on Tuesday until all of the lawmakers were buried.

The Ministry of Defense issued a statement reporting that 17 people were on the Chinese-built Y-12 twin-engine cargo plane when it crashed, "including government officials, leaders and crew."

"The government has dispatched a search and rescue team to support rescue operations which are in progress," the statement said.

Four people were pulled from the fiery wreckage alive, witnesses said.

An aid worker at the Marsabit airstrip told The Associated Press that the four survivors were flown to the capital, Nairobi, for treatment. The survivors were identified as the commissioner for Eastern Province, Patrick Osare, Moyale District Commissioner Patrick Kingola and the two pilots.

Godana was among the most prominent of the lawmakers. He was a former Cabinet minister who served as foreign affairs and agriculture minister, among other portfolios, between 1997 and 2002 in Moi's administration.

President Mwai Kibaki issued a statement expressing "shock and concern" at the crash.

In July, unknown assailants killed scores of people in Marsabit, including at least two dozen children in a school, provoking retaliatory attacks between members of different tribes and raising tensions in the area.

Since that time there have been efforts to ease tensions, including Monday's planned meeting.

In January 2003, a plane carrying four Cabinet ministers and other people, crashed in western Kenya killing one minister and the two pilots. A public inquiry into the crash recommended that in the future no more than three Cabinet ministers or senior government officials should travel on the same flight for security reasons.

The report also noted that many airstrips in the country were poorly maintained and the government did not allocate enough money for their repair and maintenance.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #205
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Weekly airline service to connect Washington area and West Africa
11 April 2006

LINTHICUM, Maryland (AP) - An American airline announced Tuesday it will provide weekly service to West Africa from an airport outside the U.S. capital.

Starting June 4, North American Airlines will offer nonstop service from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to Banjul, The Gambia, and continue to Accra, Ghana.

"This new international air service will foster new economic opportunities and advance the exchange of goods, services and ideas between the state of Maryland and the countries of West Africa," said Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who traveled to Africa with Maryland business executives in 2004.

The once-a-week service will use Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which seat about 270 people.

Primarily a charter airline, New York-based North American Airlines offers commercial service to Guyana, in South America, as well as to Ghana, from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

North American's commercial service centers on "niche markets that are probably not large enough for a scheduled carrier but still have substantial traffic," said Steve Forsyth, a spokesman for the airline.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 06:26 AM   #206
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Zimbabwe airline to lay off 30 percent of workforce

HARARE, April 11, 2006 (AFP) - Zimbabwe's national carrier Tuesday announced plans to lay off 30 percent of its workforce -- or some 360 workers -- in a streamlining bid to reverse its flagging fortunes.

"The airline is embarking on a staff rationalisation exercise with immediate effect," Mike Bimha, group chairman of Air Zimbabwe told reporters in Harare.

"This will result in a 30 percent reduction in staff," he added. Air Zimbabwe employs 1,200 workers.

Bimha said the restructuring would help the airline regain its status as one of the region's leading airlines.

"Staffing levels have generally remained the same over the years despite the drop in passenger uplifts as well as operating a smaller fleet of aircraft, and loss of market share over the years."

Dwindling tourism numbers have contributed significantly to Air Zimbabwe's route problems as visitors from the country's traditional tourist markets such as the United States and the European Union have shunned the southern African country.

Western tourism numbers have dropped significantly since the 2000 parliamentary polls, which foreign observers claim were rigged to give President Robert Mugabe's ruling party victory.

Last week, Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer Oscar Madombwe told a parliamentary committee that negative perceptions about the safety of travelling on the national carrier among other problems had seen the numbers of passengers using the airliner decreasing.

Madombwe told the committee that passenger numbers declined from one million a year in 1999 to 23,000 last year.

The tourism sector last year suffered a 49-percent drop in revenue compared with 2004, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority said.

Bimha said the organisation would embark on a turn-around plan to address erratic fuel supplies which grounded the entire fleet in November last year, declining passenger numbers, foreign currency shortages and declining customer confidence.
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Old April 16th, 2006, 06:57 PM   #207
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Nigeria blames weather for plane crashes - report

ABUJA, April 16 (Reuters) - An interim report by Nigeria's Aviation Ministry blames bad weather for two plane crashes that killed 223 people late last year, according to an article by the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria.

The article, published by several news Web sites over the weekend, said the preliminary report by the ministry's Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau blamed "heavy winds and other natural causes" for the crashes.

However, Aviation Minister Babalola Borishade was quoted as saying other factors could have played a part in the crashes, and a final report would be ready in the next two months.

Aviation officials were not immediately available to comment over the Easter holiday weekend.

There has been no conclusive official report on the cause of the two crashes, which occurred within seven weeks of each other.

On Oct. 22, a Boeing aircraft operated by private carrier Bellview crashed in stormy weather shortly after take-off from Lagos, killing all 117 people on board. It took authorities 15 hours to locate the site of the crash.

There has been no word from a technical team of investigators including U.S. experts from Boeing who combed the crash site.

On Dec. 10, a DC9 plane flown by another private airline, Sosoliso, crashed at Port Harcourt airport, killing 106 people of whom more than half were schoolchildren on their way home from boarding school for the Christmas break.

The plane burned on the runway because there were no functional fire engines at the airport.

Witnesses said the plane crash-landed during a storm, broke into pieces and burst into flames but there has been no official report on exactly what happened.

Nigeria has been trying to overhaul its aviation sector since the two disasters. President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered urgent reforms to improve safety and several airlines were temporarily grounded while their fleets were inspected.

Obasanjo said at the time that corners were being cut in every part of the aviation sector, which was tainted by corruption -- an endemic problem in Africa's most populous country.

In the last six years the number of passengers who travel by air has doubled to eight million people, according to Borishade. However, most of Nigeria's commercial fleet is at least 20 years old.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 11:26 AM   #208
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Kenya Airways and Korean Air sign Codeshare Agreement


National airline, Kenya Airways has signed a code share agreement with Korean Air.

Travel between Kenya and Korea is now easier, following the signing of the new code. Korean Air is the largest airline in Asia, operating a network that links Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America to its hub at Incheon International Airport, and its domestic hub at Gimpo International Airport.

Kenya Airways head of marketing and corporate communications, Mr Michael Okwiri, said that through the new agreement Kenya Airways customers are now able to fly directly to Seoul via Bangkok, Thailand's capital.

The thrice weekly flights are available on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Kenya Airways is using the code share agreement to expand the number of routes that its passengers can access the other parts of the world.

The code share agreement means a single Kenya Airways code for passengers flying on both airlines.

Mr Okwiri said the agreement would provide greater choice for Koreans travelling to Africa. "Both Kenya Airways and Korean air are focused on giving customers freedom of choice for air travel, according to the agreement. This is an important development with regard to passenger traffic to and from these destinations," Mr Okwiri noted.

He added: "This agreement means we are now able to offer customers access to all points in Africa with easy connections from Nairobi and smoother transfers," Mr Okwiri said.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 02:22 AM   #209
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Black boxes from Cameroon plane crash found

YAOUNDE, April 24, 2006 (AFP) - Investigators seeking the cause of the weekend crash of a Libyan cargo plane in Cameroon have found the aircraft's black box flight recorders, an official source said.

The plane, a Russian-made Antonov of Libyan Airlines, came down on Sunday morning near the Cameroonian town of Kousseri on the border with Chad, killing all six Ukrainian crew members.

The black boxes and the crew's passports were recovered from the wreckage.

The plane had taken off from Sabaha in Libya at 0050 GMT Sunday and had been due to land three hours later at N'Djamena's international airport.

It had been chartered by a foreign company to transport humanitarian aid, but failed to land at N'Djamena airport because of a technical problem. "Just before landing, air traffic control in N'Djamena noted that the aircraft was going into its approach at a high altitude," a Chadian official said.

"He opened up the throttle again -- one can suppose there was a technical problem," he said, adding that the pilots had not mentioned any particular problem in their last conversation with the air traffic control tower.

The plane came down a few minutes later at 4:55 am (0355 GMT) a few kilometres (miles) south of N'Djamena, in a marshy area of Kousseri.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 12:28 AM   #210
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Kenya Airways starts pharmaceutical cargo service

NAIROBI, April 25 (Reuters) - Kenya Airways has launched a new specialised cargo service to transport pharmaceutical products across Africa, becoming the first airline on the continent to offer the service.

Shawn McGuinness, Kenya Airways head of cargo, said on Tuesday the KQ Pharma Service would include warehousing and the use of cool containers and dry ice to transport temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products to countries in the region.

"This is the first in Africa. European airlines have this service but we are the first African airline to offer it," McGuinness told reporters.

He said the airline would carry cargo requiring storage in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius.

The service is targeted at products such as insulin, vaccines, blood, plasma, drugs and biotech products, which are vulnerable to slight temperature variations during shipping.

"We estimate that maybe 10 percent of our total cargo is pharmaceuticals. The growth we expect is double that, 20 percent on the trunk routes," McGuinness told reporters.

KQ Pharma will begin on the Lusaka, Lilongwe and Entebbe routes, where the airline has wide-body aircraft.

It is expected to be up and running on other routes in Africa by July this year, McGuinness said, adding that the majority of the products would come from India and Europe.

Kenya Airways is 26 percent owned by KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France . The carrier registered 27 percent growth in cargo tonnage in the last quarter of 2005.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 06:06 PM   #211
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Kenya Airways suspends start of flights to Eritrea

NAIROBI, April 27 (Reuters) - Kenya Airways on Thursday said it had suspended the start of flights to Eritrea after Asmara placed currency restrictions on its operations.

The Kenyan carrier was scheduled to begin flights to the Eritrean capital in May, a rare case of private-sector activity in the Red Sea state's highly state-controlled economy, which is often short of basic commodities such as bread and fuel.

"We are facing currency restrictions, we can't purchase anything in dollars, we can't receive any payments in dollars and we can't repatriate any money," Patterson Siema, a spokesman for the airline, said.

Kenya Airways had planned twice-weekly flights from Asmara via Djibouti rather than fly directly from Nairobi because passenger numbers were expected to be low.

"We are in negotiations but the flights won't start on the second (of May) as we had planned," Siema said.

The Kenyan national carrier has never flown to Asmara before.

Analysts say Eritrea's frequent shortages of basic commodities are linked to high military spending, closed borders, persistent drought, government control of the economy and high fuel prices.

Kenya Airways shares closed trading at an average of 106 Kenya shillings ($1.49) on Wednesday, unchanged from the day before.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 01:47 AM   #212
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African ministers meet to tackle grim air safety record

LIBREVILLE, May 18, 2006 (AFP) - African transport ministers began meeting Thursday to forge a common air safety policy for the continent, where the rate of fatal plane crashes is nine times the world average.

The conference comes at "a critical moment where our continent is threatened with being marginalised in world air transport," said Gabonese Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong, opening the two-day meeting in the Gabonese capital.

"The challenge consists of knowing how to benefit from the advantages of economic liberalisation ... without compromising security and safety," he added.

Figures compiled by the 53-member African Union show that while Africa handles only about three to four percent of the world's air traffic, its airlines are responsible for a third of all fatal air crashes.

Two crashes in Nigeria late last year killed a total of 225 people amid mounting concern that the country's ageing fleet of privately owned passenger planes and ramshackle airport infrastructure is no longer fit to carry travellers safely between the busy cities of Africa's most populous nation.

Another three crashes last year occurred in Sudan; all involved old Soviet-built aircraft.

Seeking to reverse this grim trend, the African Union meeting aims to implement a common air safety policy for Africa backed by financial commitments from member states.

"I believe in our willingness and our capacity" to meet the challenge, Eyeghe Ndong said, "notably by improving the competitivity of our companies and the reliability of our aircraft."

"We have to review the African air traffic system from top to bottom," Paul Mba Abessole, the Gabonese deputy prime minister in charge of transport, said ahead of the meeting.

"We have to reduce the accident rate significantly ... so as to observe the road map of the OACI," he added, referring to requirements of the world air travel standards body, the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

In March the body set a two-year deadline for countries with bad air safety records to meet its regulations.

The first challenge facing the ministers at Thursday's meeting was to ensure the safety of African companies' fleets, which consist largely of old Soviet aircraft bought at rock-bottom prices from eastern Europe.

Congo recently banned passenger flights of Russian-built Antonov aircraft after a series of crashes. Equatorial Guinea suspended flights of Antonov and Yak planes, which are also Russian-built.

African countries also face a pressing need to overhaul national air regulation authorities and tackle laxness in procedures for issuing flying and registration certificates.

The European Union in March published a blacklist of dangerous, mostly African, airlines, banning them from European airspace.

"The EU blacklist singled out companies that never go to Europe but it has been very detrimental to the image of the whole air sector in Africa," said Christian Folly-Kossi, secretary general of the Association of African Air Companies.

"Air transport is a vital sector for the development of our economies," he said. "So we have a duty to quickly meet the norms for air safety."
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:48 PM   #213
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Nigeria orders airlines to recapitalise by next year

ABUJA, May 24, 2006 (AFP) - The Nigerian government Wednesday announced that as from March, a would-be airlines would need at least 500 million naira (3.8 million dollars/ three million euros) capital to be granted an operational license in the country.

"We have created three levels of operators. The ones for domestic, the ones for regional and international operations," Aviation Minister Babalola Borisade told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

"For domestic operators, the cabinet has approved 500 million naira as capital investment, for regional operators, it is one billion naira and for international operators, you need two billion naira (15.2 million dollars / 12.16 million euros)," Borisade said.

Borisade said this new rate which is effective from March 2007, was recommended by a presidential committee set up after the three air accidents that claimed hunderds of lives in Nigeria last year.

Up till now, airlines operating local or international flights out of Nigeria were required to pay between 2.5 million naira and 20 million naira to be granted an operational licence, a spokesman of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Sam Adurogboye, told AFP.

The three types of licences are air transport for all airlines operating normal scheduled flights, air travel organiser's licence for registered companies that do not have aircraft but operate flights by contracting other airlines, and air operating permit for state-run and oil companies that operate flights with their aircraft, he said.

The new licence tariff, which will come into effect next year, is part of government effort to reform and "sanitise" the aviation industry, added Adurogboye.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:49 PM   #214
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S.African Airways fined for price fixing

JOHANNESBURG, May 24 (Reuters) - South Africa's Competition Commission said on Wednesday it has fined national carrier South African Airways (SAA) 55 million rand ($8.34 million) for price fixing and abusing its dominant market position.

The latest penalty comes as the state-owned airline braces for a potential loss for the year which ended on March 31.

Africa's largest airline was fined 45 million rand last year for anti-competitive behaviour by the commission.

In a statement the Competition Commission said the fine related to price fixing by SAA and German airline Lufthansa on their flights between Cape Town, Johannesburg and Frankfurt.

The two carriers have a route code-sharing arrangement. The commission is in talks with Lufthansa on the issue.

The commission said SAA was also found to have colluded with budget airline Comair, part-owned by British Airways , and SA Express to simultaneously implement a fuel surchage levy, which the competition watchdog said amounted to price fixing.

"Comair admitted its involvement in the collusion and agreed to assist the commission with its investigation. Comair further successfully applied for immunity from prosecution," the commission said.

SAA was also penalised for agreements with travel agents, which the Competition Commission said constituted inducements to them not to deal with the airline's competitors.

"The agreements ... entrenched and increased SAA's dominance in the market for domestic airline travel and impeded SAA's competitors from expanding and competing fairly in the market," the commission said.

SAA expects a soaring fuel bill to have pushed it into the red for fiscal 2005/06. It reported a 240-million-rand operating loss in the first half because of oil prices and a wage strike which cost between 100 and 150 million rand.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:54 PM   #215
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Four feared dead in crash by Air Sao Tome's only plane

SAO TOME, May 24, 2006 (AFP) - All four persons aboard were feared killed when the only aircraft owned by Air Sao Tome, a small 12-seater Twin Otter, crashed into the sea off the island republic, civil aviation and airline officials said Wednesday.

The body of a woman had been recovered from the sea, they said. Body parts of other victims had been retrieved but not yet been formally identified, the local air safety authority said.

The cause of the accident during a training flight in the Gulf of Guinea off west Africa was not immediately known.

A pilot nearing the end of training, a Gabonese instructor and two other people were aboard when the plane plunged into the sea Monday night, an aviation source said.

The twin-engined Canadian-made De Havilland plane had taken off from Sao Tome, the name of the capital of the small island republic Sao Tome and Principe, and came down less than one kilometre (approx. half a mile) from its coast, according to civil aviation officials and Air Sao Tome staff.

One civil aviation source said a heavy wind had been blowing when the plane took off.

Authorities had begun investigations, examining debris from the plane washed ashore.

The aircraft flew regular runs between the capital and Libreville, capital of the west African state of Gabon, and also to the island of Principe, second of the islands in the group.

According to a local internet information site called Vitrina, a professional pilot had less than a week ago sent an open letter to the authorities warning of alleged defects in the plane, with "danger that passengers risked in using this Twin Otter".
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Old June 1st, 2006, 07:31 AM   #216
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Kenya Airways year profits up 24 pct
By George Obulutsa

NAIROBI, May 31 (Reuters) - Kenya Airways reported a second straight year of record results on Wednesday, as after-tax profit leapt to 4.83 billion Kenya shillings ($66.80 million) from 3.88 billion on increased passengers and cargo.

One of Africa's few profitable airlines, its profit surpassed a 28-year record set in the previous financial year.

Its earnings per share rose to 10.45 shillings from 8.40 shillings and it proposed a 1.75 shillings per share dividend, up from 1.25 shillings last time.

Kenya Airways shares closed Wednesday trade on the Nairobi Stock Exchange at 124.00 shillings, up from Tuesday's close of 121.00 shillings.

Passenger numbers increased by 17 percent to 2.4 million in the last year ended March 31, which the airline attributed to its bigger Boeing 777 aircraft on routes to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

"Strong passenger growth ... was experienced in Europe following the successful deployment there of three Boeing 777 aircraft," the company said in its results statement.

Cargo volumes also grew by 24 percent, thanks to more space in Boeing 777s and increased usage of Boeing 767 aircraft on its African routes. Revenues rose 25 percent to 52.8 billion shillings.

"If you look at the growth in all directions, it's very impressive," said James Murigu, managing director of Suntra Investment Bank.

But the airline said that congestion at Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, shortage of qualified pilots and engineers, getting traffic rights in some African countries and rising fuel prices had slowed growth during the year.

"I don't need to remind you that the year 2005 has seen a spike in fuel prices, and that has had an impact on us," Titus Naikuni, the airline's chief executive, said during the results' presentation.

"The challenge for 2006 and 2007 is managing profitability in a continued high fuel price environment."

Neil Canty, the airline's finance director, said the airline's fuel bill rose to 13.22 billion shillings in the fiscal year just ended, from 8.45 billion shillings in the previous year.

But rising fuel costs were cushioned by hedging, as well as a stronger Kenya shilling against the dollar, he added.

Naikuni added that increased competition from other airlines from the Middle East, and in west and central Africa and closer to home, Ethiopia, had also affected their growth.

"Ethiopia (airlines) used to operate a strategy of hopping from one city to another, but now they've changed strategy, setting up a hub in Addis," he said.

Going forward, the airline plans to expand its fleet, with five additional aircraft due for delivery in the next year, three of which will replace ageing aircraft from its existing fleet of 21 planes.

Kenya Airways plans to expand to new routes later this year and next year, including Paris, Brazzaville and Delhi.

The airline is 26 percent owned by KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France. It became an associate member of SkyTeam, a global airline marketing alliance led by Air France and Delta Air Lines, last June.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 05:57 PM   #217
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Equatorial Guinea lifts flight ban on two grounded air firms

MALABO, June 2, 2006 (AFP) - Equatorial Guinea's transport ministry said Friday it had lifted a flight ban on two of 19 air transport firms grounded earlier this week on safety grounds.

The two, Ecuatorial Cargo and Geasa, which happen to belong to kin of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, were found not to have warranted the cancellation of their licences, the ministry said.

The national airline, Ecuatoguineana de Aviacion (EGA), and 18 other firms had their operating licences annulled on Monday by Deputy Transport Minister Miguel Iyanga Djoba following an inspection of aircraft fleets by South African experts.

Only General Works Aviacion, which is a private operator, was allowed to remain in business, pending verified improvements in safety and airworthiness standards by other companies, state radio said.

The other firms failed to meet standards laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and no carrier "can undertake commercial air transport operations without a valid airworthiness certificate", according to a ministerial decision.

But an order signed Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Mangue Obama Nfubea said Geasa and Ecuatorial Cargo had been found not guilty of irregularities requiring the cancellation of their certificates.

Geasa (Guinea Ecuatorial Airlines) is owned by the president's eldest son, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Teodoro Nguema Obiang, known locally as "The Boss."

Eleven of the firms covered by Monday's ban, including Geasa and Ecuatorial Cargo, were on a blacklist of airlines barred from flying to the European Union issued on March 22.

The South African experts were called in after the crash on July 16, 2005, of an Antonov 24 operated by a private company while on a flight from Malabo, the capital on Bioko island, to Bata, the chief economic town on the mainland part of the central African country.

The plane went down shortly after take-off, killing 81 people known to have crammed aboard an aircraft with a theoretical capacity of 48 passengers and four crew members.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 06:14 PM   #218
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http://nationmedia.com/dailynation/n...3&newsid=74641

Nairobi JKIA voted East Africa's best Airport

7th June 2006

Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has been voted the best in East Africa.

Initially designed to cater for only 2.5 million passengers a year, the number has skyrocketed to four million, creating the need for upgrading and expansion.

Kenya Airports Authority managing director George Muhoho said yesterday: "We are doing almost three times that number a month, either coming to Kenya or passing through.

The award scheme by Travel News magazine is in its 11th year. It identifies contenders through reader participation and excellence in tourism.

"To manage this number without causing huge queues or poor processing, we have decided on a strategy to serve and increase our processes."

Regional hub

Mr Muhoho said that the airport was set to become East and Central Africa's hub, "playing in the same league with internationally acclaimed airports". He announced a five-year "strategic plan" to raise the airport to such standards.

Plans were underway to upgrade all airports and airstrips countrywide to accommodate the growing traffic. The new JKIA section, he said, was designed to be friendlier and ease communication between passengers and immigration officers.

The service centres had also been increased to serve better a larger number of transit passengers. The centres have been fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and technology used in personal identification and registration.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is installing computer systems to blend passenger registration with processing at JKIA, Mombasa's Moi International, Kisumu, Nairobi's Wilson and other major airports.
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Old June 10th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #219
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Britain demands explanation for security breach at Kenya airport
By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY
10 June 2006

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - The British government demanded an explanation Saturday after a security breach at Kenya's main airport in which a man pulled a gun on a police officer and fled.

A diplomatic protest was delivered to the Foreign Ministry, said Mark Norton, spokesman for the British Embassy. He said Britain lodged the protest because it was concerned about the safety of British Airways flights.

Security at Kenya's airports has been under intense scrutiny in recent years because of past al-Qaida attacks in the country.

"The note said we are very concerned about the events as reported in the newspapers and asked for an immediate explanation and a government statement as to what occurred at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport," he said.

The security breach Thursday happened when a man with a Kenya-issued all-access pass to the airport refused to allow a customs agent to search his bag, according to police officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press.

The man then pulled a gun on a police officer and fled with his luggage. He was arrested the next day, along with another man, and deported.

The breach could lead to a suspension of British Airways flights to Kenya. The airline, which operates two flights a day between Nairobi and London, temporarily canceled flights here in 2003 after an attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner over Kenya.

Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for that attack, and for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. More than 200 Africans and 12 Americans were killed in those attacks.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #220
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^

This was relating to the deportation of two Armenian brothers (Mr Artur Margaryan and Mr Artur Sargsyan).

They both drew pistols in an attempt to free a female guest who refused to open her bag at customs.
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