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Old October 30th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #261
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Nigeria revokes airline license after third major crash in a year

LAGOS, Oct 30, 2006 (AFP) - Nigeria on Monday revoked the license of the company whose commercial airliner crashed the day before leaving 96 dead, the country's third major civilian air catastrophe in little over a year.

Among those killed Sunday were the country's top Islamic cleric, his son, who was a senator, and an ex-president's son.

"The federal government has decided to suspend the operating license of ADC airlines forthwith," the minister, Babalola Borishade said.

Announcing the ban, the minister emphasized the responsibility of the pilot in the crash of the Boeing 737. The final toll, he said, is 96 dead and nine survivors.

"The pilot refused to take advantage of weather advice and the opinion of the tower to exercise patience and allow the weather to clear for a safe take-off," he said.

He also announced that crash investigators from the US National Transportation and Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, and engine makers Pratt and Whitney would be arriving in the next 24 hours to help with the enquiry.

One survivor described the accident and how she was able to call her father as she lay in the wreckage.

"First it shook violently and then crashed," said Esther Keyiobo, a 25-year-old student. "The force threw me out. I had my GSM and called by father immediately, but initially he did not believe me."

"When I started shouting, he believed me and rushed to the ADC office in Lagos."

Flight 053 from Abuja to Sokoto was carrying 100 passengers and five crew members when it went down Sunday in bad weather.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who said he was "profoundly shocked and saddened" by the accident, has ordered an investigation, according to his spokesman, Oluremi Oyo.

While Nigeria does not have the worst air safety record in Africa, nearly 1200 people have died in more than 40 plane crashes since 1991. Accidents in December and October last year each claimed more than 100 lives.

Among those who died in the crash Sunday were the Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammad Maccido, and presided over Nigeria's Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), and his son.

The sultan, who was 80, was the spiritual head of the more than 50 million Muslims in the west African country of some 130 million people.

The state-run News Agency of Nigeria said that other top-ranking government officials, senators, politicians and the son of Nigeria's former president Shehu Shagari were also on board the ill-fated airliner.

Miraculously, the three daughters of the governor of Kogi State in central Nigeria were among the nine survivors, according the Guardian daily.

One of the plane's black boxes was found and taken by police, the head of Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau, Asgus Ozoka, said on Monday. "I cannot give out any information until it has been given to us," he said.

The director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Rowland Iyayi, said Monday that the pilot of another airline set to take off from the same airport at the same time chose to stay on the ground, highlighting the possibility of pilot error in the crash.

The is not the first major air accident by an ADC plane. Ten years ago, almost to the day, a commercial airliner crashed in a lagoon near Lagos, killing all 143 people on board.

The crash Sunday is the most recent in a string of accidents that have severely tarnished Nigeria's airline sector, which has been plagued with cases of corruption and a poor record of maintenance.

In mid-September 14 soldiers -- including 10 generals -- died when their 228-221 Dornier crashed in the center of the country, prompting President Obasanjo to return to Nigeria from abroad and declare a five-day mourning period.

Confronted with Nigeria's worsening air safety record, the Obasanjo took emergency measures in December 2005, including the banning of three private airlines.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 08:30 PM   #262
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Girma Advises Against 'Tit-for-Tat'

Ethiopian Airlines v Kenya Airways



The Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Airlines, Girma Wake, gave two pieces of advice to the Ethiopian authorities and members of the media during a press conference at the Sheraton on Saturday, October 28.

"Two wrongs do not make a right," answered Girma, when asked whether he wants retaliation by the Ethiopian government to what their counterparts have done in banning his airline from flying from Nairobi to African destinations such as Entebbe (Uganda), Kigali (Rwanda) and Bujumbura (Burundi).
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A bilateral agreement entered between Ethiopia and Kenya, and regional trade pact among all Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states require them to open their skies to airlines of each other countries. Ethiopian had for years picked up passengers from Nairobi and flown them to destinations of these East African nations. Nevertheless, three weeks ago, the Kenyan Ministry of Transport prohibited Ethiopia's flagship airline from flying anywhere else in Africa but Addis Abeba.

Kenyan officials were reciprocating for an Ethiopian ban on Kenyan Airways taking its passengers from Addis Abeba to Dubai and Jeddah.

"As far as I am concerned, these places are out of Africa," Girma told reporters, cautioning them not to "play this up out of proportion".

"We are not at war with the Kenyan Airways. Neither are our countries. It is only that the Kenyan authorities were misled by someone in the competition," Girma said.

He told reporters that Kenyan Airways is operating a flight from Addis to Djibouti, while his management has reserved from advising Ethiopian authorities to deny permits when they have applied for another destination from Addis Abeba. Recalling how Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt and South Africa were the African nations that were pushing for more liberalized airline transport in Africa, Girma said he believes "the move will hurt Kenya more than anyone else."

Girma said he had talked to the Kenyan authorities following the ban and they did admit their mistakes.

"They said that they would reply in 10 days," Girma told reporters. "But, it's been three weeks now. I have still not heard anything from them."

Whether or not they respond or lift the ban, Girma said he is not interested to replay in kind.

"We oppose their decision not so much because we depend on the flight traffics going from Nairobi to these countries, but because principles need to be upheld," Girma said. "And we will under no circumstances stop Kenyan from flying to Djibouti or other African destinations from Addis Abeba."

He said African airlines who close their doors on others cannot ask others to open theirs. Although Girma believes that this was hardly a war between the two airlines or countries, he looked forward to the situation being eased.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 09:05 AM   #263
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Kenya Airways plans Sh1.5 billion Pilot College


Kenya Airways has set aside Sh1.5 billion for the establishment of a pilot training school.


Head of corporate quality and safety Alex Avedi announced that the national carrier had acquired a facility near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi for the establishment of the school, which will also train engineers.

Some Sh500 million will be channelled to physical facilities while Sh1 billion will be used to buy equipment.

Currently, he said, KQ trained its pilots mainly in South Africa, adding that the proposed school would help cut training costs and boost the carrier's operations including passenger safety.

In an interview with the Nation at his office on Wednesday, Mr Avedi said KQ gave priority to safety and used Sh1 billion annually to train pilots on the issue.

Kenya Airways, South African Airways, and Com Air (another South African firm which partners with British Airways), are the only ones in sub-Saharan Africa that undergo International Air Transport Association (IATA) operational safety audit, done after every two years.

"We spent Sh70 million to prepare for the audit and were certified in October 2005," Mr Avedi said.

He said KQ had been elected to chair the African Aviation Safety Council and also represent Africa on the IATA safety council.

He said KQ had also invested in the modernisation of its fleet to enhance safety.

By December, he said, the airline will not be flying Boeing 737-200 planes.

The listed firm's most modern plane is a Boeing 777.

The company has further ordered for 787 Dreamliner planes, to be received in 2010, whose first model will be in the market in 2008.

KQ's 35-seater domestic flight planes will be replaced by 70-seater regional jets.

Mr Avedi said Africa's safety record was poor because many operators used obsolete planes while the quality of engineers and pilots was poor.

"They are flying a lot of old equipment... Many do not also invest in refresher training," the official said.

According to IATA, Africa leads in the number of air accidents although it has the lowest traffic globally.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #264
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New Air Zimbabwe Flights for China and Mozambique

AIR Zimbabwe is to introduce an additional flight into China, the world's fastest growing economy, in response to what officials at the national airline say are increased traffic volumes to the Asian economic giant.

The additional service to China will take off from Harare and land in Guangzhou, capital of the Guangdong Province in Southern mainland China, and one of the most important centres of industry and foreign commerce in China. Air Zimbabwe is already operating a flight into Beijing, which makes a stopover in Singapore.

Although the airline still awaits landing permits from China, Air Zimbabwe expects authorisation shortly to establish a twice-weekly service between Harare and China.

Air Zimbabwe spokesperson David Mwenga told The Financial Gazette that the airline is responding to increased traffic into China from the region, where the airline has code share agreements with other regional airlines.

"We are opening a new operation to Guangzhou because there seems to be reasonable traffic into the Chinese city," said Mwenga. "Research indicates that it is a very busy commercial centre. The majority of people we are carrying out of Lilongwe and other regional destinations will connect from Beijing to Guangzhou for shopping. So it's ideal to fly to Guangzhou."

Guangzhou, which has express rail and road links to Hong Kong, boasts the largest population of overseas Chinese businesspeople.

Air Zimbabwe introduced flights into Dubai, Singapore and China in 2005 as part of the government's "Look East" policy after falling out with Western countries. Harare says establishing links with the Asian community will help revive its bed bound economy.

In return, China has conferred Approved Destination Status (ADS) on Zimbabwe under which Beijing allows Chinese tour operators to organise tours to a counterpart country while the counterpart government allows Chinese tourists to travel into its territory on a special group visa. This policy has had a significant impact on the Chinese outbound tourism market in other countries conferred with ADS status.

Meanwhile, Air Zimbabwe will resume operations into the Mozambican capital Maputo and port city Beira in December using its 737 aircraft, which recently underwent repairs in Germany after it developed an oil leak in July. The airline, which last flew to Beira in the early 90s, is also set to resume flights to Luanda, the Angolan capital, a business destination that is also increasingly attracting tourists.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 07:53 PM   #265
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African airlines hurt by taxes, compliance costs

Airport authorities in Africa have been accused of charging exorbitant taxes.

Participants at an African Airlines Association (Afraa) conference in Egypt said high taxes led to high airline fares and lower growth in the industry. However, representatives of various airport authorities said the high taxes reflected the costs of running airports.

Mr Bernard Mogambi of Kenya Airports Authority said increased security and infrastructure demands since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US were to blame for higher costs.

"Airports must share these costs with their stakeholders," he told the conference.

Meanwhile, Afraa is seeking a $15 million (Sh1 billion) grant to fund some members’ the change from paper to electronic ticketing before a December 2007 deadline. The move is expected to help cut airline spending as it costs $1 to process an e-ticket compared with $10 for paper.

Ten carriers in Africa have implemented e-ticketing, but two — Kenya Airways and South African Airways — issue more than 70 per cent of Africa’s e-tickets. Globally, the industry has only achieved 67 per cent compliance while Africa has reached 59 per cent compliance.

African Airline Association (Afraa) yesterday said that CDE Pro-Invest, a European Union/African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) fund, was processing the grant for disbursement early next year.

"Cost factors might cause delays in Africa’s implementation of e-ticketing and auditing for safety standards," a representative of the association said. "(We) applied for this grant to assist small and medium sized airlines that are in need of such funding."

Airlines that fail to beat the deadline risk losing their "inter-line traffic". This is traffic shared between airlines for onward carrying and usually makes up 20-35 per cent of an airline’s total traffic.

Of the 17,000 inter-line agreements on file with International Air Transport Association (IATA), only about 500 have been converted to electronic ticketing.

"An additional 2,000 agreements will need to be converted before the end of 2007 to account for 80 per cent of inter-line traffic today," said Mr Thomas Windmuller, senior vice-president in charge of member and government relations at IATA. He added that failing to comply would be injurious to the continent’s airlines.

"Since September 11, 2001, the global industry has lost over $40 billion," he said. "African airlines have not been immune from these losses and are forecast to lose another $800 million this year and a further $900 million in 2007."

However, he said IATA was confident of reaching its 70 per cent target for e-ticketing penetration by the end of this year, and expected to hit 95 per cent next year.

International Civil Aviation Organisation Secretary General Dr Taieb Cherif urged African countries to fully implement the Yamoussoukro declaration on the liberalisation of the African routes.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 05:12 AM   #266
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ICAO team in Nigeria to audit aviation industry after tragic crash

LAGOS, Nov 8, 2006 (AFP) - An international team of aviation experts has arrived in Nigeria to audit its air industry after hundreds of people died in four crashes in one year, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Wednesday.

The five-member team, led by Elizabeth Ghehm from the Montreal headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), began the audit on Tuesday here by briefing Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) officials on its mission, NAN said.

Over 10 days, ICAO experts in the fields of licensing, aircraft operations, airworthiness, air navigation systems and aerodromes, will visit facilities in the west African country's aviation industry, it said.

Almost 350 people, including a dozen soldiers, have been killed in four air disasters in different parts of Nigeria since October last year.

A document released by the team said it would, through its visit, validate the safety oversight conducted by the NCAA.

The document, titled "ICAO Safety Oversight in Nigeria," said the audit schedule would take into consideration a number of factors, including the results of previous audits and the accident incident rates.

The Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) was conducted in Nigeria from March 26 to April 2, 2001, with a follow-up audit from May 7 to May 9, 2003.

The current exercise is expected to cover eight critical areas including aviation legislation, operating regulations, structure of the civil aviation administration and safety oversight functions.

Others are technical personnel qualifications and training, technical guidance materials, licensing and certification obligations, continuing surveillance obligations and resolution of safety issues, the document said, according to NAN.

The audit was inaugurated in 1999 to promote global aviation safety in line with the ICAO standards and recommended procedures.

A good rating for Nigeria in the audit will enable its aviation industry to benefit from many of its air service agreements with other countries.

The audit comes barely a week after a Boeing plane belonging to the private ADC company crashed shortly after take-off in Abuja, killing 96 people on board, including the leader of Nigeria's large Muslim community.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #267
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Kenya Airways unveils Sh500m Hangar
10th November 2006

Kenya Airways has unveiled a Sh500 million hangar designed to service its long-haul Boeing 777-200 ER fleet.

With the commissioning of the shed, KQ will now maintain its fleet locally — a development expected to net huge savings for the airline.

Currently KQ’s heavy maintenance service is done in Europe. KQ managing director Mr Titus Naikuni said besides maintaining the KQ fleet, the hangar will also be used to service other carriers in Nairobi.

Currently, KQ has three long range Boeing 777 planes, a fourth one is expected in February next year.

In a statement, the company said the facility would also be used to service the six Boeing 787 Dreamliners expected between 2010 and 2012.

Vice-President Moody Awori officially opened the hangar on Wednesday in the company of representatives from Boeing Company, Singapore Air Leasing Enterprises and aviation industry players in the region.

Also received at the occasion was the first of three new generation Boeing 737-800 planes, leased from the Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprises.

The Boeing 737-800 is a medium-range aircraft that will replace the three aging Boeing 737-200, which have served KQ’s regional routes for the last 20 years.

Once the three aircraft are delivered by next month, KQ will have an active all modern Boeing fleet of 21 aircrafts.

The Boeing 737-800 carries 145 passengers compared to the 116 available on the Boeing 737-200 and a bigger cargo capacity of 44 cubic metres.

Boeing 787 Dreamliners expected in 2010 are equipped with a Heads-Up Display system that projects key navigational data directly in front of pilots, allowing for safer operation in difficult weather conditions or problematic navigational terrain.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #268
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Kenya Airways boosts fleet with the latest Boeing model
10th November 2006

Kenya Airways has received the first of the three modern aircraft it is leasing to boost its fleet.

The Boeing 737-800, one of the latest models in the aviation industry, was received on Wednesday night at a ceremony presided over by Vice-President Moody Awori.

The plane is designed to carry 145 passengers, 16 in the executive class and 129 in the economy class.

It was delivered by Singapole Aircraft Leasing Enterprise, one of the largest leasing firms in Asia. The planes will be leased for eight years.

The company's head of corporate communications, Mr Sean Lee, said the remaining two aircraft would be delivered at the end of the month and mid December respectively.

Mr Lee said Kenya Airways was the first airline in sub-Saharan Africa to acquire the new model noting it was headed to become the leading airline in the continent.

The VP also inaugurated a multi-million-shilling hangar at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Mr Awori described the Sh560 million hangar as a major milestone in the company’s history.

He said the two developments would open the country to the rest of the world, promote tourism and create employment.

Mr Awori commended KQ management, saying since its privatisation 10 years ago, many people had benefited from it.

"I am impressed to learn that at the moment, Kenya Airways employs more than 3,500 Kenyans directly and many others indirectly. This is in addition to having turned over an impressive Sh63 billion during the last financial year," he said and asked the airline to open more routes to boost tourism.

The VP assured the company that the Government would continue to support expansion, citing refurbishment of JKIA, which was recently inaugurated by President Kibaki.

The airline's chief executive officer, Mr Titus Naikuni, said the hangar would not only improve maintenance services but also make Nairobi the hub of Africa.

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Old November 11th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #269
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New airline 'Fly540' takes to Kenyan skies on November 24

A new airline will be taking to the skies in two weeks.

Fly540 will be introducing flights between Nairobi and Mombasa from November 24 with a choice of four fares. A press statement released by a publicity firm on behalf of the airline said return fares will cost from Sh 5,540.

The airline which starts operation with two 48 seater planes will have two return flights between Nairobi and Mombasa daily.

Daily flights to Malindi and Lamu are also planned.

The Chief Operations officer, Mr Neil Smith, said the airline will provide "a friendly and reliable service for cost conscious passengers".

He said they had chosen Kenya for their business because it was the ideal place as the strong economy drives a higher demand for both domestic and regional travel.

"Nairobi is the most appropriate hub for services in the East African region and we are optimistic about the steady expansion of Fly540," he said.

He also announced that passengers will be able to book their tickets on-line.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #270
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Victoria International Airlines starts flights to Nairobi and Johannesburg


Uganda's revamped national carrier, Victoria International Airlines, has been cleared by Kenyan and South African air transport regulators to fly to Nairobi and Johannesburg.


Victoria's will see an additional 13 flights a week between Entebbe and Nairobi.

Combined with Kenya Airways' 27 flights, travellers will now have a choice of six departures out of Entebbe five days a week, although this will mainly apply to passengers terminating their journeys in Nairobi.

The approval of the Ugandan carrier's application comes against the continued denial of landing rights to Ethiopian Airlines, which in June applied to operate a single daily flight to Nairobi out of Entebbe.

"It has been easy for us to get approvals because we are a national carrier and we did not challenge the status quo by demanding that Kenya Airways withdraw any of its services," Victoria commercial manager Declan Peppard told The EastAfrican.

The Ugandan government owns a 25 per cent equity in Victoria, with the rest of the stock being held by South African and Swiss investors.

According to a schedule released last week, the carrier will also be flying four times a week to Juba in Southern Sudan and thrice a week to Johannesburg.

Except for Monday, when neither South African Airways nor Victoria flies out of Entebbe, there will be the option of a direct flight to Johannesburg six days a week.

The flights to Juba have been positioned to tap into traffic from Nairobi to Southern Sudan as they are a continuation of the morning return leg from Nairobi.

Mr Peppard says further that same-day return journeys will be possible for business people with the return flight departing Juba at 5.10 pm.

Victoria is competing directly on pricing with an economy class return ticket to Nairobi, that costs $138 return, Johannesburg $338 and Juba $278, fares Mr Peppard said are not just promotional but will remain in place.

Victoria's offer represents savings of 25 and 35 per cent on competitor's economy fare offers to Johannesburg and Nairobi respectively.

There was no immediate response to these fare offers by other carriers although fares on the Entebbe-Nairobi sector had in the recent past reached a peak of $409 as demand surged in the absence of capacity and competition on the route.

Analysts said in the absence of a code-share agreement with Kenya Airways, which would allow Victoria to sell onward destinations through Nairobi, the carrier has no option but to position itself to snatch the point-to-point traffic between Entebbe and the Kenyan capital.

The only difficulty for Kenya Airways would be loss of leverage to influence its competitor's pricing policy, whereas a code-share would have bound both operators to agreed minimum fares on all sectors where they compete.

Kenya Airways will hold out because of its global network, which accounts for 70 per cent of its traffic originating from Entebbe, but particularly vulnerable will be its 5 am departure and 10 pm return leg trips, which same-day return travellers to Nairobi have been using as they now have the option of departing at 7 am, returning at 8.45 pm.

Mr Peppard said plans to launch a service between Entebbe and Mombasa were being re-evaluated and the service will most likely be launched as a tie-up with a Kenyan operator from Nairobi. Also planned are flights to Lusaka.

On the Juba route, Victoria faces competition from Uganda's domestic operators Eagle Air and Royal Daisy Airlines. It is offering a fare price of $278 return against the prevailing $440.

Victoria's fleet will initially comprise two Boeing 737-200s, leased from South African aircraft leasing firm Avstar.

Uganda has not had a national airline since the liquidation of Uganda Airlines in early 2001. Several local or partly locally-owned airlines such as Alliance Air, Africa-One and East African Airlines have tried but failed to fill the domestic carrier vacuum over the past couple of years.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #271
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An advertisment, with render, of Nairobi's 'Jomo Kenyatta International Airport' (JKIA) when completed:




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Old November 17th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #272
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Kisumu Airport (Kenya) set for Sh2.6 billion facelift, and upgrade to International Status

Kenya Airways will not resume flights to Kisumu despite the airport management and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority insisting that the runway is safe for take off and landing.

The national carrier withdrew from the route, one of its busiest locally, early this month. It said the runway was potholed and dangerous.

But the Kenya Airports Authority denied the claim, as the other airline serving the route, East African Airlines, increased the number of its flights there.

A Nation team that visited the airport last week was told by acting airport manager Leonard Rinchuni that civil aviation authority director-general Chris Kuto toured the facility on November 9 and agreed that the condition of the runway did not warrant suspension of flights by Kenya Airways (KA).

"Our maintenance team has carried out repairs on the runway whenever defects occur. Therefore KA' allegations should be treated as baseless. Operations are going on as usual," said Mr Rinchuni.

KA's chief executive Mr Titus Naikuni has said that the Kisumu Airport runway is dangerous for both landing and takeoff.

Announcing the suspension, he said flights to Kisumu would resume only after repairs on the runway had been completed. The airport has not had Kenya Airways flights for the past 13 days.

Yesterday, an official from the KA office in Kisumu said the flights remain suspended until further notice. The official said the runway was still in a bad condition.

"Our CEO (Naikuni) will make a comprehensive statement once the repairs have been done. As at now, our flights will remain grounded."

Mr Rinchuni's assertion that the runway is in good shape left it unclear whether repairs were effected before or after KA' withdrawal.

Mr Kuto, who was accompanied during the tour by the authority’s chairman, Mr Charles Wako, denied allegations that there was loose murram on the runway.

"Everyone, including all our clients, appreciate the work done by the authority's civil engineering maintenance team. They patch up potholes every time they occur. Safety of passengers is paramount," Mr Kuto’s said.

The matter of Kisumu Airport was raised in Parliament on Tuesday when Transport assistant minister Cecily Mbarire said normal operations would resume after repairs are completed in three weeks.

A Sh17 million tender has already been awarded and the contractor was supposed to be on the site yesterday (Monday), Ms Mbarire told Parliament.

Passengers interviewed at the airport said the ban by Kenya Airways was not fair, but asked airport authorities to speed up repairs to guarantee their safety.

Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) chief executive officer Andrew Otieno expressed dissatisfaction with the manner the matter was being handled. He urged the airport to speed up repairs of the runway, which he said was suspect.

"KA's action is reasonable, bearing in mind the safety of its passengers. But the management should have given an earlier warning to its regular customers, said Mr Otieno.

A Swedish tourist who identified herself as Boska said she was happy to have arrived in Kisumu on time, flying with East African Airlines after her KA flight was cancelled.

American tourists Jonathan Lane and Mark Haustead urged the government to refurbish the airport, but added that its current condition is ‘just fine’.

Mr Rinchuni said KA's decision to cancel flights was ill advised and appealed to the management to reconsider it.

East African airline has recorded increased bookings following KA's withdrawal from the route.

"Our airlines have been fully booked since the ban took effect. The clientele is advised to book in advance to avoid disappointments," said Ms Caroline Mayoya of Eagle Airlinks, a subsidiary of the airline.

The airline has two return flights daily, except on Fridays when it has three, with a capacity of 70 to 80 passengers each.

The airline is yet to increase its flights on the route, as announced by station manager James Waweru two weeks ago after news of KA's withdrawal.

Mr Waweru allayed fears over passengers safety, saying: "We have no problem with the state of the runway. It has little shortcomings, but our flights are designed to operate in such conditions."

Meanwhile, a major expansion project is coming up for the airport, located to the North West of Kisumu town.

The project is set to begin in March next year, and will see Kisumu upgraded to an international airport.

Shillings 2.6 billion has been set aside for it. The design for the new-look airport was to have been completed two months ago by Netherlands Airports Consultant Company (NACO).

Terminal buildings will be expanded and the runway increased to 3.2km, from the current 2.1km, to accommodate bigger aircraft such as the Boeing 767.

Currently, the airport can accommodate only smaller aircraft, with the largest being the 85-seater.

A new control tower and a terminal with separate lounges for arrivals and departures form part of the upgrade.

Others include perimeter fencing and lighting, installation of security screening, baggage, access control and other equipment, purchase of fire fighting equipment and supply of security and communication equipment.

Facilities will be upgraded to accommodate more passenger and cargo traffic. Currently, local fish and flowers are transported to Nairobi by road, resulting in heavy losses in time, spoilage and costs.

Expansion of the airport is also expected to boost tourism in Nyanza, Western and parts of Rift Valley provinces.

The project is funded jointly by the Kenyan Government and the World Bank, through its Northern Corridor Development Programme. The latter will provide more than Sh300 million ($3.9 million) of the total cost.

The rest of the funding will be provided by Kenya Airports Authority.

An upgrade airport will boost KAA's revenue base. Currently, the airport collects more than Sh40 million a year in landing fees. The income is expected to triple with the introduction of cargo handling facilities.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #273
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the compahnies Spanish iberia will take again its flight towards Algiers: According to the program established by the Spanish company, two flights will connect Madrid and Algiers per week: Sunday (departure 18h15, return 20h45) and Thursday (departure 12h15, return 14h50). Iberia specified that the Madrid-Algiers line will be served by planes of the type Airbus A319, of a capacity of 141 passengers. This line will make it possible the Spanish company “to continue its politic of consolidation of its connections with the north of Africa”. the company present towards the Algiers destination are increasingly numerous: air Canada, and china airlines present Algiers in 2007 air Algeria will deservira, New York and Houston in 2007

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Old November 20th, 2006, 02:46 PM   #274
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Nigeria intercepts explosives at airport

LAGOS, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Nigerian authorities have intercepted explosives being smuggled onto a domestic flight in an unaccompanied suitcase, the aviation minister said.

The five golden canisters disguised as microphones were found on Saturday, Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode told a news conference on Sunday.

"FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) and Bellview Airlines have managed to foil an attempt to bring explosive devices on a Bellview flight," he said.

The find came during the latest shake-up of Nigeria's air industry in the wake of three plane crashes that killed 319 people in just over a year.

Photographs of a man suspected of checking the suitcase onto the scheduled flight from Lagos to Abuja were distributed to the media. Fani-Kayode said the security services were holding the man for questioning.

"Whether these explosives were put there as a device to blow up the plane and kill Nigerians or whether they were there simply to be flown to Abuja for some other mysterious purpose, both courses of action are completely illegal," he said.

Fani-Kayode replaced the previous aviation minister just days after the crash of an ADC Airlines flight last month.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation last week completed an audit of Nigeria's aviation sector but the results are not expected for nine months.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority on Friday suspended the licence of two privately owned domestic carriers -- Sosoliso and Fresh Air -- over unspecified safety lapses.

Two planes operated by two other domestic operators -- Nicon and Spaceworld -- were also grounded for safety reasons.

Fani-Kayode said he would reopen the investigation into the crash of a Bellview flight in October 2005 which killed 117 people.

"I have read through the relevant reports and I am not satisfied," he said.

The investigations into that crash have never been made public and the black box from the Boeing aircraft was never found.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 05:22 AM   #275
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Paris Offers Kenya Airways Smooth Landing to Lucrative European Market
November 20, 2006

It is 6.30am on a Friday and the skies over Paris are beginning to light up.

We are on the Kenya Airways' maiden flight to France's premier airport, named after its wartime President, Charles De Gaulle, and are preparing for touchdown after a more than eight-hour flight from Nairobi.

Passengers - clutching onto bouquets and certificates, tokens for flying the inaugural flight - are delighted to land in this famed city of romance, fashion, gastronomy and arts.

Paris, the French capital, is one of the most visited cities in the world. It receives more than 30 million visitors a year, a pale comparison to Kenya's slightly more than one million visitors.

The new Paris route will enable Kenya Airways tap the southern Europe and the US travel markets. It will also offer customers in Eastern and Central Africa the option of direct flights to France as well as connecting to other destinations. Of interest are southern European countries such as Spain and Portugal.

Kenya Airways Managing Director Mr Titus Naikuni says Paris will act as an alternative hub. It will complement the traditional London and Amsterdam connections.

Since most US tourists connect through France, Paris will offer the airline a base to tap this lucrative market. US arrivals to Kenya have been on a steady increase, growing by 13 per cent in the first nine months of the year.

Paris also offers the airline - which last year became the first in sub-Saharan Africa to win the IOSA certification for safety standards - an opportunity to increase its share of the lucrative European route, which accounts for 94 per cent of revenues from international routes.

Ms Greta Swings, the Kenya Airways manager for France, told The Standard in Paris that the response from the travel industry had been positive and sales were growing steadily since the October 28 inaugural flight. The carrier flies three times a week to Paris. The new flight is also expected to spur bilateral trade between Kenya and France.

According to the French Embassy in Nairobi, last year's total value of trade between the two countries stood at Sh18 billion, out of which France exported Sh9.8 billion worth of goods to Kenya, and imported Sh8.6 billion.

The writer and KTN business reporter Yusuf Ali at Arc de Triomphe, a monument erected to celebrate Napoleon Bonaparte's conquests.

The horticulture and agriculture industries are expected to benefit from the additional cargo capacity, thereby supplementing the traditional Amsterdam route. Tourism is looking up too. The Kenyan Embassy in Paris hopes that it will bring better tidings given the additional capacity on this route.

Earlier, tourists and businessmen travelling to Kenya and the region had to connect through other destinations or use expensive charter flights.

Said the Kenyan Ambassador to France, Ms Raychelle Omamo: "Many tourists have been using Crossair (a budget operator now a fully-fledged airline). Now Kenya Airways is going to give them an alternative".

Also available to tourists is the KLM route to Nairobi via Amsterdam.

"Past complaints by tourists and businessmen have been about their inability to access Nairobi and the region directly, but with the new KQ flights, this will be a thing of the past," said Omamo.

The envoy said while the number of tourists from France had gone below 30,000 per year following terror threats, recent efforts by the Kenya Tourist Board had paid off and the numbers were now edging towards 42,000. These numbers are expected to grow by a further 20 per cent following aggressive campaigns.

Kenya Airways' 10-year-old partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was evident again, ensuring a smooth landing in Paris for the Kenyan flag carrier. KLM merged with Air France in May 2004 to create Air France-KLM.

The Kenyan airline has continued to post impressive financial results, reporting a pre-tax profit of Sh6.9 billion in the year ending March 31, 2006, on a turnover of Sh52.8 billion, a 25 per cent increase over the previous year.

Mrs Greta Swings, the Kenya Airways manager for France during the interview at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Up to June 2006 Kenya Airways, which flies to 35 destinations worldwide, had a strong passenger growth of 12 per cent on all routes.

It carried more than 2.5 million passengers during the year and has acquired a Boeing 737-800 aircraft as part of its modernisation programme. It expects two similar aircraft this year to replace three ageing B327-200.

Said Naikuni: "By bringing in this new generation aircraft, we expect to offer our passengers more space in addition to (increasing) capacity on the local and regional routes.

"We will also be able to ferry more cargo within the rapidly expanding trade routes in West and Central Africa".

In the past three years, Kenya Airways has acquired three Boeing 777 and expects one more by February. The carrier has also placed a firm order for six new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, to be delivered between 2010 and 2012.

Already, the airline has unveiled a modern hangar to service the B777 fleet, which were previously handled in Europe. It plans to invite other carriers to use the facility, therefore providing an additional revenue stream.

The airline, voted the Best African Airline for five consecutive years by African Aviation magazine, has a codes-share agreement with Turkish Airlines, which - together with Special Prorate Agreement - offers both companies a better access to each other's network. It flies to Istanbul twice a week.

The airline continues to grow wings everyday. Its latest destinations are two Indian Ocean Islands, Comoros and Mayotte.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 05:27 AM   #276
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Precision Air to Buy Six New Aircraft

Tanzania-based Precision Air will acquire six new wide-bodied aircraft at a cost of $97 million under its fleet modernisation programme.

The airline's managing director, Alphonce Kioko, last week said the carrier was undertaking the programme in partnership with Avions de Transport Regional of France.

This would involve sending at least four Tanzanians to France annually for training in aircraft engineering beginning next year.

Mr Kioko said the airline turn-over had increased from Tsh7 billion ($6.6illion) in 1999/2000 to Tsh34 billion ($32.4 million) in 2005/06.

"Projections indicate that the airline will make a turnover of Tsh40 billion ($38 million) this fiscal year and the number of passengers will reach 400,000," said Mr Kioko.

Precision Air introduced e-ticketing last March, thus becoming the third airline in Africa to embrace the e-ticketing technology.

"Our aim is to become 100 per cent e-ticket-compliant by the end of the year," said Mr Kioko.

Only South African Airways and Kenya Airways use the e-ticketing technology in Africa.

Precision Air was voted Tanzania's 2006 airline of the year.

The airline underwent the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) in September and expects to be certified by December.

Precision Air, a Tanzanian private carrier with a global outlook, was started in 1987 as a crop spraying company and in 1993 became a schedule and charter air service firm.

It initially operated a five-seater Piper Aztec aircraft, providing connections to tourists visiting Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania, and Zanzibar Island. The airline then introduced a seven-seater Cessna 207, a seven-seater Cessna 402, two 11-seater Cessna 404s and a 19-seater LET-410.

But its turnaround came in 2003 when Kenya Airways acquired a 49 per cent stake in the airline.

It has since become a partner with KQ/KLM/NWand now AF, with a focus on niche markets, said Mr Kioko. Currently, the airline has a fleet of seven aircraft with a total capacity of 339 seats.

Precision Air flies to 15 destinations - 11 domestic and from regional, boasting 324 departures a week. It offers connections to all major towns in Tanzania, including Mwanza, Arusha, Tabora, Musoma, Shinyanga, Kigoma, Bukoba, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Lindi, Mtwara and Arusha.

In the region, the airline flies to Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya as well as to Blantyre and Lilongwe in Malawi. Plans are afoot to start flights to Pemba in Mozambique as well as Hahaya in the Comoro Islands.

In June 2005, Precision Air started direct flights between Dar es Salaam and Dubai in partnership with Air Malawi. The carrier operates three flights a week to Dubai - on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday - with return trips on Monday, Thursday and Sunday.

Its partnership with Kenya Airways, means Precision Air passengers to Dubai have a total of 13 flights to choose from as the Kenyan carrier makes 10 weekly flights to Dubai.
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Old November 24th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #277
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Kenya Airways planning to fly cargo planes
24th November 2006

Kenya Airways (KQ) plans to introduce dedicated cargo planes on selected regional routes.


The airline’s Commercial Director, Mr Hugh Fraser, said the move would boost cargo haulage capacity on routes serviced by the Boeing 737 series.

"Where we fly the 737s, we are constrained with space for passenger baggage. We are evaluating the possibilities of introducing small dedicated freighters to destinations in the region," said Mr Fraser.

On Thursday, KQ officials said these routes include Entebbe, Dar es salaam, Burundi, Kigali, Zambia and Malawi.

Part of the evaluation will involve assessing cargo potential to and from Nairobi. KQ has previously operated freight charters to Zanzibar, Mwanza, and Bujumbura on ad hoc basis.

Fraser was speaking in Comoros soon after the airline inaugurated its maiden flight to the Archipelago, which consists of Comoros and Mayotte.

The islands are situated between Northern Madagascar and Northern Mozambique. The main commodity exported from the islands is Vanilla, and they wholly dependent on imports of goods and commodities like fruits and vegetables shipped in by traders from mainland Africa.

The Comoros and Mayotte route comes two weeks after the launch of direct flights to Paris, France, on October 26.

KQ is the seventh airline to serve the two Islands and the only one from mainland Africa. Other Indian Ocean islands airlines serve the islands from Mauritius, Re-Union and Madagascar.

"We feel that with the right connections, we can take business from the French speaking Indian Ocean islands to France and all over Europe," said Fraser.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 09:55 PM   #278
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Air Italy to launch flights between Rome, Milan and Nairobi
1st December 2006

Air Italy will launch direct flights from Rome and Milan to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi on December 23.

The airline has been flying to Mombasa as a charter service in the last two years.

The new, twice weekly scheduled flights to Nairobi will be extended to the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain) as well as Greece as soon as ongoing talks between the airline and other partners to serve the routes are finalised.

In an interview with The Standard, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Italy, Captain Dr Giuseppe Gentile, said the move indicates of cooperation between the two countries.

‘’Italians are part and parcel of Kenya, we have houses in Kenya, and our presence in Malindi is a clear indication on this issue," Capt Gentile said.

The Saturday and Tuesday flights will be departing Nairobi at 10.30 and arrive in Rome 15.45hrs, and Milan 18.00hrs at an introductory fare of $449 dollars.

The airline will expand its services to Kenya by Flying Boeing 757s. Currently, the airline has three B 757s and two B 767s, and will soon introduce two more B757s.

The airline is targeting businessmen from both countries, and is targeting seat occupancy of over 70 per cent in the next six months.

Gentile said says the carrier has a distinct Pan African approach, and hopes to finalise interline agreements with Kenya Airways so as to connect to more African destinations. Air Italy is already operating in partnership with another European carrier, Air One, to connect better to more Italian cities.

"We hope this initiative will bring more business to Kenya, expand the Internet Safari tourism sector, and attract Kenyan visitors to Italy’s famous historical sites, fashion and its cuisine," he said.

The airline currently operates flights to the Caribbean, Mauritius, Maldives, Brazil, Venezuela, Egypt and Zanzibar. Air Italy is a privately owned airline, operated by old-timers who are well experienced in the aviation industry, Gentile said.

Ms Jackie Arkle, the sales and marketing manager of Air Italy’s general sales agent in Kenya, Coventry Holidays, said Air Italy fills the vacuum that has existed on the sector over the last few years.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 10:11 AM   #279
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Air Italy to sign deal with Kenya Airways
2nd December 2006

An Italian airline is poised to strike a deal with Kenya Airways for interconnection flights on African routes.

Air Italy president and CEO Giuseppe Gentile said on Wednesday evening that an agreement pertaining to African routes was nearing conclusion.

Air Italy will fly directly twice a week from Milan and Rome to Nairobi. The inaugural flight takes off on December 22.

"We are finalising interline agreements with Kenya Airways to serve the demand to and from African destinations and with Air One to serve Italian cities," he said at function celebrating the Kenya operation. The airline will fill a vacuum left by Alitalia, which dumped the Nairobi route seven years ago, following the collapse of the tourism industry. Another Kenyan carrier was barred from the Italian airspace some years back over safety concerns.

The Coast is an important destination for Italians especially around Malindi, Catholic church members, and people dealing with international agencies like the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Transport minister, Ali Makwere, welcomed the flights, saying they would improve tourism and trade between the two countries. Air Italy, the successor of Air Europe, which was gobbled up by Swiss Air in 2000, has been operating charter flights to Mombasa in the last two years.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 11:07 AM   #280
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South African Airways adding 6 new destinations

SAA is to start flights to Chicago, Buenos Aires, Munich, Point Noire, Libreville and Bamako. They're also looking at aquiring 9 new long haul aircraft.


Extract from Engineering News:

SAA general manager for business development Nomfanelo Magwentshu said that SAA was negotiating with both Airbus and Boeing to acquire nine aircraft. She noted that the company would add the nine new aircraft to its fleet in 2008. Ngqula pointed out that SAA's current fleet had the capacity to operate the planned new flights.

Meanwhile, Magwentshu revealed that the airline would launch its third destination into the US on May 8, with four weekly flights scheduled between Johannesburg and Chicago.

“Chicago is the largest hub of our Star Alliance partner United Airlines and will offer seamless connections to 91 destinations in North America and our Star Alliance partners.”

In addition to this new route, SAA also said that it would start operating non-stop flights between New York and Johannesburg in May, saving at least six hours of flying time. Flights between Johannesburg and New York currently fly over Europe.

Magwentshu reported that SAA was launching new flights to Buenos Aires, in South America, on July 1, with three weekly flights scheduled.

“These flights will allow SAA to capture emerging South to South traffic flows associated with growing trade and investment between emerging economies in the Southern hemisphere, including Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, India and Malaysia.”

The new flights into South America, which would offer connections to seven countries in that area, including Chile, Uruguay and Peru, would complement SAA current operations to Sao Paulo. Magwentshu said that Sao Paulo was one of the airline's most profitable routes.

Moreover, SAA would add an additional three weekly flights to Sao Paulo, bringing the number of flights to ten a week. These flights would originate in Mumbai, in India, and operate through Johannesburg to capture growing trade between these countries, generated by the India-Brazil-South Africa forum.

She also unveiled that SAA was already looking at expanding its route network to Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, as well.

On July 1, the airline would also launch its fifth destination in Europe, Munich, in Germany, which would allow it to offer seamless connections to 63 destinations in Europe. SAA planned to operate three weekly flights. It currently offers one flight to Germany, Frankfurt.

The local airline would also be spreading its wings in Africa, with the planned launch three flights a week to Libreville, in Gabon. Magwentshu explained that Gabon had strong trade ties with Brazil and that this new route, which would be launched in April, would complement the additional planned flights to Brazil.

New flights would also be launched twice a week from Johannesburg to Point Noire, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to Bamako, in Mali, in January


www.engineeringnews.co.za
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