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Old December 31st, 2006, 11:38 PM   #301
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the african aviation is really growing up for wath i've seen
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Old January 1st, 2007, 09:12 PM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiki View Post
the african aviation is really growing up for wath i've seen
Aye, the African Aviation industry is really taking off (excuse the pun). Tourism is a great source of income for many African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Morocco etc. so improving air-links around Africa top priority to them.

Here are some of the project underway in some African cities, towards aviation infrastructure:


Khartoum - Sudan

- Increase capacity to 7.5 million.
- Sudan Air hub.




Murtala Muhammad Airport - Lagos - Nigeria

- Domestic Traffic Terminal.
- Virgin Nigeria hub.




Jomo Kenyatta International Airport - Nairobi - Kenya

- Increase capacity to +10 million.
- Kenya Airways hub.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #303
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Mogadishu airports to re-open: Somali PM

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 2, 2007 (AFP) - Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi announced Tuesday the resumption of air traffic to airports in Mogadishu after last week's closure of the country's airspace.

"From tomorrow, planes will be allowed to land in Mogadishu. All kinds of planes: commercial or humanitarian planes," Gedi told a press conference in Mogadishu.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #304
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Fly540 to maintain low fares policy

Low cost airline to start Nairobi - Kisumu route on 12 January

Fly540 top officials have confirmed the carrier’s long-term policy of providing cheap air fares within Kenya and in the region will be maintained.

Operation’s Director, Mr Nick Ooko, said they will offer low fares on all flights regardless of the season. Fly540 will launch two daily flights from Nairobi to Kisumu with effect from January 12.

"In line with other low cost carriers around the world, we advise customers to book early and pay in good time to secure seats," he said.

Ooko said the airline would break-even despite offering affordable rates to customers in comparison to its competitors. "We have begun on a clean sheet. The other companies operate on historical costs which is why we will give them a run for their money," Ooko said.

He talked to The Standard in Kisumu when he made a courtesy call to Nyanza Provincial Commissioner Mr Paul Olandoon Thursday.

Fly540’s return charges are the lowest compared to those of East African Safari Air Express (Easax) and Kenya Airways (KQ). The new company will charge Sh6, 540 return plus taxes while Easax charges Sh6, 450 one way, while KQ charges Sh7, 055 one way including taxes.

Fly540 Chief Operating Officer Mr Niel Steffen said the company would break even if customers using its ATR42s were few. "The planes are efficient, suitable for short trips and are environment friendly," Steffen said.

"In the beginning customers may think it’s impossible, but we are out to beat the notion," he said.

The affordable costs, the officials said were arrived after removing luxuries like beer, and other foods served on the other flights.

Olando said the airline’s entry to the Nairobi-Kisumu would offer customers alternatives and overcome the problem of missing in flights due to overbooking. "Competition is healthy," he said.

Ooko said they will open up offices in Kisumu and at the airport to popularise its brand in Western Kenya.

The carrier has two aircrafts, while plans are underway to introduce a third aircraft next month.

Ooko said they were considering expanding their operations to the East African region, Sudan and South Africa.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 11:25 AM   #305
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jomo kenyatta's new terminal rendering is great! looked like CDG1, but this is better i think..
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Old January 13th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #306
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Qatar Airways touches down in Dar es Salaam

Qatar Airways has celebrated the launch of its first new route of 2007 with its inaugural flight to Tanzania touching down in the country’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam. Government, airport and media officials were out in force at Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere International Airport to receive QR544 from Doha with the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker and a high-level delegation from Qatar onboard.

Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker was joined by Tanzania’s Honourable Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Development, Andrew Chenge and Honourable Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Jumanne Maghembe for the official cake-cutting ceremony at the airport.

Dar es Salaam is the first of nine new routes planned by Qatar Airways during 2007. Al Baker said Dar es Salaam was a key city in the airline’s strategy to build a stronger network of destinations across the African continent.

“I am absolutely delighted to see a Qatar Airways aircraft land in Tanzania for the first time to a wonderful and colourful welcome reception,” he said.

“On behalf of Qatar Airways, I would like to thank the government, airport and Tanzania Tourism Board for their efforts in making this route a reality today and I am sure social and commercial ties between our two countries of Qatar and Tanzania will be strengthened with the success of this route. Tanzania is a strategically important country for Qatar Airways as we build our operations across Africa and provide our passengers with greater choice and a wider network of destinations with our award-winning Five Star service.” Addressing the media, he added: “There is strong traffic between both Europe and the Indian sub continent to east Africa and we, at Qatar Airways, look forward to facilitating travel via Doha for the tens of thousands of passengers a year who fly to and from your wonderful country here in Tanzania.”

“Africa presents huge opportunities and we see this region as a growth area for Qatar Airways. Dar es Salaam is one of the premier business destinations in Africa and the gateway to fantastic holiday retreats such as Mount Kilimanjaro and many game reserves. We expect Dar es Salaam to be a highly popular route with tourists from around the world. All indications show from intensive analysis and research that this will be a highly successful route,” emphasized Baker.

“Dar es Salaam is our 71st route and the first of what promises to be yet another exciting year for Qatar Airways with plenty of wonderful new routes planned during the course of 2007.”


Qatar Airways’ African network currently covers Casablanca, Algiers, Tunis, Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Khartoum, Tripoli, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Nairobi. Lagos joins the network in the first quarter of 2007.

Al Baker added that 2007 would be a year of massive expansion in frequencies, routes and fleet size for the airline.

“This is a year of huge celebration. We have come a long way since our relaunch in 1997 when we operated a handful of aircraft to a handful of routes. Now, in our 10th anniversary year, we have exciting new destinations joining Qatar Airways’ growing family of routes, together with more flights on existing routes to give passengers more choice, and brand new Airbus and Boeing aircraft joining the fleet. We take delivery of the first of our Boeing 777s towards the end of 2007.”
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Old January 13th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #307
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Ecoairlines targets Africa’s $11bn aviation market

A pan-West African private sector airlines is in the works, aiming for a significant cut of the $11.3 billion per annum African aviation market.

Going by the name Ecoairlines, the incipient airline is being promoted by private sector interests within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with Togo-based bank, Banque Atlantique, in the forefront.

Speaking at a technical session for stakeholders in Lome, Togo, Kofi Egbeto, the project director, lamented that whereas West Africa contributed a very significant percentage to Africa’s air traffic, an overwhelming portion of the revenue generated from the region went elsewhere, mostly outside Africa. This is as a result of the very weak presence of African operators in the airline industry since the liquidation of Air Afrique that was owned by nine West African and three Central African countries in 2001.

In a presentation to the session, Lufthansa Consulting which is the technical partner to the project, said that whereas the number of airlines globally is expected to double in the next 18 to 20 years, Africa still remained on the margins, showing little prospects for change.

Of the 72 airlines serving the West African sub-region, Lufthansa Consulting said, 38 percent are IATA airlines, and within this bracket are only three west African airlines.

Reviewing the state of the aviation industry in West Africa, the consultants said that Nigeria was by far the dominant market, with 46 percent of passenger capacity. But it however described the country as a domestic island.

Virgin Nigeria, the consultants say, is currently the dominant airline in the region in terms of frequency of flights.

Other notable regional airlines include Air Senegal and Air Ivoire.

Egbeto said that the coming of Ecoairlines will complement the work being done by these airlines, and that collaboration more than competition shall be the mode of operation.

Besides the commercial motive, Ecoairlines hopes to serve a social function. Egbeto pointed out that it is often easier to travel from West Africa to European cities than to other West African cities.

Ecoairlines, he says, plans to reverse this. The competition that the incipient airlines hopes to bring, will also bring down the cost of air travel in the region.

A return ticket from Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) to Lome (Togo), costs as much as $600 for a flight time of about 45 minutes. Some airlines charge about the same amount for the six hour flight between Lagos and London.

Ecoairlines hopes to become the leading airline in West Africa and beyond. It plans to operate with a modern fleet which will help ensure safety.

This is against the background of the analysis of the consultants which shows that Africa has the oldest airline fleet amongst the regions of the world. Africa’s 728 registered aircraft have an average age of 18 years each.

The privately owned and operated airline shall serve the west and central African regions, and will have a strong West African identity. It hopes to play in the league of Royal Air Maroc, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, South African Airways and Tunisair, which are the prime African airlines at the moment.

Presently, the airline industry in Africa accounts for about 470,000 jobs and contributes some $11.3 billion to Africa’s GDP.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 10:17 AM   #308
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Kenya slated to become an international aviation hub

16 January 2007, by Evans Wafula in Nairobi, Kenya. Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has launched a grand USD1.23 billion (Ksh9 billion) expansion programme for the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), which will see the facility transform into Africa’s preferred aviation hub. Expansion of the facility is expected to roll out in three phases, up to 2009, with areas planned for expansion being the construction of a new apron, taxiways, and an extended fuel hydrant system similar to the modern Unit 4 terminal at Heathrow and an ultra modern three-storey car park.

Upon completion of the expansion programme, JKIA will compare to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, receive International Civil Aviation Organisation’s and the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Category One rating, enabling the national carrier Kenya Airways to have direct flights to the US.
The amount of cargo flowing through the airport rose from 192,300 tonnes in 2004 to 220,900 tonnes in 2005, while the number of passengers had hit a high of 4.4 million by 2006, says Kenya Airports Authority managing director.

In terms of output, the increasing outflows have meant an improved revenue base of up to USD75 million by 2005, but lesser accommodation space, which was initially built for a capacity of about 2.5 million passengers a year. “This is an opportunity that we cannot afford to lose”, said KAA managing director, George Muhoho. “We want the expansion to be complete as fast as possible.”
Collaboration between Kenya Airways, and partners like KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France, Precission Air, Northwest Airlines, and Rwanda Air, will see a significant increase in the volume of freight handled by the airport, added the KAA managing director.

The expected entry of Virgin Atlantic in early 2007 for London-Nairobi route will also boost freight and passenger numbers that the airport is able to handle.
Passenger Traffic is expected to climb steadily after the completion of the project, with the figures now in excess of 4.4 million passengers a year, to become Africa's busiest airport. JKIA's greatest success lies in its commercial transformation.

According to Hugh Fraser, Kenya Airways commercial director, expansion of JKIA is a clear indication of the country’s increasing competitiveness as a fleet destination and the growing confidence of Kenya as an international transit point. “This is a signal that Kenya Airways can benchmark itself with other international aviation hubs,” he said.
KAA has already signed one of the renovation contracts with a Chinese company, Wu Yi Company, amounting to USD37.2 million.
Of the total USD120 million total sum needed for the renovation, USD 9.2 million will be provided by the World Bank, while KAA has set aside USD46.2 million. The balance, according to Muhoho, will be outsourced from local financial institutions or through a bond issue.

JKIA’s expansion and improvement also means that Kenya is spearheaded to meet the International Air Transport Association (IATA) e-ticketing targets by end of 2007. Kenya is among three African countries including South Africa and Zimbabwe, whose aviation industries are on course to embracing electronic ticketing fully by end of 2007, said IATA director-general Giovanni Bisignani.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 07:29 AM   #309
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Nigerians on trial over airline

LAGOS, Jan 23, 2007 (AFP) - Five Nigerians went on trial here Tuesday charged with attempting to smuggle explosives onto an aircraft, legal officials said.

One of the five, Samuel Dickson, was arrested on November 18 at Lagos Airport as he tried to check in baggage containing explosives on a flight to Nigeria's capital Abuja.

Four alleged accomplices -- John Awojirin, Edward Adebisi, Uche Eni and Fisayo Omoyemi -- were also arrested, and charged with a range of offences including the procurement, possession, concealment and attempted smuggling of explosives onto the aircraft.

The explosives were contained in four metal cylinders inside a suitcase, prosecutors said.

The plane was operated by regional carrier Bellview Airlines.

Judge Mohammed Shuaib of the Federal High Court in Lagos adjourned the case till February 6.

Nigerian aviation authorities have ordered security at Lagos and some 20 other airports to be stepped up.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 06:35 AM   #310
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South African Airways IPO years away-minister

CAPE TOWN, Jan 30 (Reuters) - An initial public offering of South African Airways [SAA.UL] (SAA) could be years away, South Africa's trade and industry minister said on Tuesday, adding that the government did not intend to bail out the embattled airline.

In comments to a parliamentary committee debating a bill to spin off SAA from transportation parastatal Transnet, Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin said it would "take years and not months" to conclude the IPO process.

The bill would transfer SAA shares to the government and convert it into a public company with share capital. But Erwin said the government would recapitalise the airline only in "exceptionally pressing circumstances."

SAA, which has struggled to cope with high fuel costs, fewer passengers and stiff competition from a burgeoning low-cost airline sector, turned a profit in its last financial year after several years in the red.

Erwin added that he supported the principle of using the IPO as part of a turnaround strategy for the airline, which he said had a strategic value for tourism and other sectors of South Africa's economy.

But he said he did not favour a long public debate over the prudence of moving ahead with the IPO.

"I think, really, (it) would not be a very useful exercise. In fact it would probably jeopardise the option and foreclose our options," Erwin told parliament. He said the state needed to be confident the airline would attract capital and hold its value after the IPO.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 04:27 PM   #311
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SkyTeam pact to raise Kenya Airways status

Story by NATION Correspondent
Publication Date: 2007/02/03


Kenya Airways has signed an agreement with SkyTeam, the global airline alliance.

The move indicates that the airline is on track for Official Associate Airline status.

Kenya Airways managing director Titus Naikuni said the airline was certain to benefit from the expertise of all SkyTeam carriers as well as from greater global recognition and SkyTeam’s worldwide network.

The agreement outlines the carrier’s commitment to meet SkyTeam’s standards before it can be recognised as official associate airline. The programme allows SkyTeam to build a broader network and provide travellers with access to additional regions of the world.

Beneficial

KLM Royal Airlines senior vice-president for alliances, Mr Hans de Roos said: “Having African representation will be beneficial to the alliance as passengers travelling to and from this area will have access via SkyTeam”. He was speaking during the signing ceremony in Nairobi yesterday.

KLM owns a 26 per cent stake in Kenya Airways, while the Government controls 23 per cent. The rest of the shares are held by individuals.

SkyTeam offers its 373 million annual passengers a worldwide system of nearly 15,000 daily flights covering 728 destinations.

SkyTeam steering committee chairman Dominique Patry said its associate airline programme illustrates the alliance strategy to develop a global network, with particular emphasis on certain markets.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #312
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Spanish police arrest Air Mauritania hijacker

MADRID, Feb 16, 2007 (AFP) - Spanish police on Thursday arrested an armed Mauritanian man seeking political asylum in France who had hijacked an Air Mauritania aircraft with 79 people on board and forced it to land in the Canary Islands.

"The hijacking finished in a satisfactory manner," Canary Islands police chief Jose Segura said on Spanish national radio, adding that the 71 passengers and eight crew members had been freed.

Spanish police said late Thursday that the hijacker was a Mauritanian. The government had indicated earlier that he was Moroccan.

The unidentified hijacker, who was carrying two guns, did not resist arrest, Segura said. He had been overpowered by passengers as the aircraft landed in Las Palmas, and was slightly injured, witnesses said quoted by Spanish media.

The hijacker was seeking to take the plane to France, a source close to the Spanish government told AFP, adding that the man had no link to terrorism.

He "wanted to force the pilot to fly to France. He (the pilot) answered that there was not enough fuel," said one airport security official.

According to a report on Moroccan television station El Ayoun, several of the passengers were "lightly wounded."

"The passengers were lightly wounded while trying to gain control over the hijacker who was carrying a gun," El Ayoun reported, quoting airline attendant Mouloud Kourina, who was at the Las Palmas airport waiting to start his shift onboard the hijacked plane.

Emergency service workers meanwhile told Spanish media that several people had suffered "contusions" and that a pregnant woman had had a nervous breakdown.

The plane, a Boeing 737, had taken off from Nouakchott at 5:40 pm (1740 GMT). It was scheduled to stop over in Nouadhibou, Mauritania's second city in the north of the country, within 45 minutes of flying out of the Mauritanian capital, but was diverted.

It tried to land at Dakhla, a small coastal city in Western Sahara, about 1,770 kilometres (1,100miles) south of Rabat, but was refused permission, security forces sources said.

"They wanted to refuel in Dakhla, but the Moroccan authorities refused. They then went to Las Palmas to re-fuel," with plans to proceed to France after that, one source said.

The Las Palmas airport remained on alert after the hijacking, Spanish national radio reported. It reopened at 2100 GMT.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 04:26 AM   #313
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Somali gunmen attack Mogadishu's airport

MOGADISHU, Feb 22, 2007 (AFP) - Gunmen fired explosives into the main airport in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Thursday as insurgents stepped up attacks in the city, officials said Friday.

They said there were no casualities, but the report was not independently confirmed.

"I saw the attack and was scared," said Mohammed Ahmed, a resident who lives near the facility in southern Mogadishu.

Earlier, two local Mogadishu officials in the increasingly lawless capital were shot dead by unidentified gunmen, highlighting the worsening insecurity in the seaside city, home to about a million people.

When the latest airport attacks occured, planes owned by Kenyan-based African Airways and Air Djibouti were at the facility that is controlled by the weak government of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.

Insecurity has forced Yusuf to set up shop in the backwater, provincial outpost of Baidoa, about 250 kilometres (155 miles) northwest of the capital and his repeated vows to relocate to the traditional capital have failed to materialise.

The recent attacks that have killed dozens of people have also forced thousands of people to flee to safer locations, notably in southern Somalia where a few aid groups are struggling to help the needy.

The attacks were among a series of raids in the coastal city since Ethiopian troops helped Somali government fighters oust the powerful Islamist movement from Mogadishu late last year.

The Islamists had managed to maintain law and order in Mogadishu, one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

The transitional government, supported by many of the clan warlords whose rival militias carved up Somalia after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991, has pledged to restore order in Mogadishu.

But until neighboring Ethiopia intervened, the Islamic Courts Union had controlled the capital since June last year and established its authority over other southern towns and regions, where it had managed to restore law and order.

Ethiopia justified intervention by claiming the Islamists were a direct threat, and was backed by the United States which accuses them of Al-Qaeda links. The move has prompted mixed feelings among Mogadishu residents.

Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi has repeatedly called for an urgent deployment of African Union peacekeepers to Somalia, a country of about 10 million people.

But gunmen believed allied to the Islamists have been accused of raiding the positions in the capital, killing dozens of people in the past month and complicating efforts to exert its control across the country.

The African Union, hamstrung by disagreements as well as funding and manpower problems, has so far managed to raise half of the required 8,000 peacekeepers with officials saying they have received troop pledges from Nigeria, Burundi, Malawi and Ghana.

The United States has urged African countries to take part in the AU that was approved Wednesday by the United Nations Security Council but still lacking half of the troops needed.

In addition, the violence pours cold water on Yusuf's pledge to convene a national reconciliation conference to heal rifts in the country torn apart by systemic bloodletting.

Somalia, home to 10 million people, has lacked an effective central authority since 1991 coup, after which warlords established their authority and started imposing their own rules.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 04:04 PM   #314
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Virgin Atlantic aims for 25 percent of Kenyan market

NAIROBI, March 19, 2007 (AFP) - Britain-based Virgin Atlantic has set its sights on 25 percent of the market share when it launches its London-Nairobi route later this year, its chairman Sir Richard Branson said Monday.

Branson said the daily service, to be operated by a 240-seater Airbus A340-300 aircraft, would be launched June 2 and will target a quarter of the market share currently dominated by British Airways and Kenyan Airways.

"The total market is about 500,000 passengers (per year) and we expect to get around 100,000 in our first year," he told a press conference here to promote the route.

"If it is successful and we put on two planes, we hope to capture bigger than 25 percent," he added.

Nairobi will become Virgin Atlantic's fourth African destination. The company also plans to launch a London-Mauritius flight in November. It already flies to Cape Town, Lagos and Johannesburg.

Kenyan Tourism Board (KTB) chief Ochieng Ong'ong'a said the move would boost Kenya's tourism sector, the keystone of the east African nation's flagging economy.

"The launch of Virgin Atlantic flights is an endorsement of Kenya as a safe tourism destination and investment," Ong'ong'a told AFP.

Since an attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa in 2002, the United States has maintained a travel warning advising its nationals to exercise caution in Kenya for fears of terrorism.

Kenya has in recent months reported a surge in violent crime across the country, mainly in the capital Nairobi.
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Old April 8th, 2007, 09:54 AM   #315
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Kenya Airways ready for Virgin entry, Naikuni insists

ABDULSAMAD ALI

Faced with serious competition on its home turf from other airlines, Kenya Airways is appealing to its clients to maintain their faith in the national carrier.

Chief executive officer Titus Naikuni said the airline was not scared of competition and called on Kenyans to be “patriotic” and remain loyal to the carrier.

He told The EastAfrican that the airline was prepared for the planned entry of Virgin Atlantic Airlines and was ready for the competition posed by the airline on the Nairobi-London route. The airline is also ready for the expected upgrade of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to a Category One airport that will accept direct links with American destinations.

He said KQ’s management has laid down strategies to counter the entrance of Virgin, whose chief executive officer Sir Richard Branson took Nairobi by storm in his initial foray to market the airline two weeks ago.

“We sat down and worked out strategies and we are ready for the competition,” he told KQ clients when he opened the company’s booking office at Nakumatt Nyali in Mombasa.

Mr Naikuni, however, did not disclose these strategies.

Virgin Atlantic has announced it will start daily direct flights from London to Nairobi, a move that could trigger a price war with British Airways.

Virgin expects to carry 100,000 people from the UK to Kenya in its first year, Sir Richard said. A second daily flight might be added if demand is high, he added.

Nairobi is Virgin’s fourth African destination. The airline already flies to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos.

BA and Kenya Airways currently dominate the market for direct services between the UK and Kenya.

Other airlines on the route include Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Swiss International Airlines and Qatar — all flying through their home bases.

Return fares for the flights, which begin on June 1, will start at about £385 ($750).

Kenyan Tourism Minister Morris Dzoro said the move would be a “great boost” to the country’s economy.

Mr Naikuni, however, remains optimistic that KQ will not feel the heat of Virgin’s entry because most of its business is based on transfer traffic.

“We transfer about 80 per cent traffic into and out of Africa and that is our core business,” he said.

He asked Kenyans to seek improvements where necessary. “We are your airline and we will listen to what changes you want us to implement to make your flights memorable,” he said.

Mr Naikuni said the slogan “Pride of Africa” was derived from the fact that the company had offices spread throughout the continent.

He said the airline has a major effect on the lives of Kenyans through the multiplier effect of its presence.

“By supporting KQ, you will be supporting the Kenyan economy,” he said.

Mr Naikuni said no one understands the African market better than KQ and that the airline will continue expanding.

He announced the opening of two new routes — Cotonou in Guinea and Monrovia in Liberia — as part of the strategy to strengthen the African market.

The Cotonou office will be opened in the next few days, he said, while a date was yet to be set for the Monrovia one.

“We also have plans for other routes in the continent that we cannot make public at the moment,” he said.

The charismatic marketing by Richard Branson is expected to boost tourism bookings from Britain and the US, Kenya’s source markets, where the airline flies direct.

The airline will join a host of others that fly to Britain including KQ, British Airways, SN Brussels that flies via Belgium, KLM via Amsterdam and Emirates via Dubai.

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), expects the airline to push up American arrivals in Kenya because it is one of the preferred airlines in the US and Britain. British and American tourists account for almost a quarter of total tourist arrivals.

KTB chairman Jake Grieves Cook said the airline has already started booking passengers for its flights to Kenya although it is yet to open an office in Nairobi.

“They are already receiving bookings online and we expect the airline to be a favourite due to its worldwide image as a class airline,” said Mr Cook.

“Increasing air access to Kenya is good news that we as KTB laud. We hope to increase the number of tourists visiting the country,” said Mr Cook.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation in its February newsletter says Africa, led by Kenya, has outpaced all other regions in tourism growth with almost twice the rate of global growth reaching 8.1 per cent in 2006.

This star performance was led by sub-Saharan Africa with 9.4 per cent. North Africa also ended the year above average at 5.8 per cent.

Kenya led major destinations such as South Africa and Morocco to continue to post excellent results. The country’s tourism earnings rose 15 per cent in 2006 to Ksh56.2 billion ($799.4 million) due to aggressive marketing in the existing markets and new targets in Asia. The KTB said earnings in 2005 were Ksh48.9 billion ($698.5 million).

Kenya received 1.8 million visitors in 2006, up from 1.6 million in 2005, with the largest numbers arriving from Britain, the US and Germany.

“The earnings exceeded our projected figure of Ksh53 billion ($757 million) by 5.6 per cent,” KTB managing director Ongong’a Achieng said.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #316
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KLM to deploy a bigger jet on Nairobi route

By Brian Adero

The Air France and KLM Group will replace their Boeing 777 on the Nairobi route with a wider Boeing 747 – 400 aircraft during this year’s summer schedule.

The groups say it has increased long haul capacity this year by 5.4 per cent compared with last summer, and by 4.3 per cent on the medium haul network. Capacity from Europe to Latin America will increase by 11.4 per cent and Asia up by 7.3 per cent, and to North America by 10.1 per cent. In a statement, the Group’s Media Relations Manager, Mr Bart Koster, says Africa will see a lesser increase capacity, up 3.1 per cent.

A Boeing 767 aircraft, which has been operating on the Abuja — Kano and Entebbe routes, has been replaced by an Airbuss A330. Entebbe will see an increase of frequencies from three times to five times weekly. The capacity to the Middle East and the French Caribbean and Indian Ocean networks will undergo the usual seasonal adjustments. "KLM and Air France continue their policy of growing the number of destinations and the amount of capacity in emerging markets like China, India and South America," said Koster. The number of weekly KLM return flights to China will increase to 34, including seven code share flights with partner China Southern from Amsterdam to Beijing and Guangzhou. This is the third consecutive season that KLM has expanded frequencies to China. "Together with Air France the weekly number of flights to China will expand to 69, which is more than any other European airline group," Koster said.

Through its successful transatlantic joint venture with North West Airlines, KLM will drastically increase the number of destinations and flight frequencies on the routes. New flights will be introduced between Amsterdam and Hertford, between Detroit and Brussels and between Detroit and Dusseldolf.

Northwest Airlines will also double the number of flights to be operated with Northwest’s B757 aircraft in a special transatlantic two-class configuration.

Increases on Los Angeles and Boston routes include an early morning departure from Amsterdam, offering a good connection for passengers arriving from the Middle East, deploys a bigger jet for route to Nairobi
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Old April 17th, 2007, 03:11 PM   #317
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Kenya Airways: A rising star in aviation skies of the world


Kenya Airways Far East Area Manager Julius Thairu

Africa is a rising destination on the world travel map today, so it is no surprise when we hear that Kenya Airways has been seeing increasing success in the Australian travel market in the recent months. When speaking to e-Travel Blackboard, Kenya Airways Far East Area Manager Julius Thairu said that Australia was one of the biggest growth markets for 2006.

In fact, the exact word that was used by Thairu was “phenomenal”. Only a year after a GSA was introduced into the Australian market, the results have been outstanding. The 25 per cent growth in sales over 2006 have made Australia the third biggest growth market for one of the best and most respected airline companies in Africa.

This is most likely because of Kenya Airways’ policy of operating to the niche regions of Africa. Australians should not be mistaken by the fact that the airline will only operate to its namesake in a continent of many countries. As Thairu said: “Discover Africa with Kenya Airways.” They do not only fly into Africa to their capital hub, Nairobi; they ferry holiday makers, missionaries and aid workers throughout the continent to under serviced destinations such as Sudan, Mali and Malawi.

“We offer one of the biggest networks within Africa and we pride ourselves as an operator to the niche markets of the continent,” explained Thairu. “All-in-all, we fly to 33 regional destinations and have the aim to eventually fly to every point in Africa.”

But what Thairu continually reinforces is the fact that their extensive network is world-class and Kenya Airways is working towards being recognised as an international carrier in the global aviation industry.

“Perception is something that we have to continually fight,” explained Thairu. “Many people think that because we are an African carrier, we do not operate with the highest international standards. What they don’t realise is that we were voted to have the fourth best in-flight product by Skytraks and we have one of the widest lie-flat beds in our business/first class.”

Another significant factor that easily puts Kenya Airways in the category of international carrier is its success in implementing the IATA plan for 100 per cent e-ticketing in all global carriers by 2008. “We are all e-ticket compliant,” Thairu proudly said.

But what really puts Kenya Airways in the league of international travel is the fact that it has just recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SkyTeam; it is expected that they will come into full membership with the international airline alliance by June.

With such great plans, Kenya Airways is an airline that will be expected to make huge waves in the future. As Thairu said in reference to the Australian market: “It is showing great progress but there is definitely a need for more to be done.” This is why it is already in talks with the Australian government to gain the rights to fly into Australian airspace. This can be paired with the plans for the carrier to introduce a number of Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners by 2010 to not only replace the Boeing 767s operating on existing routes, but also to operate in other “interesting long-haul routes”.

Kenya Airways’ plans for expansion are highly exciting for the global aviation community. “As Africa opens up to the world,” concluded Thairu, “We want the world to accept Kenya Airways as a preferred carrier. We want people to think Kenya Airways when they think Africa.”
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Old April 21st, 2007, 11:00 AM   #318
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Kenya Airways resumes flights to DR Congo

By Brian Adero

Kenya Airways (KQ) has resumed flights to Southern Democratic Republic of Congo after a nine-day suspension last month to allow for repair of the runway at Lubumbashi Airport.

Mr Michael Okwiri, the airline’s marketing and communications manager, said the flights will be on Mondays and Saturdays through Harare, Zimbabwe.

"We will operate a circular KQ 426 on Mondays and Saturdays via Harare," he said in a statement.

KQ will fly a Boeing 737 that with a capacity of 16 business-class passengers and another 100 in the economy class.

Okwiri said the return flight from Lubumbashi is scheduled to depart at 1250 hrs (local time), arriving in Nairobi at 1625hrs. The return flight on Wednesday will depart from Lubumbashi at 0950 hrs arriving in Nairobi at 1600hrs.

The airline will also operate a direct flight to Lubumbashi on Wednesdays departing at 0950hrs.

Okwiri said the resumption of the flights on this route is meant to significantly benefit air passengers traveling to both Europe and Asia through Nairobi.

On March 22, KQ announced it would suspend its flights to Lubumbashi for 13 days to allow the runway renovation.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:50 AM   #319
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Battle for the Kenyan skies
April 19, 2007
By Peter Thatiah

Industry faces tough test as airlines seek strategic expansion


The Britain-based Virgin Atlantic airline comes at a time when most of the local airlines are either on a grand route expansion or major restructuring exercises. KQ recently added Liberia and Benin to its route schedule.

The touted entrance into the golden age of the local airline industry is just about to face its toughest test so far or, depending on which side of the hill you view it from, its most ringing endorsement yet.

With estimated annual earnings of the local airline industry now scaling towards an unprecedented Sh20 billion mark, coupled with the entrance of Virgin Atlantic Airlines just in a month’s time, the dice can roll either way.

The maiden Virgin Atlantic flight, an Airbus A340-300 with 240 seats on board in which 34 are upper class and 35 premium economy with the rest 171 in the economy class, arrives in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from London’s Heathrow at 06.05hrs on June 1, 2007.

The premier airline will be running daily shuttles between Nairobi and London before rolling out what founder Richard Branson has called a strategic network soon after.

If the figures of both the local industry’s earnings and flight volume are promising, then projection figures offer glittering prospects. Already, more than 500,000 passengers are flying direct into the Nairobi hub annually.

The Kenya Tourism Board projects the number of tourists coming to Kenya to peak at five million by 2012. When you put into the fare the growing stature of Nairobi as an international conference centre, coupled with a booming economy that is spurring international travel by the local population, the picture cannot get rosier.

But just what threat does Virgin Atlantic pose to the airlines already established in the country? There has been mixed reactions from the major players in Kenya, with the biggest number opting to remain noncommittal.

But when the pros and cons have been settled, vague as they may be at the moment, industry analysts are unanimous that something unique is happening in the local airline industry.

Major restructuring exercises

Mr John Mmweywa, the Operations Manager of the locally-owned Aero Kenya, says: "For domestic and regional fliers like us, who are the majority of the airlines in the local scene, the entrance of the Virgin Atlantic Airlines is good news.

Since the newcomer is strictly long-haul, it means it will be the opening of another window of opportunity for us. It is one more long-hauler from where we can in return get connecting passengers."

The Britain-based airline comes at a time when most of the local airlines are either on a grand route expansion or major restructuring exercises.

Kenya Airways, which controls up to 60 per cent of the local industry’s pie, has been the most ambitious so far in route expansion in the recent past with a raft of new direct routes to Europe and the Great Lakes region.

Daallo Airlines, which has in the recent past dominated the cargo hauls to the volatile Horn of Africa region, is also in the process of an expansion programme of its Nairobi office, a sign that the airlines’ Country Director, Mrs Perveen Cocker, says are the regional airline’s perception to the importance of the Nairobi hub.

The latest entrant into the expansion race is the industry’s new kid on the block: fly540.com. Barely half an year since it was established in Nairobi, fly540.com will start flying to regional destinations beginning September 2007.

Already, the nascent player in the local scene has caused a stir in the local aviation industry with the introduction of their concept of low-cost domestic flights. Mr Nixon Ooko, the airline’s operations director, says the low-cost flights were never an introductory offer, as has been suggested before, but that it is their policy and it is there to stay.

The airline will fly to Kampala, Dar-es-Salaam, Juba and Kinshasa, posing competition to Kenya Airways, which has several flights on the routes.

Serving the world’s most lucrative routes

According to Mmweywa, with virtually no airlines currently based in Kinshasa and Juba, still deemed insecure by airline investors, and with Kampala and Dar-es-Salaam increasingly depending on Nairobi for connection flights, the airlines serving the regional routes are bracing themselves for any boom to be occasioned by the introduction of the Virgin Atlantic Airlines.

With 27 destinations worldwide (three of which are already established in Africa) and with a route to Chicago in April next year and Mauritius in October 2007, Virgin Atlantic is not new in Africa.

Indeed, according to a past interview with Amanda Wills, the Managing Director of Virgin Holidays, a subsidiary of the airline, Kenya has been in their pipeline for quite some time now.

She says: "Virgin Holidays has offered holidays to Kenya in our worldwide brochure for a number of years and it has always proved popular with our customers.

Now that Virgin Atlantic will be offering direct flights, we are sure that demand will grow." From its inception, Virgin Atlantic has always made it clear that it is not in the business of global domination of routes.

The airline’s concept has been that of exclusively serving the world’s most lucrative routes. Bulk has held little resonance for the airline. Class has been the airline’s forte.

Henceforth, in the face of this competition, industry analysts are of the view that long-haul flights flying to and from Kenya will have to give a critical look-see on the onboard service front.

When Virgin Atlantic started operations in 1984, one of its main competitors in the lucrative transatlantic route was British Airways.

What irked the British national carrier was the version of its bold interior design, then considered outrageous in the conservative industry dominated by national carriers.

Today, what it started has over the years become the rule rather than the exception. Among a raft of coveted awards it won last year included "The Best Business Class Airline".

The onboard frills of the premier airline’s aircraft, which read like an opera script, might be worthy food for thought for the local airlines: "Virgin Atlantic’s new upper class suite consists of a reclining leather seats for takeoff, a place to sit and eat a three-course meal opposite your partner, the longest fully flat bed in the world and a proper mattress for sleeping on, a private onboard bar to drink at with your friends, a private massage zone and four limousines per return trip — all at a price thousands of pounds less than the airline’s first class. The upper class experience also includes drive-thru check-in, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, among others.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:56 AM   #320
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Africa Records World's Highest Growth Rate in Air Travelers in 2006

The Ethiopian Herald (Addis Ababa)

The increase in the number of air passengers recorded in Africa in 2006 was higher than in the rest of the world, Xinhua reported from Dakar.

The report quoted Vinod Chidambaram, vice-president for the African region of International Air Transport Association (IATA) as saying that the "increase in the number of air passengers recorded in Africa in 2006 was 8.6 per cent, a rate which was higher than that of other world regions".
Africa 2007

Describing projections for the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa estimated to be 5.2 per cent for 2007 and 5.3 for 2008 as encouraging, the regional vice-president said. The number of air passengers in Africa will continue to grow this year and in the future, he added.

He however warned that conditions such as the reduction of air transport costs and improvement in efficiency and reliability of services as well as dealing with matters affecting the sector must be met in order that air transport companies in Africa can reap real benefits from this growth.
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