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Old April 23rd, 2007, 11:42 AM   #321
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Malaysia, Kenya Agree To Establish Direct Air Links

From S. Retna

NAIROBI (KENYA), April 18 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Kenya have agreed in principle to create direct air linkages between their capital cities Kuala Lumpur and Nairobi, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced Wednesday.

The prime minister said the agreement was reached during a meeting between him and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Wednesday morning.

"If we are to boost trade and ties between the two countries, it was agreed that we would need to have direct air linkages. I spoke to the president about it and he agreed.

"And now we are leaving it to the respective airlines to work out some mechanism to make this a reality," he told a news conference after the Malaysia-Kenya Business Forum luncheon here.

Abdullah is on a two-day official visit to Kenya, which began yesterday. It is part of his whirlwind eight-day tour of three African nations, namely Sudan, Kenya and Namibia.

Elaborating, Abdullah said he would inform Malaysia Airlines of the government's proposal and then "we would let the companies talk".

It is likely that Kenya Airways, which now flies to Bangkok, would be involved in the negotiations.

"This is something we require if we want more contacts among the people and for business and joint-ventures between the two countries to flourish.

"Moreover, we want more Kenyan students to come to Malaysia to further their studies. This (direct air links) would make it easier for us to attract these potential students," he said.

Currently, there are about 600 Kenyans pursuing their studies at various public and private institutions of higher learning in Malaysia.

Abdullah also announced the setting up of a Malaysia-Kenya Joint Commission which would meet at least once a year.

He said the commission would be tasked to implement and oversee matters that had been agreed upon by the two nations and help sort out problems that would crop up from time to time.

"These can be issues pertaining to business set-ups to immigration matters. We have also agreed that our High Commissions be used by the joint commission to settle matters instead of waiting for the annual joint commission meeting," he said.

On another matter, Abdullah said Malaysia would find a way to make it easier for Kenyans to obtain student visas.

"The authorities in Kenya are concerned about the various checks and the time taken for these students to get a Malaysian visa," Abdullah added.

Earlier, he attended a bilateral meeting between the Malaysian and Kenyan delegations and witnessed the signing of two memorandums of understanding, namely on Scientific and Technological Cooperation and Planning and Implementation of Road Projects.

He will also attend a high tea with members of the Malaysian community in Kenya before attending a state banquet tonight.

Thursday morning, Abdullah will leave for the famous Maasai Mara game reserve in the Serengeti plains before leaving for Namibia in the afternoon.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 08:08 PM   #322
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Brussels Airlines launches extra flight to Nairobi

Story by NATION Correspondent and Agencies
Publication Date: 2007/04/26


Brussels Airlines has launched an extra flight to Nairobi, bringing its service to six flights a week.



Kenya Tourist Board Chairman Jake Grieves-Cook (left) with Brussels Airlines country manager, Philippe Saeys-Desmedt during the launch.

Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) chairman Jake Grieves-Cook said the additional flight would increase the number of tourists into the country, through the airline to 80,000 annually. “The increase in frequency ties very well with our promotion activities by bringing more visitors into our country,” he said during the airline’s briefing in Nairobi.

The extra sixth-weekly flight operates on Sunday and is expected to link Kenyan businesses with Europe through Brussels.

Brussels Airlines regional manager Philippe Saeys-Desmedt said the extra flight reflected the increasing demand for travel to Kenya from Benelux countries— Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

“Coming as it does just a few months after our $12 million (Sh828 million) in-flight upgrade, which included flatbeds in business class, it demonstrates our commitment to offering the best service to our services to and from Kenya,” he said.

Brussels Airlines formed November 7, 2006 from the merger between SN Brussels Airlines – the largest full service Belgian airline – and Virgin Express, the first of the European low cost airlines.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s 2007 tourism earnings are seen rising by 6.8 per cent to 60 billion shillings, thanks to expectations of more than one million foreign arrivals this year, Grieves-Cook said.

Tourism was the highest earner in 2006 for the country famous for its sandy beaches and wildlife safaris. “This year, for the first time, we will have over a million visitors flying into our two main airports,” he added.

He said there were 954,000 arrivals in 2006. “Earnings will be 60 billion Kenya shillings, it’s moving up. Tourism gives us a huge opportunity here.”

The industry brought in 56.2 billion shillings in 2006 after years of decline following terrorist attacks in 1998 and 2002. “A few years ago, we were seeing airlines going out of Kenya, now we are seeing airlines come back to Kenya and that is a very welcome move,” he said.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 06:13 AM   #323
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Rescuers comb jungle for Kenya Airways wreckage

05 May 2007 22:28:14 GMT


By Tansa Musa

YAOUNDE, May 6 (Reuters) - Teams of rescuers and villagers combed thick tropical forest in southern Cameroon on Sunday for the wreckage of a Kenya Airways passenger plane which crashed after takeoff in the central African country, officials said.

The Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which was carrying 114 people from more than 20 countries, went missing on Saturday after leaving Douala airport bound for Nairobi in torrential rain. It was reported to have come down in thick jungle.

Military helicopters backed up by villagers on motorbikes had searched a swathe of the forest-covered terrain southwest of the capital Yaounde on Saturday.

But they failed to locate the plane, which initially set off from Ivory Coast, before darkness fell.

"The crisis committee ... has decided to set up several teams made up of villagers to continue the search throughout the night," Placide Ndobo, a local government official in the southern region, told Reuters.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki said he had sent a high-level government team led by Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere to help the Cameroonian authorities find out what had happened to the plane.

"I wish to assure all that we have put in motion a mechanism to help establish the status of the Kenya Airways plane," Kibaki said in a statement.

Kenya Airways Group Managing Director Titus Naikuni said on Saturday the authorities in Cameroon had picked up an automatically generated distress signal from the area where the plane went missing.

Radar-equipped helicopters, including one sent by the French military from a base in neighbouring Gabon, were focusing on an area between three or four towns, a French diplomat in Cameroon said.

The aircraft, which was only six months old, was carrying 105 passengers and nine crew, including Africans, Chinese, Indians, Europeans and an American.

Kenya Airways said the Douala control tower had received a last message from the aircraft right after takeoff. It had been due to land in Nairobi at 6:15 a.m. (0315 GMT) on Saturday.

Kenya Airways has three 737-800s in its fleet and Naikuni said they had not decided whether to ground the others.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 07:07 AM   #324
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I heard about that. How sad.

As for this thread, great stuff SE9! I'm just discovering it, lol.

Last edited by Xusein; May 6th, 2007 at 07:13 AM.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 12:53 PM   #325
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Reconstructing the last moments of Kenya Airways Flight 507
11 May 2007

DOUALA, Cameroon (AP) - Three jetliners sat ready for takeoff at Douala International Airport, their crews waiting for a massive thunderstorm to move away.

Just a few minutes past midnight, all three radioed air traffic control to check the weather report. They were told the storm would take another hour to dissipate, and the Cameroon Airlines and Royal Air Maroc crews opted to wait it out.

But Capt. Francis Mbatia Wamwea of Kenya Airways Flight 507, already delayed for an hour and carrying scores of passengers with onward connections to catch, judged the weather had improved sufficiently to permit departure for Nairobi, Kenya.

It was a fateful decision that investigators believe may have cost the lives of the nine crew and 105 passengers of Flight 507, which was ensnared in the raging storm this past Saturday and crashed into the jungle less than a minute after takeoff.

After Wamwea gave the go-ahead, the Kenyan Airways crew radioed the tower, pulled away from the gate and taxied toward Runway 12, heading roughly southwest from the airport.

Douala tower cleared the flight for takeoff a few minutes later, instructing it to report on reaching 5,000 feet (1,500 meters).

The pilot acknowledged. It was not clear what time that final voice transmission was received from the Boeing 737-800.

The plane nose-dived into a swamp on the outskirts of Cameroon's commercial hub just 30 seconds after becoming airborne, killing all aboard. The passengers included Cameroonian merchants, an American AIDS expert, businesspeople from China, India and South Africa, a Tanzanian returning from peacekeeping duties in Ivory Coast, a U.N. refugee worker from Togo. Anthony Mitchell, a Nairobi-based correspondent for The Associated Press, was among the victims.

The six-month old plane was of the newest generation of the world's most popular airliner and has an excellent safety record. This is only the second time a 737-800 has crashed with the loss of all on board. Last September, an airliner belonging to Brazil's Gol airline collided in mid-air with an executive jet over the Amazon jungle.

One Cameroonian investigator and a government pilot assisting the probe, both speaking on condition of anonymity because fact-finding is still underway, said Wamwea's decision to depart into one of the violent tropical storms that regularly ravages parts of equatorial Africa during the rainy season was most likely the pivotal factor in a sequence of events that led to the crash in which all 114 aboard perished.

In Kenya Friday, Kenya Airways chief executive Titus Naikuni said investigators would have to make the final assessment. The probe was likely to take months.

"We don't want to start speculating here," he said. "So whether the pilot did the wrong thing or the right thing, I cannot answer that."

Flight crews are responsible for the decision whether to take off or land in bad weather, usually depending on guidelines prescribed by their airline. And while air traffic control can take measures to prevent flights, including closing down airports, such drastic measures are highly unusual outside the northern hemisphere where heavy winter snows can block runways and bring traffic to a standstill.

Douala airport is not equipped with weather radar, but the 737-800 is. Pilots routinely take off into stormy weather and then rely on radar to guide them around the towering cumulonimbus thunderheads that can cause structural damage to airframes.

Wamwea, 53, was an experienced flyer with about 8,500 hours on jets. He had joined Kenya Airways 20 years ago and enjoyed the reputation of a diligent and professional pilot.

The co-pilot, Andrew Kiuru was only 23. He joined the airline a year ago after completing flight school in South Africa.

The cockpit voice recorder has not yet been found, so no details of the final exchanges between Wamwea and Kiuru are available. It remains unclear which man was flying the plane at the time, but Wamwea would have been the ultimate authority.

The flight data recorder has been recovered.

Two minutes after Flight 507 would have been expected to reach 5,000 feet, the point at which it had been instructed to check in, Douala Area Control Center issued a distress message. This is normal practice by air traffic control when unable to immediately establish contact with an aircraft, a fairly frequent occurrence. But controllers, who had lost sight of the plane fairly quickly because of the storm, were not unduly worried because the plane had fuel for six hours flying time.

A search was launched at 2:44 a.m. when a French radar station sent in a message that an airplane distress signal had been picked up. A Cameroonian air force plane and two helicopters first flew over a region far to the south, basing their search on the distress signal which was in fact hundreds of kilometers (miles) away from the actual crash.

It is unclear why the signal was so far off the mark, but it appears the plane's emergency locator beacon's final signal was garbled -- indicating a false position.

And although the crash site is virtually directly beneath the flight path for planes taking off from Douala, nobody saw it because of the jungle canopy that covers the area.

The wreckage was found 40 hours after takeoff by a local hunter who chanced upon it in a mangrove swamp and reported it to the air force. It was located just 5.4 kilometers (3.4 miles) from Runway 12. Using speed calculations, experts estimate the plane had been in the air for just 30 seconds and had never climbed over 3,000 feet (914.4 meters).

Commercial jets regularly fly over the area, one of several standard departure routes from Runway 12. Villagers living near the swamp said they heard planes passing overhead during the night, and a particularly loud boom which sounded like a thunderbolt.

Since there were no witnesses to the crash itself, investigators have pieced together the known facts and formulated several theories on what could have happened.

The wreckage in the thick jungle indicated the plane flew nose-first into the ground at a nearly 90 degree angle. It was found buried deep in a crater of reddish-brown muck with only tiny bits of the rear fuselage and wings left above ground. Trees nearby were smashed, but otherwise the jungle canopy remains intact, making the site almost invisible from the air.

Investigators said the nose-dive indicated that a violent gust of wind within a thundercloud may have flipped the airliner over, throwing it into a fatal dive. Although modern jets can usually fly through storm clouds, storms in Africa are particularly violent at this time of the year, investigators said.

The location of the wreckage also indicates the pilot was maneuvering at the time, banking sharply to the right. This would have exposed the raised left wing to the gust, investigators said.

The low altitude, would have made it impossible to recover from the resulting dive.

Investigators said they cannot yet discount other factors, including mechanical failure, pilot disorientation or even sabotage. But no sign of a blast or fire has been found so far by the search teams, which include seven experts from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and two Boeing representatives.

Investigators say it will likely take months to collect and analyze the evidence. They said a final report on the crash would probably not be completed this year.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 08:28 AM   #326
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Korea and Kenya reach Open Skies Agreement

Korea to grow trade with Kenya and Africa with aviation deal

Written by Wangui Maina
14-May-2007


Kenya and South Korea’s recent “open skies” aviation agreement could be a stepping stone for the East Asian country to make moves into Africa as its neighbours, Japan and China, have done.

The agreement allows Korean airlines to fly into Kenya and vice versa. Currently, the nation’s flagship carrier, Korean Air, does not fly into the country but code shares with Kenya Airways (KQ), allowing passengers to reach Seoul from Nairobi, via a third destination served by both airlines.

Open skies agreements, which can be bilateral or involve multiple partners, are meant to liberalise the often heavily nationalistic and regulated rules for international aviation between countries. The deal should minimise government intervention on issues of passengers, cargo and the number of scheduled flights.

The international Air Transportation Competition Act of 1979 heralded the era of Open Skies in international aviation.

The agreement between allows for unlimited cargo and passenger movement between the two countries. However according to the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Transport, Gerishon Ikiara, connecting flight rights to carry on to a third destination, were not included in the deal.

That means that, for example, Korean Air cannot fly into Nairobi, then on to Johannesberg, under this deal.

“If they wished to fly to another destination from Kenya, authority would have to be negotiated,” added Mr Ikiara. In Africa, South Korea has rights to fly into Egypt only.

Officials from Seoul, the Korean capital, said the agreement would allow their airlines greater access to Africa, which they are eying as a region of potential growth. In a statement issued by the South Korean Ministry of Construction and Transportation, the deal would open up more trade opportunities for the two countries.

Several South Korean companies already operate in Kenya, and the country is known for making cars such as Hyundai, and electronic brands like Samsung and Daewoo.

According to Mr Ikiara, Kenya could benefit from technical expertise of Korea — Asia’s third largest economy after Japan and China — as the deal will allow for more technical and training corporation between the two countries.

Some are viewing a less high-handed motivation in the deal, as Kenya pledged to support Korea’s bid to gain a seat on the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) board in September, when the United Nations air travel body holds board member elections.

Korean Air, the largest airline in Korea, has been voted as one of the best in the world in categories such as service quality. And Seoul’s biggest airport, Incheon International, is one of the biggest, and the sixth busiest hub in Asia. A 2006 survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) ranked Incheon one of the world’s best airports.

In January, South Korea signed an open skies agreement with Malaysia. Open skies deals have gained momentum in the industry recently, as airlines have pushed for less regulation and more open competition.

The recent agreement inked between the US and EU countries is seen as a landmark in such deals.
The open skies agreement removed barriers and allowed airlines, for the first time, to offer service from any city in the EU bloc to any US city and vice versa, with no restrictions on the number of flights, aircraft used or routes.

In most cases, government-to-government bilateral agreements often limit where international carriers fly, the number of flights they can schedule and even the fares they can charge.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:48 AM   #327
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Virgin Atlantic arrives at Nairobi today


Story by PAUL REDFERN, Nation Correspondent in London
Publication Date: 6/2/2007


Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight to Nairobi from London is due to touch down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) this morning. The A340-300 Airbus, carrying international journalists on a brief weekend visit to Nairobi, will be the first of regular daily flights between London’s Heathrow airport and JKIA, and will add competition to the services already offered by British Airways and Kenya Airways (KQ).

Sir Richard Branson, the chairman of Virgin Atlantic and head of the Virgin Group of Companies will be aboard the airline’s inaugural flight that arrives today.

He will join Vice President Moody Awori and Transport minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere at a Press conference called to mark the launch of Virgin Atlantic flights in Kenya, at the airport.

A statement said the conference will link the arrival of Virgin to tourism and the economy

Tourism experts believe the extra capacity is needed, as Kenya continues to see a rapid growth in UK tourist numbers. The UK accounts for among the largest number of European tourists that visit Kenya each year. The latest statistics for February of this year continue to show a rising trend in UK arrivals, with 16,779 Britons visiting, an increase of over 20 per cent on the previous February.

Overall, 2006 saw another increase in UK arrivals with 171,409 arrivals from the UK a near 11 per cent increase on 2005.

Potential

The new travel focus tends to be on safaris and eco-tourism lodges, highlighting the need for extra capacity at Nairobi rather than Mombasa.

Virgin will offer a full range of services on its flights, from the upper class option featuring flat beds and a private massage zone, to an economy class offering that provides seat back televisions for all passengers and video on demand.

One key result of the new competition could be a lowering of prices between London and Nairobi but Virgin Atlantic clearly feels there is enormous potential for growth in its new route. Announcing the launch last year, Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson said Nairobi was Virgin Atlantics fourth service to its Africa routes which were expanding at a vast rate.

“Passenger numbers have doubled over the past five years and we predict its popularity will continue to grow in years to come.”

The flights start at Heathrow at 19.15 and arrive at 6.05 the next day.

Return flights depart at 08.20 and arrive at London Heathrow at 14.55.

Kenya’s Tourism ministry has been making efforts to persuade Virgin Atlantic to start its flights to Nairobi for some time. Permanent Secretary Rebecca Nabutola said that Virgin offered “quality and high standards” and was “one of the worlds premier airlines.”
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Old June 15th, 2007, 08:00 AM   #328
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Virgin Atlantic’s arrival heralds fare cuts (London - Nairobi)

JOHN KARIUKI
Special Correspondent


Air fares on the Nairobi-London route dropped last week as major carriers reacted to the entry of Virgin Airlines into Kenya’s most lucrative travel route.

Kenya Airways (KQ) cut its fares from $699 to $550, to go level with Virgin’s while British Airways (BA) was down to $549. And in an unexpected nervous shift, BA offered a seat auction which was mostly significant for its timing.

“There have been online ticket auctions in the past but this is a clear reaction to Virgin’s entry,” said a senior manager with a Nairobi travel company.

Other airlines with indirect Nairobi-London routes have also lowered fares with Emirates down to $550, Qatar $450, Ethiopian Airways $ 470 — all on return flights.

The reduction has been expected ever since Virgin announced entry into the route but industry sources still expressed surprise. Industry analysts predict a further drop as the current high season slows down.

“Virgin put their timing to coincide with the high season; the real pricing war will kick off later in the low season,” said Dodo World travel company’s Bob Inyangula.

Travel analysts say the fare could stabilise at the current level but see it dropping further to an average $400 return.

According to the Kenya Tourist Board, there has been a consistent growth of the passenger load on the Nairobi-London route. Last year, the figure stood at 171,406 passengers, an 11 per cent growth over 2006 while provisional figures for this year, as at February, were 16,779 — a 20 per cent growth over the same period last year. The number is expected to grow significantly by the end of the year. But at the start, Virgin will have to compete with KQ and BA for the lucrative London direct route.

The initial view was that KQ would be hardest hit by the new arrival, but so far indications from major travel companies show Virgin eating more into the share of BA than that of KQ — indeed, the Kenya national carrier may not be that adversely affected after all.

“It is a strong brand and I notice a strong sense of patriotism among Kenyan travellers who are choosing to fly KQ as long as it is available,” said Mr Inyangula.

Marketing manager of Fly Air, Rose Kavaya, supports this view. She said there were more bookings for Kenya Airways in the past week as Kenyans appear to rally to support the national carrier.

Previously, this element of belonging has worked in favour of British Airways, but it may now have to share passengers with Virgin Airlines as they are both from the same country.

“Both are good brands, but Virgin has a greater allure for quality and has a big name internationally that will certainly help swing clients in its favour,” said Suresh Raman, managing director of Somak Travel.

Some in the industry see the swing in the Virgin versus BA rivalry go to Virgin due to the better refined leisure inclination it is known for.

However, the flights schedule are likely to be a strong factor in favour of BA and KQ as they both have day and nights flights. Bookings are notably higher for night flights due to the greater convenience it offers for especially business travellers on a short turnaround trip.

“A day flight means a hotel night that could be avoided by a traveller going to London for a day’s business. In such cases, travellers want to arrive in London in the morning, attend to their business and travel back in the evening — which saves time and cuts hotel costs,” said Mr Raman.

He said that people who are pressed for time are more likely to choose BA or KQ. Virgin flights leave Heathrow at 1915 and arrive at 0605 the next day. Return flights depart from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 0820 and arrive at Heathrow at 1455.

The onward connection point to the United States and other parts of Europe has been thought to favour the two British carriers but local analysts see clear advantages for KQ over the two rival airlines who connect from Heathrow or Gatwick in London while KQ uses Amsterdam.

According to travel agents who spoke to The EastAfrican, most African travellers would rather avoid the stringent security checks in the UK that many consider cumbersome and even hostile. They prefer to fly KQ and connect to US and other overseas destinations via Amsterdam which many consider a lot more friendly, Ms Kavaya said.

Most travel agents also said that the short-lived visa requirement for transit travellers connecting through UK airports has worked against the British carriers in favour of KQ.

“Many travellers have not realised that it was withdrawn and others simply do not care and just want to avoid UK airports altogether,” said Mr Inyangula.

Even as the airlines fight for market share, relations with travel companies over commissions are a crucial factor for walk-in clients.

Currently, Virgin is offering a nine per cent commission to agents while KQ gives six. But BA is on a zero commission policy, which has forced travel companies to put a mark up on the published fare.

“It has created an inconvenience for travel agents having to explain to clients that they have to pay a service charge on top of the published fare,” said Mr Inyangula.

However, travel agents agree that the zero commission rate is the way all airlines will go and agents will have to find a way to justify their mark up to stay in business.

“Survival in this business will depend on adding value,” Mr Raman said.

This will include extras like airport transfers and other services.
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Old August 4th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #329
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Chinese airlines to seek KQ partnership

By Brian Adero

Chinese aviation officials say they want their airlines to partner with Kenya Airways (KQ) on direct flights from Kenya to their country. Mr Yang Guoqing, the deputy minister in-charge of China Civil Aviation, says that due to KQ’s wider spread in terms of market expansion, they have identified the national carrier as a strong airline in Africa worth working with.

He said that although China signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (Basa) with Kenya three years ago, there is no need for airlines from China to launch direct flights to Nairobi. "Though the agreement allows airlines from both countries to operate between us, we want our airlines to work with KQ," he said.

He spoke during a visit by a Chinese aviation delegation to Transport minister, Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere, on Thursday.

KQ flies four times a week to Guangzhou, China. Guoqing said that during an earlier visit to KQ’s Embakasi headquarters, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Titus Naikuni, had talked of KQ’s intention to expand to other parts in China.

With more than 30 airlines serving both domestic and International routes, China’s aviation market is dominated by Air China based in Guangzhou, China Eastern based in Shanghai and China Southern based in Guangzhou.

Guoquing is optimistic that China Southern, which is based in Guangzhou, could soon sign a joint venture with KQ, which will make a lot of contribution to the existing agreements between the two airlines.

Mwakwere assured the delegation that Kenya has made a lot of effort in meeting international aviation standards, which has made Nairobi one of the leading aviation hubs in Africa.
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Old August 4th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #330
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Boeing, Kenya Airways Celebrate Opening of Leadership Center

-- Kenya Airways Launches 'The Pride Centre' in Nairobi to Offer Training and Leadership Development
July 30, 2007: 06:01 PM EST

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Representatives from Boeing and Kenya Airways were on hand this past Thursday to mark the launch of the airline's new training and leadership facility named "The Pride Centre."

Located just outside the Kenyan capital, the newly refurbished facility was purchased by Kenya Airways in 2005 and modeled on Boeing's Leadership Center in St. Louis. A Kenya Airways fact-finding team recently visited Boeing's training facility and Rolls-Royce's Training Centre located just outside its headquarters in Derby, UK. Boeing has consulted with the airline on The Pride Centre's design and layout and is currently working with Kenya Airways' management on course development and exploring opportunities for future on-site training.

Lee Monson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Sales for the Middle East and Africa, was invited as the honored guest at Kenya Airways' inaugural ceremony for The Pride Centre.

"Leadership development is important to Boeing's strategy for continued success," Monson said. "It's rewarding to work with an airline customer that shares an ideology to invest in human resources and is working to develop future leaders -- not just for its own company, but also to the benefit of the entire Kenyan business enterprise."

Beyond airline-specific training tools, such as 787 door trainers that will be installed in 2008, The Pride Centre will serve to develop skill sets at the managerial and executive level through specialized course training based on proven leadership attributes.

Kenya Airways' Managing Director and CEO Titus Naikuni has been a driving force in the airline's strategy to enhance Kenya's infrastructure on a multitude of levels.

"The opening of The Pride Centre is another milestone event for Kenya Airways as we work towards building a more successful tomorrow for the airline and for Kenya as a whole," Naikuni said. "We appreciate Boeing's commitment to our working relationship and value their participation in helping make this training and leadership centre a regional success in East Africa."
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 10:49 AM   #331
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Emirates plans 17 weekly flights to Nairobi

By Chris Mburu

Emirates Airlines has notified Kenyan aviation authorities plans to introduce extra three weekly flights from Dubai to Nairobi.

The Middle East Carrier operates a daily evening and day flight to Nairobi, and the new flights would raise the weekly schedules to 17 per week.

But, plans to introduce Dubai-Mombasa flights have been suspended.

The new flights make Emirates the leading foreign operator to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and marks the continued dominance of the airline on Kenya to Middle East routes. Kenya Airways operates a daily flight to Dubai.

Emirates General Manager for East Africa, Mr Ali Al Shamsi, says arrival and departure times of the new flights will be announced later. "We are yet to decide whether to operate the new flights directly or to mount a joint operation through Kampala and Dar es Salaam," he said.

Aviation officials at the Ministry of Transport and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority say the current Bilateral Air Service Agreement between Dubai and Kenya allows for unlimited number of frequencies between Nairobi and Dubai.

Emirates has been flying to Kenya for the last 12 years.

"Outbound load factors from Nairobi are extremely healthy. From three flights a week some years ago, Emirates today enjoys a double daily service between Nairobi and Dubai," he said.

Uganda and Tanzania each have a daily, direct service from Dubai, up from four flights a week four years ago.

"On these routes we operate the Airbus A330-200 aircraft with industry leading features. Last year we registered a 50 per cent revenue growth on our Dar-es-Salaam route and a 40 per cent increase in Entebbe services," Al Shamshi said in an interview.

In October 2004, the airline started a once a weekly freighter service from Nairobi to Amsterdam via Dubai using a Boeing 747-400F offering 110 tonnes of cargo capacity.

The service - Emirates SkyCargo’s first African freighter route – was increased to twice weekly because of increased demand.

"Kenya is the world’s leading horticulture producer, particularly for cut-flowers. Emirates believes that the load factors will continue to grow over time as the potential of East African economies maintain an upswing. We look at Kenya as a high potential area for both passenger and cargo traffic," Al Shamshi said.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 10:52 PM   #332
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Afriqiyah (Libya) to fly to Nairobi

Cyrus Kinyungu in Tripoli, Libya

A Libyan Airline has announced plans to commence flights from Tripoli to Nairobi beginning next year.

Afriqiyah Airways, which is a major airline in North Africa, announced that plans were at an advanced stage to commence the flight connecting Tripoli and East Africa.
"We are at a very advanced stage on starting operations in Kenya. We are currently limited because of the number of aircraft we own," said the airline’s Operations Director, Captain Ahmed Bukshem.

"The need to connect Africa with the rest of the world is our priority. In the next few years we will see this happen," he said adding they also intended to go to Southern Africa.

He said studies to establish the viability of the route is currently underway adding a team will later tour the country to negotiate with Kenya civil Aviation Authority on the operations.

He said the airline could commence flights after October subject to delivery of new jets.

Bukshem said the airline operates a fleet of six leased aircraft, but 23 new jets had been ordered.

He was speaking in Tripoli during the launch of an Airbus A320, the first that the country purchased since the embargo on trade was lifted.

Afriqiyah Airways, which was started in 2001, became the first beneficiary of the lifting of the trade embargo which has been in place for over 16 years after it ordered a fleet of the airbus aircraft family worth $2.8 billion to be supplied over the next 10 years.

‘‘With the lifting of the embargo, Afriqiyah has ordered 23 jets from the airbus family, which range from A320 to the A350 to be supplied within the next decade,’’ said Bukshem.

The airline previously operated a fleet of six leased aircraft due to the embargo. The fleet modernisation, said the airline’s commercial Director, Mr Rammah Ettir, will see the airline become the first carrier in the continent to operate the modern A350 model. The new A 320 has upgrades in environmental and flight controls.

Ettir said passengers in the new jet will enjoy other luxurious additions.

The new developments in Afriqiyah Airways are significant to Kenya considering the agreements entered between Kenya and Libya recently.

In June, President Kibaki paid a visit to Libyan leader, Colonel Muamar Gadaffi and among other issues the duo agreed to start flights between the two nations.

‘‘The Bilateral Air Services Agreement between the two leaders establishes air services between the two states and enables the designated airlines of both countries to commence scheduled commercial flights,’’ said Bukshem.

The two also signed another agreement seeking to promote and facilitate bilateral trade between the two nations.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #333
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West Africa group plans African regional airline

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 19 (Reuters) - A West African group plans to launch an airline to help fill in route gaps left by problems at regional state-owned airlines, before expanding to the rest of the continent, an official said on Wednesday.

The Togolese-based SPCAR -- Regional Airline Promotion Company -- hopes to unveil the new airline at the end of October, with operations targeted to begin in the first quarter of 2008, its chairman Gervais Djondo told reporters in Johannesburg.

The company has embarked on roadshow to attract investment for the $200 million project, which Djondo said was meant to plug a gap in Africa's air travel market, currently largely serviced by European airlines.

"After the collapse of different airlines in West Africa ... there was this gap that was created by the collapse of these companies and something needed to be done to fill this gap," he said, adding travellers sometimes needed to go through Europe to get to other African countries.

"Some of the European airlines make about 75 to 80 percent or even 90 percent of their profit from Africa," he said, speaking through an interpreter.

Officials say problems at Nigeria Airways, Ghana Airways, Air Afrique and Cameroon Airlines amid a series of air crashes in the region, had left a gap in the West African market.

SPCAR is owned by Ecobank, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and the West African Development Bank.

But Djondo said the airline would remain privately-owned.

"After careful analysis of what led to the collapse of these airlines... we came to the conclusion that there is a need to set up a regional airline that is not state controlled because most of them were owned by national governments," he said.

The new airline, the name of which would be announced at its launch, would initially ply routes in West Africa before moving to the rest of the continent, and further afield.

It would initially offer mainly passenger services but would also later look at the lucrative freight market.

In the first year of operation the airline would lease aircraft not more than five-years-old, to counter the continent's poor air safety record.

Africa accounted for nearly a fifth of fatal airliner accidents last year, despite having only 3 percent of global flight departures, according to the Dutch-based Aviation Safety Network.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 04:32 PM   #334
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Africa's 10 busiest airports as of June 2007 - Generally very strong growth!

1. JOHANNESBURG, ZA 18 410 000 +11.2%
2. CAIRO, EG 11 372 000 +10.1
3. CAPETOWN, ZA 7 807 000 +12.3
4. SHARM EL SHEIKH 5 461 000 +15.6
5. HURGADA, EG 5 288 000 +15.2
6. CASABLANCA, MA 5 269 000 +12.9
7. NAIROBI, KE 4 586 000 +4.8
8. DURBAN, ZA 4 471 000 +17.8
9. LAGOS, NG 4 345 000 +14.2
10.MONASTIR, TN 4 272 000 +3.2

Source: ACI Monthly report
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 07:22 AM   #335
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BA to end London-Harare flights

HARARE, Sept 20, 2007 (AFP) - British Airways is to halt direct flights between Harare and London next month as the route is no longer profitable, an airline official said on Thursday.

BA's regional commercial manager Steve Harrison told the official New ZIANA news agency that the last flight on the London Heathrow-Harare route would be on October 28.

"The route between Harare and Heathrow has been making a considerable loss over the past few weeks," Harrison was quoted as saying.

"We operate in a highly competitive global market and cannot afford to sustain the losses on the Harare route any longer."

British Airways follows a number of international airlines that have pulled out of the Zimbabwe route such as Swiss Air, Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France.

Harrrison said that passengers who had already booked flights would be booked on alternative flights or reimbursed.

Zimbabwe is in the throes of economic crisis characterised by world-record inflation, more than 80 percent joblessness and chronic shortages of foreign currency and fuel.

The tourism industry, once a mainstay of the economy, has shrunk drastically over the past seven years since Zimbabwe embarked on a controversial programme to seize farms owned by the minority white population.

President Robert Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, has blamed Zimbabwe's economic woes on the former colonial power Britain.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #336
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Struggling African airlines urged to cooperate to survive

NAIROBI, Oct 16, 2007 (AFP) - Struggling African airlines should cooperate to survive against fierce competition from international carriers, notably from Asia and the Middle East, the industry warned Tuesday.

African Airline Service chief Nick Fadugba said the airlines must explore mergers, acquisitions and takeovers to strengthen their standing in the market.

Fadugba said the continental airlines, which account for three percent of world aircraft departures, should consider mergers to improve their capital base and maintain their position in the competitive aviation sector.

"African governments and airlines have to consolidate within the continent and not allow the African market to be totally dominated by non-African carriers," he told reporters in Nairobi.

Of the continental carriers, Kenya Airways, Mauritius Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air, Royal Air Maroc and South African Airways are the few profitable airlines and can fly to several international destinations.

The rest have been hampered by a combination of losses and poor safety records, compounded by poor maintenance, ageing charter fleets, untrained crews and the illegal movement of aircraft in war-torn countries, according to the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).

In September, AFRAA called for a code of conduct to regulate a crippling flow of pilots from African airlines to richer and more established ones elsewhere.

Aviation experts have warned of a shortage of pilots in the region owing to rapid traffic growth in Asia and the Middle East and the surge of lucrative low-cost carriers notably in Europe and Asia.

They say demand for African pilots will increase in the coming decade because of the air industry's growth in emerging powerhouses India and China.

Fadugba said the exodus of pilots has had an impact on the performance of the sector.

"The brain drain in Africa is alarming. Many airlines from the Middle East are poaching pilots (because) they have a lot of money in their back pockets," he said ahead of the 16th Annual African Aviation Finance Conference to be held in Nairobi next month.

Kenya Airways chief Titus Naikuni called on African governments to allow the private sector to privatise their national carriers or have a hand in their operations to boost growth.

Kenya Airways, which now flies some 36 routes around the world, is 26-percent owned by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #337
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S.Africa grounds Boeing 737's after engine fell

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 10 (Reuters) - South African aviation authorities have grounded all Boeing 737 200 aircraft in the country for safety checks after an engine fell off the wing of a plane during takeoff, a statement from the Civil Aviation Authority said.

"This (grounding order) is due to a recent incident on the affected aircraft type, where engine separation from airframe attachment occurred," the statement read.

The order affects all Boeing 737s fitted with Pratt and Whitney JT8D engines. It is aimed at preventing the possibility of a similar accident happening and is not an indication of the cause of the accident, it said.

On Wednesday, a Nationwide airline aircraft carrying 106 passengers had to make an emergency landing after an engine fell off the wing of the plane during take off.

Bongani Maseko, Airports Company of South Africa operations director, told South African Broadcasting Corporation radio on Saturday they had received directives from the aviation authorities to ground all 737s across South African airports for safety checks.

"All Boeings must go for a check for the mounting of the engines. The aviation have asked that by the end of business today, we start helping them to ensure that all of the Nationwide aircraft adhere to that," Maseko said.

"The directive also says all the other airlines must have implemented the check for the mounting of the engines by Monday," he added.

Boeing was not immediately for comment. (Reporting by Bate Felix; editing by Philippa Fletcher)
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Old November 16th, 2007, 03:25 AM   #338
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Air Uganda opens flights to Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania

KAMPALA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - A new Ugandan airline started flights on Thursday to Tanzania, South Sudan and Kenya's capital Nairobi -- opening up competition on a route long monopolised by Kenya Airways , its commercial director said.

Speaking by telephone from Uganda's Entebbe airport as the privately owned airline's first Nairobi return flight touched down, Vittorio Scabbia said it would target executives.

"We are looking at business people. Each aircraft has 12 business class seats and 85 economy ... We expect 60 percent capacity within the first six months," he told Reuters.

The company had bought two Boeing DC9-32 jet planes, which Scabbia said were more than enough to cover its proposed routes.

The airline has scheduled two daily return flights to Nairobi, three flights a week to the South Sudanese capital Juba, and four flights to Dar es Salaam, two of them via Tanzania's tourist destination Mount Kilimanjaro.

The company will buy Boeing MD-87 aircraft at the end of March, he added, although the number has not yet been decided.

Kenya Airways, which flies from Entebbe to Nairobi four times daily, has enjoyed a monopoly on the route since the demise of the state-owned Uganda Airlines in 2001, after a botched privatisation following years of mismanagement.

Two small airlines, Eagle Air and Dairo Air, already fly from Entebbe to Juba. Air Tanzania and Precision Airlines fly to Dar es Salaam.

Air Uganda is owned by the wealthy Aga Khan's group of companies. Scabbia said it may list some shares publicly, but not now. "First, we need to perform well." (Editing by Daniel Wallis; editing by Sue Thomas)
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Old November 29th, 2007, 08:38 AM   #339
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Zambian Airways to stop flights to Zimbabwe

HARARE, Nov 26, 2007 (AFP) - Zambian Airways is to halt direct flights between Harare and Lusaka next month as the route is no longer profitable, an airline official said on Monday.

Zambian Airways chief executive officer Mutembo Nchito said the last flight on the Harare-Lusaka route will be on November 30.

"Zambia Airways regrets to advise the general public that it will be suspending its daily services between Lusaka and Harare from December 1, 2007 because of continuing operational challenges on the route caused by high fuel costs and extreme currency fluctuations in Zimbabwe," Nchito said in a statement.

"This is a commercial decision that we have taken after reviewing the performance of the Lusaka-Harare route for some months. Regrettably, we see no prospect of improvement in the immediate future, and we have been forced to act this way."

Zambian Airways' decision follows that of a number of international airlines that have pulled out of the Zimbabwe route such as British Airways, Swiss Air, Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France.

Nchito said customers who are booked for travel between Lusaka and Harare after December 1 will be offered alternative flight arrangements or a full refund on their tickets.

The southern African nation of Zimbabwe is in the throes of economic crisis characterised by world-record inflation, more than 80 percent joblessness and chronic shortages of foreign currency and fuel.

The tourism industry, once a mainstay of the economy, has shrunk drastically over the past seven years since Zimbabwe embarked on a controversial programme to seize farms owned by the minority white population.

President Robert Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, has blamed Zimbabwe's economic woes on former colonial power Britain and its Western allies.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 05:34 PM   #340
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South Africa grounds airliner after dropped engine
30 November 2007

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority has stopped the flights of a domestic airliner after one of its planes dropped an engine on takeoff, and the grounding affected 6,000 passengers at the start of the country's summer holidays on Friday.

A Boeing 737-200 operated by the airline, Nationwide, lost an engine in mid-November as it took off from Cape Town's airport. The aviation authority indefinitely suspended its approval of the airline's maintenance operations from midnight on Thursday, the authority's chief executive officer Zakes Myeza said Friday. The authority also indefinitely suspended the certificates of airworthiness of Nationwide's fleet -- 11 737-200s; three 727-200s; one 767-300 and one 737-500.

The authority said Nationwide failed to implement three airworthiness directives issued in response to the lost engine incident. These included requirements issued by the manufacturer after four similar incidents in the United States that called for, among other steps, the refitting of engine mounting bolts and the overhauling of certain other components.

While the aviation authority did not say whether pirate parts on Nationwide aircraft, it did say it found that the bolts fitted were "untraceable."

Civil Aviation Authority chief executive officer Myeza also said the airline had failed to comply with an airworthiness directorate issued in September and subsequent audits of its compliance.

Nationwide had no immediate comment on the problems cited by the authority, and the company's sales and marketing manager Charmaine Thome said it would appeal the grounding. In a statement on its Web site, its chief executive officer Vernon Bricknell said Nationwide had approached the authority for "further details and guidance in respect of any actions they would like us to implement."

The authority said Nationwide would have to prove compliance and the airworthiness of each aircraft before the suspension was lifted. If it fails, its license could be revoked altogether.

Some 6,000 passengers were affected when Nationwide canceled 60 flights Friday, including one to London and two to Livingstone, Zambia, Thome told the South African Press Association.

She said Nationwide was offering full refunds to passengers unable to get alternative transport. It was also offering to fly them later.

There were scenes of confusion at airports throughout the country, with passengers complaining about lack of information from Nationwide.
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