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Old March 22nd, 2005, 09:54 PM   #41
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Sudan Airways to Fly to London

Kampala, Mar 21, 2005 (New Vision/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) --

SUDAN Airways will fly the London route, barely a month since it resumed flights to Entebbe Airport.

The airline's country manager, M.A Adam, said on Saturday, the move to be implemented in April, was aimed at popularising the airline and cope with the demand.

"We shall be embarking on the London route. We have already ordered for one Airbus for that purpose.

"We want all those people who choose to fly Sudan Airways to continue enjoying the high class services of their first choice airliner while they also get the opportunity of flying with it to London," Adam said."

"It's just as well though that we also had to introduce the London route since there is an overwhelming demand for it," he said.

Adam who was flanked by the airline's general manager Mustafa Hussein, and the Kampala station manager, Katerega Ntale, said Sudan Airline currently has three planes of special configuration Airbus with a capacity of 350 passengers, a Boeng 707 cargo plane with a 250 tonne capacity and Boeng 737 cargo plane of 200 tonne capacity.

He said other than Entebbe, the airline also plies across the Middle East and the Gulf States.
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Old March 28th, 2005, 11:41 PM   #42
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Ugandan light plane crashes onto remote Congo airstrip, kills two
28 March 2005

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) - A Ugandan light airplane crashed onto a remote airstrip inside Congo's northeast border, killing two people who were on the ground, the U.N. mission in Congo reported Monday.

One of the Cessna plane's wheels failed to come down as it prepared to land and the plane hit a soldier walking beside the runway with his wife, U.N. spokesman Mensah Aluka said.

The accident occurred Friday at Beni, 250 kilometers (150 miles) north of Goma city.

Soldiers arrested the pilot, Aluka confirmed, but said they did it to protect him from colleagues angered by the death of the officer and his wife. He did not know the name of the pilot.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 11:19 PM   #43
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Virgin Nigeria to make Lagos airport African hub

LAGOS, April 8 (Reuters) - Nigeria's new national carrier, part-owned by Britain's Virgin Group, said on Friday it planned to make the oil-exporting country's main Lagos airport an African aviation hub when it begins operations later this year.

Virgin Nigeria said it has secured a section of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport for its exclusive use, from where it would operate all its flights.

"We aim to make Lagos one of the key hubs within Africa," the airline said in a statement.

"All our flights, even domestic flights, will operate from the international terminal at MMIA, enabling smooth transfers between connecting Virgin Nigeria flights," the statement said.

The airline which replaces state-owned Nigeria Airways, liquidated in 2003 with debts of $60 million, has ordered a number of aircraft on lease. It plans to service domestic and regional routes in Africa, and international flights to Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.

Virgin Nigeria, 51 percent owned by local investors who staked $26 million and Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic which invested $24 million, is expected to begin operations later this year after successfully raising equity funding.

Nigerian institutional investors are expected to sell half of their holding in an initial public offer on the Nigerian Stock Exchange once the airline begins operations.

Privately owned Virgin Group, whose Virgin Atlantic already operates the lucrative Lagos-London route, was appointed as the technical and strategic investor in the carrier last September after talks with South African Airlines fell through.

Uncertainty still surrounds its entry into the U.S. after American government officials said it would be denied permission because of what it called Britain's anti-competitive aviation policy.

Nigerian officials say the airline is not a British company and should not be treated as if it were.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 06:53 PM   #44
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Gabon president determined to save troubled Air Gabon

LIBREVILLE, April 8 (AFP) - Gabon's president has expressed determination to do everything to ensure the survival of the troubled national airline Air Gabon, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, an official statement released Friday said.

Omar Bongo Ondimba had asked ministers to submit measures to the Council of Ministers as soon as possible, according to a summary of the Council of Ministers' meeting held on Thursday.

Gabon's Prime Minister Jean-Fran�ois Ntoutoume Emane on Tuesday said the airline, which has faced serious financial problems for several years, was verging on bankruptcy.

Speaking to the Senate, he indicated that the airline's survival depended on urgent support of 13.5 billion CFA francs for 2005 (26.4 million dollars, 20.6 million euros).

He said the state would not be in a position to release the whole sum.

He also said the outstanding loans owed by the airline, whose capital is held by the Gabonese state, was 21.3 billion CFA francs (32.5 million euros).

Gabon last July launched the partial privatisation of the airline, set up in 1977.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 06:54 PM   #45
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Hundreds stranded as British Airways affiliate in Kenya suspends flights

NAIROBI, April 11 (AFP) - Hundreds of air passengers in east and southern Africa were left stranded at the weekend as a Kenyan affiliate of British Airways suspended flights due to a cash shortage, officials said Monday.

Regional Air, which operates services from Nairobi to and between seven international destinations and the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, cancelled all flights for six days on Friday citing "operational circumstances," they said.

Affected international flights include those to and from Khartoum, Asmara, Djibouti, Johannesburg, Lilongwe, Lusaka and Harare, the officials said.

The airline said it was re-booking passengers on alternative flights in an effort to ease inconvenience to its customers but did not say if the services would resume after the suspension.

"An announcement on future operations will be made in the near future," a company statement said.

An airline official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, said the flight suspensions were the result of a "cash shortage" that affected the firm's ability to purchase aviation fuel.

Industry sources said the Kenyan-owned airline, which has had a franchise and code-sharing agreement with British Airways since 2001, has been hit by cash flow problems for some time, particularly as it faces increased competition from rapidly expanding Kenya Airways, the country's flag carrier.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 10:26 PM   #46
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Zimbabwe buys three pasenger planes from China

HARARE, April 25 (AFP) - Zimbabwe's national airline has bought three MA60 passenger planes from China's state-owned AVIC aircraft manufacturer, state radio reported Monday.

The purchase by Air Zimbabwe comes just weeks after the southern African country took delivery of six Chinese-made Karakorum 8 (K-8) military trainer jets.

The 60-seater propeller planes will ply domestic and regional routes that have been serviced by long-haul Boeing aircraft.

Following sanctions and isolation by western countries over the political crisis in the country, Zimbabwe has adopted the "Look East" policy, fostering new relations with Asian countries, particularly China, Malaysia, Singapore.

"With this kind of cooperation at a time particularly when the West, our former masters have decided to sanction us ... China becomes handy, and China as an all weather friend has again once embraced us at a time we needed it most," Zimbabwe's transport minister Chris Mushowe said at a ceremony in China, state radio said.

Delivery of the planes, which is expected to boost tourism, was expected next week.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 03:27 PM   #47
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Uganda, Rwanda in row over Kyrgyzstani plane

Text of report by Emmy Allio and Chris Kiwawulo entitled "Uganda, Rwanda in plane row" published by Ugandan newspaper The Sunday Vision on 1 May

Controversy shrouds the circumstances under which a plane from Kyrgyzstan changed its registration number and insurance policy at Entebbe Airport. The Antonov-28 plane was on 25 March impounded for violation of airspace by Kigali authorities. It is now grounded at Kanombe International Airport in Rwanda, while its crew of six Russians and two Congolese are jailed in Kigali.

The crew reportedly told interrogators that it flew over Rwandan airspace due to bad weather between Entebbe and the eastern Congolese town of Bukavu. Now fresh information from Kigali implicates Uganda in the illegal change of the plane's registration from its original Kyrgyzstan number, EX 28811, to Congo's 289289 QCES. Kigali authorities say the plane had two insurance policies, one issued in Kyrgyzstan and the other in the DRCongo. The policies had the same wording, but different registration numbers.

The New Times of Rwanda quoted Rwandan officials as saying the forgery on the plane's registration was done between 21 March, when the plane landed at Entebbe and 25 March, when it left. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has denied Rwanda's claims. It said that the plane landed in Entebbe for a short moment to refuel on 25 March before flying off.

"The truth is that this plane landed in Entebbe for refuelling and flew off. We are not aware of the so-called fake registration," CAA spokesman Ignie Igundura said.

Rwandan authorities allege that the crew said the plane changed its registration number at Entebbe. Igundura said, "There are proper procedures to follow when there are problems in aviation circles. We expect our counterparts in Kigali to tell us their findings."

Source: The Sunday Vision, Kampala, in English 1 May 05
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Old May 5th, 2005, 04:45 AM   #48
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Kenya Airways shows off new livery on its latest Boeing 777
3 May 2005
Airline Industry Information


@ Hong Kong by Dickson Ching

Kenya Airways has revealed its new livery on the airline's new Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.

The new design incorporates the African airline's IATA code 'KQ' and is described by Kenya Airways as a striking departure from the previous livery, with a dramatic design change to the tail of the aircraft.

Another Boeing 777 will be delivered to Kenya Airways in time for this summer's peak season. The new aircraft are being used to expand the airline's capacity between Nairobi and London's Heathrow Airport.

Comments on this story may be sent to [email protected]
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Old May 11th, 2005, 07:23 PM   #49
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Go-slow hits Cairo airport traffic

CAIRO, May 10 (Reuters) - A go-slow by Egyptian air traffic controllers held up 20 flights out of Cairo for between three and six hours on Tuesday, airport officials said.

Civil Aviation Minister Ahmed Shafiq told a news conference the go-slow was illegal and the air traffic controllers could be liable to imprisonment or replacement by foreign controllers or by the Egyptian armed forces.

The state carrier EgyptAir lost $600,000 on Tuesday and $31 million over the past 10 days because of the work slowdown, he added.

The air traffic controllers are demanding salary increases and better conditions but the minister said that after recent increases they no longer have any reason to complain.

Newly employed controllers earn 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($345) a month and will receive an increase of 732 pounds starting this month, he said. Public-sector employees in other jobs receive much lower salaries.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 07:24 PM   #50
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Egypt warns air traffic controllers over work-to-rule

CAIRO, May 10 (AFP) - The Egyptian government warned air traffic controllers Tuesday that it had lost patience with industrial action that Tuesday saw the pilot of a Spanish Iberia aircraft threatening to land unaided as it ran short of fuel.

An airport source said the air traffic controllers eventually took over the flight, which was carrying around 100 tourists, after the pilot told them he had to touch down and was prepared to do so without their help.

Another aircraft from the United Arab Emirates had to divert to Borg el-Arab, west of Cairo, after circling the airport for more than three-quarters of an hour without receiving aid from the controllers on duty, the source said.

Civil Aviation Minister Ahmed Shaqiq warned the controllers that the government was prepared to replace them if necessary to avoid any impact on the industry and Egypt's vital tourism sector.

"The civil aviation sector is very sensitive ... and legal action will be taken against dissident workers," Shaqiq told a Cairo news conference.

"We may also resort to hiring foreign or other personnel that demand less money in their place."

The 600 or so air traffic controllers are demanding an improvement on a 30 percent salary increase they won in a first work-to-rule a month ago.

They are also demanding that a cut in salary, imposed on eight colleagues on Monday for calling the work-to-rule, be rescinded.

But Shaqiq said the action had already cost national carrier EgyptAir 600,000 dollars in losses, and warned that foreign airlines were seeking much larger compensation.

"Foreign and Arab companies are demanding 31 millions dollars in compensation for the past 10 days as a result of the work-to-rule," he said.

An air traffic controller's basic salary is around 1,500 Egyptian pounds (about 300 US dollars) a month, rising to some 4,500 pounds (900 dollars) after several years' service. There are also bonuses based on productivity.

The Egyptian staff say that in neighbouring Sudan controllers earn twice as much.
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Old May 12th, 2005, 05:04 PM   #51
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Kenya Airways to start direct flights to Turkey next month

NAIROBI, May 12 (AFP) - Kenyan national carrier Kenya Airways (KA) will start twice-weekly flights to Istanbul via Cairo on June 10, the airline said on Thursday.

A statement said the new service was part of KA's strategy to boost profitability and strengthen its market share.

"The service will also give Kenya Airways access to the rest of the Caspian Sea region as well as the potentially lucrative and well developed domestic air transport in Turkey," it added.

"While most of the passengers on the route will be traders from the African sub-continent, the destination also offers us a huge potential for cargo business and tourists from Turkey to East Africa," KA's Commercial Director Hugh Fraser said in the statement.

In March, the airline said it would also launch flights to Shanghai, Bamako, Livingstone in Zambia, Dakar, Freetown and Maputo.

KA also plans to increase domestic flights to the coastal city of Mombasa and western lakeside city of Kisumu from next month to boost its domestic network, according to the statement.
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Old May 12th, 2005, 10:47 PM   #52
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Traffic controllers' slowdown disrupts flights into and out of Egypt
By NADIA ABOU EL-MAGD
11 May 2005

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Frustrated travelers leaned on suitcases, stared at monitors announcing delays and cancellations and tried to reschedule flights Wednesday as an air traffic controllers' slowdown snarled Cairo airport. Egyptian officials threatened to jail strikers to put an end to the labor action.

Anna Durst, 21, and her brother Thomas, 16, dashed madly for the Swiss Air counter after they learned Anna's Lufthansa plane back to Germany has been canceled.

"I'll try Swiss Air to go back home today or tomorrow," said Anna, a student who was visiting her brother and the rest of her family, who live in Egypt.

The slowdown by air traffic controllers entered its third day, causing up to 14-hour delays at Cairo International, a key entry hub for Egypt's vital tourism industry, and other airports around the country.

Aviation Minister Ahmed Shafeeq threatened to imprison strikers and hire foreign workers, saying the slowdown has caused some US$31 million (euro24 million) in losses to the Egyptian national carrier. Foreign airlines, suffering a spike in fuel costs as their planes circle for hours before being cleared for landing, are threatening to demand compensation.

"What the air traffic controllers are doing by delaying the flights is a violation of civil aviation law," Shafeeq told a news conference Tuesday. "Imprisonment is an obligatory punishment according to the law."

Calling the controllers' demands "unreasonable," Shafeeq said he might hire foreign air traffic controllers or Air Force controllers to "ensure traffic at a lesser cost."

The majority of Egypt's approximately 500 air traffic controllers took part in the slowdown to demand an increase in benefits, which they say the government has curtailed. The traffic controllers held a 10-day strike last month but called it off after the government promised to review their salaries.

At Cairo International Airport, hundreds waited for delayed flights. At least three arrivals were canceled. Flight-status screeds showed a Kenyan airlines flight for Nairobi was delayed for about 14 hours before it took off. Other passengers were told after they checked in that their planes were delayed by 8 or 10 hours.

Ursula Zueger, 50, from Switzerland, was one of the lucky ones. She had to take a 10- hour train from the southern city of Luxor after her Egypt Air flight to Cairo was canceled -- but her flight home on Swiss Air looked like it would take off on time.

"This doesn't worry me at all," she said.

Gen. Abdul Fattah Badran, a senior airport official in operations, said the delays have improved from an average of eight hours Tuesday, to around four hours Wednesday.

Badran said three controllers, among the organizers of the slowdown, were fired for "negligence and harming national interests."

"This is sabotage to national security and the national economy," Badran told The Associated Press. "Measures were taken to ... return them (controllers) to their senses."

An airline security official in Sharm el-Sheik said some travelers had to return to their hotels Tuesday because of delays. The Red Sea resort is one of Egypt's main tourist attractions and a disruption in flights can hurt the overall tourism industry.

A spat of explosions in Cairo last month-- where three tourists and four bombers were killed-- have caused jitters in the industry, Egypt's main foreign currency earner.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #53
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Sudan to build new airport at cost of 530 million dollars

KHARTOUM, May 15 (AFP) - Sudan is to build a new international airport costing 530 million dollars at a site some 45 kilometres (30 miles) southwest of Omdurman, near Khartoum, the official news agency SUNA reported Sunday.

Aviation Minister Ali Tamim Fertak, quoted by SUNA, said the facility would cover an area of 58 square kilometres (22 square miles).

Work on the first phase of the three-phase project based on designs by a German company will start in early 2006 with the construction of two runways, two passenger terminals, service utilities and administrative offices.

The first phase is due to be completed in three years after which the new airport will begin operations and Khartoum's existing facility will close, said the aviation minister.

He said the airport was designed to handle eight million passengers a year and that several infrastructure projects around the airport, including roads and bridges, would be built to facilitate traffic.

A committee headed by State Finance Minister Ahmed al-Majzoub will study Arab and international offers to finance the airport project, he said.

Fertak also said that the national carrier Sudan Airways had concluded an 82-million dollar contract for the purchase of six Antonov planes from the Ukraine.

Ukraine will also establish an aircraft maintenance center at Khartoum airport at a cost of 8.8 million dollars and run training courses for pilots, technicians and stewards, said the aviation minister.

He said the planes, center and courses would cost 102 million dollars to be financed by the Arab Investment Bank of Bahrain, with Sudan Airways providing the rest.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 07:54 PM   #54
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BA Partner BMED Gets Approval For Beirut-Khartoum Flights
17 May 2005
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones)--BMED, an independent franchise partner of British Airways PLC (BAB), said Tuesday it has received permission from the Governments of Sudan and Lebanon to carry passengers between Beirut and Khartoum.

The additional permit will enable British Airways to provide a non-stop direct service between the two countries, significantly improving journey times for passengers, BMED said.

BMED flies to 15 destinations in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia from London Heathrow. The company is a member of the oneworld alliance.

Company Web site: http://www.flybmed.com
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Old May 19th, 2005, 05:15 AM   #55
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Mbeki calls for action plan for Africa's aviation sector

SUN CITY, South Africa, May 18 (AFP) - Africa's aviation industry is fraught by an abysmal safety record and poor services, South African President Thabo Mbeki said on Wednesday, calling for a "comprehensive programme of action" to help it take off.

Speaking at a three-day meeting of African transport ministers discussing ways to improve aviation in the continent, Mbeki said: "It is self-evident that we need a comprehensive programme of action."

"The parlous state of affairs of the aviation industry leaves a lot to be desired," Mbeki told the meeting, held at the casino resort of Sun City, some 185 kilometres (115 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.

"It is alarming that, although the continent accounts for about three percent of total world aircraft departures, Africa witnesses 27 percent of all fatal accidents on its soil," Mbeki said.

"Airlines are often unreliable with frequent cancellations, which are not only inconvenient but also unproductive for our economic growth," he said.

Mbeki said he was worried about airline safety standards across Africa, saying an analysis of global aviation statistics had shown that although 2004 was an "extremely safe year, there is reason for concern in Africa."

Ministers from 24 African countries are meeting in Sun City to find ways of implementing a decision taken in Ivory Coast's political capital Yamoussoukro in 1999 to deregulate airline markets on the continent and to improve appalling safety standards.

In 2003, the last year for which comprehensive statistics are available, African airspace accounted for 28 percent of fatal aviation accidents worldwide, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) said in February this year.

Between 1994 and 2003, Africa recorded 210 aviation accidents, AFRAA said.

Almost 60 percent of those took place in four nations, three of which -- Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola and Sudan -- were wracked by war during most of that period, it said.

AFRAA has blamed the high number of accidents in those countries on the use of illegally acquired and often old, unsafe aircraft.

In those and other states, poorly paid pilots, shortages of resources and mechanics as well as a lack of navigation equipment have contributed to the problem as have visibility problems, particularly during night flights which are favored by cargo carriers, it said.

The AFRAA report however stressed that the vast majority of mishaps did not involve scheduled passenger flights and maintained that commercial air service, particularly on international routes, was safe.

Instead, it blamed much of the problem on the vagaries of unscheduled flights, poor maintenance, ageing charter airline fleets, untrained crews and the illegal movement of aircraft in war-torn countries.

Mbeki meanwhile said air travel had become a vital form of transport in Africa.

"It is central to our ability to open up areas bedevilled by former conflict, to integrating forest areas or isolated rural regions with mainstream economic hubs, or even allowing our people to travel to and from their home areas," said Mbeki.

Bernard Zomba, the African Union's commissioner for infrastructure and energy, said the aim of the conference was to speed up the Yamoussoukro agreement and find a framework for cooperation between African airlines as well as look at airline safety and security.

"The current state of air transport has, for some years now, been marked by a crisis that is becoming more acute with increasing globalisation. Africa is lagging behind in the liberalisation of the air transport sector," Zomba said.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 04:45 PM   #56
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Plane Crashes In Eastern Congo, 26 Feared Dead
26 May 2005

KINSHASA, Congo (AP)--Twenty-six people were missing and feared dead Thursday after a plane crashed in eastern Congo, an aviation official said.

The plane went missing shortly after takeoff Wednesday and was found by U.N. helicopters Wednesday night in the dense forests near Walungu, said Raymond Sangara, coordinator of Congo's civil aviation authority.

All 21 passengers aboard were Congolese traders, including women and children, said Sangara. The pilot was Russian and the four crew members were Ukrainian, he said.

There were no confirmed deaths, and a search for survivors was expected to begin soon, Sangara said.

The plane had lost contact with the radio tower three minutes after leaving the eastern town of Goma. It was bound for Kindu, some 390 kilometers southwest, but never arrived.

Walungu is about 120 kilometers south of Goma, and further east of the flight path. The town was the site of a recent massacre by area militia.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 05:13 AM   #57
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Kenya Airways profit triples, passengers rise
By Katie Nguyen

NAIROBI, May 27 (Reuters) - Kenya Airways said on Friday its annual net profit tripled to 3.88 billion shillings ($51 million) from 1.3 billion due to cost-cutting and an increase in passengers.

Posting the highest profit in its 28-year history, the airline said capacity would increase this financial year with the delivery of two additional Boeing 777s. It repeated plans to open six new routes, including one to Shanghai.

Revenues rose by 36 percent to 42.2 billion shillings in the year ended March 31.

"We've moved from turning around to performance improvement," the airline's chief executive Titus Naikuni told an investor briefing.

The airline -- 26 percent-owned by KLM Royal Dutch, part of Air France-KLM -- said the fleet upgrade would boost available passenger seats by over 31 percent on the prior year.

Kenya Airways, one of Africa's few profitable carriers, attributed the rise in results to reduced overheads, while passenger numbers grew by 20 percent to exceed 2 million.

Earnings per share leapt to 8.40 shillings from 2.82 shillings. The airline proposed a dividend of 1.25 shillings per share compared with 0.75 shillings the previous year.

Its shares closed at 31.50 shillings on Thursday after touching a year high of 31.75 shillings earlier in the day.

The results, which were released before the market opened on Friday, were welcomed by analysts.

"They've made a phenomenal turnaround. They've been able to pass on principal costs -- oil and fuel -- on to the passenger because of the high demand that exists," one analyst said.

Higher fuel prices hit the results, with fuel costs 63 percent higher than the previous year. However, Kenya Airways said higher prices were offset by a net hedging benefit of 235 million shillings.

"Kenya Airways is benefiting from the hubbing concept, and also the lack of competition from other countries in the region," the analyst said, referring to neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania which do not possess a national carrier.

The airline's return on equity rose to 37.4 percent from 16.5 percent the previous year. Its operating margin was 15.6 percent against regional rivals British Airways' 6.9 percent and Air France-KLM's 2.5 percent.

Kenya Airways' profit margin also compared favourably at 9.2 percent, against BA's 3.2 percent and Air France-KLM's 1.8 percent.

It plans to launch flights to Istanbul, Dakar, Bamako, Maputo and Freetown by the end of the year.

"We want to explore codeshare in Air France in West Africa where they are stronger," Naikuni added.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #58
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South African Airways names new team for turnaround

JOHANNESBURG, May 29 (Reuters) - South African Airways (SAA) named a raft of top executives on Sunday to implement a planned turnaround at Africa's biggest airline.

The announcement follows the appointment in April of Irishman Kyrl Acton as chief operations officer as the airline seeks a return to profit after net losses of 15 billion rand in the last two years after massive hedge book losses.

Strengthening risk management capacity was one of the main focuses of the restructure, with Dan Moeti named chief risk officer, state-owned SAA said in a statement. It also targeted cost reductions and improved efficiency, marketing and customer services.

"Risk management has become a separate high priority area for our strategy with dedicated departments for business risks, financial risks, compliance and auditing," the company said.

SAA took 10-year cover against the rand weakening, only to see the currency surge in value, and closed its hedge book in June 2004 at a cost of 5.9 billion rand.

The company, also battling against high oil prices, launched a voluntary redundancy programme in March as part of efforts to save 1.6 billion rand over 18 months in wages and other costs.

SAA posted a pretax net loss of 8.7 billion rand ($1.34 billion) in the 2003/04 financial year, but managed a pretax profit of 132 million rand in the six months to the end of September 2004.

"This new organisational top structure is part of the process that we began last year when we realigned structures at SAA to increase efficiency and remove duplication," SAA President and Chief Executive Officer Khaya Ngqula said in Sunday's statement.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #59
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Zimbabwe govt slams airline for one-passenger flight

HARARE, May 30 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government has criticised the cash-strapped national airline for flying unviable routes, including one trip which saw an Air Zimbabwe jet fly 6,000 km (3,728 miles) from Dubai with a solitary passenger aboard.

The official Herald newspaper on Monday quoted Transport and Communications Secretary Karikoga Kaseke as saying Air Zimbabwe, struggling with chronic fuel shortages caused by the country's acute economic crisis, was a victim of "inept management".

Local media reported earlier this month that Air Zimbabwe's maiden flight to Dubai, a Boeing 737, left with 49 passengers on board and made the return flight with just one.

"Our investigations have revealed that no proper market research was done before they (Air Zimbabwe) engaged on the Dubai trip," the Herald quoted Kaseke as saying.

"It reflects the level of mediocrity of the management at Air Zimbabwe and it also reflects a management that has little knowledge of aviation, a management that acts on hearsay," he added.

Kaseke and Air Zimbabwe officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.

Industry officials say Air Zimbabwe has also been forced to delay several flights in recent weeks because of fuel shortages dating back to 1999 which have worsened over the past month.

The fuel crunch, together with shortages of foreign currency and basic commodities like sugar, cooking oil and milk, are part of an economic slide many blame on President Robert Mugabe's policies, including the seizure of white-owned farms for landless blacks.

Kaseke denied the government, isolated from Western countries mainly over the land seizures, had forced Air Zimbabwe to fly routes to Asia and Arab countries under a "Look East" policy of boosting economic ties with those regions.

Mugabe denies mismanaging the country since taking power at independence from Britain in 1980, and says the former colonial ruler has led an international assault on Zimbabwe's economy through sanctions slapped in retaliation for the land redistribution programme.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #60
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Kenya Airways shares hit record high on results

NAIROBI, May 30 (Reuters) - Kenya Airways shares rose 9.4 percent to a historic high close of 37.75 shillings on Monday in delayed reaction to the airline's annual results, traders said.

"It is a reaction to the good results on Friday. The company is doing very well. It has been growing its topline and managing costs. Investors are reacting to that," Chris Mwebesa, chief executive of the Nairobi Stock Exchange, told Reuters.

Posting the highest profit in its 28-year history, Kenya Airways said on Friday its net profit tripled to 3.88 billion shillings ($50.37 million) in the year to March 31 from 1.3 billion thanks to cost-cutting and a rise in passenger numbers.

Fred Mweni, financial analyst at Suntra Investment Bank, said the results exceeded expectations.

"Their performance was exemplary. Most of us analysts were expecting 2 billion shillings. When it came to 3.88 billion shillings, that was beyond our expectations," he said.

Revenues rose by 36 percent to 42.2 billion shillings in the year ended March 31.
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