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Old June 1st, 2005, 03:41 AM   #61
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IATA sets up fund to boost airline safety in Africa

TOKYO, May 31 (AFP) - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) which represents the world's airlines said Tuesday it had set up a fund to improve safety in Africa which witnesses a disproportionate number of deadly air crashes.

The fund by the 400 billion-dollar-a-year industry, announced at the end of IATA's annual meeting in Tokyo, will begin with two million dollars.

IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani said the program would provide training and tighten standards to help airlines and governments improve safety standards.

"Despite our great record on safety, the regional differences that remain are not acceptable," Bisignani said. "And Africa is the region that needs help the most."

"This program will commence with Africa and will be rolled around the globe," he said.

An IATA study last year found that Africa accounted for 27 percent of all fatal accidents in the world but just three percent of aircraft departures.

IATA during the Tokyo conference forecast that the industry's losses would mount to six billion dollars this year due to high fuel prices and major costs in North America.

IATA said African airlines lost more than 150 million dollars last year in part because of "major safety problems" and a lack of government investment in infrastructure.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 11:56 PM   #62
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Egypt plane crash report delayed to year-end

CAIRO, June 1 (Reuters) - The release of a report into an air crash in Egypt which killed 148 people last year has been delayed from June until the end of the year, the head of the investigation said on Wednesday.

Shaker Kelada said investigators needed more time to study what caused the Flash Airlines Boeing 737 to crash, killing 133 French tourists in January 2004. The plane crashed into the Red Sea just after take off from Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

Investigators said in November the plane had gone into a steep turn after take-off and the crew did not fully correct it before the crash.

Samir Abdel Maaboud, head of Egypt's Civil Aviation Authority, said there were new details which needed study but he did not specify what they were, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency said.

He said experts from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) would arrive in Egypt in September to inspect aviation methods and the extent of the Authority's compliance with the annexes of the Chicago international civil aviation convention.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 12:39 AM   #63
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Plane Crashes On Takeoff In Sudan; 3 Dead
2 June 2005

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP)--A passenger plane on an internal flight crashed on takeoff in the Sudanese capital Thursday, killing three people and injuring more than a dozen, officials said.

State Minister of Aviation Abdel Karim Abdullah initially said five people had been killed when the plane's engines failed on takeoff at around 11:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT). Aviation Minister Ali Tamin Fartak later said three people were dead and 16 injured, two of them seriously.

Fartak said an inquiry had been launched to determine the cause of the crash.

The Russian-built Antonov operated by the commercial airline Marsland was headed from the capital, Khartoum, to El Fashir, capital of Northern Darfur, carrying 36 passengers and 6 crew, officials said. Two of the crew were Russian; the other four and all the passengers were Sudanese.

The U.N. refugee agency, which operates in the violence-torn Darfur region, said it had no reports that any of its staff were on the plane.

Sudan has a poor aviation safety record. In February a Russian-built cargo plane crashed outside Khartoum, killing the crew of seven. In July 2003, a Sudan Airways Boeing 737 en route from Port Sudan to Khartoum crashed soon after takeoff, killing all 115 people on board.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #64
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Six lightly injured as Zimbabwe plane makes emergency landing
8 June 2005

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - Six passengers were injured on Wednesday after an Air Zimbabwe Boeing 737 made an emergency landing at Johannesburg International Airport, authorities said.

Airports Company SA spokeswoman Jacqui O'Sullivan said the injured included a pregnant woman and an epileptic man who were hurt using emergency chutes to exit the plane, according to the South African Press Association.

The plane, with 93 passengers and six crew members on board, made an emergency landing at 8:45 a.m. (0645GMT) when the pilot noticed smoke in the cockpit.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 07:40 PM   #65
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Houston, Senegal airport systems sign cooperation accord
8 June 2005

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Airport System and the National Airports Authority of Senegal have signed a cooperation agreement to share information on airport management and operations.

Senegal has the closest African airport to Houston. The Houston Airport System said in a statement that Senegal could be a popular destination from Houston because of potential growth in its offshore oil exploration region.

The cooperation agreement is one of six between the Houston airport system and African nations. Others with similar accords are Ghana, Togo, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Angola.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 09:01 AM   #66
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Cash-strapped Gabonese airline forced to drop long-haul flights

LIBREVILLE, June 10 (AFP) - Gabon's cash-strapped national airline was left without any aircraft to carry out long-haul flights to Europe Friday, after its sole serviceable Boeing 767 was handed back at the end of its lease.

Air Gabon spokeswoman Brigitte Bika said company head Jerome Ngoua Bekala was in Paris trying to find a solution to enable the company to resume long-haul operations, responsible for 70 percent of its revenue.

A second Boeing 767, along with a medium-range Boeing 737, is grounded, awaiting the delivery of engines which will take some two weeks, Bika said.

At present the airline, which is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, only has a Fokker 100 to serve domestic destinations and airports in Gabon's immediate neighbours.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 06:12 AM   #67
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Kenya Airways excited to join SkyTeam

NAIROBI, June 10 (Reuters) - Kenya Airways said on Friday that the global airline alliance SkyTeam had selected it to be an associate member, paving way for the airline to access to SkyTeam's extensive route network.

Kenya Airways, one of Africa's few profitable carriers, said that when it attains full-member status next year, it would help the other SkyTeam members to access its route network in Africa.

"We are the only African airline that is an associate member of SkyTeam. So at the moment this means that we can offer a lot of value to the other members that don't fly here," Hugh Fraser, the Kenya Airways commercial manager, told a news conference.

Titus Naikuni, Kenya Airways chief executive said that the airline is working towards attaining the associate membership.

"I would like to stress the point here, that we've not joined the team yet. We've only been selected to start the joining process," Naikuni said. "We are very proud that we have been selected and sponsored to start the joining process."

On Thursday, SkyTeam, led by Air France and Delta Airlines , announced that the Kenyan Airline, along with three other airlines, had been granted the go-ahead to start preparing to get associate membership.

Before Kenya Airways can join SkyTeam, it has to meet conditions that the team sets, such as safety and improved information technology.

Among the benefits that Kenya Airways would get from SkyTeam would be joining one of the member airlines' frequent flyer programme, accessing member airlines' lounges for certain passenger classes and code sharing, officials said.

"There will be other SkyTeam members emerging from the Far East as well, which should also suit our purposes because they could then help us develop our Far East business without us having to set up a large sales organisation," Fraser said.

The other airlines selected along with Kenya Airways are Air Europa of Spain, Copa Airlines of Panama and Tarom of Romania.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 11:17 PM   #68
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Local flights resume in Nigeria after plane blocks runway

LAGOS, June 12 (AFP) - Local flights into and out of Lagos' domestic airport resumed Sunday afternoon after being suspended or cancelled for several hours after the runway was blocked by an aircraft that failed to take off, a passenger said.

"I am on board the plane now. We will be taking off for Abuja any moment from now. Two flights have taken off from the airport a couple of minutes ago," the passenger told AFP by telephone from inside the plane.

The plane, belonging to Chachangi Airlines, had been trying to take off for the southern oil city of Port Harcourt in heavy rain when it suddenly broke down and jolted to a halt.

The resumption of flights followed the clearing of the blocked runway, the passenger said.

Nobody was injured in the incident, officials said.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 08:04 AM   #69
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Govt suspends two 'stubborn' Nigerian pilots over negligence

LAGOS, June 13 (AFP) - The Nigerian government has suspended two pilots who at the weekend allegedly refused to heed the advice of air traffic controllers against landing their aircraft on flooded tarmac, officials said Monday.

Aviation Minister Isa Yuguda on Sunday in Lagos suspended the two pilots of EAS and Chanchangi airlines for three months over alleged negligence in two separate incidents in which the aircraft they flew skidded off the runway on landing following a downpour.

No passengers were injured in the two incidents.

Yuguda said that the pilots of EAS and Chanchangi landed on waterlogged runways respectively at central Jos airport on Saturday and Lagos on Sunday against the advice of air traffic controllers and overshoot the runway by between 40 and 100 metres (yards).

"We cannot watch the safety of the flying public being jeopardised. We are not happy with the risk most of them take," the minister said.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 07:39 PM   #70
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Virgin Atlantic new Nigerian venture to launch Lagos-London route
13 June 2005

LONDON (AFX) - Virgin Nigeria, a new airline partly owned by Virgin Atlantic, will begin operations on June 28 with an inaugural flight from Lagos to London Heathrow, the company said.

The return flight will be on July 4. Eventually, flight frequency will improve from twice to thrice weekly.

Virgin Nigeria is also considering short-haul flights, within Africa.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 04:09 AM   #71
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Malawi national carrier to double flights to Kenya

NAIROBI, June 14 (AFP) - In a bid to boost Malawi's tourism sector, the country's national carrier, Air Malawi, plans to double its weekly flights to Kenya, officials said Tuesday.

After leasing a new Boeing 737-200 from South Africa's Inter Air pending the arrival of a recently purchased Boeing 737-500 from the United States, the airline will up service on its Blantyre-Nairobi route from three to six times a week starting Wednesday, they said.

Air Malawi will retain a code-sharing agreement with Kenya Airways for the three old flights, but not the new ones which are scheduled for Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, an airline official told AFP.

"Malawi is still an undiscovered jewel, just two hours away from Nairobi," Benson Tembo, Malawi's high commissioner (ambassador) to Kenya, said in a statement.

"The idea is to lengthen the bandwagon of tourists now flocking to Malawi to discover what has been described as one of the largest lakes in Africa," he said, referring to Lake Malawi, which takes up one fifth of the country's total area.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 06:45 AM   #72
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Nigeria, U.S. in talks to end Virgin airline row

LAGOS, June 13 (Reuters) - Nigerian and U.S. authorities are in talks to resolve a row over Nigeria's new national carrier, Virgin Nigeria, which is now prevented from flying direct to the United States, the airline's chief executive said on Monday.

U.S. authorities barred the airline, 49 percent owned by Richard Branson's Virgin Group , citing the anti-competitive aviation policy of Britain.

A U.S. diplomat told the Nigerian news agency in December that given the interest of Branson's UK-registered carrier in the new airline, it would be unfair to permit Virgin Nigeria to benefit from the U.S.-Nigeria open-skies agreement.

Nigeria countered in April by denying technical permits to Continental Airlines for direct flights into the oil-exporting country, forcing the world's sixth largest airline to scrap plans to service the lucrative Lagos-to-New York route from the second quarter of this year.

Virgin Nigeria Chief Executive Simon Harford said he was confident the dispute would soon be resolved and that the airline would commence flights to the U.S.

"The two governments are in constructive discussions as befits two crucial partners," Harford said at a news conference.

"These things do take time. But we are absolutely confident that we would be flying to the U.S. as soon as all steps are completed," he said.

The business plan of Virgin Nigeria, which was formed last year after the collapse of former state-owned Nigeria Airways and is 51 percent owned by Nigerian institutions, will not be hurt if the U.S. authorities insist on a ban, Harford said.

"There are many, many other routes that we would be flying," Simon said. He added that the airline hoped to service nine international routes within the first nine months of its launch.

The new airline raised initial capital of $50 million earlier this year and is set to begin operations on June 28 from its hub at the Lagos airport to London's Heathrow airport.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 07:50 AM   #73
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Kenya Airways to start Mozambique flights
14 June 2005

MAPUTO, June (Reuters) - Kenya Airways will start regular flights to the Mozambique capital Maputo from August as part of its expansion strategy in southern Africa, the airline said on Tuesday.

"As one of the southern Africa emerging economies, Mozambique is a great potential business partner to Kenya," the airline said in a statement, adding its Maputo flights would be via the Zimbabwean capital Harare and would start on Aug. 4.

Kenya Airways already flies to Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, Harare in Zimbabwe, Lusaka in Zambia and Lilongwe, Malawi.

Mozambique has become one of the favourite destinations of business executives seeking new investment opportunities on the continent. Its pristine beaches also attract millions of tourists every year.

Kenya Airways is one of Africa's few profitable airlines.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 07:51 AM   #74
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Nigeria lifts 18-year ban on Air India
14 June 2005

Excerpt from report by Nigerian newspaper The Guardian website on 14 June

Nigeria has lifted the 18-year ban on Air India. This was sequel to the good gesture from New Delhi, which had earlier granted a Nigerian local carrier - Bellview Airlines - the rights to fly into its airspace.

Under the new Bilateral Air Service Agreement, Bellview will from Monday [20 June] next week operate its maiden flight to Mumbai, India.

The pardon was the aftermath of President Olusegun Obasanjo's state visit to India in 2000 when he promised to grant waiver to Air India.

The airline was barred from flying into Nigeria in 1987 for failing to abide by the rules and regulations guiding the aviation industry, an offence which the aviation minister, Malam Isa Yuguda, described as a security breach.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:24 AM   #75
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Sudan carrier resumes flights to Kenya after 8 years
By Opheera McDoom

KHARTOUM, June 15 (Reuters) - Sudan's state-owned airline resumed flights to neighbouring Kenya for the first time in eight years on Wednesday, following a peace deal which ended two decades of war in the south, an official said.

The carrier's first flight to Nairobi since U.S. sanctions were imposed on Sudan in 1997 flew via the future southern capital Juba and onto the Kenyan capital, where the peace deal was signed in January between former southern rebels and the government.

"Today we resumed the Nairobi leg once per week and we are planning to operate a second leg sometime in July," Osman Youssef, deputy commercial director of Sudan Airways, told Reuters.

He said Sudan Airways had to stop all European flights, for which Nairobi was the main connecting airport, in 1997 after the imposition of economic sanctions.

Many Western companies and foreigners withdrew from Sudan because of the sanctions, and business became very poor, forcing airlines to cancel many routes.

Youssef said the company planned to restart flights to Europe maybe as soon as next month.

He said he expected good potential in the leg to Nairobi, because of strong commercial links and good relations between the two countries, and that Sudan Airways was ready to meet the demand even if daily flights were needed.

"Kenya has played a significant role to accomplish the peace between the south and the north and Kenya was hosting the delegations," he said.

Youssef said traffic would also be underpinned by post-war reconstruction in the south, and by aid operations there by the United Nations and other aid agencies.

The United Nations is sending more than 10,000 peacekeeping troops to the south over the next six months. Donors have also pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild the south, one of the poorest areas on earth.

Cargo flights were also due to start soon, he said. Infrastructure in the south, including roads, is virtually non-existent so transporting goods by air is big business.

PRIVATISATION BY YEAR-END

Youssef said Sudan Airways was beginning the process of privatisation and said this was likely to be completed by the end of 2005.

"I think before the end of this year it will be a private company," he said. The finance minister said last year the company would be part privatised.

Youssef also said the company had bought two Airbus A300 planes and two A320 planes and were expecting delivery soon. He declined to give details of the deal.

The Minister of Civil Aviation Ali Tamim Fartak told Reuters these were not new planes and had been bought from the market.

But he said Sudan had reached a "preliminary understanding" with Airbus to cancel the Sudanese airline's $25 million debt to the European company if Sudan bought new Airbus planes.

Fartak said Sudan Airways needed between six to 11 new planes to cover future operations but the company could not afford it. Its total debts were $65 million, but the only foreign debt was the $25 million to Airbus.

He said the U.S. government had objected to the understanding with Airbus, which had held up the deal.

Fartak and Youssef both said the company was looking to hold talks with U.S. giant Boeing about buying new planes. They declined to say how the purchases would be funded.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:51 PM   #76
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Sudanese flag carrier resumes flights to southern Sudan after two decades

NAIROBI, June 15 (AFP) - Sudan's national airline on Wednesday resumed service to the formerly rebel-held south, suspended 20 years ago at the height of a long-running civil war that ended in January, officials said.

The first Sudan Airways flight from Khartoum to the southern Sudanese town of Juba left the Sudanese capital early Wednesday, according to airline officials in Nairobi where the Boeing 737-200 service culiminates.

The flight is scheduled for every Wednesday between the three east African cities, John Okoth, the Sudan Airway manager in Kenya, told AFP.

"We are planning to increase the frequency to two flights a week in the near future as well as introduce a bigger plane," he said.

Sudan Airways suspended its Khartoum-Juba-Nairobi route in the mid-1980s as the war between Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and government troops intensified, compromising passenger safety.

Juba, a government garrison town during the 21 years of war that ended with the signing of a peace deal in Kenya on January 9, is the only town in war-devastated southern Sudan with a fully functional airport.

The town is to eventually serve as the capital of a semi-autonomous southern Sudan for a period of six years after which the south will vote in a referendum on secession, under the terms of the peace agreement.

The former SPLM/A is currently building a big airport in Rumbek, the interim capital of the regional government west of Juba that is currently home to numerous United Nations and other international humanitarian missions.

Juba and Rumbek are now mainly served by charter airlines although a private Kenyan carrier, East African Safari Air Express (EASAX), began scheduled flights to Rumbek in February.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 06:55 AM   #77
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Malawi announces plan to build new international airport
19 June 2005
BBC
Text of report by Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) radio on 19 June

Government will build an international airport at Ekwendeni in Mzimba. The airport is under the regional projects scheme of the Mtwara Development Corridor.

Transport and Public works Minister Henry Mussa says the move is part of the relocation exercise of the Mzuzu Airport that was built in the 60s.

The minister says under the same project government will also build a major road from Nkhata Bay to Lundazi in Zambia, he said.

The minister says it is proposed that the new airport be built around Dunduzu area, which he claimed had a vast expanse of empty land.

Mussa says his ministry is doing a feasibility study to establish the economic viability of the move. He says that from a social and political viewpoint, Mzuzu Airport has to relocate, as it is in a residential area.

Two years ago, a taxing plane failed to take off and collided with a minibus killing one person and injuring several others at the same airport.

In other incidences, planes have failed to land because mad people were on the runway or people were crossing it.

But Regional Lands Commissioner for the North Felix Mangani has expressed ignorance on the application.

He says his department is supposed to clear the land with chiefs and then give the Department of Civil Aviation a title deed.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 03:13 AM   #78
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Kenya Airways gets third Boeing 777

NAIROBI, June 20 (Reuters) - Kenya Airways on Monday received its third Boeing 777-200 aircraft, ending the first phase of the national carrier's push to modernise its fleet, it said in a statement.

Kenya Airways, which is 26-percent-owned by KLM Royal Dutch, part of Air France-KLM , said in May the fleet upgrade would boost available passenger seats by over 31 percent on the previous year.

The aircraft has seating capacity for 322 passengers and can carry 30 tonnes of cargo. It has an 11,500 km range.

In 2004, the airline carried over 2 million passengers, a 20 percent increase on 2003.

The airline, one of Africa's few profitable carriers, was this month chosen with four other airlines to start preparing to join the global airline alliance, SkyTeam, a move that would give it access to a greater route network.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 03:14 AM   #79
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Night flights to Ethiopia's main airport to resume after crash
21 June 2005

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) - Night flights to Ethiopia's international airport were expected to resume Tuesday after they were halted because of the crash-landing of a cargo plane over the weekend, an official said.

Investigators are examining the wreckage of a Boeing 707 that crashed on Sunday as it was landing at Bole International Airport in the capital, Addis Ababa, said Adawork Regassa, the Civil Aviation Authority's acting head of flight safety.

The crash forced authorities to close one runway.

"We expect night flights to resume this evening, but we are still trying to get the plane off the runway," said Solomon Emer, the general manager of Ethiopian Airport Enterprise, a government company that runs the airport.

Adawork said that preliminary investigations found that there was a fault with the plane's landing gear. Officials said that it was leased by Ethiopian Airlines but did not have any other details.

Ethiopian Airlines officials were not immediately available for comment.

None of the five crew members was injured and there were no passengers on board, said Solomon.

Adawork said that this was the first time in 12 years there had been a plane crash at the airport.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:31 PM   #80
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S.African Airways overpaying for old leases - CEO

CAPE TOWN, June 22 (Reuters) - South African Airways (SAA) is leasing at least 4 Boeing aircraft for double their market price under contracts entered into by its previous management, the company said on Wednesday.

SAA Chief Executive Khaya Ngqula said the state-owned carrier was paying $900,000 a month each for the Boeing 747 400s when the current market price was only about $450,000.

The lease contracts were entered into by previous management and would run until the end of 2006, adding to operating costs as the company struggles to return to profitability after years of heavy losses, he said.

"It's a legacy, we just have to swallow it," Ngqula told reporters after a briefing to parliament's public enterprises committee. "These are some of the legacies we have to deal with," he said.

Ngqula said the airline was trying to re-negotiate the leases. SAA posted a pretax loss of 8.7 billion rand ($1.3 billion) in fiscal 2003/04 but made an operating profit of 132 million rand in the six months to September last year.

The company is due to announce its full-year results early next month, and government has indicated that the results are expected to be "good".

Ngqula said profit for the second half of the year should better the first half-year result, without elaborating further.

He also defended SAA's decision to lease planes to India's Jet Airways for a lower price than a competing bid, saying Jet offered the best overall bid of the eight interested companies.

SAA leased 3 Airbus A340-300E aircraft to Jet Airways from April this year for two-years to help raise cash.

The Sunday Times newspaper alleged that the national carrier had agreed to a monthly payment of $925,000 per aircraft compared with $1.15 million that was offered by rival Air Sahara.

The decision meant that the projected total lease revenue was $110 million lower than the original $450 million.
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