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Old April 22nd, 2006, 06:55 PM   #1
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Continental Africa Aviation Thread & NEWS

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Old April 22nd, 2006, 06:59 PM   #2
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Nigeria: BPE Hands Nigeria Airways Hqtrs to Buyers

This Day (Lagos)

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) yesterday formally handed over the corporate headquarters of liquidated airline, Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) to the buyers, Ojemai Investments Limited, owners of Arik Air, who paid N950 million to acquire the imposing complex of the once vibrant national flag carrier.

The ceremony which was held at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos corporate headquarters of the defunct carrier, was performed by the BPE Director General,Mrs Irene Chigbue.

Chigbue in her address said NAL head office complex and hangar were some of the prime assets of the liquidated airline, listing the facilities found there as the Main Hangar, Workshop Complex, the Hangar Shed, Administrative building (Airways House), Medical centre, training Centre central Stores and Vehicle Maintenance Building.

The BPE boss who went through memory lane to recall the processes that led to the liquidation of the airline, noted that given its huge debt profile which stood at N52 billion as at December 2002, it was obvious that the airline had become insolvent and thertefore could not carry on business as usual.

According to her the only option left was that of liquidation, adding that coinsequently, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in April 2003 directed the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) to liquidate it.

She added that having weighed all the three different methods of winding up companies as provided by under the Companies and Allied matters Act (CAMA) 1990, the best option was Winding up by the Court, adding that the option was informed by the realisation that given the huge debt profile of NAL, it would open a floodgate of litigations.

According to her, apart from the court appointing the firm of Messrs Babington Ashaye as liquidators, the BPE also went into open bidding of the assets of the airline, which resulted in Ojemai Investments emrging the winners.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 07:01 PM   #3
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British Airways (BA) has denied engaging in any unfair trade practices or taking advantage of the hospitalities of Ghanaians as alleged by the owner of Antrak Air, Alhaji Asuma Banda.
According to the Country Manager of BA, Mrs. Essie Anno Sackey, various factors are taken into consideration by companies in the pricing of fares offered and determining what services to offer what markets.

Reacting to media reports that foreign airlines operating in the country were exploiting and discriminating against Ghanaian passengers, particularly on the London and other European routes, as Nigerians enjoyed 64kg baggage allowance, whilst Ghanaians are allowed only 23kg. She explained that BA flew bigger aircrafts to Nigeria than to Ghana and therefore able to offer baggage allowances to passengers flying to and from Nigeria than it does to and from Ghana.

She disclosed that BA is running two different policies on baggage allowance; the weight system and the pie system.
The weight system, which applies to Ghana, Europe and other African countries, measures baggage weights according to the class, thus 23kg for the economy class.

The Pie system however allows two pieces of 32kg baggage. This, according to Mrs. Sackey, are offered customers in matured markets like that of the US and Canada, and is the system Nigeria is also currently benefiting from.

"It is also worth emphasizing that the issue of baggage allowance is constantly under review to make simpler to customers," she said. "Among factors that affect airline fares are volume of travel, seasonal influences, aviation fuel cost, aircraft type, etc, and BA fares on the Accra-London-Accra routes are very competitive".
The country manager said a letter Alhaji Azuma Banda wrote to the BA International Manager on July 18, 2001 has not received a response.

Alhaji Banda, owner of Antrak Air has accused foreign airlines operating in the country of exploitation, discrimination and undignified treatment of Ghanaians, particularly on the London and other European airports.
The accusations bordered on airline ticket prices, excessive baggage charges and miserly baggage allowances given passengers traveling in and out of Ghana by some foreign airlines, especially BA. He said records available at BA's website confirms that travelers from Nigeria enjoy two-piece baggage allowance at a total weight of 64kg, whiles Ghanaians passengers are only allowed 23kg baggage.

The BA country manager disclosed that her outfit wass open for investigations from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority because they had nothing to hide. She said BA had been abiding by all the rules and regulations of the GCAA and the aviation industry in general.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 07:01 PM   #4
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aken from Flight International:

South African regional carrier SA Airlink is expected to lodge one of the first appeals against a blacklisting by the European Union following the inclusion of its partner airline Airlink Swaziland on the EU’s recently published list.

SA Airlink – a franchise of South African Airways in which the new Star Alliance member airline has a 10% stake – launched services to Swaziland in 1999 after taking a 40% holding in newly created Swazi national carrier Airlink Swaziland.

Airlink Swaziland replaced the wholly state-owned Royal Swazi National Airways and is now run as a joint venture between SA Airlink and the Swazi government, which holds a 60% stake.

The EU decided to ban all Swazi carriers from landing at Europe’s airports on the basis that the authorities of Swaziland had shown “a lack of ability” to carry out adequate safety oversight on its seven carriers including Airlink Swaziland.

SA Airlink chief executive Rodger Foster is reported to be arguing that the Swazi-registered carrier falls under South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority as it is managed by SA Airlink, and uses only aircraft and pilots registered in South Africa.

Airlink Swaziland does not operate to Europe, but provides scheduled services codeshared with South African Airways from the Swazi capital of Manzini to Johannesburg. The blacklisting could discourage European travellers from flying with the airline.

A senior European Commission official says: “One or two airlines have written to the Commission saying they feel that despite their regulatory oversight administration being inadequate they believe their operations are sound. While the onus is on those carriers to provide all the necessary documented evidence, the question is, how could we ascertain that they were maintaining safety standards without an adequate oversight authority?

“The system appears to be confusing. We don’t want to penalise an established well-run airline, but as long as there is ambiguity, we cannot take the chance.

“It would have to be demonstrated to us that the South African CAA would assume full responsibility for the safety oversight of Swazi carriers,” the official adds.

While he declines to name Airlink Swaziland as a carrier preparing to appeal, the official says the EC is examining the co-operation agreement between Swaziland and the South African CAA.

Makes sense - just because Airlink flies to Swaziland under the guise of a Swazi airline I don't think it's fair that they get put on 'the blacklist'.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 07:02 PM   #5
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Here's the 12 busiest airports in Africa for Jan 2006 (note excludes Nairobi as no figures currently available). Pax figures are in '000 with change from Jan'05.

1. Johannesburg 1,349.8___ 8.9%
2. Cairo 968.4___ 6.2%
3. Cape Town 595.3___ 6.8%
4. Sharm el Sheikh 451.1___ 10.3%
5. Casablanca 400.6___ 16.9%
6. Hurghada 369.5___ 8.5%
7. Durban 304.8___ 14.0%
8. Lagos 276.6___ -3.9%
9. Algiers 270.6___ 6.3%
10.Mauritius 255.3___ 11.4%
11.Tunis 251.7___ 1.5%
12.Luxor 196.6___ -15.6%
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 07:04 PM   #6
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Johannesburg International Airport prepares for the Airbus A380

Construction at Johannesburg International Airport has already commenced in order to accommodate the A380 Airbus and will be completed by the end of 2008 according to the Airports Company SA. Chief Airports' Planner
Erik Kriel, explained to a group of journalists who were invited to an Airbus update that the project was estimated to cost in the region of R10bn over the next few years. Kriel said: "Due to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the upgrading began about three years ago, but there will be more extensive upgrades to the runways and terminals. We expect traffic at the airport to double in the next nine to ten years. The Airbus A380 will carry about 550 passengers so we have to accommodate for the arrival and departure of 550 passengers at a time."
The central terminal building, international and domestic terminals, arrival and departure terminals, check-points as well as the gate and stand capacity would be upgraded. The expansion and development of the retail mall and seating area would be completed by the end of next year. The old domestic terminal building that has stood empty for the past few years has already been demolished in order to make way new developments.
The new 'air bridge' will project eastwards from the end of the present international terminal building and will contain two A380 parking bays with a further two bays situated on remote concrete stands. The new air bridges have been designed to load the two A380 passenger decks independently and when not in use for the loading of the massive airliner they can be used to load two smaller regional jets. The existing international terminal is a nightmare because it is very narrow and does not allow 'meeters and greeters' the opportunity to move around easily. This problem is to be solved by extending the area into the existing covered roadway and to build a new wider roadway towards the west of the terminal.
"Everything at the airport will be extended and the bus station will be enlarged. We are also making provision for A380 carousels to ensure that the hundreds of passengers who get off the Airbus can access their luggage easily. Extra parking space will be built, but we were already working on that. I'm sure those of you who come to the airport often enough will be glad about this," added Kriel.
Cape Town International Airport was the preferred diversion for the A380, and a new runway will be built allowing the present runway to be converted into a taxi way. The runway at Air Force Base Waterkloof is no longer serviceable therefore this airfield can no longer be used for diverting traffic. Congestion at Cape Town International Airport will also come under the spot light due to ever increasing domestic, regional and international airline traffic.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 07:07 PM   #7
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The Airports Company SA (ACSA), Internet Solutions and MWEB have joined hands to provide wireless hotspots to travellers at the country's largest international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
The service was launched in response to frequent fliers wanting to connect to the internet and catch up on e-mails while waiting for flights. Acsa has put in place a number of options for connectivity.

"Apart from subscriber users of Internet Solutions and MWEB, travellers can purchase time with a credit card," says Acsa's Nico Pretorius. "International travellers with accounts in their home countries can also log in directly through various hotspot roaming agreements such as WeRoam, IPASS or Quiconnect."

Credit card users are provided with a username and password that can be used at any Acsa, Internet Solutions and MWEB Wi-Fi hotspot facility. Unused time can be used at a later stage at any of the other Wi-Fi hotspot locations - of which there are now nearly 50 throughout SA.

Extensive coverage is available in the airports' departure hall retail areas and at all departure gates of all three international airports as well as most of the airline business lounges. The InterContinental Airport Sun at Johannesburg International boasts in-room, foyer and meeting-room internet access.

There are managed hotspots at 11 City Lodges; 10 Mugg & Bean coffee shops (with an additional seven going live by the end of June); and 21 News Cafés around the country.

Internet Solutions corporate customers and MWEB members can now gain access to more than 20000 hotspots worldwide, thanks to a recent agreement with hotspot aggregator IPASS.
Acsa has a full user-friendly manual on its website and travellers can download it before departing on their next trip.

There is also a small pocket guide with simple instructions available throughout the airports.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 08:33 PM   #8
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There is already a thread for Africa aviation in here and also in the Africa section :

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=171888
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