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Showing posts from January, 2013

Fastjet eyes Kenya's Jetlink amid Fly540 legal challenge.

Fastjet has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Kenyan airline   Jetlink Express , which it says will provide a platform for launching operations in the east African country this year. The announcement comes within hours of news that Fastjet subsidiary   Fly540   has commenced legal action over the repayment of $6.78 million in debt - a move that had threatened to postpone the launch of Fastjet's planned base in Nairobi, Kenya. "Under the terms of the MOU, Fastjet and Jetlink are working together to create a joint venture which will give a platform for the launch of the Fastjet brand in Kenya," the low-cost startup says. Chief executive Ed Winter adds that the joint venture could see Fastjet aircraft enter the Kenyan market "within the next few months". Jetlink suspended operations in November 2012 after encountering funding difficulties in South Sudan. The Nairobi-based carrier has a fleet of seven   Bombardier   CRJ100s and CRJ200s plus on

TECHNOLOGY: Qatar Airways launches advanced navigation system

Qatar Airways has achieved an aviation industry milestone by becoming the first airline in the world to operate an aircraft with a new navigational approach into Nepal utilising the latest aircraft technology. The Doha-based airline implemented a Required Navigation Performance – Authorisation Required (RNP AR) approach into the Nepalese capital’s Tribhuvan International Airport. Locked in the Himalayan mountain range, Kathmandu has one of the world’s most complicated approaches due to the surrounding challenging terrain. Flying an RNP AR approach into Tribhuvan International Airport reduces pilots’ workload considerably and allows them to take full benefit of the advanced navigation equipment installed in aircraft to easily circumnavigate difficult terrain. With a smooth descent and fully stabilised approach, it leads to significant safety improvements and reduces the required visibility compared with current standard flying procedures. The RNP AR procedure allows aircraf

KQ drops commercial director as revenues drop sharply.

Kenya Airways has dropped its commercial director, in a harbinger of a possible re-organisation in the wake of the largest drop in revenues experienced by the airline in the past five years. Mohan Chandra, 61, served his last day as commercial director on Friday, January 18, when his contract ended. KQ head of communication Chris Karanja confirmed Mr Chandra’s exit, while a different source said: “Both parties agreed to mutually end the contract.” The source added: “Being the commercial director, he was the one responsible for the selling.” Jimmy Kebati, the airline’s head of network planning, has been asked to serve in an acting capacity as the hunt for a substantive replacement for Mr Chandra gets under way. Mr Chandra had served in the position since August 2009, coming in from the Emirates Post Group where he was the chief operating officer. Read more>>>> The East African

Most Boeing Dreamliners grounded for battery checks.

Airlines scrambled on Thursday to rearrange flights as Europe, Japan   and India joined the United States in grounding Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner passenger jets while battery-related problems are investigated. NTSB photo of the burned auxiliary power unit battery from a JAL Boeing 787  that caught fire on Jan. 7 at Boston Photo from ASN .   The lightweight, mainly carbon-composite plane has been plagued by recent mishaps - including an emergency landing of an All Nippon Airways domestic flight on Wednesday after warning lights indicated a battery problem - raising concerns over its use of lithium-ion batteries. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday temporarily grounded Boeing's newest commercial airliner, saying carriers would have to demonstrate the batteries were safe before the planes could resume flying. It gave no details on when that might happen. Other regulators followed suit on Thursday. It is the first such action against a U.

ATCL Dash 8 Q300 windshield cracked in Kigoma.

An ATCL Dash 8, Q300  5H-MWF (c/n 474)  enroute  from Kigoma, western town of Tanzania to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) with 25 people on board, had to make an air-turn back when one of the windshield windows developed crack about 30 minutes after it took off from TKQ on Friday. The crew did a safe landing at Kigoma airport (TKQ). According to a local TV station, ITV, the incidence has been confirmed by the Acting Executive Director of ATCL, Captain Milton Lazaro, while urging travelers not to worry as this is a normal problem that can occur to any other aircraft. He said arrangements were underway to ensure that passengers who were traveling with their plane get another aircraft to transport them to Dar es Salaam, and that until yesterday the solution would have been obtained. The plane, fresh from major check-C repairs was on its first flight in the region, 10 months after the airline’s other aircraft crashed in the same region. In April last year another ATCL Dash 8

Boeing 787 at Boston airport returns to gate with fuel leak

A fuel leak forced a Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner operated by   Japan   Airlines   to return to the gate at Boston's Logan International Airport Tuesday, canceling its scheduled takeoff, in the second incident in as many days with the new jet, a fire official said. The leak occurred on a different plane than the one that experienced an electrical fire Monday at Logan, said Richard Walsh, a Massport spokesman. That plane also was operated by   Japan   Airlines . The fuel-leaking plane had left the gate in preparation for takeoff on a flight to Tokyo when the fuel spill of about 40 gallons was discovered, Walsh said. No fire or injuries occurred, and the passengers were taken off the plane, he added. Reuters.

Boeing 787 fire at Boston airport renews safety concern

Fire broke out on an empty Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jet parked at a gate in Boston on Monday, putting safety concerns about the new, carbon-composite jet back in the spotlight and drawing attention from federal investigators. Fire trucks surround a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner that caught fire at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts January 7, 2013.  Credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder   Officials said the fire started when a battery in the   Japan   Airlines   Co Ltd jet's auxiliary power system exploded around 10:30 a.m. ET, shortly after passengers deplaned. A mechanic inspecting the jet discovered smoke in the cockpit while performing a routine post-flight inspection and reported it to authorities at Boston's Logan International Airport, officials said. " Japan   Airlines   spokeswoman Carol Anderson later said smoke was not discovered in the cockpit. "Smoke was initially discovered by a maintenance staff in the rear end of the cabin,

Berlin's new airport delayed a fourth time

The opening of Berlin's new airport may be delayed a fourth time. The Associated Press reports that one of Germany's infrastructure projects "has turned into an embarrassment for a country that prides itself on efficiency and punctuality." Transportation Ministry spokesman Sebastian Rudolph told the AP that there are problems with the fire safety system and other technical components of the new Willy Brandt airport. The airport was supposed to open in late 2011. It was intended to replace Berlin's two smaller airport, Tegel and Schoenefeld. The first delay would have had the airport open June 2012, then March 2013, and finally to Oct. 27, 2013. But the latest problems will likely make the October opening unlikely. Already, the delays have more than doubled the construction to $5.8 billion. Rudolph told the AP the latest delays will probably add to the cost. The new airport is in Brandenburg, the state that surrounds the capital. The governments of Brande

Delivery of Boeing Dreamliners to China held up.

China said it has yet to approve U.S. planemaker Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, which has put on hold the delivery of the jet to the world's fastest growing aviation market. China  Southern  Airlines  Co Ltd, which has outstanding orders for 10 Dreamliner B787s, had expected to receive its first plane in 2012, but that has been delayed as the U.S. company has yet to receive certification from Chinese authorities. Another Chinese airline, Hainan  Airlines , which aimed to get five B787 airliners last year, also had to push back its schedule due to delayed certification, local media reported. China has been increasingly assertive when it comes to exercising its right to independently certify the airworthiness of western-built aerospace equipment, such as engines, industry sources said. Any aircraft has to obtain a certificate of airworthiness from the Civil Aviation Administration of China before it can enter the country. "The approval process for the certificati

ATCL resumes daily flights to Kigoma.

Following completion of renovation at Kigoma airport, ATCL is set to resume daily flights between Dar and Kigoma. In a press conference held in his offices yesterday, the ATCL Acting Chief Executive Officer, Captain Milton Lazaro, told journalists of their plans to deploy the 50-seater Bombardier Dash 8-300 aircraft on the route. The aircraft was recently certified by ATCL engineers after undergoing major check-C repairs. "We are now set to resume our Dar es Salaam-Kigoma flights on Thursday, January 10. "We are also working on implementing our aggressive expansion plans which will see us flying to other destinations in the country and beyond," he said. ATCL will soon fly to Tabora and Mpanda once rehabilitation and renovation of airport facilities there are completed. "ATCL's strategic plans to start flying to Songwe Airport in Mbeya are at advanced stage. We expect to start flying passengers to that destination on January 20," he added.

Precisionair (PW) to launch “Elimika na Precision air” campaign.

Precision Air Services of Tanzania plans to launch an education campaign aimed   to educate the public on  customer awareness of procedure and  operations protocol as well train PW’s personnel on improving customer services. PW   has decided to conduct such public education awareness drive because there is a major challenge in the country’s airlines and the clients that they handle. The campaign that will soon run in both print and electronic media in the country   is   geared at erasing a number of negative views and   clients complain of among other things customer services, change in aircraft schedules,  cancellation  of flights and baggage losses. Of which, the airline believes that it is due to client lack of information as well as deliberate disregard of rules. For example, the statement said   PW’s rules clearly indicate that a client must report at the airport three hours before departure, yet a lot of customers have a tendency of ignoring it, assuming they will arriv

Kenyan Airways flight makes emergency landing in Sudan.

A Kenyan Airways plane with 56 passengers on board made an emergency landing in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, after an engine caught fire, witnesses said on Wednesday. Nobody was hurt, but the incident on Tuesday night left passengers stranded in a country difficult for travel because credit cards do not work in Sudan due to U.S. trade sanctions.  Banks  change dollars only at a very unfavourable exchange rate compared with the dominant black market. The Cairo-bound Boeing 737-700 took off in Khartoum after a regular stopover following a flight from Nairobi. But it had to return to the Sudanese capital after 20 minutes, three passengers on board flight KQ 320 told  Reuters . " An engine caught fire and the plane suddenly lost much altitude. The pilot made a sharp turn and returned to Khartoum,"  said Souhair Mohamed Hawala, an Egyptian passenger.  "There was panic on board. People were crying or praying." Other passengers showed what they said were pictures f

DGCA asks Kingfisher Airlines to clear employees' dues before take-off

NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked cash-strapped   Kingfisher Airlines   to clear employees' dues at one go before being allowed to resume operations. The airline's flying licence expired on Monday.   Kingfisher Airlines submitted a third revival plan on December 24 to save its licence, but the aviation regulator found it unconvincing and demanded reassurances from the company besides setting many preconditions on December 29.   "DGCA asked Kingfisher Vice-President   Hitesh Patel   to clear all employees' dues up front. It also demanded a letter of financial commitment from the   UB Group   and Kingfisher that it would   invest   652 crore," a   senior government official , who did not wish to be named, told ET.   The lapse of its licence would deal a huge blow to the company and its employees, who are yet to receive salaries for many months in 2012.   Airport operators like the   Airports Authority of India (AAI) and