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May 2021

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Today is International Cabin Crew Day. We salute all the world’s cabin crew for their dedication to helping people stay connected through air travel. We pay special tribute to those whose livelihoods have fallen victim to the pandemic. And the salute includes all who continue to keep people safe in-flight during the pandemic. Sadly, these trying times have not brought out the best in all of us. The return of travel has seen a rise in reports of disruptive passengers in some areas of the globe. This behaviour is unacceptable. The actions of a minority of badly-behaved passengers will not be tolerated. All passengers must adhere to the rules and procedures needed to keep passengers and crew safe and healthy. In the pandemic that includes instructions for temporary measures such as mask-wearing. Failing to comply with safety measures is never acceptable, and passengers should expect a zero-tolerance approach to abusive…

Air Seychelles has released the schedule of new services to Johannesburg and Maldives starting June 5, 2021. Flights to Johannesburg’s O R Tambo International Airport and will be operated on Wednesdays and Saturdays and will also include an overnight service on Saturday nights to provide more flexibility to those planning a quick getaway. Flight HM060 will depart O R Tambo International Airport at 13:30hrs to arrive in the Seychelles at 20:45hrs, whilst flight HM061 bound for South Africa will depart the archipelago at 9:25hrs to arrive in Johannesburg at 12:30hrs. The overnight Saturday service will depart from Johannesburg at 00:45hrs (Sunday) to arrive in Seychelles at 7:45hrs. For travellers thinking of an all-inclusive vacation, flights will be departing Johannesburg on Friday evenings to Maldives with an intermediate stop briefly in the Seychelles before continuing onto Male’s International Airport. Return flights from Male Airport are scheduled for Saturdays and will provide…

KLM has announced it will be adding new destinations to its intercontinental network for its winter schedule between 31 October 2021 and 26 March 2022. The European carrier is set on an expansion strategy that is focused on where recovery will be quickest, offering customers the broadest possible choice of destinations. The new routes include the Kenyan beach destination of Mombasa which will be served twice a week and will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Mombasa will be combined with Nairobi on the return journey to Amsterdam Network strategy During the Covid-19 pandemic, KLM has done everything possible to maintain its network of destinations in order to continue carrying cargo and enabling passengers to travel when necessary – of course, in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by both the Dutch government and local authorities. KLM will continue to work closely with the Dutch government to uphold…

Despite social distancing and the cataclysmic drop in demand for air travel that was expected to bring a sharp rise in airfare prices, Nigeria’s aviation trend shows flyers will be benefiting from lower air fares in key markets, supported by competition among the domestic airlines who are desperate to try to convince their customers to fly their planes. This has erupted in a price war between the domestic airlines, with tickets for flights between Lagos and Abuja selling for as low as $40. As the domestic carriers are working to put people into seats, this has raised the question: has flying become cheaper? Green Africa Airways sparked the price war when it revealed its ticket prices selling at $40 despite being the newest entrant in the aviation scene and not yet taking to the skies. Air Peace, which is presumably the largest carrier in Nigeria has also slashed its prices…

Nigeria will have a National Airline in the first quarter of 2022 according to minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika. In a speech to media, Hadi Sirika reiterated the government’s desire to launch the flag carrier in 2021, however due to covid-19 related delays, the launch has been pushed further to next year “It is our intention to have the national carrier running in 2021, which is this year; unfortunately, due to COVID-19, which took the greater part of last year, since March last year, activities have almost been impossible” he said He confirmed that a revised outline business case will be presented to the Federal Executive Council( FEC) for approval and once achieved “we will go to the full business case which is now going to the market and then establish the national carrier” In his speech, Hadi Sirika outlined the rationale behind the creation of the national airline, emphasizing…

African Airlines are facing “a race against time” in the battle against the historical crisis in the air travel industry A robust approach to principles of ethics and design is fundamental to ensuring a durable restart and recovery of the air travel industry in Africa. In a Joint message by AFCAC, AFRAA, ACI Africa, CANSO, IATA and UNWTO at the auspices of the 9th AFRAA Aviation Stakeholders’ Convention, the undernamed stakeholders reaffirmed that dealing with the industry’s sustainability and its grand challenges will require co-ordinated approach by African States along with global solutions and international solidarity and collaboration. The Imperatives for a sustainable recovery of the air travel industry in Africa include: Harmonization of travel protocols There is need for constant and sustained dialogue among African governments, civil aviation authorities, tourism and travel industry players, air transport associations and other key stakeholders, to implement harmonized and internationally adopted health…

Rolls-Royce has officially opened Testbed 80, the world’s largest and smartest indoor aerospace testbed at a ceremony in Derby, UK. The completion of the project is a major milestone after almost three years of construction and a £90m investment. With an internal area of 7,500m2, making it larger than a Premiership football pitch, Testbed 80 was designed with distinctive technologies and systems which are more capable and complex than any of our other testbeds. The testbed conducted its first run on a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine at the test facility in Derby, UK earlier this year. Warren East, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce, said: “Testbed 80 is the largest facility of its type in the world. However, it is not only big, it is also smart and features the most advanced testing technology we have ever used. As the new global hub of our testing capability, it will support the next stage…

Uganda Airlines continues to expand its route network as the travel industry sluggishly maps its way back to recovery The national carrier will launch its longest route yet on the 31st of May 2021, connecting Uganda and South Africa with a point to point non-stop service, the only one available for travellers since South Africa re-opened its borders last year The Airline will deploy the latest generation CRJ-900 with Atmosphere cabin to service its new destination. In 2019, Uganda Airlines became the launch customer of the Atmosphere Cabin on the African continent and today remains the sole operator in the region The new route will be flown 4 times weekly ‘with days and times carefully selected to match travellers’ convenience and connectivity’ According to a statement from the Airline, “the new route launch offers the best solution for all travellers, with the only non-stop scheduled service between Entebbe and Johannesburg,…

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Chris Zweigenthal, will retire from the organisation at the end of August 2021. Mr Chris Zweigenthal joined AASA in February 2002 as Deputy Chief Executive and was appointed CEO in March 2009. His retirement is for personal reasons and he will relocate to the USA to be closer to his children and grandchildren. “Chris is a legend in the Southern African air transport industry and is widely regarded for his tenacity, calm diplomacy and energetic work ethic. While we have confronted – and continue to face – serious challenges, the airline industry in Southern Africa is deeply indebted to Chris for the constructive engagement and goodwill that he has fostered across the sector. especially with government regulators, policy makers, legislators and state-run infrastructure service providers throughout the Southern African Development Community. We wish Chris and his…

Malawi Airlines (3W) has confirmed its resumption of services after obtaining an undisclosed bailout from its majority shareholder. An agreement was reached by the Malawi government and Ethiopian Airlines to recapitalize the airline, following the Malawi flag carrier being declared technically insolvent, according to Nyasa Times. The airline will resume its services from mid-June with flights to Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Lusaka, Harare and Johannesburg operated from its hub, Lilongwe and Blantyre. 3W which is 51 percent owned by the government and 49 percent owned by Ethiopian Airlines halted its operations in April following a pandemic related decline that resulted in revenue loss for the airline. “The insolvency was mainly occasioned by the seven months period the airline had no revenue when it was not in operation due to local and international lockdowns as a result of the CoVID-19 pandemic while it was still honouring significant fixed cost obligations.” “The…