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In recent years a resurgence of national carrier projects has been observed in Africa. However, Africa’s Aviation history is beset by the failure of prominent state-owned airlines such as Air Afrique, Air Uganda, Air Zimbabwe, the most recent being Air Namibia and South African Airways. This has created a stigma around national carriers and has drawn criticism surrounding the need and value of African owned airlines. A few airlines however have proven to be extremely successful and resilient particularly during this pandemic. How can state-owned airlines succeed? and what are the government’s roles in aviation? What should these new airlines do to avoid the fate of so many? First and foremost, the purpose of creating a national airline needs to be clear. Whether it is part of a tourism development strategy, to be connected to the rest of the world, like Air Mauritius or Rwandair, to ensure the continuity of…

Rolls-Royce is leading the global charge towards sustainable power. The engine manufacturer will be developing energy storage systems (ESS) that will enable aircraft to undertake zero emissions flights of over 100 miles on a single charge. The company has committed to an £80m investment in ESS over the next decade, that willcreate around 300 jobs by 2030and strengthen itsposition as the leading supplier of all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsion systems foraviation. Aerospace-certified ESS solutionsfrom Rolls-Royce will power electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems foreVTOLs (electric vertical takeoffand landing) in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market and fixed-wing aircraft,with up to 19 seats,in the commuter market. By 2035, Rolls-Royce is planning to integrate more than5 million battery cells per annum into modular systems.These modules will deliver market-leading energy density levels. Rob Watson, Director of Electrical, Rolls-Royce, said: “This multi-million-pound investment by Rolls-Royce over the next decade is another demonstration of our…

GE Aviation and Safran have launched a bold technology development program targeting more than 20 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s engines. The CFM RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) program will demonstrate and mature a range of new, disruptive technologies for future engines that could enter service by the mid-2030s. The companies today also signed an agreement extending the CFM International 50/50 partnership to the year 2050, declaring their intent to lead the way for more sustainable aviation in line with the industry’s commitment to halve CO2 emissions by 2050. “The relationship between GE and Safran today is the strongest it has ever been,” said John Slattery, President and CEO of GE Aviation. “Together, through the RISE technology demonstration program, we are reinventing the future of flight, bringing an advanced suite of revolutionary technologies to market that will take the next generation of single-aisle aircraft…

To facilitate the safe restart of international travel and restore the value contributed by travel and tourism to the world’s economy, the three global airline alliances Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance in unison gave a statement calling on G7 governments, at their leadership summit that recently concluded (June 11-13), to agree on a common set of travel and health standards to enable the safe reopening of borders. COVID-19 has significantly impacted the travel and tourism sector, which has long been a key contributor to many economies. A recent estimate by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) showed that international tourism declined by around 80% in 2020. Prior to the pandemic, tourism contributed more than 4% of GDP for the average OECD country, with the World Travel and Tourism Council estimating up to 174 million jobs at risk globally. In unison, the CEOs of the three global alliances – Kristin…

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released April 2021 data for global air cargo markets showing that air cargo demand continued to outperform pre-COVID levels (April 2019) with demand up 12%. As comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons to follow are to April 2019 which followed a normal demand pattern. Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), was up 12% compared to April 2019 and 7.8% compared to March 2021. Seasonally adjusted demand is now 5% higher than the pre-crisis August 2018 peak.The strong performance was led by North American carriers contributing 7.5 percentage points to the 12% growth rate in April. Airlines in all other regions except for Latin America also supported the growth.Capacity remains 9.7% below pre-COVID-19 levels (April 2019) due to the ongoing grounding of passenger aircraft. Airlines continue to use dedicated freighters…

Airports Council International (ACI) World and the five ACI regions – in collaboration with members – have created a long-term carbon goal for their member airports: “ACI member airports at a global level commit to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and urge governments to provide the necessary support in this endeavor.” Climate change is a global challenge requiring an urgent global response given the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent call to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. ACI’s long term carbon goal relates to the carbon emissions under the direct control of airport operators and will be a crucial component of the aviation industry’s contribution towards this global effort. Airports have long taken a leadership role in addressing, minimising, and mitigating the environmental impacts of aviation. This has been demonstrated through their ability to decrease emissions over the last 10 years, supported and enabled by…

Embraer’s E190-E2 has received steep approach certification from EASA opening the door for airlines to operate the airplane at airports that require approach slopes greater than the typical 3.0 degrees. The E2’s steep approach capability is enabled through a special software upgrade and installation of a Steep Approach switch on the cockpit control panel. Steep Approach is a requirement to operate at London City Airport (LCY) which sits on the doorstep of the city’s global financial district and has a 5.5-degree steep approach requirement. During the certification testing, EASA confirmed the E190-E2 has the lowest noise levels among all new generation single aisle aircraft and will be the only jet operating at LCY certified to ICAO’s strict Chapter 14 regulation. This E190-E2 noise footprint at take-off is 63% smaller than current E190s operating from LCY. Alison FitzGerald, Chief Operating Officer, London City Airport, said, “we are delighted that this summer…

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…

African aviation was born during the same period that air transport started in the rest of the world. The first african airline, South African Airways, was established in 1934 followed by Ethiopian Airlines in 1946. Based on that, we can easily notice that this industry encountered a very slow rate of growth in its beginnings. This sluggishness was caused by the incapacity of African governments of the day to develop the aviation industry. But although African aviation is lagging behind the rest of the world today, we witness an incredible growth of this industry these last few years. This growth is caused by factors like: increase in the number of people that travel by air, orders of new aircraft (258 ordered aircrafts as of 2020) and the birth of new airlines. African airlines have a combined commercial fleet of only 740 aircrafts (at the beginning of 2020) which is less…

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and Ethiopian Airlines concluded the 9th Aviation Stakeholders’ Convention with an alignment on priorities for the efficient recovery of the air transport industry in Africa. The event which was held in virtual format, was graced by the Minister of Transport of the Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Mrs. Dagmawit Moges as the guest of honor and was attended by 538 participants from the air transport industry and fraternity in Africa and across the globe. Held under the theme: “Building Blocks for the Air Transport Industry Recovery”, the Convention provided an ideal forum for air transport industry stakeholders to dialogue, exchange knowledge and experiences for the sector’s recovery efforts and deliberate on feasible solutions to alleviate challenges in the African travel industry. Highlighting the focus of AFRAA in supporting the survival and sustainability of airlines and the industry as a whole, Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé in his keynote…