ETHIOPIAN SECURES ADDITIONAL FINANCING FOR B777’S
It was learned overnight that Ethiopian Airlines has been given approval by the African Development Bank for a co-syndicated secondary loan of 40 million US Dollars, towards the five Boeing B777-200LR, which from part of an extensive order for newer and additional aircraft. ET has been at the forefront of African aviation and operates an impressive inter African network, connecting the world via Addis Ababa through their direct flights and their codeshared flights from Frankfurt with Lufthansa.
Due to formally join Star Alliance later in the year the entry into the globally leading airline alliance will further strengthen Ethiopian’s position to distribute traffic to Africa from their own overseas destinations but also in close partnership with their alliance partners.
In a related development it was also learned that ET will be going ‘daily’ on the route to Beijing from May onwards, just as soon as more of the ordered B777’s arrive at their base and can be taken into service.
PRECISION AIR’S COMPLAINT OVER AWARD OF AIRPORT HANDLING LICENCE SUCCEEDS
Information was received from Dar es Salaam, that following a formal complaint by Precision Air Ground Handling Services and one other bidder, the Tanzania Airport Authority was instructed by the Public Procurement Authority of Tanzania to cancel the award they made and in addition pay compensation to the complainants for the cost they incurred.
A new tender is now being prepared in compliance with the PPA’s ruling, making sure that a level playing field exists for bidders and that the eventual contract award is free of corrupt practices as has been alleged in this case. Precision Air Ground Handling specifically cited TAA’s complicity in ‘tailoring’ their evaluation method to suit the company they awarded a 5 year contract for ground handling to, but got ‘caught in the act’ when details leaked and the PPA stepped in to halt this glaring irregularity.
Precision Air is Tanzania’s leading airline and has been seeking licenses to not just handle their own flights but also offer their ground handling services to other carriers flying into Tanzania.
Said a regular aviation source in Dar es Salaam overnight to this correspondent: ‘Ground handling in Tanzania has been very lucrative, especially when we had a monopoly, which is now gradually being broken up. Airlines often complained about the charges for ground handling services being too high, but with only one company for a long time they just set their tariff and it was either take it or leave it. Now others have started coming in and for Precision is was crucial to get self handling, to control the cost of handling, and then also take other clients for revenue. This is common practice everywhere. But here the tenders and contracts were always eyed with suspicion when the successful bidders lacked qualification and experience while those who did were shut out. It is good that TAA was shown its limitations and given marching orders to issue a new tender and the procurement authority will sit on this now and see it through to conclusion to avoid another bad award’.
LIBYAN ASSETS IN UGANDA TO BE FROZEN AFTER ALL
Uganda has late yesterday confirmed that in compliance with relevant UN resolutions the assets of Col. Gadaffi, his close cronies and in fact of Libya herself in the country will be frozen. It was also confirmed that Uganda’s Ambassador to the UN has formally asked for guidance on the February 26th resolution of how to implement the asset freeze, and to clarify on a range of points in regard of ownership and affected persons.
The issue was raised here on the day after the asset freeze resolution was passed in New York by the UN, but subsequent statements here in Kampala, by companies very likely affected by the freeze and by various governmental sources initially refused to accept the possibility, now having a rude and belated awakening. It is thought likely that board seats in companies affected and held by Gadaffi appointees, may be victim too of the asset freeze so as to remove any form of control over these assets, many of which have been flaunted as ‘Gadaffi’s own’ yet should for all purposes be property of the Libyan people.
How this will affect operations of the Libyan investments here in Uganda, like Laico Hotels’ Lake Victoria Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda Telecom, Tropical Bank, National Housing and a range of other commercial investments, is presently unclear and time will tell how these enterprises will conduct business once the formal freeze notice has been affected on them.
Laico also has the Grand Regency in Nairobi in its portfolio, a hotel in Kigali and several more across sub-Saharan Africa and it remains to be seen how those will be affected when the respective national governments act on the UN’s directives.
Watch this space.