The two Vanilla Islands of La Reunion and Seychelles last week signed a pact to be joint hosts of the second edition of the annual Carnaval International de Victoria, a ground breaking move to have other Indian Ocean islands participate to a wider extend in the organization of what has already become, after only one edition, a much talked about cultural event with participants from all over the world.
Alain St. Ange, Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board signed the MoU with his counterpart Mrs. Jacqueline Farreyrol, in the presence of the President of the French Region of La Reunion and the Seychellois Minister for Internal Affairs, Environment and Transport, the Hon. Joel Morgan, who represented the President of the Seychelles H.E. James Michel.
Notably do both the head of state of Seychelles and the president of the region of La Reunion hold the tourism portfolios, a sign how important the sector has become to the national economies of both islands.
For carnival aficionados take notice, the next on in Victoria will take place between March 02nd an 04th and as a result of the huge media focus on the event last year, the island is likely to be fully booked as will be flights, so now would be a good time to make a date with the Seychelles and book a holiday coinciding with the Carnaval International de Victoria. Seychelles Truly Another World.
Archive for December 19th, 2011
Kenya aviation news – KQ seeks to recruit at least 60 captains to match crews with new aircraft deliveries
KENYA AIRWAYS TO RECRUIT EXPATRIATE CAPTAINS TO EASE SHORTAGE OF PILOTS
During the showcasing last week of Boeings B787 Dreamliner in Nairobi, questions were asked of Dr. Titus Naikuni, CEO of Kenya Airways, how the arrival of additional aircraft in 2012 and beyond the airline is expecting 3 B777 and by all accounts some 10 more Embraer 190 aircraft over the next 12 to 24 months would be managed in regard of human resources available, with specific reference to cockpit crew.
Repeatedly reported here in the past, the airline has engaged in accelerated training of commercial pilots, both at their own in house Pride Academy at Embakasi headquarters but also through aviation schools in South Africa, to get sufficient pilot numbers on the payroll to actually fly those new aircraft.
Dr. Naikuni had to concede though that these efforts were not enough in particular in regard of senior captains, to whom the young first officers, aka co-pilots would then be attached and that it was now becoming a certainty that expatriate captains would have to be recruited to fill those glaring gaps.
We are in talks with the government and the unions to get permission and agreements in place to recruit expatriate pilots he said at the main arrival function at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The Pride of Africa has until now relied on Kenyan and East African pilots and the announcement that around 60 captains will need to be recruited in coming years, though this comes not unexpected for aviation observers, has already raised issues with the pilots union besides requiring sanction by government vis a vis work permits. While the recruitment is expected to be cleared by government, itself a 23 percent shareholder in the national airline, the unions may have something else to say about it and will undoubtedly use their clout to pressure KQs management into side deals for their own members, and if not voluntary then by their usual means of threats of industrial action at the expense of the airlines financial bottom line.
Kenya Airways has the declared intention to fly by the end of 2013 to every African political and commercial capital city and as and when the B787 Dreamliner deliveries start to commence, expected but not yet 100 perecent confirmed by end of 2013 or early 2014, the addition of more frequencies to existing long haul destinations will then be accompanied by opening up new destinations in India and China. Flights to the US, also on the drawing board, would however depend on first obtaining US government permission which two years ago halted the inaugural flight of Delta Airlines only hours before takeoff over obscure security concerns, something other airline executives in Nairobi promptly rubbished and which was subsequently perceived as political arm-wrestling.
Be that as it may, the Pride of Africa is in for some exciting and challenging times ahead and any breaking news or developments will as always appear right here. Watch this space.
East Africa aviation update – Brussels Airlines to increase frequencies to Nairobi and Bujumbura for 2012 schedules
BRUSSELS AIRLINES ANNOUNCES INCREASE IN FREQUENCIES TO NAIROBI AND BUJUMBURA
Information was received from Brussels Airlines that they will, come April next year, increase their frequencies to Nairobi from presently 3 to 4 a week, while at the same time also raising their flights to Burundis capital Bujumbura from 2 to 3 a week. Notably though will SN add more flights to West Africa where Yaounde will be raised from present 2 to 6, Douala will become a daily route from presently only 3 flights a week and Abidjan too will move to daily frequencies. All their West Africa flights are codeshared with partner airline Lufthansa.
There has been no indication of any addition of Tanzania to the network yet nor any information of increasing flights to or via Entebbe in the coming summer schedule 2012, which leaves much of the current market growth to the Gulf carriers, three of which are now aggressively marketing their services to and from Uganda.