BOMBARDIER ANNOUNCES AFRICA TOUR WITH THE Q400
Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace is embarking on an Africa wide tour today to showcase its successful Q400 turboprop aircraft to potential customers on the continent. The tour will commence in West Africa before moving to Southern and then Eastern Africa for both static display as well as short test flights for invited airline executives and media representatives.
Ethiopian Airlines has 8 of these state of the art planes already in operation and a further 5 on order, and a flight simulator is expected to be installed at the Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy at Addis Ababas Bole International Airport before the end of the year, to train their own pilots and pilots due for the twice a year simulator training from other airlines in Africa.
BlueBird of Kenya for instance operates 5 Q400 and a number of other airlines across the continent too are using the aircraft for their short haul routes.
Important for the Eastern African region, the Q 400 will be on display in Nairobi from the 11th of May to present the aircraft to a number of interested Kenyan airlines, which will give them the opportunity to discuss flight economics and deals with the Bombardier team on the tour. The Q400 will then proceed to Kigali for a showcasing on the 14th of May, mainly aimed at RwandAir. Rwandas national airline operated two CRJ200 jets before ordering two brand new CRJ900 aircraft earlier this year for delivery by October 2012, but is also evaluating presently to upgrade from their single Bombardier Dash 8-100 to a larger and more economical state of the art aircraft. It is understood from usually reliable sources that the Q400 is one of the options RwandAir is looking at, besides the French built ATR, but like with the decision over the jet acquisition, where Bombardier competed directly against Embraer, the overall package deal the Canadians are likely to put together, will very likely in the end tip the scales their way. The presentation of the Q400 will be a unique opportunity for RwandAirs executives to see and feel the plane hands on and for their pilots to get some insight into inflight performance and handling while the evaluation of future plane acquisitions continues.
The Bombardier Africa Tour will commence in Accra / Ghana on May 04, followed by Maputo / Mozambique on May 07, Gaborone / Botswana on May 08, Dar es Salaam / Tanzania on May 10, Nairobi on May 11 and finally Kigali on May 14.
Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from across Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.
Archive for May 3rd, 2012
BOMBARDIER ANNOUNCES AFRICA TOUR WITH THE Q400
NEW LIBYAN GOVERNMENT MAY TRY TO REGAIN CONTROL OF UMUBANO HOTEL
As the evaluation of the value of the former Laico property in Kigali by PriceWaterhouseCoopers is nearing completion, indications have emerged that the new Libyan government may wish to regain control of the hotel. The Umubano Hotel was during the sanctions period against the former Gadaffi regime taken over by the Rwandan government and then eventually put on the market for sale, pending a formal evaluation of its market value. The Libyan government through their Laico hotel management and ownership company held 60 percent of the shares in the hotel, with the Rwandan government holding the balance of 40 percent, but in view of the failure at the time by Laico to undertake the committed renovations and upgrading, eventually repossessed the property for breach of contract.
Information from Kigali now says that the Libyans are likely to make a bid for the full acquisition of the hotel as the new government seeks to restore market confidence in their ability to fulfill undertakings and strengthen existing investments, not just in the hospitality industry but also in banking, insurance, housing construction and telecom companies, the previous regime had invested in across Africa. The buyers will acquire the property fully under the terms set by the Rwandan government for the divestiture of the Umubano Hotel and require a pedigree in hotel management as well as the financial ability to modernize and completely refurbish the hotel immediately after a purchase deal has been concluded. The bidding process is expected to go underway again before the middle of the year and new owners should be in place by late 2012.
DISGRUNTLED KQ MINORITY SHAREHOLDER SENT PACKING BY COURT
As reported here two weeks ago, one Prakash Gadani, who holds some 200.000 shares in Kenya Airways, had filed a case against the now concluded share rights issue, making a number of claims when seeking to stop the transaction through an injunction. That injunction however was not granted at the time and the main hearing in the Commercial Court in Nairobi yesterday also concluded, that the petition had no merit at all, dismissing the application with costs. The court in particular dismissed the notion presented that the rights of a minority shareholder were opressed while upholding the fact that the entire exercise was conducted strictly in accordance with current laws and financial regulations, putting an end to Gadanis misguided if not selfdeluded attempt to see the tip of the tail wag the dog.
Gadani gained added notoriety when engaging in an equally losing shoutout on Twitter, where he responded to a related article by this correspondent with Lies, Lies, a suggestion now firmly put to rest too after the court hearing affirmed the position taken in the article, which had cross loaded from the blog post to Twitter.
The results of the share rights issue, in which all key institutional shareholders have taken up their new share allocation, will be announced on the 30th of May and the information will be immediately published here for the benefit of the readers, so watch this space.
YAMBIO CRASH INJURES PASSENGERS AND CREW
Several passengers and the pilot sustained injuries when an aircraft contracted by the UNs World Food Programme crashed upon a bodged landing attempt in the Southern Sudanese town of Yambio, while coming from the South Sudanese capital of Juba.
According to information received the plane hit a drainage channel after touching down, apparently well away from the centre of the airfield, and then spun out of control. It could not be ascertained who the owners of the plane are which was on charter by WFP and operated regular flights within a number of locations inside South Sudan, where vast distances and a poor road network make flying a necessity in order to reach distant locations.
Amongst the passengers were reportedly two Ugandan diplomats, one of whom was airlifted by helicopter to the Northern Ugandan city of Gulu where he is undergoing treatment for a broken leg and other injuries. This information was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala, Mr. James Mugume, in a press release issued late last night.
An aviation source from Juba also confirmed overnight that an accident investigation will go underway in the morning, when a team of investigators will be sent to the site to collect physical evidence and interview eye witnesses of the accident.
BRUSSELS AIRLINES STEPS UP SALES EFFORTS FOR EUROPE / NEW YORK
The sales team at Brussels Airlines in Kampala has notably stepped up their sales efforts four weeks ahead of the long expected launch of flights from Brussels to New York and ahead of a busy summer season when expatriates working and living in Uganda take their annual summer vacation. Special fares for return flights, from as low as 250 US Dollars, PLUS taxes, have been put on the market for travelers able to take advantage of them up to 30th June and again between 16th September and 31st of December.
It is mostly though the new link to the Big Apple which is the focus of the sales teams activities. That new route will see the introduction of a brand new Airbus A330 aircraft, featuring the latest cabin product, which will progressively be rolled out for the entire A330 fleet in coming weeks and months.
Connections to New York have been conveniently scheduled for passengers on the Kigali Entebbe Brussels flight as will those coming from the United States via Brussels to East Africa, opening a new one stop route from Americas largest city on the Eastern seaboard to SN s East Africa destinations of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya. Watch this space.
(A view of Lisbon from the Atlantic ocean, courtesy of Emirates via HK Strategies)
The country manager of Emirates in Uganda, Khalid Al Zarouni, earlier in the week announced that the daily nonstop flights between Entebbe and Dubai will from 03rd July offer a new European onward connection to Spains second city of Barcelona, with the Portuguese capital Lisbon following on the 09th of July.
Both destinations will be served daily out of Dubai and connections for passengers from Entebbe, as well as from Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, are scheduled to leave Dubai at 09.15 am.
Khalid said in a media statement made available overnight: Lisbon has been on our European wish-list for some time. Our daily flight will link Uganda with this far western corner of Europe and our strong European route network, which is a vital trading partner with Uganda. Being the only Middle East carrier operating into Portugal will give Ugandans planning to travel to Portugal for business or leisure, a unique advantage to explore new opportunities. Lisbon was recently ranked the 7th best city in Europe for shopping by the Globe Shopper City Index of The Economist Intelligence Unit. In all these countries that constitute European Union, market indices present a positive growth trend reflecting favorable market opportunities for fresh fruit and fish products. Connectivity is essential for business and for tourism and this new flight and the onward connections that it will provide will be very beneficial for the Ugandan economy.
The B777-200LR which will be deployed on the route to Lisbon offers a cargo uplift capacity of up to 17 tons and is configured with First, Business and Economy class cabins.
Added a regular source from the airlines Kampala office: Our biggest advantage remains that we operate only wide body aircraft on all our routes. This gives passengers a superior inflight experience with more space in particular in our First and Business Class cabins and even our economy class travelers have plenty of space, individual seat back screens and all our passengers can take advantage of special offers for Dubai stopovers. And since March we now fly nonstop to Dubai which remains one of the worlds best transit airports. The new destinations in Europe and to other parts of the word make us the number one international airline.
Watch this space for regular aviation news, covering Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.