PRECISION AIR FINALLY GETS LUBUMBASHI CLEARANCES
Reportsfrom Dar es Salaam have confirmed that Precision Air has yesterday finally made their maiden landing in Lubumbashi, after allegedly corrupt aviation officials were literally forced by their political masters in Kinshasa to sign off on giving the Tanzanian airline block clearance for their scheduled flights three times a week between Dar, Lubumbashi and on to Lusaka.
It is understood from an aviation source in Kinshasa that phone lines were running hot between government officials in Dar and Kinshasa since the inaugural flight was denied landing two weeks ago. Tanzania was reportedly demanding to know why their airline had not been given clearances and apparently making it all but clear to their Congo DR counterparts that unless instant remedy was given this and clearances be issued without ifs and buts, and certainly without any bribes needing to be paid, it would have serious consequences for the political relations of the two countries.
Congo is notorious for this sort of thing as has equally happened two and a half years ago with RwandAir, which ws at the time also denied clearance to land in Kinshasa, and having to cancel their planned inaugural flight, then opting to fly to Brazzaville where civilized behaviour is more the order of the day than across the river in often chaotic Kinshasa. Congos reputation is in tatters over such things. When politics cannot get their bureaucrats to do the work they are supposed to do, perhaps some sackings will help other to understand what they are supposed to do. Leave alone their aviation track record with accidents and all. We from the business sector are not happy that they want to join the East African Community because they are not ready to enter into a free market with all their non tariff barriers and their attitude, especially their attitude said a regular aviation source from Tanzania after discussing the fact that finally Precision could fly to Lubumbashi and no longer needed to remain in suspense over clearances.
Precision Air is Tanzanias largest airline, their shares traded at the Dar es Salaam stock exchange and partners with Kenya Airways via code shared flights between Dar, Kilimanjaro and Nairobi and a range of other agreements. The airline operates a fleet of ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft, all purchased directly from the French manufacturer with a further 4 orders waiting for delivery, and B737-300 aircraft which are deployed on the longer routes but also domestic flights within Tanzania. Happy Landings to the Precision Air crews and passengers.
Archive for July 7th, 2012
PRECISION AIR FINALLY GETS LUBUMBASHI CLEARANCES
Dubais national airline Emirates is continuing its aggressive rollout of new destinations and has according to a regular source from the airlines Kampala office just announced three more new destinations, over and above the dozen already on the drawing board for 2012.
Australia, or Down Under in particular will benefit with a new connection to Adelaide, starting in November with four flights a week before going daily in February 2013 while Perth, already served double daily as it is, will move to 19 flights a week from December this year before going triple daily from March 2013. Melbourne, presently served with B777 aircraft, will also see capacity upped significantly when the A380 will be deployed on the route, joining Sydney where the big bird is already a daily feature.
In Europe it is France which with Lyon will get a third destination, following Paris and Nice, to be served initially 5 times a week from December onwards while in February 2013 Warsaw / Poland will join the network with daily flights from Dubai. Notably and of keen interest to East African passengers of Emirates, flying via Dubai to the French capital, Paris will soon see the introduction of a second daily A380 service, upping capacity from the presently used B777 by using the worlds largest passenger plane to fly to the city of fashion, Champs d Elyse, Montmartre, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower besides so much more this city has to offer.
Still to follow will be Lisbon / Portugal the day after tomorrow with the inaugural flight leaving Dubai on the 09th of July while Erbil and Washington DC will come on line on August 12th and September 12th respectively to make flying Emirates yet more attractive by reaching more places around the world literally by the month.
The contact also reiterated that during 2012 so far 9 destinations have already been launched, namely Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Lusaka, Harare, Dallas, Seattle, Ho Chi Minh City and Barcelona.
Travelers to and from East Africas Emirates destinations of Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Entebbe today already reach 124 destinations, going to 130 by early 2013. More destinations are due to be announced shortly as more new aircraft deliveries take place to what has truly become the leader in global aviation, connecting the world through Dubai. Watch this space for regular and breaking news from Eastern Africas and the Indian Ocean islands vibrant aviation industry.
Now in its fifth year, the African Business Awards is the key annual event for the African Business World and is the most sought after award by Africa’s leading companies and entrepreneurs. Organized by the African Business Magazine (ABM) and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), the African Business Awards has become a platform to celebrate excellence and best practices in African business and recognizes organizations that have driven Africa’s rapidly transforming economy. On this note it is with a great sense of pride that Kenyan based Serena Hotels was recognized for making outstanding contribution to the development of the African continent, the economic aspirations of its citizens, the transformation of Africas image in international markets by branding the six destinations that it has presence in as an attractive tourism and business destination and for providing the highest standards of service and product, whilst operating in a sensitive manner towards monitoring the interests of the local population including their traditions, culture and future development.
Serena Hotels has spread wings from Kenya, where the group started operations in the 1970s to Tanzania in the mid 1990s, Uganda in 2004, before then also moving to Rwanda and Mozambique where a String of Pearls in their collection of resorts, city hotels and safari properties has catapulted them into the top bracket of hospitality providers in terms of location, architectural designs, food and service, second to none wherever they are.
Mahmoud JanMohamed, the hotel groups Managing Director, when accepting the award in London, was quoted in a Serena Hotels media release availed to this correspondent last evening as having said: as market leaders, awards such as being the Best Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Company in Africa inspires the company as we believe that profitability and development are two notions that can serve each other. The company continues to work on supporting the growing tourism industry in Eastern Africa by seeking investment opportunities and validates its belief that with the changing nature of guest expectations it is the quality of service and product that will continue to determine the destination choices which clients make.
Way to go Serena and congratulations for not just receiving this outstanding reward but also for putting East Africa once again on the map as a hub for tourism and a place where quality hospitality is engrained in the fabric of doing business.
The tropical Creole island paradise of the Seychelles has yesterday welcomed the 100.000th visitor in 2012, the earliest ever to reach this landmark figure and now well on course to beat the 200.000 arrival mark estimated for the current year. Received by the archipelagos Minister for Tourism Alain St. Ange and the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Elsia Grandcourt was Ms. Dalila Ali Mohamed Minouni, a Bahrain resident, whose brother has been repeatedly on the islands as a crew member of Qatar Airways which flies daily from Doha to Mahe.
Statistics availed to this correspondent by the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism indicate that by 30th of June 98.963 visitors had entered the Seychelles, greatly aided by a No Visa policy which requires guests to only carry a confirmed return ticket, a confirmed hotel reservation and sufficient funds to cater for the stay, while arrivals from the African continent also require a Yellow Fever inoculation certificate. A year ago at the same time the figure stood at 92.271, a significant increase for the current year and attributed to both the liberal aviation policy of open skies as well as the marketing juggernaut of Seychelles Tourism in new and emerging markets around the world, which has more than made up for the softening demand from the archipelagos European core markets.
Visitor numbers this week got an added boost with several hundred delegates arriving in Mahe for the ICTP General Meeting and the ICTP Academy Meeting, Routes Africa 2012, the RETOSA Board Meeting of SADC tourism ministers and their delegations and last but not least the meeting of tourism ministers of the Vanilla Islands group which will also see their respective tourist boards represented to strategize over future marketing initiatives and develop a joint calendar of events.
Visit www.Seychelles.travel for more information on the archipelagos attractions and find amazing offers under Affordable Seychelles which will belie the myth that the islands are purely for the rich and famous Seychelles, Another World is open for business for all who set their mind on visiting the Creole island paradise. Go Visit!
The news that Brendan Grimshaw passed away a few days ago at the age of 87, sent the Seychelles conservation fraternity into mourning, as Brendan had become a beacon of hope for them all with the work he had carried out over the decades on his beloved Moyenne Island.
Now part of Seychelles Ste. Anne Marine National Park Brendan bought the island in the 1960s before independence for a mere 8.000 UK Pounds and moved to the island in 1973, setting out to accomplish the Herculean task of transforming and island which had not been lived on for over half a century into the jewel is has since become. Assisted by Rene Lafortune over the ensuing decades, Rene himself passed in 2007, they planted over 16.000 indigenous trees including a small mahogany forest and set up nearly 5 kilometres of nature trails. Moyennes now is home to nearly two thirds of all of the archipelagos plant life, home to over 100 giant tortoises and a myriad of birds, many brought to the island by Brendan and Rene from other islands to ensure the survival of endangered species. His mettle was shown when a few years ago he was offered 50 million US Dollars to sell his island but opted to see it integrated into the protective custody of the Seychelles marine and national parks, which made him globally famous and subject to many documentaries, the last one by Simon Reeves just weeks before his passing. Brendan will be laid to rest on his beloved island which will continue to be a testimonial to his determination and will to preserve this pristine environment for future generations, a fairy tale of conservation and the mystique of hidden treasures. Only in the Seychelles. Rest in peace Brendon and keep watching over the piece of paradise you helped create on this planet.
The award winning RainForest Lodge in Mabira forest, only recently mentioned here in a major feature article about Mabira, the Endangered Forest was last week the venue for a second video shoot in the space of a month, after first providing the back drop for one of Ugandas more fancied musicians. The RainForest Lodge has progressively made an impact on Ugandas domestic niche market, be it for honeymoons special packages are available for those wishing to start their marital journey in the serenity and tranquility of a tropical rainforest rather than amidst the hustle and bustle of a beach resort or for more. Yoga sessions, ladies weekends, spiritual retreats and once again music weekends are regular events at the RainForest Lodge, with the next hashtagged #RITRF2 and #JungleBoogie now scheduled for Saturday 14th of July. The star of the inaugural event last year, Evon the Singer, now a trade name in Ugandas entertainment industry, will do the MCs job it was learned but may add some spice to the weekend by throwing in an impromptu performance and on board to promote the concert is Siima Sabiti, station manager of one of Kampalas hippest FM stations XFM 94.8, available via net broadcasts too for those wanting to listen to her daily morning appearance from 6 to 10 am local Ugandan time. One of the many places to be when visiting Uganda, either for relaxation or to explore Mabira by hiking or biking along any of the available 4 trails. Enjoy the music and get a taste of Uganda as it presents itself as the country turns 50 in three months time besides a glimpse of the forest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nedThlV1lfI