Archive for June, 2012

Air Seychelles technicians move to Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub


Information was confirmed overnight that currently 6, soon to be joined by several more of their colleagues, technicians from the Air Seychelles team are now deployed with Etihad, Abu Dhabis national airline, which earlier this year acquired 40 percent of the shares in the archipelagos national carrier.
The re-deployment is in line with exploiting synergy effects which required the pooling of resources and in some cases the transfer of specific functions from Mahe to Abu Dhabi, so that the cost savings achieved can translate in a vastly improved financial performance by Air Seychelles which was prior to the financial engagement by Etihad bleeding money and had been subjected to a radical cost cutting programme, including the cessation of all their flights to Europe at the start of the year.
During the week was a certification programme for crews, migrating from the B767 to Airbus A320 and A330 models, completed at the Etihad Aviation Academy, making good of commitments made that the airlines staff will have the opportunity to find gainful employment with Etihad, should their positions become redundant at home.
Meanwhile was it also confirmed that further discussions between the two airlines are ongoing for a yet wider code share cooperation which would see Air Seychelles flight numbers to be put on a range of additional destinations across the growing global network of Etihad. Watch this space.

Kigali rolling out street signs across the city


The recently witnessed start of putting up street signs in Kigali, Rwandas capital city, is expected to make trips across the city easier, not just for visitors but according to locals also for residents of the city.
A Google Map exercise started a few months ago has also rolled out according to plan and the new road signs are in due course the signage is expected to be complete by the end of the year to be integrated into Google Maps of the city. It was also learned that The Eye, Rwandas premier entertainment and tourism guide will update their own map in the centre of the magazine to reflect a grid pattern and street names / locations as is already the case with the sister magazine published in Uganda.
The Google Map roll out, which commenced at the end of March, is ongoing and done in conjunction with the Rwanda Development Boards Tourism and Conservation Department, which was keen to see the countrys tourism attractions become more visible for virtual tourists but also for those actually flying into the country and depending on Google Map technology on their iPads and other gadgets to find their way around the country.
The Kigali street sign project is expected to cost well over 1 million US Dollars and will eventually be duplicated in other towns across the country. New trends and new technologies, be sure that Rwanda is at the forefront in using and applying those.

RTUC in Kigali now offers degree courses following attaining university status

Started in 2006, when the college could only offer vocational training and certificate or diploma courses, the RTUC has now been cleared by the Rwandan educational authorities to commence a full degree programme, starting with a Bachelor Degree course for students now studying hospitality and tourism.
The college has more recently acquired new land to build a campus at an estimated cost of more than 10 billion Rwanda Francs, which when complete will form a key component in the countrys drive to inject greater home grown professionalism into the tourism and hospitality sector, where the lack of skills has often been decried. .
A regular source at the Rwanda Development Board had this to say: Manpower development for the sector ranks very high in the national agenda for Rwanda. The country is aware of some deficits here and there to lift our service delivery to the standard levels of say Kenya. But the private and public sectors have been working hand in hand to address this issue and bring in trainers and lecturers, promote on the job training and offer decentralized courses so that we can match our countrys tourism attractions with equally good service levels.
A number of privately owned tourism training institutions have of late either opened or applied for recognition and licenses to provide in years to come skilled labour to an ever growing number of hotels and safari lodges now springing up along the scenic lake shores of Lake Kivu or near the countrys presently three national parks of Akagera, Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes. Watch this space.

RwandAir’s inaugural to Mwanza confirmed for Monday, July 02nd


Following a brief delay in the start of flights to Mwanza, Tanzanias second largest city located on the shores of Lake Victoria, the inaugural flight is set to take off on Monday 02nd July, finally connecting the third destination in Tanzania with Kigali / Rwanda.
The airline is already flying to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro and the addition of Mwanza also increases connectivity for city residents now able to fly with Rwandair to Johannesburg, Brazzaville, Libreville, Lagos and Dubai with a short transit stop in Kigali.
Mwanza is RwandAirs 14th destination and more are planned for later this year when two brand new Bombardier CRJ900 jets will join the airlines fleet, bringing the total number of aircraft to 7, but with more orders thought to be imminent for at least one more turboprop likely Bombardiers Q400 as well as more jet aircraft to facilitate the projected growth in destinations and frequencies the airline has outlined in their strategic plan.
Happy Landings and stand by for more exciting announcements about RwandAir due out this weekend.

East African Wildlife Society gets new Executive Director


Eastern Africas premier conservation NGO, the East African Wildlife Society, has announced that Nigel Hunter will be leaving the EAWLS by the end of the month though will continue to assist the society in fund raising in the future. It was learned today that Michael Gachanja will be taking charge at the helm from July 01st. All the best to Michael and many thanks and great appreciation to Nigel who will move on to new professional challenges.
Within the announcement was mention also made that the EAWLS has restored payment facilities via credit cards, now that the former platform in the UK has been moved from the Africa Travel and Tourism Association to Kenyan soil, necessitated as a result of global measures against money laundering, as ridiculous as this sounds in regard of EAWLS.
New partner bank in Kenya will be the I&M Bank through which credit and debit card transactions are now processed and to either renew membership or join as a new member, use these links via the EAWLS website: and for a gift membership, use this link

For more information visit their revamped and now much more user-friendly website:

KWS scoops Public Service Day top honours


Kenyas public sector day saw top honours go to KWS this year for their Animal Adoption Programme, which received the coveted prize in the category of Development of Policy, Strategy and Leadership.
The Animal Adoption Programme is one of the activities KWS is rolling out at present to raise money for an endowment fund to support Kenyas wildlife heritage. The fund seeks to raise Sh7.5 billion (US$100 million) over 10 years to facilitate conservation of Kenyas wildlife through challenges of climate change, drought, changing land use and high population growth.
The fund is, according to a KWS media release, also meant to cushion wildlife conservation from over-reliance on volatile tourism trends, donor support and political goodwill. The raised funds will support wildlife and community conservation efforts hopefully for generations to come, and will be used for security operations, research and monitoring, translocations, infrastructure, conservation education and other conservation requirements.
Amongst other organizations is Microsoft on board as is the Kenya Tourist Board, aka Magical Kenya. Well done indeed.

By plane to Brussels and by bullet train to Paris – news from Brussels Airlines


Brussels Airlines has introduced an almost irresistible offer on the Ugandan market, permitting travelers with final destination Paris to enjoy the scenic landscapes between Brussels and the French capital by using one of the European bullet trains, the Thalys, boarding the train directly at Brussels airport after clearing immigration and customs and getting off at the Gare du Nord in the heart of Paris.
At no extra cost will passengers be able to sample one of Europes fast track rail rides and spare themselves the trip from Paris CDG into the city by cab or bus.
The offer is available for travelers from and to SNs both East and West African destinations since last weekend and will run until the 15th September, giving summer views from ground level of the landscapes of Southern Belgium and Northern France as the train races along its tracks, instead of seeing the same view from 35.000 feet high up in miniature vision through a narrow aircraft window.
In addition is the airline giving economy class passengers from Paris an added 9 kg baggage allowance, which in fact for the two suitcases permitted will ultimately give up to 55 kg, one piece of the standard 23 kg and the second one with the added allowance of 9 kg making a whopping 32 kg, much welcome considering all the shopping surely done while in the worlds fashion capital of Paris, when using the early check in a day prior to departure.
The airline also confirmed that the retrofitting of the new cabin product is underway and by September the entire Airbus A330 fleet will have the state of the art new seats and entertainment systems installed and operational. Savoir Vivre in the air, Go Fly.

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