Archive for April 6th, 2017

IATA reports record load factors for February


(Posted 06th April 2017)


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for February showing a second month of strong demand growth to begin 2017.

Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 4.8%, compared to the same month last year. Although this was below growth achieved in January, year-to-year comparisons are distorted because February 2016 was a leap month. Adjusting for the one fewer day this year, the underlying growth rate was estimated at 8.6%, just under January’s increase of 8.9%. Monthly capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 2.7%, and load factor rose 1.6 percentage points to 79.5%, which was the highest ever recorded for February.

The strong demand momentum from January has continued, supported by lower fares and a healthier economic backdrop. Although we remain concerned over the impact of any travel restrictions or closing of borders, we have not seen the attempted US ban on travel from six countries translate into an identifiable traffic trend. Overall travel demand continues to grow at a robust rate‘ said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

IATA estimates that allowing for inflation, the price of air travel has fallen by more than 10% in real terms over the past year, accounting for more than half the growth in RPKs in early 2017.

February 2017
(% year-on-year)
World share¹ RPK ASK PLF
Total Market 100.0% 4.8% 2.7% 1.6% 79.5%
Africa 2.2% 5.6% 1.4% 2.7% 67.6%
Asia Pacific 32.9% 6.3% 3.4% 2.2% 81.4%
Europe 26.4% 6.3% 3.6% 2.0% 80.2%
Latin America 5.2% 2.4% 0.5% 1.5% 80.8%
Middle East 9.6% 9.1% 6.9% 1.5% 74.1%
North America 23.7% -0.1% -0.5% 0.3% 79.4%

¹% of industry RPKs in 2016 ²Year-on-year change in load factor ³Load factor level

International Passenger Markets

February international passenger demand rose 5.8% compared to February 2016, which was down compared to the 9.1% yearly increase recorded in January. Adjusting for the leap year, however, growth actually accelerated slightly compared to January. Total capacity climbed 3.4%, and load factor rose 1.8 percentage points to 78.4%.

  • European carriers saw February demand increase by 6.5% compared to a year ago. Traffic has resumed its growth after the terrorist disruptions in 2016, supported in part by momentum in the regional economy. Capacity climbed 3.4% and load factor surged 2.4 percentage points to 81.1%.
  • Asia-Pacific airlines’ February traffic rose 5.2% compared to the year-ago period, maintaining the strong momentum of the past few months. Intra-Asia traffic remains robust and conditions on the Asia-Europe route have continued to recover from last year’s terrorism-related slowdown. Capacity increased 2.9% and load factor climbed 1.7 percentage points to 79.8%.
  • Middle East carriers had the strongest growth, with a 9.5% demand increase in February compared to a year ago. Capacity rose 7% and load factor climbed for a fourth consecutive month to 74.3%, up 1.8 percentage points over last year.
  • North American airlines’ traffic climbed 0.3%, which was the slowest among the regions. However, adjusting for the leap year, growth was estimated at 3.4%. Traffic to/ from Asia continues to move upward but transatlantic demand has trended sideways since mid-2016. Capacity inched up 0.1% and load factor edged up 0.1 percentage point to 75.9%.
  • Latin American airlines saw February traffic rise 5.9% compared to February 2016. Capacity increased by 2.8%, boosting load factor 2.3 percentage points to 81.4%, highest among the regions. Robust international demand within South America is offsetting weaker traffic to North America, which has trended downward since mid-2015 and fell by 3.4% in January, the most recent month for which route-specific results are available.
  • African airlines continued their recovery, with February traffic up 7.1% compared to a year ago. This mainly reflects the upturn on the key route to/from Europe, offsetting struggles in the region’s biggest economies of Nigeria and South Africa. Capacity rose 2.3%, and load factor jumped 2.9 percentage points to 66.0%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic travel demand rose 3.3% in February compared to February 2016, reduced from 8.7% in January, but again, the leap year effect greatly exaggerated the slowdown. Results varied widely as Australia, Brazil and the US all registered non-adjusted declines. Domestic capacity climbed 1.6%, and load factor increased 1.3 percentage points to 81.4%.

February 2017
(% year-on-year)
World share¹ RPK ASK PLF
Domestic 36.3% 3.3% 1.6% 1.3% 81.4%
Australia 1.0% -3.3% -3.9% 0.5% 73.8%
Brazil 1.2% -4.8% -5.8% 0.9% 79.4%
China P.R 8.7% 9.1% 5.3% 3.0% 86.1%
Indian 1.3% 17.0% 14.0% 2.2% 86.9%
Japan 1.1% 1.7% -1.7% 2.4% 69.1%
Russia Fed. 1.3% 13.3% 13.8% -0.3% 73.9%
US 14.9% -0.4% -1.0% 0.5% 81.2%

¹% of industry RPKs in 2016 ²Year-on-year change in load factor ³Load factor level *Note: the seven domestic passenger markets for which broken-down data are available account for 30% of global total RPKs and approximately 82% of total domestic RPKs

  • Russia has joined India and China among the fastest growing markets. Traffic is now back on its trend line prior to the collapse of Transaero in late 2015, supported by steady recovery in the economy and ruble over the past year as oil prices have firmed.
  • US airlines’ upward momentum in the domestic market has stalled over the past six months, notwithstanding strong readings from consumer confidence surveys.

The Bottom Line

The year has opened with some shocks—the attempted ban on travel to the US by citizens of six countries and the restrictions on the carry-on of large electronic items from certain airports in the Middle East and North Africa on direct flights to the US and the UK. The potential implications of the Brexit talks on the air transport industry are significant and the political rhetoric of protectionism and closing of borders is adding to the ambiguity.

It’s intolerable that governments continue to add to the uncertainties facing the air transport industry by failing to engage airline operational know-how on issues that can damage public confidence. The introduction of restrictions on the carry-on of large electronic devices was a missed opportunity and the result was a measure that cannot stand-up to the scrutiny of public confidence in the long term. Although Australia’s measures were also implemented without consulting the industry, they at least demonstrate the potential to mitigate the threat with less disruptive means. We all want to keep flying secure. And we can do that most effectively by working together‘ said de Juniac.

In tandem, states need to support the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as it develops a Global Aviation Security Plan. Additionally, next month, ICAO member states will consider amendments to Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention that would require information sharing. ‘The security experience of recent years should compel states to support this‘ said de Juniac.

View February passenger traffic analysis (pdf)

Changes at the helm of RwandAir


(Posted 06th April 2017)

When John Mirenge took on the responsibility as CEO of RwandAir was the airline little more than a virtual carrier, with not one plane owned and few routes to impress the market in Eastern Africa.
During his spell as CEO however he was able, supported by the government of Rwanda and a dedicate team of staff, to expand the fleet to presently 11 aircraft with another Boeing B737-800NG due for delivery in May to complete the full dozen.
The airline now owns and to a lesser part leases 2 Airbus A330’s, 3 Boeing B737-800NG’s, two (leased) Boeing B737-700NG’s, two Bombardier CRJ900NextGen’s and two Bombardier Q400NextGen’s.
The route network has just turned intercontinental with the addition of Mumbai in India and London is on the drawing board for the end of May. In Africa has the airline expanded a few days ago to Harare but also serves Lusaka and Johannesburg in the Southern African region.
In East Africa does RwandAir fly to Entebbe, Nairobi, Mombasa, Juba, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Bujumbura and in the Gulf it is Dubai which the airline serves daily using the A330 on the route.
In West Africa does RwandAir fly to Brazzaville, Libreville, Douala, Lagos, Accra and Abidjan with Conakry due to come on line in coming weeks.
Domestically is Kamembe served on a daily basis too providing a link for travelers from Eastern Congo.
With John Mirenge bowing out has Col. Chance Ndagano been appointed as Acting CEO of the airline with his two deputies confirmed as Lt. Col. Munyaneza in charge of operations and Yvonne Manzi in charge of Corporate Affairs.
Former Deputy CEO Jean Paul Nyirubutama appears to have been moved on to the Board of Directors which continues to be chaired by Girma Wake, former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

A copy of a cabinet statement just received in regard to the changes reads as follows for the relevant parts:

a) Acting CEO: Col. Chance Ndagano;
b) Deputy CEO in charge of Operations (COO): Lt Col. Sylvere Munyaneza;
c) Deputy CEO in charge of Corporate Affairs: MAKOLO MANZI Yvonne.

Jean Paul Nyirubutama, Member (Board of Directors)

(John Mirenge seen here on delivery of the first Airbus A330-200 to RwandAir last year in September)

All the best to John Mirenge in his future career, wherever it takes him and to Jean Paul Nyirubutama for his new appointment to the Board of Directors of RwandAir while equally welcoming the new team at the helm of the airline, wishing them success and happy landings, always.

World Bank lets down the rafting industry in Uganda


(Posted 06th April 2017)

The Ugandan rafting industry, an integral part of the country’s tourism industry, is perplexed, as are wide sections of the conservation fraternity, when news broke that the recommendation of the Inspection Panel to launch a formal investigation into the allegation made over the Isimba Dam and other alleged infringements on the deal the World Bank made with the Ugandan government upon closing the Bujagali financing deal, would be deferred by up to 12 months.
It was the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors which arrived at this strange decision, given the facts presented to the Inspection Panel and the panel’s own findings. The Board reportedly disagreed with the independent Inspection Panel with regard to investigating the Bujagali guarantee project because that project is closed, even though the offset agreements remains valid into perpetuity.
The Panel’s Report and Recommendation and Management Response can be found on the Panel’s website at this link:

Shocking to say the least and allegations are now suggesting that vested interests have overruled what would have been the right thing to do, seeing the World Bank’s reputation in tatters given their previous stalling attitude when the issues where first brought to their attention.

Local advocacy groups are presently re-examining what other options exist including taking into account the damning reports now available about the construction shortfalls detected at the Isimba dam by local experts sent in to establish the true extent of the contractors failings.

Qatar Airways gets recognized for new amenity kits across all travel classes


(Posted 06th April 2017)

Qatar Airways excelled in four categories of the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards held in Hamburg, Germany last night. The airline’s new range of on-board products won the awards for First Class Female Amenity Kit, Business Class Middle East Amenity Kit, Children’s Goody Bag (over six years old) and Sleeper Suit / Pyjamas at the prestigious industry event.

Mr. Rossen Dimitrov, Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Customer Experience, said: ‘Receiving four gold awards for our new range of on-board products at the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards is the ultimate recognition of our commitment to enhancing the on-board experience for our passengers. We could not be prouder of this achievement, which reflects our passion for providing our customers with the most comfortable and relaxing journey possible every time they travel with Qatar Airways‘.

Qatar Airways Business Class female amenity kit bags created by luxury luggage designer BRIC’s offered on long haul and ultra long haul flights

Qatar Airways First Class female amenity kit bags created by luxury luggage designer BRIC’s offered on long haul and ultra long haul flights

Qatar Airways First Class female amenity kit bags created by luxury luggage designer BRIC’s offered on long haul and ultra long haul flights

Qatar Airways children’s on board Hasbro Inc. amenity kits

Qatar Airways children’s on board Hasbro Inc. amenity kits

Qatar Airways’ First Class Sleeper Suit product from the UK luxury lifestyle brand The White Company

Qatar Airways’ First Class Sleeper Suit product from the UK luxury lifestyle brand The White Company

The award-winning Qatar Airways amenity kit bags created by bespoke bag designer Nappa Dori offered on short and medium haul flights

The award-winning Qatar Airways amenity kit bags created by bespoke bag designer Nappa Dori offered on short and medium haul flights

The award-winning Qatar Airways First Class female amenity kit bags and Business Class amenity kit bags were created by luxury luggage designer BRIC’s and bespoke bag designer Nappa Dori. Both bag designs contain a selection of skincare products from Italy’s Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio. These luxurious products were developed in conjunction with and supplied by leading travel amenities company Formia.

The new children’s on board Hasbro Inc. amenity kits were launched by Qatar Airways in December 2016 and have been a huge success with younger travellers. The kits include plush infant Elefun and Mr. Potato Head toys as well as classic games such as Clue Junior, Guess Who, Monopoly Here and Now World Edition and The Game of Life for older children. The airline’s specially prepared children’s meals feature new Pictureka or Monopoly designed lunch boxes – a gift that children can take home and use long after their flight. These fun-filled kits were supplied to Qatar Airways by bespoke travel products company Buzz Products.

Qatar Airways’ new First Class Sleeper Suit product from the UK luxury lifestyle brand The White Company was also a winner at the awards ceremony. The men’s Sleeper Suit is designed in a charcoal grey marl, and the women’s in a contemporary, mid-grey; both are made of 100 per cent cotton to provide the highest level of comfort. Both sets come with matching luxury cotton slippers, with a faux fur interior sole for extra warmth and comfort. Aviation on-board product developer Matrix supplied these products to Qatar Airways.

Judged by passengers themselves, the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards are the industry’s leading benchmark for amenity kit excellence and quality. With no alliance to any association or guild, the awards are a true barometer of trends within the on-board experience sector.

Qatar Airways flies daily from Doha to Entebbe and on to Kigali but also serves Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar and offers services to Nairobi twice a day.

Wild Nature meet Rich Culture on Reunion Island

Reunion Island remains a high profile destination

The Wild Nature and Rich Culture of Reunion Island

Seemingly hidden within the currents of the Indian Ocean is a little tropical gem which calls to the heart of every traveller looking for the ultimate experience. With far reaching mountainous landscapes and strikingly beautiful terrains, Reunion Island holds captive a pristine historical charm, luring those looking for the perfect island getaway.

Reunion Island offers a unique blend of a tropical paradise and an adventurer’s dream. With three Grande Randonnée footpaths crossing the island, you can effortlessly immerse yourself within the depths of Reunion Island’s natural majesty.

The Island offers a surreal experience, as the natural lush green landscapes give way to the volcanic fields of the Piton de la Fournaise. These heated volcanic fields have shaped the Island. Yet, even this momentous giant effortlessly subsides at the Island’s Southern edge to a refreshing oceanic breeze.

Cast in the shadows of two prominent volcanic peaks and cliff-rimmed cirques, rests the tranquil beaches which epitomises the splendour of Reunion Island. With waves crashing gently into the shoreline, the water glistens and reflects the sun rays and it is within these moments that the curious traveller may capture a glimpse of the vivid colours projected by the 20 km coral reef resting within the shallows of the coastline.

Reunion Island boasts not only an adventurous retreat but also a pristine natural habitat for a variety of aquatic species. The Natural Marine Reserve extends over an astounding 40 km of coastline which stretches from Cap La Houssaye in Saint-Paul to la Roche aux Oiseaux in Etang-Salé. It is within this protected Marine Reserve that the 20 km coral reef has flourished to become a unique feature encountered by visitors to Reunion Island.

With such a diverse and ecological landscape the notion of diversity appears to have been embedded within the heart of Reunion Island and its residents. Many of the inhabitants of Reunion Island are descendants from France, Mozambique, India, China, Madagascar, the Comores and a variety of countries in Africa, thus leading to a mixing-pot of cultural lineage that maps out the unique traditions found on Reunion Island.

Prominent influences from such a diverse heritage can be found rooted within the music and dances encountered during your stay on the Island. Maloya is a local dance and music which descends from a narrative between African and Indian music, mixed with the haunting melodies of the slaves from Africa and Madagascar.

The diversity present on the Island entices the senses and offers a brilliant view into a multitude of customs held dear by the people of Reunion Island. With such a spectacular mix of people you will find that the cuisine as well as traditions are extremely diverse. Thus, throughout your stay on the Island you can expect influences from across the globe, harnessed and captured in the all of the delicacies offered on the Island.

It’s hard to resist the natural beauty and unique blended culture that this island has to offer.

open.php?u=352f6d12f430c520086223f1d&id=1c3c5fc226&e=e0d1d32717For more information about Destination Reunion click on

Your news update from the Northern Rangelands Trust

Northern Rangelands Trust News Updates for ATC News Readers

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"Just borrow a camel"

What happens when conservancy elders, many of whom have had very little formal education, meet corporate leadership training?

Find out how conservancy management is being transformed

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Rescue of Sera Rhino Calf

A black rhino calf, only the second to be born in Sera Rhino Sanctuary, has had to be rescued after his mother abandoned him.

Find out what happened

Clarifying misconceptions

In the light of significant misinformation in the press and social media, NRT would like to clarify some frequent misconceptions and facts about NRT and our member community conservancies. NRT’s headquarters is well known locally, and we welcome any enquiries about our work.

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"Times are tough for wildlife. So me and my team scooped several water points along the dry Ewaso River. It didn’t take long for the elephants to come." Chris Lekupe, manager of Westgate Conservancy
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Boris Johnson Visits Lewa & NRT

UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson, with David Lekoomet (right) the new Chairman of the NRT Council of Elders, and Michael Hamena (left) Chairman of Nakuprat-Gotu Community Conservancy.

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According to ATQ News is Makoko the Venice of Africa

ATQ News from Nigeria and beyond for readers of ATC News

Nigerian Journalists have applauded the appointment of former Director General, Nigeria Tourism Development Commission, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe and other professionals into key areas in the industry.

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