Friday, 26 April 2013

Air Namibia Announce Nonstop Flights Between Harare and Lusaka

Air Namibia effective 1st May 2013 will offer both passenger and cargo service on flights between Harare and Lusaka. The airline will initially operate four flights per week, two in each direction on Embraer ERJ 135 regional jets.
  • HRE1145-1240LUN ERJ135 37 
  • LUN1145-1240HRE ERJ135 15
Source: Air Namibia press release

Ethiopian Airlines Planned 787 Resumption

Ethiopian Airlines is set to resume Boeing 787 Dreamliner service on the Addis-Harare-Lusaka route starting May 16, 2013.  Boeing 787s have been grounded since regulators ordered all 50 planes out of the skies in mid-January after batteries on two of them overheated. US regulators approved a new battery design on Friday 19th April, clearing the way for installation.

Ethiopian Airlines 787 Schedule for African Routes:
  • Addis Ababa – Lusaka – Harare – Addis Ababa 16MAY13, 4 weekly
  • Addis Ababa – Harare – Lusaka – Addis Ababa 17MAY13, 3 weekly
  • Addis Ababa – Johannesburg 16JUN13, 1 daily
Source: Airlineroute

Monday, 22 April 2013

EgyptAir Discount Fares to Harare

Egyptair which plans to resume flights between Cairo and Harare from June 1st after a nine year absence, is offering a 20 percent discount on ticket purchases between April 8th to 30th and travel between June 1st and 21st. The airline will deploy a Boeing 737-800 a/c on the 4 weekly Cairo-Dar Es Salaam-Harare route.
Egyptair chairman and chief executive Captain Roshdy Zakaria said the new service between Harare and Cairo via Dar Es Salaam will connect to the entire Egyptair network in the Middle East, Far East and Europe. The new service comes as part of Egyptair's network expansion plan which enhances their presence as a main gateway to the world. The new service will increase Egyptair's destinations in Africa to 19 in addition to five more destinations via code-share agreements.

Kenya Airways Captain Mwangi and Daughter Flying Together

Inspiration Story of Kenya Airways Captain Mwangi and Daughter flying together. Thanks to KTN Kenya.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Can Air Zimbabwe Become Successful Once Again?

Air Zimbabwe, the seemingly ailing national carrier is currently undergoing a restructuring programme aimed at making the airline competitive once again. Burdened with large debts and an ageing fleet of Boeing 767-200ERs and 737-200's, the carrier recently announced a fleet renewal exercise as part of the restructuring programme. Currently two Airbus A320's have joined the fleet with one recently undergoing safety inspections and certified to operate on regional routes such as HRE-JNB. Plans have also been availed to acquire new short range Embraer jets from the Brazilian maker.

But what exactly is the long term strategy for Air Zimbabwe? Several new routes have been mentioned including Durban, Mauritius, London, Lagos and Munich but is this really the best option? Currently the dominant legacy carriers on the African continent include South African Airways, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenyan Airways. They are mainly characterized by their large fleets, hub-networks, expansive route-links as well as allegiances to alliances (Star Alliance, SkyTeam).

So the question is, can Air Zimbabwe compete with these dominant carriers? At the moment we have several smaller carriers making their mark on the African continent. These include Rwandair, Precisionair and probably the new player in the game Fastjet. So unlike the European and .U.S. markets where competition is highly saturated, the African market still has major potential for growth. So my next question is were does Air Zimbabwe fit into this whole picture?

As the legacy carrier that Air Zimbabwe currently is, the need to adopt a hybrid strategy can be critical to the revival of the airline. With the current small fleet it operates, a point to point strategy can be adopted where they focus on cutting costs and increasing efficiency, a strategy done very successfully by Easy Jet. At the moment Air Zimbabwe operates a Boeing 767-200ER on the HRE-JNB route which sits all day in Johannesburg before returning to Harare in the evening. The airline can adopt a fast turn-around strategy were they can do 4-8 profitable daily shifts between Harare and Johannesburg. But you ask, is there really a market for this? My answer is simply YES, but the challenge is the price. Middle income earners are not able to pay the current lowest price charged by SAA and BA Comair of $400 return trip. Air Zimbabwe can utilize their crew efficiently and adopt ancillary revenues methods from non-ticket sources such as baggage fees, food & beverage etc. Remember we are talking about point to point basis here so why not even fly into the cheaper airports like Lanseria.

Implementing Revenue Management systems to strategically control inventory, availability on GDS (Global Distribution Systems), and a reliable web presences can assist dearly in Air Zimbabwe's renewal. Some routes were Air Zim can successfully operate on a point-to-point include; Harare-Johannesburg, Harare-Cape Town, Harare-Durban, Bulawayo-Johannesburg, Victoria Falls-Johannesburg, just to name a few.
In conclusion, Air Zimbabwe can become a successful carrier once again with the right management team in place and a strategy that fits their current situation. We wish them best of luck in the near future.

Written by; Mlandeli Ndlela at HREAirportblog

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Air Botswana Cancels Planned Routes

According to current GDS inventory display, Air Botswana has once again cancelled planned service launch to Nairobi, Lanseria and Maun – Victoria Falls service. The following routes were due to start from March31, 2013 after being postponed from Winter 2012/13 season, however the airline will no longer plan to launch these new routes.
  • Gaborone – Harare – Nairobi
    BP250 GBE1130 – 1340HRE1425 – 1825NBO 146 24
    BP251 NBO0900 – 1100HRE1200 – 1340GBE 146 35
  • Gaborone – Lanseria Previously planned from 03APR13 (Reservation is closed, however schedule listing is still appearing in the GDS)
    BP301 GBE0720 – 0820HLA AT5 35
    BP303 GBE1600 – 1700HLA AT5 35BP302 HLA0850 – 0950GBE AT5 35
    BP304 HLA1800 – 1900GBE AT5 35
  • Maun – Victoria Falls
    BP241 MUB1015 – 1115VFA AT5 24
    BP243 MUB1515 – 1615VFA AT5 6BP242 VFA1200 – 1300MUB AT5 24
    BP244 VFA1700 – 1800MUB AT5 6

British Airways Go-Around at Harare International Airport

British Airways performing go-around at Harare International Airport after coming in too high for landing. Thanks again to William Whaley on for the great photography