Tuesday, 17 December 2013

PIC: British Airways Comair Arrival at Harare International Airport

British Airways Comair 737-300 arriving late on a rainy early evening at Harare International Airport. In the background, an Egypair 737-800 is parked awaiting its evening departure back to Cairo via Dar es Salaam while an Emirates Airbus A340-300 begins boarding for its return flight to Dubai via Lusaka.
Date: 16/12/2013

Monday, 16 December 2013

Emirates Launches a Daily A380 Service to Mauritius

HARARE, ZIMBABWE, December 16, 2013: Emirates, a global connector of people and places today launched its 24th A380 route, working with its partners in Mauritius to say “Hello A380” in style. At the airport ceremony to welcome the first daily A380 service, Emirates signed a new and enhanced 10 year commercial cooperation agreement with Air Mauritius, and a renewed Memorandum of Understanding with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. The A380 allows Emirates to bring an extra 153 passengers each day to the beautiful island set in middle of the Indian Ocean. It is the first airline in the world to operate an A380 service to a destination in the Indian Ocean. Travel demand to the island is growing, and Emirates in 2012 carried over 350,000 passengers and 6,000 tonnes of cargo between Mauritius and its global network of 130-plus destinations spanning 78 countries. 
The inaugural A380 daily service arrived at Mauritius’ Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International
Airport with over 500 passengers and VIP delegation from Emirates, including: Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer; Adnan Kazim, Divisional Senior Vice President, Planning, Aeropolitical and Industry Affairs; Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Centre (GCC, Middle East, Iran & West Asia) and Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations (Latin America, Central & Southern Africa). It was met on landing by the Hon. Michael Sik Yuen, Minister of Tourism and Leisure, Republic of Mauritius; Andre Viljoen, CEO Air Mauritius; Anand Kinnoo, Acting Director of Civil Aviation, Republic of Mauritius and Rohit Ramnawaz, Chairman, Airport of Mauritius. 
 “Since August 2008 Emirates has served over 18 million passengers on our A380s. Our customers love it, and we continue to see a big demand to fly on the aircraft,” said Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline. “Our A380 service to Mauritius means passengers from key markets such as London, Paris, Moscow and Shanghai, flying via our hub in Dubai, now have the chance to experience a seamless Emirates A380 experience including the world-class service and product across First Class, Business Class and Economy Class for which the airline is renowned. The larger aircraft also means we will be able to bring 153 more passengers each day to this beautiful island destination, thus further strengthening our support for the country’s tourism industry and trade sectors”. 
Mauritius is renowned for its world-class beaches and local hospitality. To showcase those attributes and to celebrate the arrival of the A380, Emirates worked with 100 local Pirogue fishermen to create a Mauritian-style “Hello A380” greeting to all global travellers. This was orchestrated in the stunning setting of Blue Bay Reserve Marine Park, located in the south-east of the island. The A380 will operate as flight EK 701 departing from Dubai International Airport at 03.10 hours and arriving in Mauritius at 09.40. The return flight EK 702 will depart at 18.20 hours and arrives in Dubai at 01.10 the next day. Emirates also operates a second daily flight to the country using a Boeing 777-300. 
Mauritius  joins an illustrious list of global destinations Emirates operates its flagship aircraft to: Dubai, Amsterdam, Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, London Heathrow, Manchester, Melbourne, Moscow, Munich, New York JFK, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto and most recently Los Angeles which launched earlier this month.
Emirates is the largest operator of the A380 in the world with a fleet of 42 and 98 more on order.
For further details about Emirates or to book your flights to Mauritius, please visit: or contact your preferred travel agent. 

CAAZ Plans to Market Bulawayo’s Joshua Nkomo Airport

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) has said it is working with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) to market multi-million dollar Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport on the outskirts of Bulawayo amid fears the airport could become a white elephant. Bulawayo has suffered massive de-indutrialisation over the last decade or so. Speaking during his seventh inauguration as president in Harare after a July 31 general elections triumph, Mugabe said although industries had collapsed countywide, Bulawayo’s industrial base had shrunk to “scrapyard levels”. The new terminal, which has state-of -art facilities, received its first flight on November 1 following a directive by President Robert Mugabe to start operating.

 The facility, which has a capacity to handle 1,5 million passengers a year, has been under construction for more than a decade during which it missed several deadlines to commence operations. For years the airport has been handling the arrival and departure of domestic and international flights under a makeshift aircraft hangar made of corrugated iron sheets transformed into a temporary terminal.
Last week Caaz chief executive officer David Chawota said they would not allow the airport to become a white elephant. “Arrangements for keeping the airport busy are in place. We cannot have a situation where the airport is underutilised,” said Chawota.  “We will go all out to ensure that this facility gets maximum exposure. We are working with the ZTA to sell the country to international visitors,” said Chawota.
There are concerns that due to massive company closures countrywide as the economy continues to struggle the airport would be underutilised. The airport can handle 400 passengers arriving and another 400 departing during peak hours. There are about 15 contractors working on the project that includes the refurbishment of the international arrivals’ hall, a variety of shops and a car park with a holding capacity of about 400 cars and a separate state pavilion. In addition to a business lounge, the airport houses bars, banks and the Joshua Nkomo gallery. In the lead-up to the November opening, some companies and service providers that had signed contracts to operate at the airport pulled out citing delays.
Article by Nqobile Bhebhe of the Zimbabwe Independent.

PICS: Departing Harare International Airport

Completed section of the Joshua Nkomo Expressway leading to Harare International Airport. Progress is moving at a snails pace. Once completed the dual carriage will cut down travel time into Harare CBD.

Driving past the Air Zimbabwe hanger as you enter into Harare International Airport. The section of the road is still under construction.

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-800 dreamliner begins boarding while an Egyptair Boeing 737-800 in Star Alliance colours is parked for the day waiting for its evening departure back to Cairo via Dar es Salaam.

A view of the terminal and control tower with beautiful skies above.

All three African Star Alliance carriers lined up at Harare International Airport, South African Airways, Egyptair and Ethiopian Airlines.  

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Linhas Aereas de Mocambique (LAM) plane wreck found in Namibia, all 33 onboard dead

Windhoek — Police on Saturday found the burned wreckage of a Mozambican Airlines plane the day after it went missing in northeastern Namibia, saying none of the 33 people aboard had survived. The crash in the remote, swampy terrain of Namibia's Bwabwata National Park killed victims from several countries, including a baby, and is one of the worst accidents on record in Mozambique's civil aviation history.
"My team on the ground have found the wreckage. No survivors. The plane is totally burned," Willie Bampton, a regional police coordinator in Namibia's Kavango region, told AFP. The Mozambican government confirmed the crash and said it would declare a period of national mourning for the victims -- six crew members and 27 passengers, of whom 10 were Mozambican, nine Angolan, five Portuguese, one Portuguese-Brazilian, one French and one Chinese. The plane, en route from Mozambique to Angola, went down in the deserted terrain of the Bwabwata park, where Namibia turns into a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Botswana and Angola. Mozambican authorities confirmed it was a Brazil-manufactured Embraer 190 aircraft and said it was the newest plane in the airline's fleet. Embraer issued a statement confirming the crash and extending "its support to investigating authorities".
Embraer and the airline have both sent teams to the scene. The investigation is being led by Namibia with help from civil aviation authorities from Mozambique, Angola, Brazil and the United States.
The airline, known in Portuguese as Linhas Aereas de Mocambique (LAM), said the plane was purchased brand new in late 2012 and had completed 2,905 flight hours when it crashed. The airline's chief executive, Marlene Manave, told a press conference the pilots were "experienced". "We do not have any information on the circumstances of the accident and we cannot speculate on possible causes as the investigators must be given the time and space to do their work," Manave said, adding that the airline did not yet have any information on the plane's black box. She also said the victims included a Mozambican baby under two.
The company said it was providing counselling and legal advice to families in both Mozambique and Angola and had set up a hotline for those who needed information. The European Union banned LAM and all air carriers certified in Mozambique from flying in its airspace in 2011, citing "significant safety deficiencies". But the concern was about Mozambique's civil aviation authority, rather than the track record of the various airlines. The MT 470 flight took off from Maputo at 0926 GMT Friday for the nearly four-hour journey to the Angolan capital Luanda. With about 100 seats, it was two-thirds empty. Last contact with air traffic controllers was made at 1130 GMT over north Namibia during heavy rainfall.
The search for the plane was hampered both by the rough terrain and torrential rains pounding the area, the Namibian regional police coordinator told AFP. "There are no proper roads, you have to go through the bush slowly and it's making our job difficult," he said. Deadliest since 1986 presidential jet crash.The Bwabwata National Park, a 6,100-square-kilometre (2,355-square-mile) reserve, is a sparsely populated area covered by wetlands and dense forests. Villagers who had heard explosions helped point police in the right direction. Before the wreckage was found, relatives and friends of those on board gathered at Maputo airport, many frustrated at what they said was the lack of information. "They told us it was a forced landing. I know it's a crash," said Luis Paolo, a friend of a Portuguese businessmen on the flight.
Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva published a condolence message to victims' families. The accident is the deadliest for Mozambique since a plane carrying then-president Samora Machel crashed in 1986 in South Africa en route home from an African leaders' summit. That crash, which claimed at least 34 lives, remains a mystery, but speculation has lingered that it was linked to tensions with the then-apartheid regime in South Africa. Mozambique said it would set up a commission of enquiry to work with Namibian authorities on Friday's crash and expected to make its preliminary results public within 30 days.

Report By Shinovene Immanuel and Jinty Jackson (AFP)

Fastjet Annouces new Lusaka Route

On the day of its 1 year anniversary, lowcost carrier FastJet announced the launch date for their second international destination out of their base in Dar es Salaam. The new route will be Lusaka, Zambia and flights are due to commence on February 1, 2014, subject to all regulatory approvals. FastJet will use their Airbus A319 for their next destination and has proposed to fly initially twice a week, joining Zambia’s Pro-Flight on the route. Cost for the ticket was given as approximately US Dollars 75, one way, and in typical FastJet style subject to all regulatory fees and taxes.

"We are incredibly pleased that, in accordance with our planned growth strategy, the roll-out of our international route network is now gaining real momentum and we are fulfilling our promise to the people of Africa to democratise air travel across the continent.  We look forward to bringing the benefits of affordable, high-quality air travel to the people of Zambia" Ed Winter, Interim Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of fastjet, said.

Mr Winter is understandably chuffed about the latest development of the fast-growing airline. "We are immensely proud of our achievements over the past year. It is not only the hard work and dedication of our people that has made our first year a success, but also the overwhelming support of our passengers and the Tanzanian government, whom we would like to wholeheartedly thank," fastjet said.
Overcoming a number of challenges, fastjet has established itself as a reliable, affordable low-cost carrier. Over the past year, it has seen consistently strong passenger numbers and load factors, and maintained excellent punctuality and reliability records. The airline has carried over 355,000 passengers throughout its domestic network in Tanzania and internationally to Johannesburg, South Africa.