French government to double Air France-KLM stake as part of a recapitalization

WORLD – European Commission regulators have approved a €4 billion (US$4.7 billion) recapitalisation of Air France that could see the French government more than double its shareholding in Air France-KLM.  The French government’s stake in the group will increase from 14.3% to a maximum of 30% as part of the arrangement, Air France-KLM said. The too Dutch government has confirmed that its holding will be diluted to 9.3% from 14%. Dutch flag-carrier KLM supports the recapitalisation measure, the group stated but will not benefit from the €4 billion aid, according to the…

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Bell Helicopters delivers first Bell 505 to a Ugandan aviation company, BAR

UGANDA – Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has announced the delivery of a Bell 505 helicopter equipped with the Med-Pac Inc. LLC Emergency Medical Services Lite Interior to BAR Aviation, a leading aviation company in Uganda, marking the first Bell 505 in Uganda and the first Bell 505 designed to complete medical evacuation (medevac) missions in Africa.  “We are elated that BAR Aviation has chosen the Bell 505 as its Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) platform and will operate the first medevac Bell 505 in Africa,” said Lynette Loosen, regional sales…

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Aerospace manufacturer Bell becomes first rotorcraft customer to use sustainable aviation fuel for training

WORLD – American aerospace manufacturer Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has announced that it will begin incorporating Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) into all Bell Training Academy (BTA) and customer demonstration fleet aircraft. Bell will be the first rotorcraft customer to receive SAF supply from global aviation fuel supplier, Avfuel Corporation. “Bell is an active supporter of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s sustainable fuel initiative, and we are committed to seeking eco-friendlier solutions for rotorcraft,” said Michael Thacker, Executive Vice President, Technology and Commercial Business. “As the industry moves…

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Kenya Airways seeks US$501m bailout to weather Covid-19 pandemic

KENYA – National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) says it will need at least US$500 million in bailouts to stay afloat in the next nine months as it navigates the turbulent aviation sector following collapse in air travel demand amid Covid-19 economic fallout. The airline’s chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka, said that the money will be used on operations including staff remuneration, maintenance of aircraft and settling water, security, and electricity bills. Without the government bailout, Mr Kilavuka warned the airline risks running out of money in the near future as…

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Zimbabwe’s Gweru Airport, PLM Middle East sign US$176m development deal

ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe’s Gweru Airport and PLM Middle East, a retail specialist agency, have announced a strategic partnership for airport development with a US$176 million investment plan at the 2021 Arab Aviation Summit (AAS), the region’s leading aviation and tourism industry event held at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre in Ras Al Khaimah. The eighth edition of the summit bought together experts to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the industry, the aftermath, and the road to recovery for a stronger future, under the theme, ‘Arab Aviation…

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Ghana to have new national airline by Egypt Air in couple of months’ time

GHANA – Ghana is set to get a new national airline, Air Ghana, which will be operated by Egypt Air with an expected commencement in a couple of months’ time.  According to Roshdy Zakaria, chief executive officer of EgyptAir Holding Co., EgyptAir will provide four Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft to the Accra-based airline in which it will have a 75 percent share, Zakaria told reporters in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the emirates of the UAE. The airline will be based in the capital of Ghana, Accra, and 75 percent…

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Kenya Airways sinks into worst ever loss of US$329.5m

KENYA – National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has reported a net loss of US$329.5 million for 2020, the worst ever in the history of the airline, on account of Covid-19 disruptions that led to a sharp decline in passenger numbers. The loss, for the financial year ended December 2020, is almost triple more the US$118.2 million net loss it had posted a year earlier, and now deals a major blow to the recovery efforts of the national carrier. KQ chairman Michael Joseph says the outlook still looks bleak and the…

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Comair resumes Johannesburg – Victoria Falls flights

SOUTH AFRICA – British Airways, operated by Comair in South Africa, has announced the reopening of bookings for flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls for travel starting on May 13, 2021. “We are delighted to reopen bookings for our services to Victoria Falls as part of the gradual return to our normal schedule. The reopening of the route is also just in time for customers to experience Victoria Falls during its peak tourist season when the entire length of the Victoria Falls is a thundering wall of falling water from…

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Kenya’s JKIA, Moi Airports ranked among the best on customer service in Africa

KENYA – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi, and Moi International Airport (MIA), Mombasa have been ranked second and fourth respectively in customer service in Africa by the Airports Council International (ACI). Dakar Blaise Diagne International Airport (Diass, Senegal) was ranked the best airport in Africa after demonstrating “significant efforts” in gathering passenger feedback through the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Departures survey, to help them better understand their customers during the pandemic. Among the top six airports include Kotoka International Airport (Accra, Ghana) which came third while SSR International Airport…

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Uganda airlines secures landing and departure slots in Dubai, London

UGANDA – Uganda Airlines has secured slots for departures and landing at London Heathrow Airport and Dubai International Airport as it prepares for commencement of long haul flights to the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and China. The move comes after the airline received its two Airbus A330-800Neo air crafts in December 2020 and early this year. Roger Wamala, the Uganda Airlines Commercial Director said the two aircrafts, code named Mt Elgon and Mt. Rwenzori,  will however remain grounded because the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has not yet cleared…

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