Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Interview: Rammah Ettir, Medavia CEO


Full article in PDF format

Until 2014, when Tripoli International Airport was razed to the ground by warring militias, Mediterranean Aviation Company Ltd (Medavia) conducted most of its aircraft maintenance work in Libya’s capital.

Relocating its operational facility to Malta, the Mediterranean island situated 350km north of Tripoli, was a difficult but logical response to the security crisis. Medavia had been set up in 1978 by the governments of Libya and Malta, and the European island already hosted its management headquarters as well as a base maintenance station.

Despite losing one aircraft to the violence and sacrificing much of its revenue for evacuation flights, the company has adapted well to the challenges of recent years...

New doors open at Nesma


Full article in PDF format

Ashraf Lamloum knew he was taking a risk in 2016, when he opened a base in Jeddah and launched narrow-body flights under the Nesma Airlines brand.

The chief executive was taking advantage of the long-awaited liberalisation of domestic air transport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which had for years been dominated by just two airlines: flag-carrier Saudia and Flynas. Another two carriers – SaudiGulf and Flyadeal – were also granted licences around the same time.

From day one, Nesma KSA struggled to make a profit on the busy Jeddah to Riyadh trunk route...

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Why does Stockholm Arlanda Airport hide its buses?


Full article on economist.com

Always on the lookout for a bargain, Gulliver takes great pride in using public transport when he travels abroad. Journeys between airports and city centres are no exception. Most of the time finding the cheapest route takes no more effort than logging onto an airport’s website or opening a navigation app such as Google Maps. Sometimes, however, airports are not co-operative, trying their best to shove visitors onto convenient but overpriced transport links. Arlanda Airport near Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is by far the worst offender Gulliver has encountered...

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Boeing counts the cost of grounding the 737 MAX


Full article on economist.com

When Boeing grounded the global fleet of 737 MAXs in March, Ryanair, the biggest buyer of the plane in Europe, insisted that the move will have little impact on its network. That was either wishful thinking or misinformation. Just three weeks later, the number of flights it had scheduled from London to Edinburgh, Britain’s busiest domestic route, fell 85%. Frequencies from London to Belfast plummeted 91%...

Monday, 1 April 2019

Interview: Philippe Bohn, Air Senegal CEO


Full article in PDF format: page 16-18 & cover

When Air Senegal began operations in May 2018, it marked the West African nation’s third attempt at a state-owned flag carrier.

The failure of predecessors Air Senegal International and Senegal Airlines would come as little surprise to anyone familiar with the challenges of African aviation.

Senegal has a relatively small air transport market: just 2.3 million passengers pass through Dakar’s Blaise Diagne International Airport, its main hub, each year. The country’s population of 16 million would be a limiting factor even in the developed world, where most people can afford to fly. In the developing world, it makes running a commercial airline all but impossible.

Yet closed skies are not an option for Macky Sall, Senegal’s president, who was re-elected in February with a mandate to further advance his Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE) – a 20-year economic and social strategy aimed at delivering long-term prosperity...

Friday, 29 March 2019

The ow factor


Full article on economist.com

As is always the case when an airline goes bust, the collapse of WOW Air, an Icelandic low-cost carrier, has left a trail of financial destruction at home and abroad. More than 1,000 airline employees have lost their jobs. Tens of thousands of customers will face a battle to recover money spent on unused tickets. Those in the middle of their trips are stranded. With a population of less than 350,000 people, Iceland’s economy is neither large enough nor diversified enough to shrug off the failure. Last year the government warned that WOW’s collapse would shrink GDP and send the krona, the local currency, plummeting...

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Boeing, FAA's inaction over 737 MAX must be probed


Full article on forbes.com

The Boeing Company and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finally bit the bullet on Wednesday and grounded the global fleet of 737 MAXs – a new aircraft type that has suffered two catastrophic crashes in recent months despite being touted as one of the safest flying machines ever built.

America’s FAA should have been the first to ground the jet on Sunday, when prima-facie evidence pointed to similarities between the loss of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 that day and Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29th.

Instead, the U.S. regulator was dead last among respected international agencies to make the call. It waited more than 80 hours from the time of the second crash, with President Donald Trump announcing an emergency grounding Wednesday afternoon...

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

The facts have spoken: Boeing's 737 MAX needs to be grounded


Full article on forbes.com

‘If it ain't broke, don't fix it’ is one of my favorite maxims.

I find it odd, then, that Boeing has committed to making “an already safe aircraft even safer” by upgrading software on its 737 MAX series.

Coming on the heels of two major crashes by the type with glaring parallels – the first of which Boeing is already publicly linking to its existing software – the company’s narrative appears confused and contradictory...

Monday, 11 March 2019

Another brand new Boeing falls from the sky


Full article on economist.com & video summary

For the second time in five months, a virtually new Boeing 737 MAX airliner has crashed within minutes of taking off, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew aboard. On March 10th Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 departed from Addis Ababa, the carrier’s home airport, for what should have been a routine two-hour flight to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. It fell out of the sky just six minutes later...

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Zambia's Mahogany Air eyes regional expansion via northern towns


Full article on forbes.com

Mahogany Air is looking to turn Zambia’s northern border towns of Mbala and Nakonde into transit points for Burundi and Tanzania as part of a new push into international markets.

“What we are trying to do is to fly to northern Zambia and connect to the neighbouring countries,” founder and chief executive Jim Belemu told me in a telephone interview.

“So we will fly to northern Zambia, Mbala, and then from Mbala we can connect to Bujumbura [in Burundi]. There is traffic which is so untapped there. Then we are also trying to fly to the Zambian border town of Nakonde and connect from there to Dar es Salaam [in Tanzania]...