Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Fastjet Update

The following article appeared in atwonline today:
"African budget carrier Fastjet has suspended operations at its Fly540 Ghana subsidiary as part of its long-running battle to curb its legacy Fly540 losses.
FastJet acquired African regional airline Fly540 to accelerate its low-cost launch, giving it instant access to air operators’ certificates in Angola, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. It used this as a platform to launchFastjet-branded Airbus A319 operations from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in November 2012.
However, Fastjet has struggled to secure route rights for its budget expansion—partly due to questions over ownership and control—and its legacy Fly540 business has been racking up losses. Earlier in May, Fastjet suspended Fly540’s Angolan operation—pending restructuring—and said Ghana was also on its watch list.
Ghana has now followed in the footsteps of Angola. “Fly540 operations in Ghana are being temporarily suspended pending further restructuring. Fly540 has served notice on the leasing agreement it holds on one ATR aircraft in Ghana,” Fastjet said in a statement. It has already put two ATRs, previously operating in Ghana and Angola, up for sale.
Fastjet CEO Ed Winter said the legacy Fly540 business is not part of its core low-cost model. He reiterated his ambition to launch Fastjet low-cost operations in both Angola and Ghana in the long term.
For the shorter term, Fastjet is focusing on East and Southern Africa; it is aiming to establish bases in Kenya, South Africa and Zambia. “These plans are progressing well,” Winter said. 
However, Fastjet’s international expansion has been sluggish and its tentative plans to partner with airlines and investors in KenyaNigeria and South Africa have been slow to materialize."

More Fun and Games at South African Airways

The following appeared in the Business Day newsletter today:
A CONFIDENTIAL report detailing alleged irregularities at South African Airways (SAA) was threatening to plunge the national carrier into yet another scandal, the Afrikaans daily newspaper Beeld reported on Tuesday.
In the report it is alleged that SAA interim CEO Monwabisi Kalawe kept the SAA board in the dark and even misled it about his alleged efforts to buy shares in an "insolvent" airline.
According to the report Mr Kalawe negotiated for five months without the knowledge or consent of the board to buy shares in the "insolvent" Senegal Airways.
Business Day reported in January this year about the transaction after SAA said it had been approached by the Senegalese government to acquire a stake in Senegal Airlines, and that it was considering the offer.
Once again we have evidence of the apparent in-fighting that is going on between the SAA board and SAA management. In view of the dire situation that the airline finds itself in, this is not too surprising. However, it would be in our best interest for all the brain power and energy to be focussed on strategic solutions, not personal points gathering.

Links to aviation partners:

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Airfares in Africa 50% higher

Airfares in Africa 50% higher than rest of world

15 Thu, May 2014

Airfares in Africa are 50% higher than anywhere else in the world, and this needs to change. This is according to Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who was speaking at the dialogue of African ministers at the Tourism Indaba in Durban this weekend.

According to van Schalkwyk, African countries need to increase transparency when it comes to airfares, taxes and fuel surcharges. He said: “Many governments actually add taxes on that the public doesn’t even know about because of the un-transparent nature of how prices of aviation fuel are being set. As African countries democratise, it is much more difficult for governments to continue with un-transparent systems.”

Alain St Ange, Seychelles’ Minister of Tourism, agreed and suggested African airlines should have preferential airfares for African citizens. He said: “To increase business, let’s look at our taxes. Recently, at an Indian Ocean commission, a resolution was passed to have preferential tickets for the inhabitants of the islands of the Indian Oceans. That is maybe something that we need to do with Africa.”

From SA Travel New Online

Links to aviation partners:

Monday, 12 May 2014


In an interesting reference to the national bird of South Africa, Blue Crane Aviation have submitted an application for a Domestic Air Services Licence.

The outfit is a collection of ex-SAA management including the past-CEO Siza Mzimela, past-CCO Theunis Potgieter, and Jerome Simelane. Initial statements have emanated from Ogilvy PR, whose executive was a past PRO for SAA. For this reason they are probably bound to generate some significant publicity. We can also expect some interesting responses from government and SAA.

The licence application reportedly mentions Johannesburg-Cape Town as first route, but statements indicate a more regional ambition. We could be looking at an interesting race between Safair and Blue Crane, to see who will take-off first. We should also watch out for possible alliances, with parties such as fastjet and The management can likely capitalise on past international networking connections, so a tie-up with a large overseas player may also be a possibility.

Africa has good economic growth, and South African consumers will welcome more competition, so there are some favourable industry conditions. The key, in our opinion, will be to understand the partnerships which Blue Crane is able to forge, and how its relationship with government will pan out. This is no longer a game for small players.

13 May 2014

Friday, 9 May 2014

e-Learning in Airline Crew Training

e-Learning in Airline Crew Training

One of Johannesburg's leading training schools has initiated a new format for Cabin Crew training based on online e-learning techniques. This approach reduces the cost of training significantly, and also reduces the time spent in classroom.

The Cabin Crew Member Licensing Programmes comprises of the following two essential components:

AAA - Online Learning Component for Cabin Crew Member Licensing – This is the e-learning section of the Programme and focuses on the theoretical aspects of the syllabus relating to cabin crew member licensing. Approximately 260 hours (within a two month period) is available to the learner to complete this section of the programme. Interaction with instructors and fellow students takes place via Classroom Discussion Forums

BBB - Mandatory Residency Component for Cabin Crew Member Licensing – This is the component when all examinations and practical assessments for the licensing of cabin crew members is undertaken. Learners are required to attend this component at the premises of EPT Aviation Training for a two week period.  Learners are required to successfully complete all aspects of the Online Learning Component prior to attending the mandatory two week residency period.

The cost involved is R8000 - which is approximately half the usual cost.

The CAA has approved this option.