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Aerospace News Digest

How Nakuru gangs use drones to disrupt law enforcement

June 26, 2020

Criminal gangs in Nakuru County are using drones to monitor security agencies’ movements and activities. The County Commissioner has accused the criminals of pretending that they are gathering news.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways told to hand back equipment over Sh. 102 million debt

June 16, 2020

Kenya Airways has been ordered by the High Court to surrender a batch of ICT equipment that it had leased from a firm co-owned by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa over a Sh102 million debt. Kenya Airways has since 2007 entered into 18 separate lease contracts for ICT equipment with Rentworks East Africa but defaulted in payments along the way, forcing Rentworks to call off the deal. The leasing firm is a joint venture between Australia’s Rentworks Group and South Africa’s Shanduka Group. Shanduka Group was founded by President Ramaphosa. The High Court ordered Kenya Airways to surrender the equipment in the contract and settle the $966,821 (Sh102 million) debt.

Story: Daily Nation

Plane hits power pole in Lamu

June 07, 2020

Police are investigating an incident where a light aircraft transporting miraa hit an electric power pole at Kiunga in Lamu East on Saturday. The private aircraft had just landed at Kiunga Airstrip at around 14:10 but the pilot miscalculated the runway. The pilot escaped unhurt, but the aircraft had its left wing body joint and one of the propellers damaged. It is reported that the pilot did not have a Kenya Airports Authority clearance certificate, neither did he have a cargo permit to ferry miraa. The cargo was confiscated and the accident scene secured.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways drafts a raft of proposals ahead of returning to the sky

June 07, 2020

Kenya Airways is developing protocols to guide resumption of local air travel. These touch of seven key areas including terminals, check-ins, immigration and security, boarding zones, in-flight transfers and arrivals. Passengers will see an increase in check-in times pushing local travellers to two hours and international to three hours of waiting. They will be expected to wear masks and wait in line while observing social distancing. Temperatures will be taken using thermoguns and the baggage will be inspected at intervals. Airline staff at check-in counters will sanitise after serving each guest. The counters have been retrofitted with antimicrobial screens to minimise viral transfers. Cabin crew will ditch their uniforms for personal protective equipment with passengers having their masks on throughout the flight.

Story: Daily Nation

Emirates could take four years to resume flying to entire network

June 01, 2020

Emirates could take up to four years to resume flying to its entire network in the wake of the coronovirus pandemic, according to its outgoing president, Tim Clarke. The Dubai-based airline which flew to 157 detinations in 83 countries before the pandemic grounded scheduled passenger flights in March. Clark however noted that the airline would be able to get its fleet ready within 48 hours if it had to. He warned that physical distancing in planes is not economically and environmentally practical since it means that the aircraft is flow half empty.

Story: Reuters

Pakistan passenger plane crashes in residential area

May 22, 2020

A Pakistan passenger plane with more than 100 people on board has crashed in the southern city of Karachi. The crash comes just days after the country began allowing commercial flights to resume after aeroplanes were grounded during a lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

Story: Daily Nation

Jambojet extends suspension of flights to June 7

May 20, 2020

Budget carrier Jambojet has extended the suspension of its operations in the domestic and international routes. This was occasioned by the extension by government of cessation of movement in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Mandera counties until June 7 over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Story: Business Daily

Kenya demands answers from Somalia over downed plane

May 05, 2020

Kenya has asked Somalia to investigate the circumstances under which a light cargo aircraft was shot down in Bardale area. The Embraer aircraft belonging to African Express carrying aid supplies for use in the fight against Covid-19 was shot down while landing killing two pilots and four Somali nationals.

Story: Daily Nation

Immediate and severe air cargo capacity crunch

April 28, 2020

March air cargo performance has demonstrated a severe capacity shortfall. Global demand fell by 15.2% compared to last year. The demand shrank by 22.7%. Belly capacity for international air cargo shrank by 43.7%, which was partially offset by a 6.2% increase through expanded use of freighter aircraft, including the use of idle passenger aircraft for all-cargo operations. The collapsing economy is expected to further depress overalll cargo volumes. African airlines were less affected by the disruptions.

Story: IATA Corporate Communication

Former Kenya Airways CEO joins IATA

April 27, 2020

IATA has announced that Sebastian Mikosz will join IATA as the Association’s Senior vice President for Member and External Relations effective June 1, 2020. Mikosz was Group Manageing Director and CEO of Kenya Airways between 2017 during which he also served on the IATA Board of Governors. At IATA, Mikosz will lead the organisation’s global advocacy activities and aero-political policy development, along with managing the association’s strategic relationships.

Story: IATA Corporate Communication

‘Survival of Airbus at risk’ – CEO

April 27, 2020

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury has given a dramatic warning to employees that heralds potentially deeper production cuts than initially planned. In a letter to staff, he said the manufacturer was bleeding cash at an unprecedented level three weeks after it decided to cut production by around one-third across the board. It is estimated that production will decline from 863 aircraft in 2019 to 603 in 2020 and only 355 in 2021. The manufacturer may be forced to staff reductions.

Story: Aviation Week

RwandAir cuts staff salaries

April 27, 2020

RwandAir has joined a growing list in the aviaiton industry to announce far reaching measures to sustain business during the coronaviurs period. The airline will cut salaries by between 8 to 65 percent depending on job scale. The measures include forfeiture of net salary by the Chief Executive Office, the deputy and all directors for the month of April. It will also suspend pilot employment contracts and non-essential contracts until further notice. The airline has aligned outstation staff salaries to the local payroll; county managers are to be paid as senior managers, station managers as managers and station officers as duty managers.

Story: The Standard

Virus could mean 1.2b fewer airline passengers: UN agency

April 23, 2020

The coronavirus virus pandemic could cause a reduction of 1.2 billion passengers worldwide by September, says ICAO. The most substantial reduction is expected to be in Europe, especially during the summer peak travel season, followed by Asia-Pacific. The drop in airline revenue in the first nine months of this year could be as much as US$160 – 253 billion.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways share price dips below Sh1 on financial woes

April 22, 2020

Kenya Airways’ share price dropped below the Sh1 mark to trade at Sh 0.97 at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), sunk by pressure from the airline’s financial woes that have been worsened by international travel restrictions. The company has taken a major hit following a freeze on international passenger travel in the wake of the global coronavirus epidemic, leaving cargo as the only revenue driver.

Story: Business Daily

Kenya Airways seeks quarantine exemption for staff

April 20, 2020

Kenya Airways has submitted a protocol seeking State approval for a set of coronavirus rules for its staff that will exempt the carrier’s crew from mandatory quarantine on return from overseas trips. This comes as the airline was forced to ground some of its cargo planes due to a shortage of flight staff as 283 cabin crew remain in mandatory quarantine costing the carrier Shs. 80 million in occupancy bills. The protocol proposes strict guidelines and proposes measures to protect the members of staff.

Story: Daily Nation

A strategy for the future of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory

April 06, 2020

NASA has called for significant changes in its oversight of the National Laboratory research and technology development operations and its partner in the program, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS). The ISS is a $100 billion investment that costs an estimated $3 billion annually to operate.

Story: NASA

Telkom, Google Loon get approval to launch 4G station balloon in Kenya

March 27, 2020

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has given Telkom and Google Loon a go ahead to deploy 4G carrying balloons into the country’s airspace. This is expected to provide wider internet coverage and access in the country. The balloons which will be launched in USA and reach the country in weeks will first undergo network integration procedures to provided the required connectivity in the short term.

Story: Space in Africa

US embassy gives its citizens in Kenya last chance to leave

March 25, 2020

The US Embassy has given its citizens the last chance to leave the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Kenya Airways indicated that it will offer a flight for US citizens and the US Lawful Permanent Residents departing JKIA on Wednesday at 21:00 hours. There will be no international flights from Nairobi after midnight.

Story: The Star

UPS partners with Wincopter to develop new multipurpose drone delivery fleet

March 24, 2020

US based United Parcel Service (UPS) is working with German startup Wingcopter to develop a new type of delivery drone to be used for the logistics company’s growing drone delivery efforts both in the US and globally. Wingcopter has already designed an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that has a range of up to 75 miles and can achieve speeds as high as 150 miles per hour. Wingcopter’s main advantage is a design that allows it to switch from hovering and vertical lift to a low-noise forward flight mode, which is better suited for use over populated areas.

Story: Tech Crunch

Six million German Army face masks never vanished in Kenya, says KAA

March 24, 2020

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has disputed reports that a German Army shipment of six million face masks to protect against coronavirus had vanished at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport (JKIA), terming the reports as “fake news”. The claims were first made by the German News outlet Spiegel Online which reported that the masks went missing at a Kenyan airport at the end of last week. The story was subsequently republished by several news outlets. In its report, the newspaper quoted a German Defence Ministry spokeswoman in Berlin who said they were trying to “find out what happened” to the massive order of protective equipment meeting the FFP2 standard for protection against particles and aerosols.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways offers free one-way tickets from US to Kenya

March 24, 2020

Kenya Airways is offering free one-way tickets to Kenyans stuck in the US in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that has grounded airlines across the globe. The announcement comes barely a few days after the airline grounded its international passenger travel following the state order banning international flights to curb the coronavirus outbreak. “As our last flight departs JFK today, we are offering one-way complimentary tickets to Nairobi,” said the airline in a statement.

Story: Business Daily

It’s a living hell for Kenyans flying back from overseas

March 24, 2020

The reality of being a passenger arriving at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) during the Covid-19 outbreak has hit several passengers hard. The quarantine process has been hit by overwhelming numbers, poor planning and indiscipline among passengers. The passengers are being collected by National Youth Service (NYS) buses to transport them to selected mandatory quarantine facilities. These are selected hotels, some of which are accused of being too expensive by the passengers. 

Story:Daily Nation

Airlines shift from passengers to cargo

March 23, 2020

For the airline industry, keeping at least some top line in place to cover enormous fixed costs is a critical strategy as demand for air travel has cratered. American Airlines Group, and a number of peers, have shifted some of their passenger jets and put them to work transporting cargo. For American, the shift represents the first flights for the carrier without passengers since 1984. The Boeing 777-300s will transport medical supplies, eCommerce items and office equipment, flying between Frankfurt and American Airline’s base at the Dallas Fort Worth airport.

Story: PYMTS.com

Kenya to suspend international flights in the wake of Covid-19

March 22, 2020

The government of Kenya has suspended all international flights effective Wednesday night. The only exception is cargo flights. “Those coming into the country between now and Wednesday will undergo mandatory quarantine at a government facility at their own expense,” announced the Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe in a press conference on Sunday.

Story:The Star

South African Airways suspends intercontinental flights until May 31

March 20, 2020

South African Airways (SAA) has suspended all international flights until May 31 in response to a government travel ban aimed at stopping the coronavirus outbreak. SAA acting chief executive said operating during the deadly coronavirus pandemic could be a risk to their staff contracting the bug or being trapped in foreign nations in the wake of numerous travel bans. SAA flies to USA, Britain, Germany, Australia and Brazil on its intercontinental routes. SAA is currently under a form of bankruptcy protection and battling for its survival.

Story: Standard

Ethiopian Airlines suspends flights to 30 countries over Covid-19

March 20, 2020

Ethiopian Airlines on Friday announced that it had suspended flights to 30 countries over the coronavirus. The airline had initially said it would retain flights on the China route when the outbreak first started, but had to change tack.

Story: The Star

IATA appeals for urgent support for African Airlines

March 19, 2020

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has appealed to governments in Africa and the Middle East to provide emergency support to airlines, as part of a worldwide campaign, as they fight for survival due to the evaporation of air travel demand as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. “..the public health emergency has now become a catastrophe for economies and for aviation. The scale of the current industry crisis is much worse and far more widespread than 9/11, SARS or the 2008 Global Financial Crisis…” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. He added, “Airlines need urgent government action if they are to emerge from this in a fit state to help the world recover, once COVID-19 is beaten.”

In the case of Kenya, IATA estimates that disruptions could result in 622,000 loss in passenger volumes and US $125 million loss in base revenues. The disruptions to air travel could also put over 36,800 jobs at risk in the country. This will be aggravated to 1.6 million passengers and US $ 320 million of revenue if the situation spreads further.

Story: IATA Corporate Communication: Update No. 15

Coronavirus: Panic as Kenya Airways plane lands in Sierra Leone

March 19, 2020

There was confusion at Sierra Leone’s Lungi International Airport after a Kenya Airways flight carrying a suspected coronavirus case landed. The flight to Freetown, whose first leg had seen it first land in another country, had four Japanese passengers on board, one of whom was reported to be displaying symptoms of the viral infection. They were denied entry on grounds of public safety. Sierra Leonean passengers were taken to a quarantine facility. Other non-Sierra Leonean passengers from neighbouring countries who refused to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine opted to return to their point of origin. Sierra Leone has not confirmed any coronavirus cases.

Story: Daily Nation

Jambojet cancels flights to Rwanda, Uganda over coronavirus

March 17, 2020

Jambojet has suspended flights to Rwanda and Uganda with immediate effect as the coronavirus effect continues to impact on airline business. The airline has however maintained flights to local destinations: Malindi, Ukunda, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret. Airlines around the world have suspended or modified flights after the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. IATA has projected the global hit to the aviation industry to be $29 billion this year, a 4.7 per cent industry wide drop in revenue per passenger kilometer. The blow to African airlines could be as much as $40 million.

Story: Standard

Coronavirus spy drones hit Europe

March 16, 2020

Spain has unleased drones to enforce its lockdown: filming streets and parks and using its onboard speaker to order people home. Spain’s government announced a state of emergency and a total lockdown, “measures to protect the health and safety of citizens, contain the progression of the disease and strengthen the health system”. The number of coronavirus deaths in Spain doubled to 288 between Saturday and Sunday while the total number of cases surged by more than a third to 7,753. The penalties for breaching Spain’s shutdown are severe. China was also reported to use police drones to enforce COVID-19 quarantines.

Story: Forbes

Bad weather at JKIA forces Kenya Airways plane to land in Arusha

March 16, 2020

A Kenya Airways plane from Lusaka to Nairobi has been diverted to Arusha following two unsuccessful landing attempts at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). The aeroplane could not land due to heavy fog cover in the morning.

Story: Daily Nation

In the battle against coronavirus, humanity lacks leadership

March 15, 2020

Many blame the coronavirus epidemic on globalization, and say that the only way to prevent more such outbreaks is to deglobalize the world; build walls, restrict travel, reduce trade. While short-term quarantine is essential to stop epidemics, long-term isolationism will only lead to economic collapse without offering any real protection against infectious diseases. Viruses are constantly mutating, sometimes into far more dangerous strains, like the Makona strain of ebola. Real protection comes from sharing reliable scientific information, and from global solidarity. International cooperation is needed for effective quarantine measures. The world needs global leadership to effectively fight coronavirus and threats from all future pathogens.

Story: Time

Coronavirus is grounding the world’s airlines

March 15, 2020

The industry most hard hit by the covid-19 pandemic is the one responsible for helping its spread to the four corners of the Earth. Revenues are in free fall as travel restrictions mount. IATA has projected a possible hit to worldwide revenues of up to $113bn this year. Airlines are desperately trying to preserve cash. Besides cutting flights, many are asking or forcing staff to take unpaid leave. The longer the pandemic lasts, the less certain travel patterns are to revert to normal. If corporations detect that they can operate with fewer executives flitting round the globe, and holidaymakers get a taste for “staycations” or trains, compounded by “flight shame” over aeroplanes’ carbon emissions, the industry may struggle to keep doubling passenger volumes every 15 years, as it has done for the past three decades.

Story: Economist

World travel may shrink 25 per cent on cornonavirus

March 14, 2020

The new coronavirus COVID-19 is putting up to 50 million jobs in the global travel and tourism sector at risk, with travel likely to slump by a quarter this year, says the World Travel and Tourism Council. Of this, around 30 million of the loss would be in Asia, seven million in Europe, five million in the Americas with the rest of the world sharing the rest. The tourism industry accounts for 10 per cent of the world’s GDP and jobs. Once the outbreak is under control, it could take up to 10 months for the sector to return to its normal levels.

Story: Standard

Kenya’s only white female giraffe, calf killed by poachers

March 10, 2020

Kenya’s only white female giraffe and her calf have been killed by poachers. The white giraffe made headlines in 2017 after its discovery. It is white, not albino, due to a condition known as leucism. Unlike albinism, animals with leucism continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue.

Story: The Star

UK ‘Will Leave’ EASA, says British transportation secretary

March 06, 2020

The British Transportation Secretary has said the UK will will withdraw as a member of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after a transition period. This will occur after December 31 when EU law will no longer apply to UK. Responsibility for aircraft certification and safety regulation will revert to its own CAA. The CAA will eventually assume responsibility for new aircraft type certificates and airworthiness approvals. Urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles are likely to be among the first examples.

Story: Aviation Week Network

IATA updates COVID-19 financial impacts

March 05, 2020

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has updated its analysis of the financial impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency on the global air transport industry. IATA now sees 2020 global revenue losses for the passenger business of between $63 billion (in a scenario where COVID-19 is contained in current markets with over 100 cases as of 2 March) and $113 billion (in a scenario with a broader spreading of COVID-19). IATA’s previous analysis that was issued on February 20 put lost revenues at $29.3 billion based on a scenario that would see the impact of COVID-19 largely confined to markets associated with China. Since that time, the virus has spread to over 80 countries and forward bookings have been severely impacted on routes beyond China.

Story: IATA Corporate Communication

Fly 540 plane makes emergency landing in Turkana after engine fails

February 28, 2020

A Fly 540 Dash 8 300 aeroplane has made an emergency landing at Kapese Airstrip in Turkana South after an engine failure from a suspected foreign object strike. The pilot was forced to turn back just five minutes into the flight. The aeroplane was enroute to Wilson Airport in Nairobi from Lodwar. All the 49 passengers and 5 crew members aboard the flight disembarked safely.

Story: The Standard

US slaps Kenya tourism sector with fresh air safety advisory

February 28, 2020

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a fresh advisory warning its airlines of the risk of being attacked withing Kenyan airspace. In an updated alert on Wednesday, FAA warned civilian airlines and all operators of US-registered aircraft to “exercise caution” when flying over Kenyan airspace, citing possible attacks by extremists. “Aircraft may encounter fire from small arms; indirect fire weapons, such as mortars and rockets; and anti-aircraft capable weapons, including man-portable air defense systems (manpads)… Such weapons could target aircraft at low altitudes, including during the arrival and departure phases of fllights, and /or target airports and aircraft on the ground, especially at airfields located east of 40 degrees east longitude”, says the FAA.

Story: Business Daily

Coronavirus: Expect more flights from China

February 27, 2020

The Chinese embassy in Nairobi has confirmed that there will be more flights from China to Nairobi in the coming weeks. Planes carrying Chinese expatriates, workers and traders are expected to land at JKIA despite the government’s refusal to evacuate Kenyans stuck in the country, where the deadly covid-19 originated. China Southern Airlines has resumed flights from Guangzhou to Nairobi. There will however be just one flight in a week until March 25. Africa has recorded its first two cases in Egypt and Algeria. While the number of infections in China has stabilised, there is no telling what an outbreak would mean for vulnerable countries with poor healthcare systems. Kenya has had three false alerts so far and the Health ministry has reported negative test results for 17 suspected cases.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways confirms Allan Kilavuka as CEO

February 27, 2020

The Kenya Airways Board of Directors has confirmed Allan Kilavuka as Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. The appointment takes effect from April 1 2020. Kilavuka takes over from Sebastian Misosz whose term expired in December 2019. Prior to his appointment, Kilavuka was the CEO of Kenya Airways’ subsidiary, Jambojet.

Story: The Star

Coronavirus: China flight in drama at JKIA

February 27, 2020

A direct flight from China to Nairobi was almost made to turn back after officials at JKIA refused to clear passengers from Guangzhou in fears over coronavirus. Airlines from China continue to land at JKIA weeks after national carrier Kenya Airways suspended its flights on the route over the risk of importing the virus. In East Africa, Rwandair and Air Tanzania have also suspended flights. Kenya Airways acting Chief Executive Allan Kilavuka has reported that the airline is losing revenue of $8 million weekly from passenger and cargo. The airline cancelled its four weekly direct flights from Nairobi from February 10 to March 28.

Story: Daily Nation

United Airlines flight makes emergency landing after phone battery catches fire

February 26, 2020

An United Airlines flight had to make an emergency landing after a “thermal runaway event.” Flight 1456 from Newark, New Jersey to Nassau, Bahamas diverted to Daytona Beach Airport Wednesday after a phone charger caught fire mid-flight. The fire was contained to a passenger’s bag and placed inside a fire retardant case after bursting into flames. There were no injuries to the passengers, and no damage to the plane.

Story: USA Today

Chopper ‘tender error’ cost taxpayers Sh 1b

February 19, 2020

The interior ministry changed the cost of three police helicopters by close to Sh. 1 billion. The helicopters were initially tendered at Sh 4 billion, but ended up costing an additional Sh 906,100,927. This was occasioned by extra features, including weather radar, enhanced ground proximity warning system, additional flight display and an advanced camera.

Story: Standard

Four dead as two planes crash to ground after colliding mid-air

February 19, 2020

Two small aircraft have crashed to the ground after colliding mid-air in Australia killing all four on board, two from each aircraft. The aircraft were both flying at around 4,000 ft above sea level and smashed into one another in Mangalore near Melbourne. The accident involved a Piper Seminole aircraft registered to a flight school and a Beechcrat Travel Air registered to a private owner.

Story: Standard

Miguna sues Lufthansa, Air France over failed return to Kenya

February 16, 2020

The dispute pitting firebrand Kenyan lawyer Miguna Miguna against the government has now sucked in two international airlines. The lawyer now wants the landing rights of aircraft owned or operated by Lufthansa Group (German Airlines) and Air France suspended. This prayer is because ‘the airlines facilitated Miguna’s illegal, arbitrary and forced exclusion from entering Kenya despite clear court orders’. The lawyer is seeking orders restraining any aircraft or airborne vessel affiliated with the two airlines from landing at any airport or airstrip in Kenya, except for the purpose of facilitating Miguna’s transportation back to the country. These orders are to be effected by KCAA and KAA.

Story: Daily Nation

Nine aircraft dispatched to fight spread of desert locusts

January 30, 2020

The government has deployed nine aircraft in fight against the spread of desert locusts which have invaded at least 11 counties since December last year. Five of the aircraft are fixed-wing while four are helicopters. The fixed-wing aircraft will be used for aerial spraying of the insects while the helicopters will be used for surveillance and signal dispatch.

Story: Standard

Boeing reports first loss since 1997 as MAX costs rise to $18.6 bn

January 30, 2020

Boeing reported its first annual loss in more than two decades as the lengthy grounding of the 737 MAX undercut its revenues and exploded costs. The grounding of the MAX after two accidents halted deliveries to customers, a major source of revenue. It also prompted the manufacturer to first reduce and then halt production of the aircraft. The company has set aside $2.6 billion to compensate airlines that have been forced to cancel thousands of flights due to grounded MAX aeroplanes and undelivered aircraft. These costs and other previously disclosed expenses brings the total impact to $18.6 billion.

Story: Daily Nation

Routes, AFRAA sign deal to stimulate African aviation industry

January 29, 2020

African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has partnered with Routes to stimulate new air services and push for the development of the African aviation industry. Under the partnership, AFRAA and Routes will share data and analytics, promote key issues affecting airlines and airports within Africa, access to media opportunities among other actions of mutual benefit. IATA predicts that the Kenyan market could double in size over the next two decades, with an additional 11.3 million passenger travels and more than 449,000 jobs created adding an additional $11.3 billion to the GDP by 2038.

Story: Daily Nation

Call to use drones to combat locusts

January 28, 2020

The chairman of the Entomological Society of Kenya has called on the government to use drone technology to tackle the locust menace before it gets out of hand. He explained that conventional aircraft are not able to access deep valleys and mountain contours where some of the locusts are passing. The government’s efforts to combat the insects through aerial spraying has not been successful. Over 20 swarms of locusts have entered Kenya from various points in Somalia, with each swarm estimated at 80 million insects and covering between two and four kilometers. This is the worst locust invasion in more than 50 years. UN and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have called for an emergency funding of $70 million to combat the locusts through sustained aerial spraying.

Story: Daily Nation

Waterbombing plane missing as Australia bushfires flare

January 23, 2020

A water-bombing aeroplane is missing and is feared to have crashed in Australia’s southeast on Thursday as firefighters battled a new outbreak of bushfires whipped by scorching temperatures and strong winds. A number of helicopters are carrying out a search. Bushfires have also forced the closure of Canberra Airport, with all flights in and out of the country’s capital suspended due to approaching flames. 

Story: Standard

Fractional ownership: How to buy a piece of luxury

January 23, 2020

Fractional ownership is a method in which unrelated parties come together to own a high value asset and share in the benefits and risks. This splits the costs and lightens the burden on each individual. This is a popular model for property ownership in real estate and in business jets. The model is used in Kenya mainly for ownership of holiday cottages. Fractional ownership should however not be confused with timeshare.

Story: Daily Nation

South African Airways cancels flights in fight for survival

January 21, 2020

South African Airways (SAA) has cancelled some domestic flights between its Johannesburg hub and Cape Town and Durban, and some international flights to Munich as it fights for its survival. SAA is running short of cash after the government failed to provide 2 billion rand ($135 million) of emergency funding it promised when the airline entered a form of bankruptcy protection last month. 

Story: Standard

Study: Kenya hold Sh 4 trillion worth of opportunities in sustainable development

January 21, 2020

A Standard Chartered sustainable development group investment map has revealed an almost US$10 trillion opportunity for private-sector investors across all emerging markets to help achieve the UN’s sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The study identifies opportunities for the private sector to contribute to clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy and industry, Innovation and infrastructure between now and 2030. SDG 9 encourages improvement in industry, innovation and infrastructure. Significantly improving Kenya’s transport infrastructure indicates a Sh 918 billion investment opportunity for the private sector.

Story: Standard

Passenger causes bomb scare after realizing he was late for flight

January 18, 2020

An airline passenger who caused a bomb scare on his own flight at Gatwick Airport because he was running late and feared he would miss it has been jailed for 16 months. The 32-year old called police 45 minutes before his easyJet flight to Marrakesh was due to take off after his train was cancelled and his taxi became stuck in traffic on May 4 last year. His hoax call caused the flight to be evacuated and all 147 passengers having to be rechecked by security, costing the airline an estimated £30,000. The hoax initially succeeded in giving him time to check in, but he was arrested at the gate after police traced him as the anonymous caller.

Story: Standard

Ethiopian Airlines to build new Sh. 505 b airport

January 17, 2020

Ethiopian Airlines will start constructing a new $5 billion airport later this year, its chief executive is quoted as saying. The airport, which will cover an area of 35 square kilometers, will be built in Bishoftu, a town 39km south-east of the capital, and have the capacity to handle 100 million passengers a year.

Story: Standard

Toyota investing $400 million in flying car company

January 16, 2020

Japanese car giant Toyota is investing nearly $400 million in a company that is working on commercialising electric flying cars for “fast, quiet and affordable air transportation services”. The investment in Joby Aviation comes as the automaker looks to expand into new sectors as the industry rapidly transforms, with president Akio Toyoda pledging to move the firm “from a car manufacturer to a  mobility company”. Joby Aviation is developing a four-passenger electric car with multiple rotors that takes off and lands vertically. The firm envisions the aircraft as a mode of commercial transport, rather than for sale to individuals, with its pilots ferrying commuters around.

Story: Daily Nation

Charter plane crash-lands in Kajiado

January 16, 2020

A light aircraft en route from Wilson Airport to Amboseli National Park crash-landed on Thursday morning. The pilot and his three passengers escaped with minor bruises. KCAA confirmed the incident, noting that an engine fault caused the mishap. The aircraft belongs to Yellow Wings Air Services Limited.

Story: Daily Nation

20 California children injured after aircraft dumps fuel on school playground

January 15, 2020

At least 44 people including 20 children received minor injuries after an aircraft dumped fuel before making an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport. The Boeing 777-200 enroute from Los Angeles to Shanghai, operated by Delta experienced an engine issue requiring a quick return to the airport. Dumping fuel is a procedure carried out when an airliner exceeds maximum landing weight making it unsafe to land with full fuel tanks. This may occurs shortly after takeoff when the aircraft has not had opportunity to burn the fuel in flight. Pilots are encouraged not to dump fuel over populated areas.

Story: Time

JKIA, Wilson to be shut temporarily over Jamhuri Day celebrations

December 11, 2019

Passengers planning to travel in and out of Kenya as well as local travellers will be affected as JKIA and Wilson Airport will be temporarily shut due to Jamhuri Day celebrations scheduled for Thursday. The Jamhuri Day celebrations normally feature fly-pasts by Kenya Airforce jets.

Story:  Standard

Dramatic rescue of man stuck in floods

December 02, 2019

A police helicopter finally rescued a man who had been trapped by floods for four days in Athi River. The man was marooned on an island and was about to be swept off as the waters kept rising. Onlookers praised the efforts of the police.

Story:  Standard

Plane crash kills nine, injures three in South Dakota

December 01, 2019

A Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop plane crashed shortly after take-off in South Dakota killing 12 people. A winter storm warning was in place.

Story:  Sunday Nation

German airline Lufthansa sued for taking traveller’s walking stick

November 29, 2019

Lufthansa has been drawn into a legal tussle with a passenger living with disability, who alleges that he was denied use of his walking stick in the aeroplane thus inconveniencing his movement during a flight. The airline insisted on checking in the walking stick which was subsequently misplaced.

Story:  Daily Nation

Drones are transforming palm oil plantations in Malysia

November 28, 2019

Drones have come into their own in palm oil plantations in Malaysia. Images collected from drones flying up to 1,300 feet above Genting’s oil palms help the company spot fires in remote and inaccessible areas. Oil-palm plantations spread across some 86,100 square miles of Malaysia and Indonesia, an area almost the size of the UK. The drones are also capable of collecting data that can be used to decide if crops have enough water and nutrients, and even to find leakages in irrigation systems. A single drone can capture images of about 6,100 acres of oil palms a day compared to only about 12 acres covered by a human being. Human beings are also in danger of snakes and scorpions. Worldwide drone sales to agricultural businesses could top $8 billion by 2016.

Story:  Finance & Commerce

Crisis looms at Likoni crossing channel

November 28, 2019

A major crisis is looming at the Likoni channel crossing in Mombasa following the withdrawal of the largest ferry, MV Jambo. The 500m-long channel is a key link between Mombasa island and the South Coast which covers Kwale County and links Kenya to Tanzania. The Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) has said that MV Jambo will stay out of service for two weeks for maintenance. MV Jambo has a capacity of more than 1,600 people and 64 vehicles.

Story:  Daily Nation

Tanzania protests after plane seized in Canada over land compensation dispute

November 24, 2019

Another Air Tanzania aircraft has been impounded in a long-standing court case over a land compensation dispute. The new DHC Dash 8-400 turboprop was impunded in Canada after the individual filed a claim in court against the government of Tanzania. In August South African authorities impounded an Airbus 220-300 leased by Air Tanzania through a court order in the same dispute. The aircraft was later released. In 2017 a Canadian construction firm Stirling Civil Engineering Ltd seized a new Q400 turboprop belonging to the airline over a $38 million lawsuit before it was delivered. The Q 400 was released in March 2018 after high level intervention from the government of Tanzania.

Story:  The Standard

Kuala Lumpur sets up team o regain FAA Category 1 status

November 20, 2019

Kuala Lumpur has established a task force of local and international personnel to help it regain FAA Category 1 status. FAA downgraded CAAM to Category 2 earlier this month following and audit done in April. The country has held Category 1 rating since 2003. On November 19, American Airlines unilaterally cancelled its codeshare on services operated by Malaysia Airlines shortly after the FAA downgrade. The lowered rating means that CAAM does not meet ICAO safety standards, said FAA. ‘CAAM is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, and/or inspection procedures’ added FAA.

Story:  Flight Global

Grounded Silverstone Air planes get green light as suspension lifted

November 19, 2019

KCAA has lifted the provisional suspension of Silverstone Airline’s Bombardier Dash 8 series aircraft. The regulator said that the airline had provided satisfactory corrective measures following comprehensive compliance audits on its operations between October 25 and November 15 2019.

Story:  Citizen Digital  ;  Flight Global

Silverstone issues redundancy notice, cancels scheduled flight operations

November 19, 2019

Silverstone Air Services has cancelled its scheduled flight operations a week after KCAA grounded the airline’s Dash 8 fleet. The airline has also issued a one-month redundancy notice to staff on grounds it was incurring huge losses following the KCAA directive. The airline has been in the limelight following recent mishaps involving their aeroplanes. On October 28 one of the wheels of its aircraft detached and broke loose as it took off from Lodwar airstriip. On October 11 another of its aeroplanes crashed on the runway at Wilson shortly after take-off.

Story:  The Standard

MPs push for uniform airport parking fees

November 09, 2019

Members of Parliament (MPs) in the parliamentary committee on transport have questioned the variance in parking charges at JKIA and Eldoret International, saying that the charges should be uniform. The MPs further questioned how KAA single-handedly suspended last year’s prposed increase in parking fees at JKIA following public uproar on che charges. KAA contracted a local firm, Diire Real-time Investment to manage parking at Eldoret International Airport in a five-year deal that will end next January while Kenya Airports Parking Services manages parking at JKIA.

Story:  Daily Nation

UN warns Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan of locust invasion

November 08, 2019

The UN has warned that if an Ethiopian locust infestation is not brought under control then the crop-devouring insect could invade neighbouring countries. Efforts to control the infestation have not been effective. Some farmers in northern Amhara state have reportedly lost nearly 100% of their crop of the staple grain. The Ethiopian government has said that it had sent planes to the affected areas to try to deal with the problem from the air.

Story:  The Star

Aviation regulator issues warning on drones use

November 07, 2019

The aviation regulator KCAA has reiterated that the use of drones in Kenya remains banned. Those violating the ban risk a fine of Sh 100,000 or one year in prison. The proposed regulations that would have legalised the devices were thrown out by parliament forcing the regulator to go back to the drawing board.

Story:  Business Daily

Kenya Airways pilots to reject planes in maintenance fight

November 07, 2019

Kenya Airways pilots have warned through their lobby, Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa), that they will not operate aeroplanes that the airline releases through a maintenance dispatch known as ‘Crew Concept’. Under the crew concept pilots are expected to undertake some safety checks that are ordinarily done by engineers.

Story:  Business Daily

Regulator in closed-door meeting with airlines over Wilson mishaps

November 06, 2019

KCAA on Tuesday held a closed-door meeting with Wilson Airport based air operators over the recent spate of mishaps. The meeting was also attended by KAA acting Managing Director Alex Gitari and secretary of Kenya Association of Air Operators. KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe promised to provide more details at a later date. The operators that attended the meeting included Silverstone, Jetways, Skyward, Safarilink, Blue Bird, Air Kenya and Dac Aviation.

Story:  Business Daily

Kenya Airways plane forced to turn around in Johannesburg over ‘stowaway’

November 06, 2019

A Kenya Airways Boeing 787 was forced to turn midair and return to Johannesburg over an alleged stowaway. The aircraft had departed with a mechanic still on board. The aircraft remained on the ground for about an hour, then departed again for Nairobi, landing after a 105-minute delay.

Story:  Daily Nation

UK issues Wilson air travel alert over mishaps

November 05, 2019

The United Kingdom has issued a travel warning to its citizens over the use of aircraft that operate at Wilson Airport in Nairobi following several mishaps. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) urged Britons to review the safety records of aircraft, that mostly serve domestic and regional routes, ahead of boarding. Kenya’s aviation sector has in recent weeks been plagued by incidents involving at least three aeroplanes, prompting a probe by KCAA. The latest incident took place last Tuesday and involved a Safarilink aircraft carrying 10 passengers which veered off the runway after a tyre burst, leading to the closure of the airport for 30 minutes.

Story:  Business Daily

Minor fire reported on Japan jet with PM Shinzo Abe on board

November 03, 2019

A minor fire broke out mid-flight on a Japanese government jet on Sunday while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on board. It was however quickly extinguished with no injuries reported. The prime minister was flying from Tokyo to Bangkok on a Boeing 777-300 to attend talks at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit.

Story:  Daily Nation

‘Govt forces’ interfering with Silverstone probe, MP claims

November 01, 2019

A parliamentary committee now claims that unnamed powerful elements in government bizarrely prevented KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe from appearing before it to give an update on air transport safety in Kenya. The state of the industry has been highlighted following two recent mishaps involving aircraft belonging to Silverstone Air Services. There have reportedly been twenty seven air accidents in Kenya from January 2018 to date according to a document presented to the committee.

Story:  Daily Nation

Boeing says up to 50 planes grounded globally over cracks

October 31, 2019

50 of Boeing’s popular 737NG aeroplanes have been grounded after cracks were detected in them. Australian national carrier Qantas has become the latest airline to remove one of the aircraft from air, saying that it will urgently inspect 32 others. Authorities in South Korea had earlier grounded nine of the aircraft in early October including five operated by Korean Air. A crack on an aircraft does not immediately compromise the safety of the aircraft since aircraft structures can tolerate some level of damage or degradation.

Story:  Daily Nation

MPs open investigations into air traffic accidents

October 30, 2019

The National Assembly Transport committee has summoned Transport ministry officials, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to probe into to recent air traffic accidents involving aeroplanes belonging to Silverstone Air Services. Committee Chair, David Pkosing has said that his team is concerned about the safety of air travellers and warned against business interests blinding relevant authorities to key air traffic concerns.

Story:  The Standard

Safarilink plane skids off runway at Wilson Airport

October 29, 2019

A passenger plane operated by local airline Safarilink skid off the runway at Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Tuesday at 18:20 hrs. The Cessna Caravan registration 5Y-SLJ left the runway following a tyre burst shortly after arriving from Lamu. There were no casualties in the aeroplane that had ten passengers and two crew members on board.

Story: The Standard Business Daily

Midair scare forces Silverstone airplane to make emergency landing

October 28, 2019

A Silverstone Air aeroplane caused a scare on Monday after a wheel dropped off midair moments after takeoff from Lodwar airstrip in Turkana County. The rear right wheel of the Bombardier Dash 8-400 registration 5Y BWG carrying 4 passengers and 5 crew members came off and dropped outside the airstrip. The captain diverted the aeroplane to Eldoret Airport where it landed. This is the second incident to rock the operations of the airline this month. On October 11, nine people were hurt, with three suffering life-threatening injuries after the airline’s Fokker 50 skidded off the runway at Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

Story:  Daily Nation

Air Zimbabwe banned from South Africa for failing to pay fees

October 25, 2019

South Africa has stopped Zimbabwe’s national airline from using its airports over unpaid fees. Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) informed the airline that it would no longer be allowed to take off from any of its nine airports until  outstanding amounts are settled. The airline was required to pay ACSA cash once a week to cover landing fees, parking and passenger service charges for its weekly flight into Johannesburg. The Johannesburg connection is the only international route flown by Air Zimbabwe.

Story:  Daily Nation

Kenya Airways in standoff with aggrieved pilots

October 23, 2019

The management and pilots of Kenya Airways have reached a stalemate in negotiations to address pilot shortage. Kenya Airways is planning to hire 20 pilots on a contract basis to fly their Boeing 737 aeroplanes. The airline currently employs 435 pilots against a requirement of 497. Prolonged industrial action may push the debt-ridden airline into deeper debt. Kenya Airway’s half-year loss in the period to end of June more than doubled compared to the same period a year earlier to $ 83 million.

Story:  AIN Online

Plane skids off runway and gets stuck in mud in Mandera

October 21, 2019

A passenger aeroplane run by Wilson-airport based airline Rudufu air got stuck in the mud at Takaba Airstrip in Mandera West after skidding off the runway on Sunday before takeoff. The aeroplane had 30 passengers on board when the incident occurred. The current heavy rainfall in the region has worsened the situation in the poorly maintained airstrip.

Story:  Daily Nation

Photo of stowaway who fell from Kenya Airways plane at Heathrow released

October 18, 2019

A mocked-up image of a man who fell to his death from an aeroplane in a south London garden has been released by police ahead of an inquest into his death. An e-fit of the man has been published alongside images of a bag that was found in the landing gear compartment when the plane touched down at Heathrow Airport. It is thought he is Kenyan, although officers are “keeping an open mind”.

Story:  The Standard

Longest 19-hr non-stop flight to take off from New York to Sydney

October 18, 2019

Qantas is set to operate the first direct flight by a commercial airline from New York to Sydney this weekend. The airline will monitor the effects of the 19-hour non-stop journey on passengers in the first of three “ultra long-haul” test flights. The flight will have upto 40 passengers and crew, most of them Qantas employees. The effect of jetlag will be closely watched, with a 15-hour time difference between New York and Sydney. A bigger time difference between departure and arrival locations, and travelling east rather than west increases the impact of jetlag on people. This is due to the effect of “circadian rhythms” of the human biological clock.

Story:  The Standard

Qatar Airways increases Mombasa flights to five

October 17, 2019

Qatar Airways is set to increase its flights between Mombasa and Doha in December, stepping up competition for struggling national carrier Kenya Airways. The airline already operates three daily flights to Nairobi’s JKIA and four flights to Mombasa. The additional flight will run from December 20, 2019 to March 27, 2020. The airline will deploy Airbus A320 for the additional flight.

Story:  Daily Nation

Nyandarua MCA’s warned not to politicise airline launch

October 17, 2019

Governors of Laikipia and Nyandarua counties have warned other leaders in the area against politicising the Ol Joro Orok based airstrip where an airline launched flights last week. The airline is supposed to operate between Nairobi, Nyahururu and Nyahururu before connecting to Nakuru. The flights are expected to open business opportunities for residents in both counties and to improve revenue for both county and national governments. The plan is to get the airstrip upgraded to Class B so as to allow it to hold commercial aeroplanes. This will make it easier for flower growers in Nyandarua to directly airlift their produce without having to go through Nakuru.

Story:  Daily Nation

Chinese arrested with ivory bangle at JKIA

October 16, 2019

A Chinese national was arrested on Tuesday night at JKIA while in possession of one ivory bangle. The bangle was beaded and concealed in a cigarette packet that weighed 60 grams. The man is also accused of trying to bribe Kenya Wildlife Service officials with 200 yuan after his arrest. Possession of such animal trophies is prohibited in Kenya. Dozens of foreigners are frequently arrested at the airport with the trophies.

Story:  The Standard

Polish airline launches weekly Mombasa flights

October 15, 2019

Polish airline, Smartwings has commenced weekly flights to Mombasa. It will be having weekly flights until the end of the year when it will increase its frequency to twice a week from January to March next year.

Story:  Daily Nation

Kenyan tourist faces racial profiling  in Cambodia trip

October 13, 2019

Tour firm owner and would-be tourist Ms Renee Ezra is smarting from the discriminatory treatment and racial profiling that she was allegedly subjected to in Bangkok, Thailand. She was also not allowed transit to her final destination in Cambodia.

Story:  Daily Nation

Remains of Kenyans who died in Ethiopia crash headed home

October 13, 2019

Families who lost loved ones in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on March 10, 2019 will begin receiving their remains on Monday for burial. The Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET-302 crashed shortly after take-off from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) announced in September that it had positively identified all the 149 passengers and eight crew who died in the crash.

Story:  Daily Nation

Alexei Leonov, first human to walk in space, dies aged 85

October 11, 2019

Alexei Leonov, the legendary Soviet cosmonaut who became the first human to walk in space 54 years ago, has died in Moscow at 85. Nasa paid tribute to the pioneer by interrupting its live televised coverage of a spacewalk by two Americans outside the International Space Station to report on Leonov’s death. Leonov staked his place in space history on 18 March 1965 when he exited his Voskhod 2 capsule secured by a tether. Years later, he recalled: “I stepped into that void and I didn’t fall in. I was mesmerised by the stars. They were everywhere – up above, down below, to the left, to the right. I can still hear hear my breath and my heartbeat in that silence.”

Story:  The Guardian

Cargo plane crashes in Congo with presidential staff on board

October 11, 2019

A cargo plane carrying presidential staff crashed in eastern Congo on Thursday, and all eight passengers and crew are feared dead. The aeroplane carrying President Tshisekedi’s driver, a logistics manager and some soldiers was headed from Goma to the capital, Kinshasa.

Story:  Reuters

Plane skids off runway at Wilson Airport

October 11, 2019

A Lamu-bound aeroplane run by Silverstone Air has skidded off the runway at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. The Fokker 50 aircraft had 50 passengers on board, two of whom were injured. All others were safely evacuated. The Fokker 50 is a turbo-prop-powered airliner, manufactured by Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker.

Story: The Standard

Ethiopian Airlines denies it tampered with flight records after crash

October 09, 2019

Ethiopian Airlines has denied whistleblower accusations that it tampered with the maintenance records of the Boeing 737 MAX jet which crashed in March killing all on board. The airline’s former Chief Engineer Yonas Yeshanew who is seeking asylum in USA alleged dubious maintenance practices in a article carried by the Associated Press. The airline has presented Yonas as a “disgruntled employee.”

Story: Daily Nation

Elon Musk unveils new Mars rocket protype, expects missions in months

September 30, 2019

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has unveiled the latest iteration of his space company’s newly assembled Starship which is the centre-piece of his ambition to launch human beings to the moon and Mars. Musk’s planned mission to the moon aligns with NASA’s goal of re-sending humans there for a long-term presence on the lunar surface by 2014 under its Artemis program, before eventually colonizing Mars.

Story: The Standard

Mikosz’s succession at Kenya Airways sparks row

September 25, 2019

The race to find a successor for outgoing Kenya Airways’ chief executive Sebastian Mikosz has sparked a war of words between the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) and the airline. Kawu accuses the airline of secrecy in the recruitment process for the new CEO whereas Kenya Airways accuses the union of frustrating talks to enter into a new pay deal for unionised workers by walking out of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiation meeting on July 12, and also earlier in February.

Story: Business Daily

JKIA ranked second global cargo growth

September 24, 2019

JKIA has been ranked the second fastest growing cargo airport in the world in 2018 after USA’s Rockford airport. This is the result of increased air cargo traffic to and from Europe, Asia, America, China and Australia. JKIA has increased its annual overall cargo to 1.2 million tonnes. There are several new modern transit sheds at the facility. Astral Aviation, a cargo airline operating from JKIA has in the past year acquired three Boeing 747-400 cargo aircraft. Mitchell Cotts, a leading cargo and logistics company is also constructing a new shed at the airport resulting in an additional annual capacity of 150,000 metric tonnes.

Story: Business Daily

UK travel giant Thomas Cook collapses, stranding tourists

September 23, 2019

British travel group Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK’s biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers. The government has hired planes to fly home an estimated 150,000 holidaymakers.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways to earn billions in sale of 7 aircraft

September 20, 2019

Loss-making Kenya Airways  has hired UK-based Air Partner to guide it in the planned sale of six Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, one Boeing B777-300 and a spare GE engine. Kenya Airways will lease back the aircraft after selling them.

Story: Business Daily

Kenya’s Jambojet granted rights to fly to Rwanda

September 19, 2019

Kenya-based low cost carrier Jambojet has been granted the rights to fly to Rwanda capital, Kigali. the airline currently flies from Nairobi to Entebbe in Uganda, and to five Kenyan destinations – Eldoret, Kisumu, Malindi, Mombasa and Ukunda.

Story: The East African

Belgian F-16 crash pilot ejects on to power line

September 19, 2019

A Belgian air force F-16 fighter plane has crashed in north-western France, leaving one pilot caught on a high-voltage electricity line. The man was eventually retrieved after a two-hour rescue operation by French emergency services. The cable was high voltage at 250,000 volts

Story: BBC

Ethiopian crash victims want 737 MAX documents from Boeing, FAA

September 18, 2019

A lawyer for the victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 wants Boeing Co and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to hand over documents about the decision to keep the Boeing 737 MAX in the air after a deadly Lion Air crash last October. Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed against Boeing by at least a dozen law firms representing families of the Ethiopian Airlines crash victims who came from 35 different countries. Families of about 60 other victims may yet file lawsuits. Most of the lawsuits do not make a specific dollar claim, though Ribbeck Law Chartered has said its clients are seeking more than US $ 1 billion. The lawsuits assert that Boeing defectively designed the automated flight control system.

Story: Business Daily

Kenya flies behind African peers in drones adoption

September 18, 2019

A number of African countries have moved ahead with approval of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as Kenya dithers over their adoption. Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa have made progress in adopting the technology for agriculture, mapping and disease surveillance. The industry has stalled due to the absence of a regulatory framework. Kenya’s Parliament annulled the Kenya Civil Aviation (Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems Regulations, 2017) after finding fault with several provisions. KCAA subsequently held a fresh stakeholders meeting in a second attempt to have the regulations approved by Parliament.

Story: Business Daily

Kenya Airways suspends CFO in executive fallout

September 18, 2019

Kenya Airways has suspended its chief financial officer in a development that could destabilise the executive suite of the national carrier that is struggling to recover from years of losses. Hellen Mathuka is reported to have been sent on compulsory leave on Friday after disagreeing on strategy with the carrier.

Story: Business Daily

DCI clears three aviation tycoons in Sh 100bn money laundering claim

September 18, 2019

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has dismissed a complaint by part owner of Bluebird Aviation, Yussuf Adan,  that his partners have siphoned more than $ 1 billion (Sh 103 billion) from the airline through tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. The DCI says the clearance notice was the result of investigations by other State agencies including the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and Financial Reporting Centre which tracks illicit money. Mr. Yussuf who claims to own 25 percent of the charter airline has in the past three years been locked in a vicious court fight with three other directors for control of the 27 year-old firm with a fleet of more than 21 aeroplanes.

Story: Business Daily

IATA sees Kenya aviation doubling in two decades

September 17, 2019

IATA expects Kenya’s aviation sector growth to double in the next two decades, a move that could boost the Gross Domestic Product by $11.3 billion. IATA says that the growth will result from an increase in journeys through JKIA that is expected to grow by an additional 11.3 million passengers, creating over 449,000 jobs. The aviation sector currently accounts for 4.6 percent of Kenya’s economy and supports 410,000 jobs.

Story: Business Daily

Strike looms at KQ over hiring of contract pilots

September 17, 2019

Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa) is seeking to stop Kenya Airways from recruiting 20 contract pilots for the airline’s Boeing 737 fleet. The pilots accuse the airline of willful noncompliance with their collective bargaining agreement (CBA)

Story: Daily Nation

Michael Joseph calls for expert Kenya Airways directors

September 17, 2019

Kenya Airways board chairman Michael Joseph has called for professionals to be put in charge of the airline. The call comes as the loss-making airline prepares for re-nationalisation.

Story: Business Daily

Qatar Airways wins global awards for good customer service

September 16, 2019

Qatar Airways has won major global awards at the 2020 Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Passenger Choice Awards in Los Angeles. The airline won three awards for Best Seat Comfort, Best Cabin Service and Best Food & Beverage. It was also named ‘2020 Five Star Global Airline’ in the APEX Official Ratings.

Story: Business Daily

Kenya military to receive six US-made helicopters in December

September 16, 2019

Arizona-based MD Helicopters Inc is set to deliver six MD530F Cayuse Warrior Scout and light-attack gunships as part of an initial order of 12 light attack and reconnaissance helicopters by December. These will replace the MD 500 platforms that are flown by the 50th Air Cavalry Battalion of the Kenya Airforce.

Story: Business Daily

Aviation staff back probe on former Kenya Airways chiefs

September 10, 2019

The Kenya Aviation Workers Union (Kawu) has supported plans by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to open a probe into the previous management of loss-making airline. The airline has in the past been accused of engaging in scandalous procurement deals. A leaked August 2016 audit reported a complex scheme in which employees colluded with bankers, ticketing agents and oil companies to steal from the airline.

Story: Business Daily

KAA announces construction of additional entry and exit lanes at JKIA

September 05, 2019

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has announced that it plans to carry out an expansion exercise for additional entry and exit lanes so as to ease congestion. The exercise is scheduled to commence on Saturday, September 7, 2019.

Story: The Star

Kenya Airways withdraws from JKIA takeover plan

September 04, 2019

Kenya Airways has formally withdrawn the Privately Initiated Investment Proposal (PIIP) seeking to take over the management of JKIA for a concession period of 30 years. Group CEO Sebastian Mikosz said that the move came after the proposal catalysed discourse about the future of Kenya’s civil aviation. Kenya’s National Assembly recommended the establishment of an aviation holding company to consolidate the country’s aviation assets including the nationalisation of Kenya Airways.

Story: The Star  ; Business Daily

Impounded Air Tanzania plane allowed to leave South Africa

September 04, 2019

A South African court has set aside an earlier decision to impound an Air Tanzania aeroplane. The Airbus 220-300 had been prevented from taking off from Johanneburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on August 24 because of a court injunction filed by a farmer owed money by the Tanzanian government. Tanzanian authorities acknowledge that the farmer is owed money but their lawyers argue that South Africa does not have jurisdiction over the dispute.

Story: Daily Nation

Aviation guru on radar of Kenya Revenue Authority

September 03, 2019

DAC Aviation International has come under the focus of the International Centre for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for the complex way in which the firm has structured its business and the potential impact on its tax obligations in countries of operation. In Kenya, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has opened a tax assessment of DAC Aviation’s operations with a view to determining “suspected profit shifting through creative accounting.”

Story: The Standard

Kenya Airways confirms DCI probe on engine repair deal

September 03, 2019

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has commenced a probe into the procurement of services for the maintenance and overhaul of aircraft engines at Kenya Airways by the previous management. Detectives are said to be probing the financial period between 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.

Story: Business Daily

Flights across Europe grounded after air traffic control failure in France

September 01, 2019

Flights across Europe have been grounded and delayed due to a failure of air traffic control systems across France and Spain, with some journeys at risk of cancellation. Paris Airport confirmed that there had been a “national computer failure related to the centralisation of flight plans”.

Story: The Standard

Airlines lobby now warns over high taxes

September 01, 2019

African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Secretary General, Abderahmane Berthe has decried the excessive taxes, charges, surcharges and fees on the sustainability of African airlines. He regretted that high charges made African airlines less competitive.

Story: The Standard

KAA announce exit of CEO Jonny Andersen

August 30, 2019

The Kenya Airports Authority has announced the departure of its CEO and Managing Director Jonny Andersen. Mr. Andersen has held the position since 2016 and his contract is to expire on November 21, 2019. KAA says that the recruitment process for a new CEO/Managing Director has already commenced.

Story: The Star

Taxpayers footed Sh 125b KQ debt, new report shows

August 29, 2019

A new report shows that Treasury borrowed Sh124.9 billion to help cash-strapped Kenya Airways to settle another maturing loan. Treasury refinanced the loan on behalf of Kenya Airways in the fourth quarter of Financial Year 2018/19. In the 2017/18 financial year, the carrier secured a Sh 20 billion loan to help it repay another loan it borrowed from African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) three years ago.

Story: The Standard

Passenger jailed for bomb joke on Kenyan plane

August 28, 2019

An Ethiopian man in Kenya was sentenced to four months in prison or a Sh 100,00 (US $1,000) fine for joking about a bomb after boarding a Kenya Airways flight. Chifraye Bekele’s joke led to the cancellation of the Johannesburg-bound flight in April and to a three-hour shutdown at JKIA. The aviation industry does not tolerate terrorism-related jokes. In 2013 a man was briefly detained at JFK International Airport in New York after being overhead using the work “bomb” to a friend. It turned out he was just talking about a sandwich, known as “The Bomb”. A British student faced upto 15 years in jail in US in 2004 for joking that she was carrying bombs. 

Story: BBC  

Uganda launches national airline with flight to Kenya

August 27, 2019

Uganda on Tuesday re-launched its national airline after two decades with an inaugural flight to Nairobi. The airline will initially fly to seven destinations in the region including Nairobi (Kenya) , Mogadishu (Somalia), Juba (South Sudan), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Mombasa (Kenya), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Bujumbura (Burundi). Uganda Airlines is launching into increasingly crowded East African skies where both Rwanda and Tanzania have revived their national airlines in recent times. The country has acquired two new Bombardier CRJ 900 jets and will take delivery of another two in September, with the addition of two Airbus A330-800 aeroplanes in 2020. Ugandans have been spending US $ 450 million on other countries’ airlines annually on foreign travel.

Story: Daily Nation  ; The Standard

Kenya Airways’ problems continue as first-half losses double to Sh 8.56 billion

August 27, 2019

Kenya Airways, which is being renationalised to be saved from mounting debts, saw its first-half pretax loss more than double from a year earlier to Sh 8.56 billion. The first-half revenue rose 12.2 percent to Sh 58.85 billion while operating costs rose from Sh 52.22  billion to Sh 61.45 billion in the same period. The government will take at least 21 months to take back full control of the airline, buying out minority shareholders, including Air France-KLM’s 7.8 percent stake, and converting shares held by banks into Treasury Bonds.

Story: The Standard

Rangers pursue poachers who killed rhino at Aberdare Park

August 27, 2019

KWS rangers are pursuing poachers who killed a black rhino at the Aberdare National Park in Nyeri, Kenya. The three-year old female rhino had its horn sawed off in the Sunday night incident. The incident is a major setback to conservation efforts of the endangered black rhino. Kenya has a population of slightly over 750 black rhinos.

Story: Daily Nation

Inside the Kenya Airways flight delays, cancellations sinkhole

August 26, 2019

Kenya Airways has cancelled more than 52 flights in the first 18 days of August and delayed 40 percent of its successful trips this year at an astronomical cost to the taxpayer. 182 of the cancelled flights were caused by crew shortage occasioned by pilots and crew failing to turn up for work. Under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) now in place, pilots can be absent from work for up to 48 hours without providing any medical evidence. The number of guests who have been provided with accommodation on account of delays stood at 19,345 for the first seven months of the year, hemorrhaging the struggling carrier.

Story: Daily Nation

Spanish military jet crashes into sea

August 26, 2019

A Spanish military aeroplane has crashed into the sea off the country’s southeastern coast. The pilot, a flying instructor, appears to have ejected from the C-101 aircraft used for training. These fighters are currently in the last years of their operational life.

Story: Reuters ; AirLive

S. Africa seizes Air Tanzania plane over unpaid farm claim

August 25, 2019

South Africa has impounded a plane belonging to Tanzania’s national carrier over a farmer’s $33 million compensation claim for his land which the Tanzanian government nationalised decades ago. The Airbus jet valued at $90 million was prevented from taking off by a decision of the High Court of Gauteng, Johannesburg. In the 1980s, Tanzania’s government nationalised a privately-owned bean and seed farm, seizing everything including equipment, 250 cars and 12 small planes. The farmer was awarded $33 million compensation in the 1990s, but the government only paid $20 million. The outstanding balance of $16 million has accrued interest and now reportedly stands at $33 million.

Story: Daily Nation

Seven dead after small plane and helicopter collide on Spanish Mallorca

August 25, 2019

Seven people were killed on Sunday when a sight-seeing helicopter and a small aeroplane collided in the air above the popular Spanish tourist island of Mallorca. Five of the victims, including two children, were in the helicopter and two adults were in the ultralight aeroplane when the accident occurred over the air at Inca town on the Mediterranean island. German helicopter operator Rotorflug confirmed that one of its aircraft had crashed on the island.

Story: CNN ; BBC

E-passport applicants to book appointments

August 25, 2019

Kenyans seeking to submit their e-passport applications will now be required to book appointments with the immigration department. The applicant will book the appointment in the e-Citizen portal specifying the date, time and station of convenience. However those who are sick and have urgent appointments to travel abroad for medical attention are exempt.  Students on scholarship requiring immediate travel, public servants on urgent official assignments and business executives on urgent official business are also exempt on provision of evidence. The government extended the deadline to travel on the e-passport to March 1, 2020.

Story: Sunday Nation

Silverstone expands plane fleet

August 25, 2019

Low cost carrier, Silverstone Air Services has expanded its fleet with the acquisition of a Dash 8-300 amid and aggressive route growth plan. It joins the carrier’s fleet of two Dash 8-100’s, one CRJ, two Fokker 50’s and one E120 on wet lease fro Reliance Air Charters.

Story: Business Daily

Fuel supplies halted to debt-ridden Air India

August 23, 2019

Air India has called for government help after oil companies stopped supplying the debt-ridden national flag carrier with jet fuel at six domestic airports due to late payment of dues. The airline owes three state-run oil firms more than US$ 630 million. The airline, founded in 1932, has been hemorrhaging money in recent times and has lost market share to low-cost rivals.

Story: Daily Nation

Amazon wildfires an ‘international crisis’: Macron

August 23, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron has referred to the wildfires in the Amazon as an “international crisis” and called on the G7 to address the issue. “Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rainforest — the lungs which produce 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire..” tweeted the president. Nearly 73,000 fires have been recorded between January and August. Wildfires often occur in the dry season, but they are also deliberately started in Brazil to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching.

Story: Daily Nation

Ethiopia’s first satellite will now be launched in December 2019

August 23, 2019

The Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) has disclosed that it would be launching its first Earth Observation satellite in the last quarter of 2019. The satellite, which is being launched for the purpose of monitoring water, agriculture, climate, environment and mining was initially scheduled for launch in September 2019. The manufacturing of the satellite and training of staff is partly funded by the Chinese government.

Story: Space in Africa

Bolivia orders world’s largest air tanker to combat Amazon fires

August 22, 2019

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales announced that the country had contracted a Boeing 747 ‘Supertanker’ to held extinguish huge forest fires in the Amazon that have spilled over from Brazil. The Supertanker can carry 115,00 litres of water, more than any other aircraft in the world. The aircraft moved to Bolivia after an advance payment of US$ 800,000. The fire has devastated almost half a million hectares of Bolivia’s Amazon rainforest, largely affecting the historic Chiquitania area. The Amazon spans eight countries with the largest section being in Brazil.

Story: TeleSUR

Boeing and FAA give more signs of preparations for a 737 MAX return to flight

August 22, 2019

There are strong hints that Boeing and FAA are moving towards ungrounding the 737 MAX as soon as October. The FAA is inviting a cross-section of line pilots from carriers that operate the aircraft around the world to participate in simulator testing “as part of the overall testing and validating of new procedures on the Boeing 737 MAX”. Boeing and FAA pilots have been testing the updated MCAS software for months. What is significant is that the FAA is now inviting regular 737 MAX line pilots to do the same. The production of the aircraft is expected to resume by February. The MAX has about 5,000 pending orders.

Story: The Seattle Times

Also: Reuters    

Safety concerns as ferry, ship in near collision at Likoni

August 22, 2019

A near collision occurred at the Likoni channel between a ship leaving the Kilindini harbour in Mombasa and a ferry crossing the channel. Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) admitted the incident, but has said that there is no cause for alarm. The management assured ferry users that the coxwains are highly trained and qualified and that the vessels are highly maneuverable. They added that the two vessels were in communication during the incident.

Story: Daily Nation  

Air Mauritius launches flying academy

August 22, 2019

The Flying Academy of the Air Mauritius Institute (AMI) has been launched offering pilot training for an ATPL license. The academy will work in partnership with the Progress Flight Academy in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The courses will be divided into two parts. The training in Mauritius will last for 24 weeks whereas the flight training given by Progress Flight Academy in South Africa will last between 44 to 54 weeks. 

Story: Africa Business Communities 

Four African countries reignite plan to launch Pan-African satellite constellation

August 22, 2019

The South African Space Agency (SANSA) is set to coordinate the development of a pan-African constellation, known as the Africa Resource Management Constellation (ARMC), a quadri-partite collaboration between Algeria, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. The ARMC partner countries agreed to launch one satellite each, forming a constellation of four Earth Observation (EO) satellites in space with the same payloads, providing coverage and data for the management of resources in Africa. Nigeria has already launched the NigeriaSat-2 Earth Observation in 2011 for the constellation. Algeria is developing Alsat-3 which is planned for launch in 2020, while South Africa is planning to launch EO-Sat1 by 2021.

Story: Space in Africa

Kenya Airways hires UK firm to probe collision

August 21, 2019

Kenya Airways has hired UK based Aviation and Aeroscope Consulting (ICF) to investigate a collision between two Embraer jets in a ground engine-run accident in its JKIA repair hangar that caused multi-million-shilling damage to the two aircraft. The contract will see ICF earn Sh 25 million (US $ 250,000) upon completion of the work that is expected to take between six and 12 months.

Story: Business Daily

Kenya Airways and Jambojet ink safety deal with US company

August 21, 2019

Kenya Airways has signed a deal with US firm Flight Safety International for the training of pilots at its low cost subsidiary Jambojet in a bid to boost the safety of its operations. Under the deal, Kenya Airways will procure an in-house simulator for the Dash 8-400 aircraft used by the budget carrier. The simulator will be installed at the Kenya Airways Pride Center in Nairobi. This will be Flight Safety’s first installation of a full flight simulator for the aircraft in Africa. The Dash 8-400 is a favourite with low cost regional carriers, and are manufactured by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited. There are over one hundred Q400 aircraft in the continent, served by only 3 simulators.

Story: Business Daily

Jambojet partners with Little to offer discounted prices to customers

August 20, 2019

Domestic airline Jambojet has partnered with online taxi hailing cab, Little Cab, to offer discounts on cab rides to and from Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu airports. The Sh 150 discount is aimed at providing convenient travel to its customers.

Story: The Star

Spanish woman arrested with ivory bangle at JKIA

August 19, 2019

A 50 year old Spanish woman was arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for being in possession of an ivory bracelet weighing 0.025g. The woman was enroute to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Kenya Wildlife Services officials reported that the woman was to be arraigned at the JKIA law court. The woman was later fined Shs 1 million.

This arrest comes less that a week after a French woman was arrested with an ivory bangle weighing 0.85g. The woman who was transiting through JKIA from France to Dzaoudzi Island was fined Sh 1 million for the offence.

Kenya is very strict in the trade in ivory. Earlier in the month the government launched the Stop Ivory trade campaign by CITES dubbed ‘Elephants and their ivory should never be Ripped Apart’.

Story: The Standard  ; Citizen  ; The Star        

Fly 540 seeks nod for domestic expansion

August 18, 2019

Fly 540 has applied for an air service license to expand its domestic route to include Nanyuki, Meru, Amboseli, Lewa, Isiolo, Samburu and Moyale. The bid promises to increase transport options for tourists and business people travelling to the destinations. 

Story: Business Daily

Govt comes closer to fully exiting Air India, reaches out to investors

August 16, 2019

The government has moved closer to a complete exit from Air India with the Cabinet agreeing in principle to sell 95 percent of the national carrier. The sale process will be subjected to the approval of ministerial commissions before it is completed. However the process may not be as smooth as hoped. A previous attempt to sell a 76 percent stake last year failed after the government was unable to identify suitable bidders. Air India has struggled financially in recent times and has accrued debts of about US$ 8.2 billion.

Story: Business Standard ; Simply Flying

Cathay CEO resigns amid Hong Kong protest blowback as more rallies planned

August 16, 2019

The boss of Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways quit on Friday after Beijing targeted the airline over staff involvement in mass protests. Cathay Pacific, an emblem of the city, was blindsided last week when China’s aviation regulator demanded it suspend staff supporting a movement that has mushroomed from opposition to a legal change in Hong Kong into wider calls for democracy. Cathay became embroiled in the confrontation after one of its pilots was arrested at a demonstration in July.

Story: Reuters

Safarilink plane hits wildebeest while landing at Maasai Mara

August 16, 2019

A Safarilink aircraft hit wildebeest while landing at Kichwa Tembo Airstrip at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Dash 8 aircraft was on a scheduled service on the Nairobi (Wilson) – Maasai Mara – Nairobi (Wilson) route. The animals ran across the runway as the aircraft landed at 1pm. There was no injuries or fatalities among the crew. Carcasses of the animals lay at the scene of accident.

Story: Daily Nation

Frenchwoman fined Sh 1m after being arrested with ivory bangle at JKIA

August 15, 2019

A Frenchwoman who was arrested on Wednesday night at JKIA for being in possession of an ivory bangle has been fined Sh 1 million (US$ 9,700). The woman who was transiting through JKIA from France to Dzaoudzi Island was arrested with a bangle weighing 0.85 grams. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said that possession of such items “is one of the many things that fuel poaching and trade in ivory.” Last year, a Chinese national was arrested at JKIA with two ivory bangles weighing 150 grams. Last week detectives recovered 100 kg of elephant tusks valued at Sh 10 million. Possessing animal trophy is illegal in Kenya and is punishable by life imprisonment or Sh 20 million fine, or both.

Story: Nairobi News

Russian jet flies into flock of birds, crash-lands in cornfield

August 15, 2019

A Russian passenger jet crash-landed in a cornfield outside Moscow’s Zhukovsky Airport on Thursday following a mid-air collision with a flock of gulls. The Airbus A321 aircraft run by Ural Airlines as Flight 178 was carrying 226 passengers and seven crew members. The airline released a statement praising pilots Damir Yusupov, 41 and Georgy Murzin, 23, for managing to safely bring down the giant aircraft without any casualties. Yusupov’s feat drew comparisons with the 2009 “miracle on the Hudson” when Capt. Sullenberger safely ditched an US Airways Airbus A320 after multiple bird strikes on a flock of geese. Bird strikes regularly occur around the world despite use of bird distress signals, air cannons and other technologies by airports. Some officials suggest that the flock of gulls in the accident could have been attracted by an unauthorised garbage dump near the airport. Numerous ponds and lakes are also located near Zhukovsky Airport.

Story: New York Post ; ABC News

Ready or not? Tanzania weighs ‘open skies’ pact

August 15, 2019

Tanzania is still assessing its options before it signs the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Aviation Safety Charter establishing its Aviation Safety Organisation (SASO). Only 28 of African Union’s 55 states have signed the SAATM agreement. In East Africa, only Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda have signed it. Uganda has declined, saying that it would simply create a few dominant carriers and undermine competition. SAATM is expected to result in job creation, improved trade and lower travel costs.

Story: The Citizen

Emiliano Sala and pilot likely exposed to carbon monoxide before fatal crash – report

August 15, 2019

A special bulletin from Britain’s Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) indicates that Argentine football player’s blood showed high levels of carbon monoxide, making it likely that the pilot had been similarly exposed before their fatal crash. The cockpit and cabin are not separated in the Piper Malibu aircraft that the two were flying in. AAIB said investigations are continuing and a final report will be published in due course.

Story: Standard

Silverstone sets eyes on daily flights to Homa Bay

August 14, 2019

Silverstone Air Services is set to start direct flights between Nairobi and Homa Bay in September. The daily flights will leave Wilson Airport in Nairobi at 07:30 hrs to arrive in Homa Bay 08:15hrs. The return flight will leave Kabunde Airstrip in Homa Bay at 08:40 hrs to arrive in Nairobi at 09:25 hrs.

Story: Daily Nation

More Kenyans join Sh 100bn Ethiopia plane crash case

August 14, 2019

More Kenyans have joined a Shs 100 billion compensation suit filed at a US federal court by top American law firms against airplane manufacturer Boeing following the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March. Chicago-headquartered Ribbeck Law Chartered and Global Aviation Law Group are representing 66 families of passengers that perished in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610. The law firms plan to prove alleged flaws committed by Boeing during the construction of the 737 Max 8 and negligence by Federal Aviation Administration FAA during inspection and approval of the plane.

Story: Business Daily

Air Tanzania now eye Lagos and Accra routes

August 13, 2019

Air Tanzania Corporation Limited (ATCL) has set its sights on the West African routes with Lagos and Accra being high on their priority list. The routes are expected to be introduced within their five year development plan ending in 2022. ATCL is also expected to launch the Guangzhou route before the end of the year. Other planned routes are Lubumbashi in DR Congo, Kigali and London. The airline has already reintroduced flights to Harare, Bujumbura, Entebbe, Moroni and Johannesburg. It also recently started flying to Mumbai.

Story: The Citizen

Hong Kong airport halts check-ins as UN urges restraint over protests

August 13, 2019

Flights leaving Hong Kong were disrupted for second day on Tuesday, plunging the former British colony deeper into turmoil. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Hong Kong to exercise restraint and investigate evidence of its forces firing tear gas at protesters in ways banned under international law. China condemned some protesters for using dangerous tools to attack police, calling the clashes “sprouts of terrorism”.

Story: Business Daily

Hong Kong’s airport shut down after thousands protest

August 12 2019

Airport operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of public protests. All flights in and out of Hong Kong were cancelled on Monday after thousands of pro-democracy protesters flooded the city’s airport to denounce police violence. The developments marked yet another dramatic escalation in a 10-week crisis that began over opposition to a bill allowing extradition to mainland China.

Story: Daily Nation

Fly 540 plane forced to abort take-off after tyre stuck in pothole

August 12 2019

A Fly 540 pilot was forced to abort take-off after realising one of the aeroplane’s tyres was stuck in a pothole on the runway at Manda Airport in Lamu. The aeroplane later took off safely. The airport was put on the spotlight in 2017 when Kenya Airways’ low-cost airline Jambojet suspended flights citing dilapidated conditions. The airport is run by Kenya Airports Authority.

Story: Daily Nation

Hong Kong protesters kick off three-day airport rally

August 09 2019

Pro-democracy activists kicked off three days of rallies at Hong Kong’s airport hoping to win international support from arriving passengers. The rallies, the second time protesters have brought their message to the international travel hub, were promoted on social media with a mock boarding pass reading “HK to freedom” and “warm pick-up to guests to HK”. They began as an opposition to a plan to allow extradition to mainland China, and have morphed into a broader movement seeking to reverse a slide in freedoms in the city. Extra security measures have been put in place with the airport expected to operate normally.

Story: The Standard

Ghana to launch national airline in 2 months

August 08 2019

Ghana’s Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda has announced that the country is expected to launch its new airline in two months. The minister said that the home-based carrier would connect various African cities with affordable fares and make Ghana a sub-regional hub.

Story: ATQ News

Air Tanzania to launch flights to London

August 06 2019

Air Tanzania has received landing slots for the launch of flights to London’s Gatwick Airport. The carrier is planning to operate three flights a week from Dar es Salaam via Kilimanjaro to Gatwick using B787 Dreamliner.

Story: Africa Business Communities

Tanzania aviation authority plans centre of excellence

August 05, 2019

Tanzania is poised to become the regional aviation hub with the proposed construction of an aviation centre of excellence. The centre targets people from the East African Community (EAC), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other countries across the continent for globally accredited aviation courses. The centre will be built on 72,070 square kilometres of land behind the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) headquarters in Dar es salaam.

Story: Daily News

Egypt, Tanzania discuss boosting cooperation in aviation services

August 04, 2019

EgyptAir Holding Company have  discussed  boosting bilateral cooperation in aviation services as well as the possibility of developing the Tanzanian aviation sector with Air Tanzania. The two agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of an aircraft maintenance workshop at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. They also considered ways of fostering bilateral cooperation in the fields of training and ground services.

Story: ArabFinance

Emirates flight license to be delayed until KQ recovery

July 30, 2019

Kenya is delaying a decision on whether to grant Emirates Airlines a third daily flight into Nairobi until the nationalisation plan for the troubled Kenya Airways is completed. The move is meant to ensure future air agreements with other countries also take consideration of the position of the national carrier. Last week the National Assembly recommended that Kenya Airways be nationalised in a plan modelled on successful national carriers such as Ethiopian Airlines. Under the proposal, Kenya Airways is to be put under a holding company.

Story: Business Daily

South Sudan should release detained airport officials

July 30 2019

Human Rights Watch has called on South Sudanese authorities to unconditionally release six airport officials unlawfully detained without trial since November 2018 or else promptly release them on bail pending trial. The National Security Service arrested the individuals on fraud allegations. The case relates to a dispute over payment of landing fees by Kenyan airline, Fly 540, which the government says has not paid the required fees.

Story: Human Rights Watch 

See also: Fly 540 denied Juba landing rights in fees row

Policy underpricing drives insurance firms into losses

July 30, 2019

The Association of Kenya Insurers AKI has highlighted premium undercutting by firms in a race to protect their market share as the primary cause of underwriting losses suffered by the industry in three of the four years through 2018. Underwriters of risks in motor private incurred the highest loss of nearly Sh 2.12 billion followed by private service vehicles (Sh 1.33 billion), medical (Sh 1.1 billion) aviation (Sh 98 million) and fire industrial (Sh 896,000)

Story: Business Daily

Egyptair’s newest Dreamliner records world’s longest sustainable flight

July 29, 2019

EgyptAir’s newest Boeing 787-9 has operated the world’s longest trip powered by sustainable fuel from Seattle City in USA to Cairo. The biofuel-powered aircraft flew a distance of 10,973 kilometres. The aircraft is designed to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent.

Story: Egypt Independent

Polish staff at KQ handed fresh terms

July 26 2019

Kenya Airways (KQ) has renewed the contract of four expatriates in outgoing Chief Executive Mikosz’s team from Poland. The four have been retained for six months to develop a plan that will birth the Kenya Aviation Holdings Group which will operate the airline as well as other aviation entities: Kenya Airports Authority and an aviation college.

Story: The Standard

Kenya Airways goes full circle with two-year nationalization plan

July 25 2019

Kenya is set to nationalize its flag carrier Kenya Airways 23 years after it was privatized. The government will buy out minority shareholders. It will also convert shares held by a consortium of lenders who acquired 38 percent of the company during a restructuring in 2017 into Treasury bonds. Kenya wants to emulate countries like Ethiopia which run air transport assets under a single company.

Story: Reuters

Uganda Airlines puts off Nairobi flights by a month

July 23 2019

Uganda Airlines has pushed plans to commence maiden flights to Nairobi from July 31 to end of August after failing to acquire the necessary certification on time. Uganda Airlines have not yet acquired the Air Operator Certification (AOC) from KCAA. An AOC is issued to an airline by a national regulator to allow it to operate its aircraft for commercial purposes. KCAA however say that they are yet to receive a request from Uganda Airlines.

Story: Business Daily

Parliament approves bid to nationalise Kenya Airways

July 23 2019

Kenya’s National Assembly voted to nationalise listed airline, Kenya Airways to save it from mounting debts. The National Assembly’s Transport Committed has recommended that the government establishes an Aviation Holding Company to run Kenya’s aviation sector. The company is to comprise four subsidiaries: Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Airways (KQ), Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and a centralised Aviation Services College. Nationalisation of Kenya Airways could see the Treasury pay off about 80,000 shareholders.

Story: Business Daily

Bird strike menace to cost agency Shs. 1 billion

July 21 2019

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) plans to spend close to Shs 1 billion to curb bird strike menace which has been blamed for emergency landings that have cost airlines billions of shilling in damage. The plan will be rolled out at Kisumu International Airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Mombasa’s Moi International Airport. Kisumu International Airport has recorded the highest bird-strike rate at 19.8 per 10,000 aircraft movements against an average of four bird strikes per 10,000 aircraft movements.

Story: Daily Nation

Jambojet now licensed to fly Lusaka, Bangui routes

July 21 2019

Jambojet has secured an air service license to fly to Lusaka in Zambia and Lubumbashi in DR Congo and Bangui in Central African Republic. This paves way for the low cost carrier to increase its route offerings to destinations outside Kenya, as well as varying its cargo and mail services. The airline will be leasing more aircraft as it plans to launch more regional flights.

Story: Business Daily

Man climbs on to wing of plane as it is about to take off

July 19, 2019

A man was filmed climbing on to the wing of a passenger aeroplane before takeoff, causing panic among passengers. The incident occurred on an Azman Air flight at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. The aircraft was at a holding bay expecting clearance for take-off. The general manager for corporate affairs at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Henrietta Yakubu confirmed the incident and said the man had been arrested. The stowaway reportedly claimed that he wanted to travel to Ghana. Some of the passengers demanded the pilot and cabin crew open the aircraft doors for them to disembark due to safety concerns.

Story: Independent

New dumpsite in Kisumu risks aircraft safety

July 18 2019

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has raised the alarm over the relocation of the Kisumu County dumpsite to a flight path. The county relocated the dumpsite from Kachok to Kajulu. The new dumpsite is within 13 km radius of Kisumu International Airport. Bird strikes are a menace that subject aircraft to damage and pose risk to life. Airports typically employ various techniques to scare away birds, including pyrotechnic sound makers, ultrasonic wave generators, cannons, trained animals and chemical repellants.

Story: Business Daily

France pushes for greener aviation with flight tax from 2020

July 11, 2019

France is set to introduce a new green tax of up to 18 euros (US$20) per flight, similar to initiatives in other EU states. Sweden imposed a similar tax in April last year, adding a charge of up to 40 euros on every ticket. The industry is already subject to EU carbon emissions trading system. A new global mechanism, CORSIA, is expected to be implemented from 2020.

Story: Travel Weekly Asia

Airbus to ask airlines to check wings of older A380s for cracks

July 09 2019

Airbus has asked airlines operating 25 of its oldest A380 super-jumbo jets to inspect their wings after cracks were found in some models. EASA advised ultrasonic testing of the aircraft that were built more than 15 years ago. This is not the first time that the A380 has experienced such problems. A wing crack debacle in 2012 cost the manufacturer millions of Euros in repair and service costs.

Story: Daily Nation

British Airways fined £183m over computer theft of passenger data

July 08 2019

British Airways has been fined more than £183m after computer hackers stole bank details from hundreds of thousands of passengers last year. The stolen data comprised customer names, postal addresses, email addresses and credit card information. This came just a few months after the European Union tightened data protection laws with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR establishes the key principle that individuals must explicitly grant permission for their data to be used.

Story: The Standard

Boeing loses $5.9bn order for up to 50 of its 737 Max planes

July 07 2019

Boeing faced another setback after low-cost Saudi Arabian carrier, Flyadeal cancelled its order for up to 50 of the 737 Max jets. The airline had signed a $5.9bn deal for the aircraft, but has now switched over to A320neo aircraft manufactured by Boeing’s European rival, Airbus. In another development Europe’s aviation safety regulator, EASA, has presented Boeing with a list of outstanding issues that it wants addressed before it allows the 737 Max back  into the skies.

Story: Financial Times

Drunken passenger ordered to pay $172,000 for forcing Hawaiian Airlines plane to land

July 05 2019

A passenger whose drunken behaviour forced a  South Korean bound Hawaiian Airlines aeroplane to return and land in Honolulu has been jailed for six months and ordered to pay the airline $172,000. Kyong Chol Kim, 48, was ordered to pay the cost of returning the flight to Honolulu.

Story: New York Post

Boeing to give $100m to 737 Max crash victims’ families

July 04 2019

Boeing has announced that it would give $100 million to communities and families affected by two crashes of its 737 Max aeroplanes that claimed 346 lives. This sum is an “initial investment” spread over several years as the company works with local governments and non-profit organisations to provide “hardship living expenses” and boosts economic development in regions affected by crashes of the aeroplanes operated by Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways and GE Aviation sign deal for digital flight operations

July 02 2019

Kenya Airways has selected GE Aviation for flight operations suite of digital products across the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737, 787 and Embraer E190 operations. The flight operations suite will enable the airline to monitor fleet performance, implement and track fuel savings initiatives. It integrates GE’s Event Measurement System (EMS), flight analytics, FlightPlus and fuel efficiency services. It is scalable to provide additional functionality.

Story: Business Daily

Emirates launches world’s shortest A380 flights

July 02 2019

Emirates Airlines have launched the world’s shortest revenue flight with an Airbus A380. The twice-daily service from Dubai to Muscat stretch just 185 nautical miles each way. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380 with 111 of the aircraft in its fleet.

Story: AIN Online

Stowaway’s body falls from KQ plane landing at Heathrow

July 01 2019

The body of a male stowaway dropped from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways aircraft moments before the aircraft landed at London’s Heathrow Airport. The incident shines a spotlight on the quality of checks at JKIA where the aircraft departed for the 6,840 km flight with a duration of 8 hours and 50 minutes.

Story: Business Daily

Cessna plane crashes in Kwale

June 22, 2019

A Cessna aeroplane crash landed in Kwale county after developing mechanical problems. The aeroplane which was being flown by a South African pilot had taken off from Chyulu hills and was destined for Diani Airport. The pilot suffered minor injuries.

Story: Daily Nation

KQ owners face Treasury buyout as MPs propose State takeover

June 19, 2019

Kenya’s Parliament has recommended the formation of an umbrella Aviation Holding Company to run Kenya’s aviation sector. The National Assembly’s Transport Committee has recommended that the government establishes a holding company with four subsidiaries comprising Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Airways (KQ), Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and a centralised Aviation Services College, which will run independently. The recommendation follows an inquiry into the proposal initiated by Kenya Airways to run JKIA through a 30 year concession agreement.

Story: Business Daily

KWS pilots get specialised training on gyrocopters

June 18, 2019

Seven KWS pilots have received specialised training in handling gyrocopters in a collaboration project with North Carolina University geared at introducing affordable aviation solutions to support conservation. A gyrocopter is a rotary-wing aircraft that gets its lift from a freely rotating rotor while the forward motion is provided by a separate propeller. KWS also received five gyrocopters under the project. The gyrocopters are ideal for law enforcement: they have open cockpits that provide wide visibility; they can be stopped mid-air; an can be landed in about 15 feet.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways leases small Jambojet planes for its Blantyre route

June 18, 2019

Kenya Airways has wet-leased Jambojet’s Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft for its Blantyre route. Kenya Airways uses Embraer 190 for the route. These larger aircraft cannot now land at the runway that is currently undergoing some repair work.

Story: Business Daily

Mid-air scare: Kenya Airways plane to Nairobi returns to Mombasa

June 18, 2019

Kenya Airways Flight KQ609 destined for Nairobi aborted and was forced to return to Mombasa following a technical hitch. The aeroplane had departed at 17:45 on Monday returned after an hour. The airline attributed the mishap to a false warning forcing the captain to take safety precautionary measures.

Story: Daily Nation

Tycoons’ planes put on auction to clear KAA parking fees

June 17, 2019

Fifteen aircraft, abandoned at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, are on the verge of being auctioned to offset rising parking after KAA declared them a safety risk. The aircraft include a F27, HS 748, Beechcraft Baron (BE200 and BE90).

Story: Business Daily

New York helicopter crash: Pilot dead as chopper comes down on 54-storey building

June 11, 2019

A helicopter crashed onto the roof of a 54-storey building in midtown Manhattan, killing the pilot. The crash occurred shortly before 2pm local time, in bad weather. There is no helicopter landing pad on the building.

Story: Standard

Aviation industry seeking clarity on jet fuel regulations

June 05, 2019

New regulations published by ERC have brought confusion into the aviation industry. The rules require all facilitators to adhere to regulations that are applicable to Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) and acquire their own licenses, thus compelling them to own infrastructure.

Story: Business Daily

IATA predicts yet another year of losses for African airlines

June 04, 2019

IATA reports that African airlines will record $0.1 billion loss, continuing the weak performance for the fourth year. The airlines are weighed down by low load factors and high cost of operations as a result of increased cost of fuel. Load factors averaged 60.7 percent globally in 2018. Only airlines in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific will register high profits.

Story: Business Daily

Uganda Airlines to land in Nairobi on maiden flight

June 04, 2019

The newly re-established Uganda Airlines has announced plans to commence flights to Nairobi. The Nairobi-Entebbe route will raise the ante, with Kenya Airways and Rwandair also operating the same route. It will come as a reprieve to passengers if the airline decides to trigger a price war on fares. It is not clear if Uganda already has a bilateral Air Service Agreement for the route.

Story: Business Daily

KAA dismisses tycoon’s claim in Bluebird ownership battle

May 30, 2019

KAA has dismissed a complaint by an owner of Bluebird Aviation, Adan Yussuf, that his co-directors have been using permits that grant them access to restricted areas in airports to move more than Shs. 1 billion abroad. Mr. Yussuf who claims to own 25 percent of the charter airline has been locked in a vicious court fight with his co-directors for the control of the 27 year old firm with a fleet of more than 21 aeroplanes.

Story: Business Daily

Kenya imposes ban on unaccompanied cargo from Somalia

May 29, 2019

Kenyan aviation authorities banned unaccompanied luggage on aircraft from Somalia, and insisted that all aeroplanes should land at Wajir Airport for security checks. This reverses a previous directive on direct flights between Mogadishu and Nairobi. The Kenyan authorities say that Somalia’s immigration checks are weak and some passengers have been left to load luggage while they remain behind.

Story: Business Daily

800,000 e-passports issued ahead of August 31 deadline

May 28, 2019

The Immigration Department has issues an estimated 800,000 electronic passports three months to the August 31 deadline amid congestion at the issuing centres. The highly secure new-generation e-passports feature a microchip that contains data about the holder, matching the information in the passport booklet. They are compliant to ICAO standards.

Story: Business Daily

Boeing resisted pilot’s calls for urgent fix of jet

May 15, 2019

Weeks after the first fatal crash of the 737 Max, pilots from American Airlines pressed Boeing executives to urgently work on a fix. The Boeing executives resisted, saying that they expected pilots to be able to handle the problems. Boeing is facing intense scrutiny for the design and certification of the Max, as well as its response to the two crashes.

Story: Business Daily

KAA on the spot over bird strikes menace on flight paths

May 14, 2019

KCAA has unsuccessfully engaged KAA to install bird scaring kits at major airports to curb bird strikes. Bird strikes are a major safety threat, and are blamed for emergency landings and repair costs that run into millions of shillings. Some of the bird-scaring techniques available to industry are pyrotechnic sound makers, ultrasonic wave generators, cannons, trained animals and chemical repellants. Bird strikes are costly and lead to unforeseen expenses such as renting additional capacity to transport stranded passengers.

Story: Business Daily

How botched JKIA upgrade deal may cost Kenya Sh. 22b for work not done

May 12, 2019

A series of blunders led to the collapse of the construction of the Greenfield Terminal at JKIA, leaving the country exposed to the possibility of paying a Chinese contractor Shs. 22 billion for no work done. The suspect deal, that was not approved by the Cabinet, was forced on the KAA board. The deal has several inconsistencies and is a showcase of how corrupt cartels push for award of dubious projects to preferred contractors.

Story: Sunday Standard

Somalia upset by suspension of direct Mogadishu-Nairobi flights

May 11, 2019

Somalia’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation asked Kenya to reconsider its decision to suspend direct flights from Mogadishu to Nairobi, terming it as “unneighbourly” and an unnecessary barrier on trade and movement of people. KCAA clarified that the suspension was taken for security reasons, and would last until August 9, when it will be reviewed.

Story: Daily Nation

Direct Mogadishu-Nairobi flights suspended

May 10, 2019

Direct flights from Mogadishu to Nairobi have been suspended. Aeroplanes will now have to land in the northern Kenyan town of Wajir for security checks. Direct flights were reinstated two years ago after the Somali government signed an agreement with Kenya to partially lift restrictions that were enforced 10 years ago. Somali authorities say the new policy will have an impact on the movement of passengers and goods between the two countries.

Story: BBC

Late Tamarind CEO’s kin sue Boeing for fatal crash

May 09, 2019

The family of the Tamarind Group CEO who was killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash will file a case against Boeing. The family accuses Boeing of placing profits over passenger safety, leading to the March 10 crash that claimed 157 lives. The family argues that Boeing failed to properly inform pilots about the dangers and risks in the Max 8’s flight control system and angle of attack, leaving pilots without knowledge or ability to restore manual control and prevent a crash.

Story: Business Daily

Safarilink gets top global safety rating

May 08, 2019

Safarilink has received safety certification form IATA. The company has completed the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA), that involved a review of the airline’s operations and management systems including flights, ground handling, aircraft engineering and maintenance. The ISSA certification targets operators of smaller aircraft of MTOW of 5.7 tonnes, unlike IOSA which targets large airlines.

Story: Daily Nation

Isiolo Airport mostly idle despite Shs. 2.7 bn upgrade

May 07, 2019

Isiolo Airport remains idle two years after its opening in July 2017 following a Shs. 2.7 billion upgrade. The airport is only ocassionally used by small chartered aircraft contrary to the expectations of flights loaded with miraa and horticultural products, local and international passengers.

Story: Business Daily

Boeing believed a 737 Max warning light was standard. It wasn’t

May 06, 2019

When Boeing started delivering its 737 Max to customers in 2017, the company believed that a key cockpit warning light was a standard feature in all the new jets. The company engineers realised that the warning light only worked on a aeroplanes whose customers had bought a different, optional indicator months after the aeroplanes were already flying. Essentially, a safety feature that was thought standard was actually a premium add-on. The warning light notifies pilots of a disagreement in the sensors that measure the direction the aeroplane is pointing, a potential indication of a malfunction. Neither of the doomed aircraft, Lion Air nor Ethiopian, had the indicator.

Story: Business Daily

41 killed in Aeroflot crash landing

May 06, 2019

41 people died when an Aeroflot aeroplane made and emergency landing and burst into flames just after takeoff from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The aircraft had 78 on board. The aircraft, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ 100) took off for the two-hour flight to Murmansk. The aircraft was hit by lightning during climbout at 6,900 ft. Normally an aircraft recovers after a short hiccup, but in this case the aircraft radios and autopilot would not function, resulting in the decision to return. The aircraft had been airborne for 28 minutes and was still heavy with unburned fuel. It ignited after a rough touchdown and was soon engulfed by flames. Worryingly many passengers delay emergency evacuation by retrieving carry-on luggage from overhead bins.

Story: BBC

Boeing 737 slides off runway into Florida river hurting 21

May 04, 2019

A Boeing 737-800 airliner with 143 people onboard slid off a runway into a shallow river in Jacksonville, Florida in USA while attempting to land at a military base during a thunderstorm. 21 people were injured. There were no reports of fatalities or critical injuries. The Boeing 737-800 is different from the 737 MAX 8 that are grounded following two hull-loss accidents.

Story: Reuters

Tycoon takes fight for Bluebird Aviation to the Supreme Court

May 02, 2019

Yusuf Adan who claims to own 25 percent of charter airline Bluebird Aviation has taken the battle for control of the airline to the Supreme Court after he failed to have the firm wound up in the lower courts. Mr. Adan has been locked in a legal fight with three other shareholders and executives. The airline has a fleet of over 21 aeroplanes. It is Kenya’s second largest carrier after Kenya Airways.

Story: Business Daily

US reverses digital passport visa rule

May 01, 2019

The US embassy in Nairobi has rescinded its decision to disallow visa applications from Kenyans with old-generation passports. Kenya has committed itself to transition from the machine-readable passport to e-passports by September 1, 2019. Only 400,000 out of over 2.5 million passport holders have acquired the new documents. The government has declared that the old passports will cease to be valid travel documents from September 1, 2019. Machine readable passports (MRP) have printed information on the data page that can be scanned by an optical reader. E-passports on the other hand have an additional small chip embedded on one of the covers or pages that adds digital security features including biometrics.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways posts Sh. 7.55 bn loss

April 30, 2019

Kenya Airways made a loss of Shs. 7.55 billion (US $ 74.59 million) for the year ended in December 2018. Fuel, personnel and cost of aircraft were the top three drivers of the airline’s costs, contributing about two thirds of the total operating costs. Fuel costs which rose 73.6 percent to Shs. 33 billion was a major challenge.

Story: Business Daily

How Jambojet is dealing with safety concerns, competition

April 25, 2019

Jambojet CEO engages on the aviation industry in Africa, SAATM, competition and safety concerns.

Story: Business Daily

Nigerian space agency commissions six new projects

April 24, 2019

Nigeria’s National Agency for Space Research and Development (NASRDA) commissioned and unveiled six projects completed by the agency in Abuja. The agency operates three earth observation satellites, and collaborated with Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT) and the Federal University of Technology Akure to launch two geosynchronous communication satellites and one cubesat respectively. The six new projects are: National Space Museum; Planetarium Building; Space Incubation Centre; Institute of Space Science and Engineering (ISS&E); Sports Complex; and Space Environment Laboratory.

Story: Space in Africa

Ghana eyes world record in medical drone service

April 24, 2019

Ghana has launched a fleet of drones to carry medical supplies to remote areas. This will be the world’s largest drone delivery service. The drones are part of an ambitious plan to leapfrog problems of medical access in a country with poor roads. Each battery-powered drone has a delivery distance of 80 kilometres, travelling at 100 kilometres an hour, and carrying upto 1.7 kilogrammes of supplies. The main drone base is located at Omenako, 70 kilometres north of Accra. This is the first of four distribution centres which, when fully operational, will each have 30 drones serving 500 clinics within an 80 kilometre radius. The programme is operated by Zipline, a US-based company.

Story: Daily Nation

Uganda Airlines’ CRJ900 arrive in Entebbe

April 23, 2019

President Museveni has received two Bombardier CRJ900 at Entebbe International Airport, signalling the official revival of Uganda’s national carrier that was grounded in 2001. The aeroplanes flew from the manufacturers in Canada through Reykjavik in Iceland before making their way to Maastricht in Southern Netherlands. They then connected to Cairo in Egypt before landing in Uganda. Key features of the ‘Atmosphere’ cabin in the aircraft are larger passenger living space, wheel-first roller bag capability and increased cabin connectivity options. The revival of the national carrier has divided opinions with some government technocrats, including some at the Central Bank opposing it.

Story:  Daily Monitor

Boeing 737 MAX joint governmental review will begin April 29 – FAA

April 21, 2019

The US FAA has said that a joint review on the grounded Boeing 737 MAX will begin on April 29 and will include nine other global aviation regulators. FAA had earlier in the month formed a team to review the safety of the aircraft following two deadly accidents: in Indonesia and in Ethiopia. Boeing has announced a planned software update on the 737 MAX to prevent erroneous data from triggering an anti-stall system that is under scrutiny following the two crashes.

Story:  The Standard

See also: The Boeing 737 MAX 8: Taking no chances with technology

KCAA calls Consultative Forum on UAS (drones, RPAS)

April 19, 2019

KCAA is calling a fresh stakeholder forum on regulations guiding legalisation of drones. The draft regulations were rejected by Parliament last year after finding fault with several provisions. The parliamentary committee on Delegated Legislation also pointed out that there had been insufficient public participation in drafting the regulations which was in violation of the Constitution. The consultative forum on the draft regulations will be held at Ole Sereni Hotel in Nairobi on Thursday, May 16 2019 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Draft Regulations are available for download from KCAA website: www.kcaa.or.ke

Story:  Business Daily

See also: Potential benefits aside, the use of drones should concern us all

See also: State should provide new and bold aviation policy

See also: What the world can learn from Rwanda’s approach to drones

Derelict planes and demoralised staff unearth the deep rot at police air unit

April 19, 2019

The Kenya Police Air Wing comes under focus for all the wrong reasons: questionable spending shrouded in secrecy under the guise of National Security; questionable maintenance deals and obscure procurement of faulty spares. Under focus are questions about the training of pilots, procurement, safety management, maintenance and airworthiness of the aircraft owned by the police. There is no tangible evidence of return on investment of this unit despite resources that have been put into it.

Story:  Daily Nation

See also: Trim, revamp police air wing

Man in airport bomb scare arrested

April 17, 2019

A man was arrested at JKIA in Nairobi for raising a false bomb alarm. The man is reported to have raised the alarm on a Johannesburg bound Kenya Airways flight forcing the aeroplane to abort takeoff. It is alleged that the man mentioned the word ‘bomb’ during an argument with a flight attendant. The airport was temporarily closed down. Kenya Airports Authority had earlier obtained intelligence that Somalia based terror group was planning to attack airports using Improvised Explosive Devices during the Easter holiday. The airline re-screened the passengers and carried out extensive precautionary security checks after the incident.

Story:  Daily Nation

KCAA Response:

Uganda Airlines receives its first Bombardier CRJ900 regional jet

April 17, 2019

The revived Uganda Airlines has received its first two aircraft on April 16 2019. These Bombardier CRJ900 are part of the four that the airline ordered in July 2018. They are fitted with the ATMOSPHERE cabin. The initial airline was liquidated in 2001 after 24 years of operation. The airline is yet to commence operations. Its initial destinations will include Kinshasa, Khartoum, Lusaka and Bujumbura. The airline has also ordered for a pair of Airbus A330-800s

Story:  Flight Global 

Airline boardroom war gets ugly

April 16, 2019

A co-founder of charter airline, Bluebird Aviation says that his life is in danger amid a board war. The director has brought in the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in a case where he accuses his fellow shareholders of fraudulent accounting, tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. The shareholders have been locked in a court fight over control of the airline with 21 aeroplanes.

Story:  The Standard

Skydiving accident claims one life in Diani

April 16, 2019

A Zambian paratrooper died in an accident during a skydiving expedition gone awry. The accident unearthed an illegal skydiving operation run by a former British military officer at the Kenyan coast, operating without a valid license. The parachutes of two officers entangled shortly after they jumped from the aeroplane. While they managed to separate from each other, the victim’s parachute subsequently refused to open. A diplomatic row has erupted between Kenya and Zambia when it became clear that some 14 Zambians, including the victim of the accident, had entered Kenya on tourist visas but ended up engaging in skydiving over Diani.

Story:  The Standard

Kenyan family sues Boeing for ‘putting profits first’

April 16, 2019

A Kenyan family that lost kin in the Ethiopian Airline crash has filed a suit against Boeing for allegedly prioritising profits over passenger safety. The suit has been filed in US Federal court in Illinois State.

Story:  Business Daily

Focus on Kenya Airways as pilots gobble half of the payroll

April 15, 2019

About half of Kenya Airway’s payroll (45 percent) goes to pilots who form 13 percent of the airline’s total workforce. Staff under Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) account for the bulk of the workforce at 65 per cent but took home an estimated 30.5 percent of the payroll. At the end of 2017 the airline had 414 pilots out of a overall workforce of 3,548.

Story:  Business Daily

See also: Kenya Airways should focus on core business, forget JKIA

3 killed as aeroplane hits two helicopters on takeoff in Nepal

April 14, 2019

A small aeroplane veered off the runway and hit two helicopters while taking off near Mount Everest, killing three people and injuring three. The accident occured at Lukla airport which is the gateway to the Everest region. Lukla airport is reputed to be one of the most difficult in the world for landings and takeoffs.

Story:  NDTV

Kenya Space Agency comes of age

April 10, 2019

The Kenya Space Agency hosted a Consultative Forum bringing together various Stakeholders in Nairobi. The Agency that was established to replace the National Space Secretariat has hit the ground running, and is keen to promote development of the space industry in the country.

See also: Space agency makes tentative steps to spur industry

First-ever picture of a black hole unveiled

April 10, 2019

Scientists have unveiled an image of a super-massive black hole containing the same mass as 6.5 billion suns in what is the world’s first glimpse of a black hole’s silhouette. The image was achieved by the Event Horizon Telescope project which is a global collaboration of more than 200 scientists using an array of observatories scattered around the world. Astronomers have only seen indirect evidence of the existence of these bizarre objects before this. A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that not even light can escape from inside it.

Story:  National Geographic

500 kg of narcotic miraa seized at JKIA in Nairobi

April 9, 2019

Detectives at JKIA have intercepted 500 kg of narcotic dry miraa concealed as tea packets for export to USA, Australia and Austria. While this was Khat, laced with hard drugs, the debate of whether miraa is a drug or a harmless stimulant has been raging on for years. The drug gained popularity across the world with the dispersion of Somalis, who are very fond of it. Somalia is Kenya’s biggest market for the drug, with 90 per cent of the drug going there. It was banned by the Netherlands in 2013. UK declared it a Class C drug soon after, banning further imports of the stimulant into the country.

Story:  Daily Nation

See also: Mandatory Baggage Handling Questions: cultural sensitivities

What laws could investigators use to pursue a case against Boeing?

April 9, 2019

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is facing difficult times following the crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 aeroplanes. Boeing’s push to develop the 737 aeroplanes was described as ‘frenetic’, leading prosecutors and regulators to investigate whether that led to the ‘missing of crucial safety risks and to underplay the need for pilot training’. Federal prosecutors have a number of options if there is evidence that Boeing intentionally provided false or misleading information to FAA. The investigation is still in a preliminary stage, and there is not guarantee that a criminal case will emerge.

Story:  Business Daily

See also:The Boeing 737 MAX 8 – Taking no chances with technology

JKIA’s Terminal 1C temporarily closed after fire incident

April 4, 2019

Terminal 1C in JKIA was temporarily closed due to a fire. The fire was caused by a malfunction in a baggage belt system, and disrupted operations at check-in counters 7 and 8. The fire was contained by the airport’s fire team, and passengers and staff were safely evacuated. No injuries were reported. Terminal 1C was constructed after fire destroyed the immigration and customs area in August 2013.

Story:  Daily Nation

Data glitch delays flights at several US carriers

April 1, 2019

Major US airlines experienced delays following a glitch to a data system used in flight planning. The program, Aerodata, takes data on the weight and balance of the aeroplane.

Story:  Daily Nation

Auditors question viability of KQ’s bid to manage JKIA

March 28, 2019

The proposed takeover of JKIA by Kenya Airways might not be enough to revive the fortunes of the airline. A preliminary study of the proposal by audit firm KPMG says that Kenya Airways will still require a large cash injection even after acquiring the airport. The audit firm pointed out several gaps in the proposal. 

Story:  Daily Nation

See also: Kenya Airways should focus on core business, forget JKIA

See also: State should provide new and bold aviation policy

Boeing readies 737 MAX software fix as families wait for crash report

March 26, 2019

Boeing will provide airlines that have bought the 737 MAX with free software upgrades. The MAX software is the focus of investigations into two crashes that have prompted worldwide groundings of the aircraft. 

Story:  Reuters

British Airways flight lands in Edinburgh instead of Dusseldorf by mistake

March 25, 2019

A British Airways flight from London destined for Dusseldorf in Germany landed in Edinburgh by mistake. Passengers were bewildered by a “welcome to Edinburgh” announcement on landing. The error was apparently due to filing of the wrong flight plan. The flight was run by WDL Aviation on behalf of British Airways through a leasing deal. 

Story:  BBC

See also: Aeroplanes losing their way in the sky – why it happens

Fix to 737 MAX anti-stall software is ready

March 24, 2019

A fix to the anti-stall system that is suspected in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Indonesia in October 2018 is ready, according to industry sources. The Lion Air crash was closely followed by another one involving the same model of aircraft belonging to Ethiopian Airlines. A total of 346 people were killed in the two accidents. Although it will take a while to determine the exact cause of both crashes, investigators in the Lion Air case have honed in on the MCAS automated anti-stalling system that is designed to point the nose of the aeroplane downwards if it is in danger of stalling or losing lift. Boeing and FAA are under investigation by the Transportation Department over how the roll-out of the new aircraft was handled, including the anti-stall system.

Story: Daily Nation

See also: The Boeing 737 MAX 8 – Taking no chances with technology

See also: Crash investigations focus on ‘Why’, and not ‘Whodunnit’

KCAA staffer jumps from Control Tower

March 23, 2019

KCAA has confirmed that a member of staff died after jumping from an airport control tower in Mombasa. The apparent suicide took place at Moi International Airport. The incident brings to the fore the subject of mental stability and disorders such as depression. This is especially important for personnel working in high stress situations. The related issue of crew mental health is currently undergoing wide discussion in the aviation industry.

Story:  Daily Nation

Kisumu airport closed for runway expansion

March 19, 2019

Kisumu airport is to be closed between March 20 and 27 for renovation. During this period Kenya Airways will not operate its Embraer E-190 aircraft due to the shortened runway. KQ flights will be operated by Jambojet’s Q400 aircraft.

Story:  Daily Nation

Boeing jumbo jet tips backwards after airport workers mistakenly unload cargo from nose.

March 19, 2019

A Boeing 747 cargo jet suffered damage after it tipped backwards while parked on the tarmac when airport workers mistakenly unloaded the aircraft from its nose. the jet belonging to Iranian cargo airline Fars Air Qeshm became unbalanced during unloading at Doha Airport in Qatar, tipping onto its tail. Incidents of aircraft tipping backwards are uncommon, but happen more frequently with cargo jets. some airlines use tail stands when aircraft are parked to prevent them from tipping back. In 2016 a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-900 tilted onto its tail after cargo was removed from the front of the aircraft.

Story:  Independent

Sh. 2.4bn jet fuel missing as oil firms blame KPC

March 14, 2019

Oil marketing firms are locked in a war of words with the Kenya Pipeline Company over the alleged loss of 51 million litres of jet fuel valued at over Shs. 2.4 billion, with the two trading blame for the recent supply crisis at Moi and Jomo Kenyatta International Airports. Claims of the alleged loss came just weeks after forensic auditors were called in to check on another alleged fuel leakage in the KPC pipeline and storage system. It is the second time in under six months for KPC to face stock queries after another Shs. 1 billion stock difference prompted audit of the state agency’s systems.

Story:  Business Daily

See also: Regulator should rein in utilities gone berserk, stop ‘Open Sesame’

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max  crashes

March 10, 2019

All 157 passengers and crew were killed when Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 crashed soon after taking off from Addis Ababa. The aeroplane was flying to Nairobi. This is the second hull loss accident involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 in less than five months. On October 29, 2018 a Boeing 737 Max 8, Lion Air Flight 610, crashed 13 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 on board.

Story: 

BBC

Daily Nation

The Standard

CNN

See also: The Boeing 737 MAX 8 – Taking no chances with technology

See also: Crash investigations focus on ‘Why’, and not ‘Whodunnit’

Fuel shortage hits JKIA

March 08, 2019

A fuel shortage has hit JKIA, with aircraft being forced to divert to other airports for the commodity. The shortage was blamed on oil marketers who ordered less fuel than the existing demand. This raises questions on the wisdom of giving private players a free hand to run such a crucial sector of the economy. The marketers sell directly to the airlines. Airlines at JKIA were forced to fly to refuel at other regional airports. Kenya Pipeline Corporation provides for a daily consumption of about 2.5 million litres.

Story: Daily Nation

Aviation Industry brought to standstill by strike in Nairobi

March 06, 2019

Hundreds of travellers were stranded when airport workers went on strike in Kenya’s major airports. The strike affected flights taking off and landing at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Eldoret International Airport and Kisumu International Airport.

KCAA on the spot for granting Ethiopian Airlines cargo permit

March 05, 2019

Ethiopian Airlines has been allowed to operate 15 ad-hoc cargo flights from JKIA to Europe, amid objection from Kenya Airways.

Story: Daily Nation

See also: Why the Single African Air Transport Market is welcome

Helicopter crash in Lake Turkana island kills 5

March 04, 2019

A Bell 505 helicopter crashed in Central Island in Lake Turkana killing the Kenyan pilot and four American passengers.

Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition takes place in Kigali

February 27, 2019

The 4th Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition took place at Kigali Convention Centre from February 26 to 28.

Uganda’s new airport rises from the bush in Hoima

February 14, 2019

Uganda is building a new international airport in the western part of the country as it seeks to unlock its oil wealth. the new airport is expected to facilitate mobilisation of equipment for the contruction of the Uganda Oil Refinery, and assist in the development of agriculture and tourism in the western region. Hoima will boast of a single 3.5 km runway, and will have both cargo and passenger facilities. The first phase that is primarily expected to support construction of the refinery is expected to be ready by 2020. The second phase with a focus on facilitation of passengers, tourism and business is expected to conclude in 2022.

Story: African Aerospace

Aeroplane crash kills pilot, 4 passengers

February 13, 2019

A Cessna 206 light aircraft crashed in Londiani, Kericho County, killing the Kenyan pilot and four American tourists.

Kenya Airways aeroplanes in mishap during maintenance

February 09, 2019

Two Kenya Airways Embraer aeroplanes collided during maintenance. An Embraer ERJ-190 jumped the chocks during a ground engine run.

EA states take turf war to KQ with more planes and routes

January 15, 2019

All East African carriers will have national carriers by the end of 2019, bringing heightened competition for customers in the region. This will come as a blow to Kenya Airways which has had a near monopoly on these routes amid complaints of exorbitant charges. Tanzania last week received an Airbus 220-300, bringing to six the number of aircraft received by Air Tanzania Company in recent months. The revival of Uganda national carrier is expected to commence operations by June of this year. Ethiopian Airlines has been reviving many stalled national carriers across the continent.

Story: Business Daily

Tough times for air freighters as fuel cost set to hit $200bn

January 8, 2019

The global airline fuel industry is projected to hit $200 bn this year, accounting for about a quarter of operating expenses according to a report released by IATA. Increase of fuel prices is likely to lead to higher operating costs for freight companies. This will encourage companies to make greater use of more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Story: Business Daily

Kenya opens talks with neighbours to allow KQ flights

December 12, 2018

Kenya has opened talks that could see it have direct flights between Nairobi and Windhoek through Johannesburg in South African and Lusaka in Zambia.

Story: Business Daily

Ethiopian Airlines starts cargo exports from Eldoret Airport

December 11, 2018

Ethiopian Airlines has started using Eldoret International Airport for export of flowers and other goods.

Story: Daily Nation

Kenya Airways reduces US flights to 5 a week

December 06, 2018

Kenya Airways has reduced the number of flights in the newly launched New York route from seven to five a week effective January 15 2019.

Story: Daily Nation

Nairobi to host 800 delegates in global aviation meet

November 19, 2018

About 800 delegates will be attending the ICAO Air Services Negotiations event taking place in Nairobi between December 10 and December 15. The global event is looking to provide meeting facilities for states to conduct multiple bilateral, regional or multilateral air services negotiations in a single location, thus sparing member states the trouble of making individual trips to each of the countries.

Story: Business Daily

Burundi, Kenya fight over aircraft deployment

November 12, 2018

 A diplomatic row has erupted between Burundi and Kenya after Bujumbura demanded that Kenya Airways’ low-cost partner, Jambojet, deploy a bigger aircraft with business class seats for flights to the central African nation. Burundi said that it was unhappy with the planned deployment of Bombardier DHC8-Q400 aircraft on the Nairobi-Bujumbura route, terming it unbefitting of the status of government officials travelling to Nairobi for connecting flights to other parts of the world.

Story: Business Daily

Maktau, where British Empire fighter planes launched attacks on Germans

November 12, 2018

The British established what is believed to be East Africa’s first airstrip in Maktau. Maktau, in Taveta sub-county, is believed to be a corruption of the military command “mark time” and was a garrison town held by the British when the Germans, then in charge of Tanganyika, tried to storm it.

Story: The Standard

Traders in talks with Trump men after US direct flights

October 31, 2018

Kenyan officials and business leaders moved quickly on Tuesday to capitalise on the daily non-stop service between New York. They were joined by a senior Trump administration official and dozens of American potential investors at a conference in Manhattan on “Doing Business in Kenya” sponsored by the US-based Corporate Council on Africa. The challenge facing Kenya now is to “optimise and utilise the linkages created by this direct flight to create more business, more trade, more investment and, finally, more tourism.”

Story: Business Daily

Qatar Airways poaches ex-KQ executive to lead Africa growth

October 28, 2018

Qatar Airways has hired an ex-Kenya Airways (KQ) executive to lead its growth strategy in Africa as head of marketing. The state-owned flag carrier of Qatar is scheduled to launch direct Doha-Mombasa flights in December. Qatar’s entrance to the market is expected to pile pressure on Kenya Airways, which until recently dominated the international transfers between Nairobi and Mombasa.

Story: Business Daily

Trade to be biggest beneficiary of direct flights to New York

October 28, 2018

Direct flights will reduce freight costs to improve competitiveness. the greatest opportunities lies in Kenyans living and working in the States as they could be productive partners in marketing the country’s products based on their knowledge and understanding of the American terrain in terms of consumers’ trends and behaviour.

Story: Business Daily

State House steps into KQ row with staff over US flights

October 24, 2018

State House yesterday waded into the controversy surrounding the inaugural Kenya Airways direct flight to the US with a demand the airline’s management swiftly resolves any outstanding issues with its employees to ensure success of the October 28 maiden flight.

Story: Business Daily

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Upcoming Events
March 2020

5th Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition

Date: 4-5 March 2020

Location: Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Website: www.aviationafrica.aero

February 2020

5th EAC Aviation Symposium

Date: 27-28 February 2020

Location: Hotel Club Du Lac Tanganyika, Bujumbura = Burundi

Website: www.cassoa.org/symposium

May 2019

RPAS Public Participation Forum (KCAA)

Date: 16 May 2019

Location: Ole Sereni Hotel

Website: www.kcaa.or.ke

8th Aviation Stakeholders Convention (AFRAA)
Date(s): 12 – 14 May 2019
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Website: www.afraa.org

February 2019

Aviation Africa 2019
Date(s): 27 – 28 February 2019
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Website: www.aviationafrica.aero

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Date(s): 08 – 10 April 2018
Location: Zanzibar

Website: www.afraa.org

 

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