Over 300 African BASAs compromised – IATA

Africa’s aspiration for a unified air transport market is facing significant obstacles as a recent analysis carried out by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reveals a major roadblock: the poor implementation of the existing Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs).

The study examined 607 BASAs across Africa and found that more than half are not being fully implemented by governments across the continent causing African Airlines to continue struggling with fragmented skies. BASAs are agreements that govern international air travel between countries, and they establish rules for designated airlines, including access to major airports. These BASAs are meant to regulate air traffic between countries, but their weak enforcement has continued to hinder the development of a strong internal air transport network.

The lack of compliance thwarts the plans for the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), an initiative designed to remove restrictions on airline traffic rights across the continent by simplifying air travel regulations. The initiative has the potential to unlock economic growth through increased trade and tourism but the current situation with BASAs paints a worrying picture.

IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Kamil Alawadhi, recently raised serious questions about the commitment of African governments to SAATM, saying in a recent statement that existing agreements aren’t being properly implemented.

“The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) seeks to liberalise civil aviation across the continent by removing restrictions on traffic rights for African airlines. SAATM provides Africa with a ready-made mechanism to drive economic growth, but few governments have taken the steps needed for its implementation. Moreover, an IATA analysis of 607 bilateral air service agreements (BASA’s) in Africa revealed limitations on the development of intra-Africa connectivity because the implementation of over half of these agreements was being compromised.

“Non-compliance of by African governments BASA’s is a major obstacle to achieving seamless regional connectivity and growth in the African aviation sector. To develop economy-boosting intra-Africa connectivity, Africa’s governments must back SAATM with actions,” Alawadhi said.

Domestic operators push for BASA renegotiations

In Nigeria, the situation is peculiar. Domestic airlines say that the BASAs signed by the country in the past have been unfair to them and unfavorable to industry. The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) had earlier visited the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, where they presented a detailed proposal on steps the current administration should take to reengineer the sector.

The AON in its presentation to the minister argued that domestic airlines have not been well-represented in past negotiations, leading to huge revenue loss to the nation.

They said it was totally wrong to sideline domestic airlines when signing BASAs, saying the development has favoured the foreign operators who dominate the market.

“Bilateral (BASA) and Multilateral (MASA) Air Services Agreements are premised on the principle of Reciprocity. It typically provides for applicable conditions to designated airlines, typically include provisions for operations out of host country’s primary airport(s). Domestic airlines have not had major contributions in previous negotiations and the lack of domestic representation has resulted in huge capital flight and side-lining of the AON membership,” AON said.

The airlines advocated for a reversal to the air service agreements to create a more balanced environment that benefits domestic airlines and better reflect the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) principles, particularly reciprocity, which means airlines from each country get similar benefits. It also said that agreements should encourage investment in domestic airlines and their expansion into international markets.

The AON further proposed a restriction of foreign rights, which is the cancelation of extra freedoms (like carrying passengers beyond their destination) granted to foreign airlines and encourage them to codeshare with domestic airlines instead.

It said: “Renegotiate existing BASA’s & MASAs in line with the provisions of SAATM, with emphasis on the principle of reciprocity to encourage increased investments in the sector. There should be immediate cancellation of all existing 8th & 9th freedom rights allocated to foreign airlines operating within the country and encourage such carriers to codeshare with domestic airlines.

“We call for the immediate renegotiation of all existing BASA’s & MASAs in line with the provisions of SAATM, with emphasis on the principle of reciprocity in favour of domestic airlines aspiring to expand operations into the international and sub-regional markets. Constitute a committee with membership drawn from key industry stakeholders, headed by IATA to review and update the industry civil aviation policy document in line with global standards and trends, and develop an industry 15-year strategic development plan for Implementation.”

Source:The Sun.

IATA Wings of Change Focus Africa: Speakers highlight role of aviation in improving connectivity, economic growth

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), on the first day of its Wings of Change Focus Africa conference, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, emphasized the need for African governments to take advantage of a strengthening aviation sector to maximize its benefits for economic and social development across Africa.

During a media briefing at the event, IATA senior VP for sustainability and chief economist Dr Marie Owens Thomsen described Africa as “hitting below its weight in terms of the global economy”.

She pointed out that, despite being home to about 18% of the world’s population, Africa contributes only about 3% of global GDP.

She added that improved connectivity, including through aviation, could go a long way in driving higher growth on the continent.

“Poor connectivity definitely equals poor economic outcomes.

“If we adopt aviation, and all forms of connectivity as a proper growth strategy, then we have a completely different picture of radical collaboration on this continent,” she said.

IATA Africa and the Middle East regional VP Kamil Al-Awadhi added that the Single African Air Transport Market, which is aimed at liberalising civil aviation across Africa, provides the continent with a “ready-made” mechanism to drive economic growth.

He noted, however, that few governments have taken the steps needed for its implementation.

“Non-compliance of bilateral air service agreements by African governments is a major obstacle to achieving seamless regional connectivity and growth in Africa’s aviation sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, Al-Awadhi also pointed out that African airlines were likely to earn a collective net profit this year for the second consecutive year.

He noted, however, that the anticipated $100-million profit translates into just $0.90 per passenger, pointing out that was below the global average of $6.14 per passenger.

IATA’s Focus Africa initiative seeks to provide a strategic framework to address the continent’s most pressing issues, paving the way for a robust aviation sector that can significantly contribute to Africa’s economic and social development.

“The path ahead is quite clear . . . We have to work together in a collaborative manner. We can overcome the obstacles before us and realize the full potential of Africa’s aviation.

“This is not just about transport. It’s about unlocking the future of the continent. Let us commit to this vision for the benefit of Africa’s nations, economies and people,” said Al-Awadhi.

Source: Engineering News.  

AirAsia X expands with new route to Nairobi, Kenya

AirAsia X (AAX) has announced a new route to Africa, connecting Singaporean travellers to Nairobi, Kenya, via Kuala Lumpur. The inaugural flight is scheduled for 15 November 2024, making AAX the only low-cost carrier in Malaysia to offer direct flights to Nairobi. This expansion follows a strong start to the year for AAX, with impressive financial results, high load factors, and regained market leadership.

Earlier in March, AAX also launched new flights to Almaty, Kazakhstan, marking its first entry into Central Asia.

Connecting Asia to Africa

The Nairobi route is a crucial link in connecting Asia to Africa, fostering stronger trade, tourism and business ties within the region. AAX will also offer a seamless Fly-Thru connection, creating a vital link between Kenya and 130 destinations across Southeast Asia, Northern and Central Asia, and Australia providing affordable and convenient travel options for all while reinforcing its commitment to global connectivity.

Nairobi, Kenya, is renowned for its lush greenery, expansive grass plains, and abundant wildlife, attracting tourists eager to see the near-extinct Northern White Rhino and the Great Migration in Masai Mara. The city offers breathtaking skylines, thrilling safari experiences, vibrant nightlife, rich cultural heritage, and diverse culinary delights, making it a captivating destination for travellers.

Strategic vision for global connectivity

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A says: “We are thrilled to announce a direct new route, bridging Asia and Africa. This milestone, coming on the heels of our 15th consecutive win as Skytrax’s World’s Best Low-Cost Airline, embodies our mission to connect the world affordably. This new route not only opens up Asia to Africa but also has the potential to strengthen ties in tourism, business and trade between the two continents.

“It marks the beginning of a new journey into Africa, and while our roots are in Asia and Asean, our dream has always been to make Kuala Lumpur a global low-cost carrier hub. This expansion brings us closer to that vision, giving us a solid footing to build global connections and opportunities.”

Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X adds: “Embarking on this new adventure into Africa is truly exhilarating, particularly in light of our significant growth trajectory earlier this year. This route presents excellent connectivity opportunities to other key markets we serve, especially in the Asean region.

“Travellers from Singapore can now journey more affordably to Kenya, with a convenient and smooth stopover in Kuala Lumpur. Kenya is a vibrant nation, home to millions of people and a rich tapestry of beautiful heritages and extraordinary sceneries. We look forward to further enriching the cultural and economic exchanges between these dynamic regions.”

Source Biz Community.

Jambojet Starts 4 Weekly Flights Between Zanzibar And Mombasa

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 2 – Jambojet yesterday began its first of four weekly flights between Zanzibar and Mombasa with an eye on tourists flying into the Tanzanian island.

The flights will depart from Mombasa to Zanzibar on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

“Our new route starts at 24,420 Kenyan shillings, (495,000 Tanzanian shillings) for a round trip,” Jambojet CEO Karanja Ndegwa said yesterday during the inaugural flight from Moi International Airport in Mombasa to Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA).

“As a leader in low-cost aviation, we pride ourselves on our competitive fares and extensive network, enabling more people to travel across East Africa This route  reflects our goal of making air travel accessible to everyone,” Ndegwa added.

The route will be served by a De Havilland Dash 8 400 aircraft capable of carrying 78 to 82 passengers.

The subsidiary added that the route also offers connections to Nairobi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Milan, and other destinations.

“On behalf of the Kenyan government, I am delighted to be part of today’s launch of this new route operated by our airline, Jambojet, from Zanzibar to Mombasa,” said Issac Njenga, Kenya’s Ambassador to Tanzania.

“This step is crucial not only in facilitating quick and affordable air travel but also in strengthening commercial, tourist, and cultural ties between Tanzania and Kenya,” Njenga added.

“By enhancing connectivity, we are fostering development along the East African coast.”

 Since it was started in 2014, Jambojet has served over 7.5 million passengers, accounting for more than 54 percent of the domestic air travel market share in Kenya.

The airline also flies to Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, Lamu, Malindi, Diani, and Goma in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“Mombasa is a key city for tourism in Kenya. “Jambojet is opening up many socio-economic opportunities for Zanzibar and Mombasa. We expect more tourists and traders to benefit from this affordable and fast direct flight,” said Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir, Mombasa Governor.

 Source: Capital Fm

AFRAA Projects a 15% Rise in Passenger Traffic for African Carriers in 2024

The aviation industry experienced a dynamic start to 2024, grappling with a multitude of challenges and opportunities. Despite ongoing post-pandemic hurdles, the airline sector sustained its recovery momentum this year, witnessing a resurgence in passenger demand.

Africa witnessed a 6% increase in available seats, rising from 15.1 million in May 2023 to 15.9 million in May 2024, attributed to by the introduction of new routes and increased flight frequencies. During the same period, ASKs (Available Seat Kilometers) surpassed May 2023 levels by 12%.

African carriers accounted for 48.7% of the international capacity and 35.4% of the intercontinental capacity.

AFRAA projects a 15% rise in passenger traffic for African carriers in 2024 compared to 2023. Regarding capacity allocation between African and non-African operators on International routes (regional and intercontinental), AFRAA estimates a split of 51.3% and 48.7%, respectively. However, in regards to intercontinental routes, Africa accounts for only 35.4% of capacity, with non-African operators holding the majority share at 64.6%.

In this season, intra-Africa connectivity surged across regions, with major hubs such as Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Abidjan, and Lome witnessing a notable uptick in connectivity.

African airlines are experiencing enhanced revenue performance, following the growth in traffic. AFRAA’s estimate shows operating revenue for March 2024 at US$1.74 billion, a significant increase from US$1.39 billion in March 2023, marking a 26% growth.

Global price of Jet A1 continues to fluctuate from week to week. The global average jet A1 price ended the week of 24th May 2024 down 0.7% at $99.85/bbl.


In Nigeria, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) has raised concerns over the detrimental impact of excessive airline taxes, which have made Nigerian airports some of the most expensive globally for foreign airlines to operate.

Egypt is making strides towards sustainable aviation with the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding planning to launch the country’s first sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) production facility by 2025.

In Kenya, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is leading efforts to validate draft aviation regulations aimed at enhancing safety and efficiency, with active stakeholder consultation. However, the Kenyan government’s proposed Finance Bill 2024, which includes VAT on aviation equipment and supplies, is causing concern as it deviates from global best practices where aviation is typically VAT-exempt.

In South Africa, the clarification received on the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act is that the Act is targeted at enhancing and encouraging procurement of goods and services from B-BBEE compliant companies and the requirement to have foreign operators to be B-BBEE certified is impractical. Foreign operators in South Africa are encouraged to seek further clarification with the BEE Chambers on applicability to their respective airline. Additionally, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment is reviewing aviation meteorological service tariffs for the next three years, with new rates effective from April 2024 to March 2027.

In the United States, major airlines are challenging a new regulation by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) that mandates upfront disclosure of ancillary airline fees. This rule aims to enhance transparency for consumers regarding additional travel charges.

Singapore Airlines has revised its seatbelt and meal service policies following fatal turbulence. Hot meal service will now be suspended when the seatbelt sign is on, and cabin crew will ensure all items and equipment are secured during poor weather conditions.

The latest report on Blocked Funds is that Nigeria has settled and released all funds that had been blocked in Nigeria to the airline operators.

Source: Airspace-Africa

New study highlights unserved air routes to boost African connectivity.

Airbus has released a new study highlighting several unserved air routes within Africa. These routes, the study suggests, could significantly improve travel connections for passengers, stimulate economic growth in local regions, and generate substantial revenue for airlines. The study builds on data from Airbus’s latest Global Market Forecast (GMF).

Several of the top unserved routes identified in the analysis are concentrated in cities such as Lagos, Cape Town, Nairobi, Dakar, and Douala. Airbus also touched on strategic recommendations to capitalise on the opportunities of a more connected continent as well as Airbus’ capabilities to help realise this potential.

Identifying critical routes

“Despite significant traffic between certain city pairs, some identified routes still lack regularly scheduled non-stop flights. Factors such as restrictive bilateral air service agreements, economic variables, and challenges with capacity, frequency and operating cost efficiency contribute to these routes remaining unserved,” said Geert Lemaire, market intelligence and consulting director, Airbus.

“With our capacity to make analyses about route and network development potential in-house, Airbus remains committed to partnering with airlines across Africa to identify optimised fleet solutions in line with network development requirements that further stimulate the continent’s air transport industry growth and improve connectivity for travellers.”

Growth and forecast

The forecast, meanwhile, predicts a 4.1% growth overall in air traffic over the next 20 years, resulting in an anticipated need for 1,180 new aircraft by 2043. Meanwhile, the continued growth of the aviation sector in Africa is expected to result in 3.3% real GDP growth on the continent, well above the 2.6% global average.

This growth is ratified by data from Airbus’ Global Services Forecast, which estimates that Africa will need to introduce 15,000 more pilots, 20,000 technicians and 24,000 cabin crew to meet the surge in air travel demand.

Source: Nile Post.


Codeshares are perhaps the most confusing customer facing part of any passenger’s journey. You turn up at the airport, look for your check-in desk or gate number and cannot see your flight on the departure screens. You see a flight to your destination, with the right time, but not with your flight number – are you confused, is that your flight in disguise, is there somebody you can ask to check? Welcome to the world of airline codeshares!


A great question and one that we have explained to people every year since they began to emerge in our databases in 1986. In those days airlines wanted to expand their networks with limited risk but in many cases were restricted as to where they could fly to and from.

Some airlines created a workaround, a codeshare where they placed their code and a flight number on a flight operated by another airline with whom they had a commercial relationship. A great way to virtually expand your own operational network, generate more sales and tell customers that you could sell them a ticket to nearly anywhere in the world, even if not on your own plane.

Since then, airlines have fallen in love with the idea of codeshares and today they are commonplace in every market – but how do they work, and what are the benefits?


In the aviation data world, we refer to the ‘operating carrier’ and ‘marketing carrier’. The operating carrier is the airline that flies the plane, supplies the cabin crew etc, and the marketing carrier is the carrier that sells tickets for the flight.


An airline recognizes there is demand from their market to fly to a destination, but the airline does not operate flights to that destination (or at least not with enough frequency).


The airline knows a friend – another airline – that can connect and take passengers from a point the airline already flies to and take them to their final destination.

This allows the operating airline to keep most of the revenue from that ticket sale whilst “feeding traffic” to the friend. And hopefully that friendly airline, which may be in the same airline alliance, can feed them some traffic in the other direction, essentially scratching each other’s backs. Everyone wins – the airlines have an opportunity for more traffic and more revenue, and they create a superior travel experience with a seamless passenger journey.

For this to happen the operating carrier sends their schedules to the marketing carrier. The marketing carrier puts their flight number on the service and distributes that operating carrier’s service with their own flight number. Suddenly BA173 from LHR to JFK becomes AY5473 – it is a British Airways service, but one on which Finnair sells seats as a codeshare.

To be at their most effective, airlines try to offer similar pricing on the flights. However, just occasionally you can grab a bargain from a codeshare airline whose fares have not quite synchronized with the operating carrier’s latest pricing. With demand changing by the minute this isn’t a surprise, but it can be an opportunity for the clever traveler to save some cash. If you’ve saved US$200 do you really care if your Lufthansa ticket has an Austrian Airlines flight number?


The busy network map below shows all the US domestic routes on which Iberia, Spain’s largest airline, has codeshares operated by a Oneworld Alliance partner airline.

If you didn’t know otherwise it looks like Iberia operate across the whole of the United States. However, all these flights are actually operated by American Airlines, with an Iberia flight number on the service. This allows Iberia to sell a flight from Madrid to Houston, for example, with a direct flight to Miami and then a connection onto IB4945 – a perfect way to look bigger than you really are, loved by airline PR teams around the world!


While we might expect airlines to operate codeshares within airline alliances, many airlines also have codeshares with airlines that are not in their alliance or – even worse still  – in another alliance!


Well, in some cases it’s because there are only two very large airlines in the domestic market. Australia is a great example – if you don’t fly with the Qantas Group airlines then the only real option is Virgin Australia, and Virgin Australia know this! They literally have hundreds of daily codeshares with airlines such as Qatar Airways (Oneworld Alliance), and Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance). Perrhaps illogically, Qantas also have codeshares with Air New Zealand, another Star Alliance member. It may seem odd, but for the traveler it allows the maximum choice of service, which has to be a good thing.

But is there more to it than just flights?


Codeshares exist in every market and indeed even stretch beyond airlines to include train services and more recently some coach services, although they are far more niche in nature. In theory, there is no limit to the number of codeshare partners that an airline may have, although keeping track of them all and undertaking all the work required to keep agreements provides some focus to which airlines partner up. And of course, every small airline wants to have a codeshare with a global airline and sometimes that desire isn’t reciprocated by the larger airlines; they can be fussy!

To highlight just how many codeshare partners airlines have, we listed some of the larger airlines and their codeshare partners, with Air France/KLM managing over 40 such relationships which, whilst creating a lot of work, presumably generates significant revenues.


When an operating air carrier decides to allow seats and space to be sold by other, marketing carriers, there are two types of commercial duplications; ‘free sale agreements’ and ‘leased block space’.

Free Sale Agreement – The operating and marketing carriers continue to sell seats until the flight is fully booked, there are no limitations on how many seats the marketing carrier can sell.

Leased Block Space – The operating carrier allocates a fixed number of seats to the marketing carrier/s.


If you know a regular traveler then they will have a good idea of their status level and points balance with their favorite airline, and in most cases those people treasure that status. In many codeshare situations the operating airline will allow the marketing carrier’s passengers to earn points and will offer them the same access to lounges that they would expect to have when flying with their preferred airline. The ability to earn – and in some cases burn – points is crucial, and airlines recognize this important factor – making sure that the passenger’s points are recorded by the marketing airline as quickly as possible. Seamless services, through check-in, lounge access, priority boarding and seat assignment are the softer elements of codeshare operations, but make all the difference.


Although codeshares have many benefits, they do come with their own challenges, too.

When codeshares are on sale it’s crucial that the schedules are the same from both the operating and marketing carrier, otherwise passengers could misconnect, at both a reputational cost to the airline and a financial one. Synchronizing those codeshare flights is a constant challenge for airlines, and when the operating airline makes a schedule change, keeping up to date with the changes can be a full-time job for the marketing airlines.

Managing all these codeshares is a complex process that involves multiple data types used in conjunction. Marketing airlines need access to the latest schedule information from the operating airlines to help keep their customers up to date on changes to flight time, equipment type or cancellations. They also need to refer to Minimum Connection Time information to build viable connections and help avoid the risk of costly missed connections.

Additionally, when you consider that the slightest of changes to an industry code can impact the integrity of any related flight information, or introduce the complexity of – for example – navigating daylight saving times in different time zones, the importance of a single source of truth is revealed.

It’s not just the data itself that needs to be up to date. Legacy systems can be clunky to integrate, with data siloed into different areas. What’s more, with the possibility of receiving schedule changes by the minute, older systems may not be capable of handling the high volume, real-time data now available.

To address this, airlines are looking to cloud-based solutions, which offer ease of integration and more agility, bringing together different data sets that can be refreshed quickly and without causing a system meltdown. OAG has helped many airlines migrate to the cloud environment of Flight Info Direct, powered by Snowflake. 

Below we look in more detail at the challenges involved in successful codesharing, and how they may be solved.


Synchronizing flight schedules and status updates across two different carriers can be complex. OAG processes hundreds of thousands of schedule changes per day, so it can be challenging for airlines to keep up with all the changes if they don’t have an alerting solution in place like Flight Info Alerts.

When submitting their flight schedules, Airlines provide a DEI (Data Element Identifier) to ensure that systems can read their updated flight schedules.

There are two types of DEIs that are submitted with flight schedules:

DEI 010 – Is used on the operating flight leg. This identifies all the commercial duplicate airline designators (operating and marketing carriers) and flight numbers.

DEI 050 – This data field is loaded on the commercial duplicate carrier field. This identifies the operating airline and the flight number. MCTs (Minimum Connection Times) have been built in a way that codeshare marketing carriers submitting the DEI 050 on their flights do not need to file MCTs at all if they are happy with their operator’s filed MCTs. This makes it easier for marketing carriers to maintain their files and reduce the number of MCTs required.


Integrating different reservation systems is crucial for a seamless booking and traveler process. Disrepencies can result in booking errors or cause inconvenience for passengers. In addition to this, ensuring secure and efficient data sharing between airlines’ systems is essential for consistent passenger information, flight status and operational details.


Ensuring that baggage is efficiently transferred between different carriers, especially during tight connections, can pose significant challenges. That’s why many airports and airport service providers such as baggage management companies use Flight Status Data from OAG to receive up-to-the-minute flight information for all airlines.

Syncronized data in the cloud is breaking down barriers for codeshare flights, allowing carriers to utilize and share their data with one another to create a seamless experience for the passenger. High quality schedules data that’s updated every 15 minutes helps both operating and marketing carriers stay in the know. In addition to this, cloud data platforms like OAG’s Flight Info Direct can handle volumes of data at speed and scale compared to legacy systems.


Codeshares started to appear in 1986 and they are not going to disappear. Some of the archaic regulations around airline ownership mean that the only way for airlines to offer customers what they want – and of course to generate more revenues – is to offer codeshare services. Indeed, even some of the world’s largest low-cost airlines are working on codeshare agreements with legacy airlines to expand their networks and attract more passengers.

JetBlue in the United States may have started as a low-cost airline but have emerged as a formidable codeshare partner for many international airlines operating to the US. We’ve mentioned the Virgin Australia situation and in its own way even easyJet have a codeshare product with their virtual interlining service, with both low-cost carriers such as Norse Airways and legacy airlines including Emirates.

With little changing in the regulatory world of airline services, the chances are that at some point many of us will travel on a codeshare flight in a seamless and painless way, perhaps not even realizing what has happened. A few of us may panic when we don’t immediately see our flight on the departure screen but if you are patient as the screen changes your flight will appear, as if by magic!

Source: OAG.  

Kenya Airways to Lead Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative in Africa.

Nairobi – Kenya Airways (KQ) has been selected as the sole African airline to lead the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Registry, marking a notable advancement in African aviation.

This recognition follows the national carrier’s receipt of the Most Impactful Breakthrough award for its pioneering use of SAF on a long-haul flight from Africa to Europe in October 2023.

“By taking on a pivotal role in developing the registry, KQ significantly builds trust and confidence in SAF as a viable solution for reducing aviation’s environmental impact,” said Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Allan Kilavuka.

SAF is anticipated to contribute up to 65% of the total carbon reduction required to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in air transport by 2050. The SAF registry, set to launch in the first quarter of 2025, will allow airlines worldwide to purchase SAF regardless of production location, ensuring they can claim the environmental benefits for regulatory compliance.

“SAF is crucial to aviation’s decarbonization,” stated Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. Adding: “Airlines are eager for more SAF and are ready to utilize every available drop. The SAF Registry will fulfill the essential needs of all stakeholders in the global effort to increase SAF production.” Walsh also emphasized the need for a reliable system to monitor SAF quality and quantities. “Governments need a trusted system to track SAF usage. Producers must accurately report deliveries and decarbonization efforts. Corporate customers should transparently account for their Scope 3 emissions. And airlines must be certain they can claim the environmental benefits of their SAF purchases,” he expressed.

The registry’s development is supported in its pilot phase by seventeen national airlines, including the IAG airline group, six national authorities, OEMs like Airbus, Boeing, and GE Aerospace, and fuel producer World Energy. These collaborations aim to ensure compliance with regulations set by civil aviation authorities such as ICAO’s CORSIA scheme and the EU ETS, meet SAF mandates, and provide transparency regarding emissions reductions.

Focused on compliance, transparency, and government collaboration, the registry will create a robust, accountable system that accelerates SAF adoption and promotes a more sustainable future for aviation. Kenya Airways ranks most efficient airline Earlier this year, Kenya Airways was ranked the second most efficient airline in Africa in the latest On-Time Performance Review report. KQ attained an impressive 71.86% on-time arrival rate from the 41,905 flights it completed in 2023. The airline has significantly reduced its losses, with the loss after tax dropping by 41% to KSh 23 billion in its full-year 2023 financial results compared to KSh 38 billion in 2022.

In 2023, Kenya Airways recorded an operating profit of KSh 10.5 billion in 2023, marking a substantial 287% increase from the previous year.

Source: Tuko.


US-based global aerospace giant Boeing has announced on Monday that it will open its African headquarters in Ethiopia. The decision puts an end to speculation about South Africa and Kenya being the preferred locations to host the continental branch.

The decision also comes after Boeing recently hired Henok Teferra Shawl to lead Boeing’s African division as managing director. Shawl, a former Ethiopian Airlines executive, was picked for his vast experience in aviation and the telecommunication sector in Africa.

Why Did Boeing Prefer Ethiopia?

The move to center its African division in Ethiopia is not entirely surprising given the relationship between Boeing and Ethiopia. In 2023, Boeing entered a joint venture with Ethiopia for the manufacture of certain aircraft parts in the African nation. Boeing stated that it expected the investment in Ethiopia to generate over 300 jobs for the locals.

However, Boeing’s selection of Ethiopia in the wake of more potential contenders like South Africa and Kenya was due to Ethiopia’s exemplary aviation safety record, which places it among the best in the continent.

Boeing to Bolster Development and Growth in Africa

Boeing expects further growth and development within the African aviation market. In a statement, the company said: “Africa’s abundant natural resources and burgeoning young workforce are poised to drive significant growth in air traffic and airplane demand over the next two decades.” The company forecasts the need for over 1,000 additional aircraft over the next 20 years.

The decision to establish the company’s African headquarters underscores Boeing’s commitment both to Ethiopia and to the African aviation market. The move will allow both Boeing and Ethiopia to develop a stronger partnership and foster growth in the aviation sector over the next few years.

Early this March, Ethiopian flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines made headlines when it became the first African customer for Boeing 777X aircraft. The order of up to 20 aircraft (12 are options) will be instrumental in supporting Ethiopian’s fleet and network expansion plans.

In addition to the B777X, the airline also placed orders for 11 B787-9 Dreamliners and 20 B737-MAX aircraft from the American manufacturer.

Source: Aeroxplorer

Global airlines gather in Dubai to tackle climate goals, supply chain woes and war impact

Global airlines will gather for an annual summit starting from Sunday under the shadow of the Israel-Gaza war to discuss ways to navigate geopolitical instability, turn climate goals into reality and overcome pressures on growth from strained supply chains.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) will hold its 80th annual general meeting from Sunday to Tuesday in Dubai for the first time, underscoring the city’s importance as a global aviation hub and home to Emirates airline. An influential airlines lobby group, Iata has 300 members from 120 countries who carry more than 80 per cent of the world’s air traffic.

“Dubai’s world-leading connectivity places it at the crossroads of the planet. And it will soon be the centre of the airline industry’s leadership,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

Global airlines are riding the wave of a post-pandemic travel boom and enjoying higher fares as demand exceeds the supply of available seats, but this is tempered by plane shortages, faltering supply chains, conflicts and increasing costs.

“Discussions at the Iata annual general meeting will turn to the serious issues airlines are experiencing as a result of shortfalls in aircraft deliveries, restrictions of air routes due to regional conflicts, supply chain disruptions, fuel charges and other immediate constraints on fulfilling travel demand,” Anita Mendiratta, founder of London-based consultancy Anita Mendiratta & Associates, told The National.

“Not to mention … continued labour shortages putting pressure on airline and airport operations, the increasing cost of travel and, of course, destination safety as a result of the enduring conflicts.”

Airline chiefs are also likely to address “underlying passenger concerns” after two recent flights encountered extreme turbulence, said Ms Mendiratta, also special adviser to the chief of UN tourism.

One man died and dozens were injured on Singapore Airlines flight SQ321, while 12 were injured on Qatar Airways flight QR017 that struck severe turbulence last week.

The Iata meeting will start with an updated report on the state of the aviation industry, detailing airlines’ collective financial performance.

In its latest report in December, Geneva-based Iata forecast that the industry’s net profit will surge by more than 10 per cent annually to $25.7 billion in 2024, while revenue is projected to grow 7.6 per cent year on year to a record $964 billion.

High on the agenda for the international airlines summit in Dubai are discussions around how long the prolonged post-Covid travel boom might continue as consumers become more price sensitive due to higher living costs.

A waning of the “revenge travel” phenomenon would deliver a blow to airlines already struggling with higher costs and limited aircraft availability.

Boeing and Airbus talks

Also high on the agenda will be airline bosses’ concerns around the years-long aviation supply chain problems, ranging from delayed plane deliveries to shortage of parts and fewer skilled workers. This has hampered airlines’ growth plans as they cannot ensure additional capacity to meet demand.

Manufacturing woes at Boeing and defects on Pratt & Whitney engines that power Airbus narrow-bodies are limiting the availability of planes, with airline chiefs expressing their frustration with production.

Boeing is currently in the middle of a search for a new chief executive to steer the US plane maker out of its worst crisis in years.

Airlines will use the Iata gathering as a platform for meetings with the troubled manufacturer and with its European rival Airbus to updates on their aircraft deliveries, aviation analysts said.

“Most of the conversations will be the airlines asking Boeing, ‘how are you improving the quality of builds and ensuring safety? And what is the timing for my deliveries? Has the timeline slipped? How realistic is the new timeline?'” George Ferguson, senior aerospace analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, told The National.

The private suites of the JW Marriott Marquis where the Iata gathering will be held will set the scene for these crucial meetings.

Boeing executives attending the summit will “undoubtedly use the opportunity to reinforce business relationships and to reassure airline leaderships that it is fully addressing quality issues as well as attempt to placate them about ongoing delivery delays”, aviation consultant John Strickland said.

While much of these conversations will be around airlines’ need to boost capacity, this is “a two sided coin”, Richard Aboulafia, managing director of US-based AeroDynamic Advisory, told The National.

“Inadequate capacity can push up prices and profits, on routes where demand is sufficient,” he said. However, high ticket prices can put off price-sensitive consumers as they grapple with inflation.

Environmental pressures

Airlines at the Iata gathering, facing pressures from environmental activists, will also need to explain how they plan to meet a target of net-zero emissions in 2050.

Key to this plan in the short-to-medium term is access to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as a more environment-friendly alternative to conventional jet fuel.

SAF is three to five times more expensive than jet fuel, “to the extent it would knock many consumers out of air travel if it was used widely” and the investment case for SAF production plants does not appear compelling enough to attract investments, Mr Ferguson said.

“I would say the plan is on life support already. There will be a lot of conversations at the AGM around where to go from here.”

The Iata meeting will focus on how to “inject more political impetus” from governments to help ensure the aviation industry can deliver on its sustainability goals, Mr Strickland said.

The shadow of war

The Iata meeting will take place as the Gaza war enters its ninth month in June, while negotiations to secure at least a pause in hostilities have been deadlocked for months. Last week, Israel launched a number of strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah killing dozens of Palestinians, including women and children, and have blocked humanitarian aid into the enclave.

For airlines, the Gaza war and Russia-Ukraine war has forced them to reallocate unused capacity in those regions and avoid the use of air space where regional tensions have flared up.

“I would anticipate significant discussion of the challenging geopolitical context of global airline operations especially in a year with a record number of presidential elections,” Mr Strickland said.

Emirates airline’s succession plans

Dubai-based Emirates will be the host airline of the Iata meeting this year and all eyes will be on its president Tim Clark.

The airline recently appointed its current chief operations officer Adel Al Redha and chief commercial officer Adnan Kazim as deputy presidents.

However, Emirates has not yet named a successor to Mr Clark, a step that the industry will be watching closely.

“The Emirates succession will be talked about extensively. As the most successful super-connector, smart airlines are mindful of where Emirates is going,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Tim Clark has had a strong run at the airline and its recovery from the pandemic is progressing nicely … his successors have big shoes to fill.”

This year’s Iata discussions will also revolve around the use of artificial intelligence in air travel and prospects of air cargo, according to the event programme.

Another focus will be on improving the male-dominated aviation industry’s persistent gender imbalance. The fifth edition of the Iata Diversity and Inclusion Awards will recognise organisations and individuals who are contributing to the 25by2025, an Iata initiative to bring more women into senior aviation leadership positions.

Source:  The National News.