The second annual Nigerian Business Aviation Conference, to be held in Lagos on March 27-28, is expected to see increased attendance, reflecting the west African country’s position as a hot-spot for industry growth. New topics such as an aircraft owner’s panel and a discussion of the aviation needs of the oil and gas sector have been added to an agenda that already covers topics such as regulator issues and aircraft finance.
Abu Dhabi-based charter group Royal Jet has partnered with Air Seychelles to open a new FBO at Mahé International Airport, the archipelago’s main gateway. The partners believe that the new Air Seychelles VIP facility could trigger a spate of FBO developments in other parts of Africa.
The European Commission last month issued its updated list of airlines banned from European Union airspace for safety concerns. New to the list are carriers from Nepal. Some progress on safety improvements was noted in the Philippines, Sudan and Zambia.
There were no survivors among the 34 people on board a Mozambique Airlines Embraer E190 that crashed in Namibia’s Bwabwata National Park on November 29. The aircraft was en route from the Mozambique capital Maputo to Luanda, Angola, where it was due to land at 2:10 p.m. local time. Embraer dispatched a technical team to the crash site, where accident investigators started work on November 30.
Beechcraft appointed South Africa-based Absolute Aviation an authorized parts distributor for sub-Saharan Africa. Absolute Aviation, which has acted as Beechcraft’s exclusive aircraft distributor for sub-Saharan Africa since 2011, will have $1 million of inventory in stock at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, to support the Beechcraft product line as well as the Hawker 125 series.
Bombardier has landed a new customer for its Q400 turboprop in Africa, inking a conditional order with Air Côte d’Ivoire for a pair of the 74-seat turboprops here at the Dubai Airshow yesterday. The national carrier of the Ivory Coast, established in January, has also signed for two options, convertible until November next year. Bombardier values the potential firm order at $69 million based on list prices.
The African Business Aviation Association’s first regional symposium opened today at La Mamounia hotel in Marrakesh. In his keynote address, AfBAA founding chairman Tarek Ragheb reiterated business aviation’s importance to growth in the continent. He also underlined the need to change perceptions of African aviation in general, particularly with regard to safety.
Flight planning and support group Hadid International Services has expanded its network in Africa with the appointment of supervisors in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Congo. In addition to providing handling supervision and arranging payment for airport fees, the Dubai-based company’s local staff can arrange ground transportation and hotels.
Somalia might conjure images of pirates and Blackhawk Down, but the northern autonomous region and former British protectorate of Somaliland remains a peaceful, although economically depressed, place. Last month the international airport at the capital, Hargeisa, “re-opened” following renovations and modernization, funded to the tune of $10 million by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
Further evidence of Africa’s rising stature in global business aviation comes with news of two new industry conferences to be staged in Marrakesh, Morocco, in the next few months.
From September 26 to 27, the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) will hold a regional symposium at Marrakesh’s Hotel Club Kenzi Agdal Medina. The keynote speaker will be AfBAA chairman Tarek Ragheb, with many other speakers drawn from aircraft manufacturers and service providers active across Africa.