An Air Algerie MD-83 crashed near Gao in Mali on July 24, while en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to the Algerian capital Algiers. On July 25, French troops in Mali located the wreckage and confirmed that all 116 people on board had been killed. They located one of the aircraft’s flight data recorders.
African Airlines Association
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters Monday that the pilots of the Air Algerie that crashed in Mali last Thursday had asked air traffic controllers for permission to turn back toward their point of departure after they changed course due to a storm in the area (story first posted on July 25 and updated July 28 at 4:11 pm EDT) .
The Air Algerie McDonnell Douglas MD-83 carrying 110 passengers and six crewmembers that had gone missing while en route from the West African nation of Burkina Faso to Algiers has reportedly crashed.
Algerian flag carrier Air Algerie signed a purchase agreement last month covering three new ATR 72-600s. Valued at $74.1 million at current list prices, the contract calls for a cabin configuration featuring 68 passenger seats and first delivery during this year’s fourth quarter. The airline plans to start service with the first airplane by the end of the year and induct the others “through 2015.” Now flying 12 ATR 72-500s primarily on domestic and short regional routes, Air Algerie already ranks as the largest ATR operator in Africa.
The FAA notified Ethiopian aviation officials last week that their country had passed the agency’s five-day-long safety audit, allowing that African nation to retain its Category 1 safety status. The FAA allows foreign-carrier flights to the U.S. only from countries that pass audits measured against ICAO standards. Ethiopian Airlines currently flies to Washington, D.C., and plans to inaugurate service to two other, as yet unnamed, U.S. cities.
In late October Air Seychelles announced its purchase of three 19-seat Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400s as part of a plan to renew its domestic fleet for services between Mahé and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis and Frégate. The airline expects to take all three turboprops by mid-2015 but holds an option for earlier delivery if aircraft become available. It now operates one Viking Twin Otter Series 400 and three aging de Havilland Canada-built Series 300s, all of which it plans to replace with the newly ordered airplanes.
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.
International Air Transport Association director general and CEO Tony Tyler has said that over the past decade the aggregate safety results for airlines adhering to the association’s Operational Safety Audit standard are superior to those of carriers that do not use the system. His remarks came at last week’s annual African Airlines Association general assembly in Mombasa, Kenya. Tyler also said in 2012 there was not a single hull loss of a Western-built airplane by any of IATA’s 25 African member airlines.
EgyptAir plans to place major aircraft orders in the next two months, even as it watches losses mount since the momentous events that unseated former president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, its CEO said, speaking at the Dubai Airshow on November 19.
Africa’s airlines need to wake up to competition from outside the continent, form alliances that allow players both big and small to interact for the greater good, and realize that governments are often no longer interested in protecting domestic carriers (as they see economy-boosting tourist arrivals as a more important priority), according to Nick Fadugba, CEO of African Aviation Services.
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