Airline industry organizations have welcomed new legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress that would prevent the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency from opening a customs preclearance facility in the UAE.
Fast-growing Russian leasing group Ilyushin Finance Co. (ILC) is targeting the Middle East market with a portfolio of five airliners that could exploit the increasingly blurred lines between traditional regional air transport fleets and new-generation narrowbodies.
“The African continent has great potential to become a business aviation hub, which led to us opening our facility in Lagos in October 2012,” said Ettore Poggi, ExecuJet Africa’s managing director. “Traditionally, Africa has mainly been a turboprop market, popular with mining companies and the tourist industry.
Nick Fadugba’s prognosis is all the more telling given the scathing assessment of Africa’s airport infrastructure and management made by Dr. Titus Naikuni, group managing director and chief executive officer, Kenya Airways, at the Routes Africa 2013 Summit in Uganda in July. He told them to pull their socks up.
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.
The Middle East is sitting at the end of the air transport rainbow, if Airbus forecasts are to be believed: its share of global traffic will expand faster than that of any other geographical area, increasing by one half in the next 20 years.
Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group of Fairfax, Virginia, wonders whether Emirates has bitten off more than it can chew with the A380. The lack of operating lessors is an indication of a weak-to-nonexistent secondary market. And Emirates’ insistence on low average fleet age–a year ago, its strategy officials were aiming for under six years–means that the airline could have to start offloading its earliest A380 components in the fleet as soon as next year.
Toronto-based Porter Airlines has joined the Regional Airline Association (RAA), the Washington, D.C. lobbying and industry advocacy group announced last month. With Porter’s enrollment, the RAA now counts 29 airline members.
Frontier Airlines has become the first Part 121 airline approved to use iPad EFBs running the ForeFlight Mobile app for all phases of flight, under FAA OpSpec A061. As is typical with commercial users of iPad EFBs, the FAA will not allow the Frontier pilots to turn on the own-ship position switch in ForeFlight Mobile. They will be able to use ForeFlight’s hazard and weather map overlays, en route charts, approach charts and airport diagrams as well as ForeFlight’s document-storage feature to access safety publications and other materials.
With business remaining relatively stagnant in Europe and North America, the business aviation industry is looking to other parts of the world for growth, and nowhere is growing faster than Africa. An economic explosion in the exploitation of oil/gas and mineral reserves is driving a need for a boom in corporate aviation, not only to support internal operations, but also to bring in the executives from overseas who represent a major increase in inward investment into the continent, especially from China.