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Starbow, Africa World get international recognition

The two operational domestic airlines in the country, Starbow and Africa World Airliners (AWA), have received the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate — a measure of the sound safety, management and quality control systems of the two operators.

The IOSA is the benchmark for global safety management in airlines. All IATA members are registered and must remain registered in order to maintain IATA membership.

About 24 airlines operate within the West African sub-region with a relatively young population of about 300 million. However, though operational efficiency and safety is high among various airlines in Ghana and the sub-region, just five airlines are IATA-certified.

Aside from the two Ghanaian carriers, Nigerian airlines Arik and Aero, and Lomé-based Asky Airlines are the other IOSA certified airlines.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) — the global trade association for the airline industry with over 250 member-airlines which comprise 84% of total air transport — the IOSA programme is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.

The attainment of IOSA certification means that indigenous carriers can now compete favourably with their peers in the sub-region for big-ticket international-organisation clients.

It will also make it possible for them — Starbow and AWA — to enter into commercial agreements with foreign carriers like KLM, Lufthansa, BA, Tap Portugal, Emirates and others to handle passengers travelling on itineraries that require multiple airlines.

For instance, passengers travelling from Frankfurt in Germany to Kumasi via Accra or from London to Takoradi through Accra. Domestic carriers can partner foreign airlines to operate the domestic end of such travellers’ itineraries.

“We intend to deepen our partnership with South African Airways (SAA) given the attainment of IOSA certification. One of the things that was preventing us from doing the code share was getting this IOSA certificate. So once we have it, we are working at deepening it so we have a better code share,” said Samuel Thompson, Chief Operations Officer of AWA.

“Our current fleet is not very suitable for the regional flights so we are looking at getting something bigger, like a medium-haul aircraft with a seat range of about 120-160, then we will start doing Lagos, Abuja, Monrovia and Freetown. We will still do what we are doing and improve on our safety, management systems, and our quality management systems,” he added.

Mr. Eric Antwi, the Chief Executive Officer of Starbow — whose company received its IOSA certificate in September 2015, noted that: “When this is through it will increase our business with other airline service providers who will give us passengers and vice versa.

“We are happy to be among the listed airlines which include major intercontinental and regional carriers that have successfully gone through this rigorous auditing process.”

The IOSA certification audit is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline, with emphasis on universally accepted best practices in the Airline industry.

IOSA uses internationally recognised audit principles and is designed to conduct audits in a standardised and consistent manner.

Source: starrfmonline


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Malawi: SAA Reduces Its Fares From London to Malawi

Lilongwe — The South African Airways (SAA) in association with Malawi Department of Tourism have reduced flight charges from London to Malawi to £604 return ticket about K422,800, saving up to £149 about K104,300.

The year round discount fares include, return flights to Malawi’s Lilongwe International airport (LLW), return flight to Chileka International Airport (BLZ) at £624 about K436, 800 saving up to £129 about K90, 300.

According to the press release made available to Malawi News Agency (Mana), by public relations manager Jean Paul Zapata, travelers can purchase the discounted fares for travel up to 13th July 2015, 19th August-12th December, 25th December 2015-31st March 2016.

The statement reads that SAA, the African’s most awarded airline, operates double daily flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg and beyond to over 30 destinations in Southern Africa.

“In its domestic market SAA has an extensive schedule operating 556 flights in total per week between Johannesburg – Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, from its Johannesburg hub, as well as code-shared flights between Lanseria – Cape Town and Durban,” reads part of the statement.

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Zapata in the statement said that SAA offers more frequencies than any other airline in South Africa, regionally it offers 24 destinations across the African continent including Abidjan, Accra, Blantyre, Brazzaville, Cotonou, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Entebbe, Harare, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lilongwe, Livingstone, Luanda, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Ndola, Pointe Noire, Victoria Falls and Windhoek.

He said SAA’s operates to 40 destinations worldwide via an international network that creates links to all major continents from South Africa through 11 direct routes and code shares, with daily flights from Johannesburg to London (Heathrow), Frankfurt, Munich, Mumbai, Perth, Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, Washington, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.

“SAA has codes share agreements with 27 other airlines across the markets it serves; the airline has extended its code share agreement with Mango, its low cost operator, to also include coastal cities in South Africa,” reads part of the statement.

Zapata said SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airlines and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC).

SAA is a Star Alliance member, which offers more than 21, 900 daily flights to 1, 328 airports in 195 countries and is a winner of the ‘Best Airlines in Africa’ Ward in the regional category for eleven consecutive years.

Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on-time airlines.

Source: allafrica


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No More SAA Flights to China, Says Treasury

From May this year, there will be no more direct flights to China by South African Airways, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Friday.

This is part of a strategy to turn around the finances of SAA and part of the cost-saving measures that include cancelling loss making routes with China being one of them.

“Indeed we have approved the cancelation of the China route as government because we have a certain obligation. Part of the implementation of the strategy was the closure of loss making routes,” said the Minister.

He was responding to a question at a South African Airways (SAA) media briefing on its 2013/14 financial results. This after the airline held its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Acting SAA chief executive officer Nico Bezuidenhout revealed that close to R1 billion has been lost on the Beijing route in a three year period since SAA introduced the route in 2012.

Bezuidenhout said SAA will stop operating flights to China in April.

Air China will take over the route in May with SAA placing a code on flights to China.

This comes as the National Treasury announced this week that the airline is to receive R6.488 billion guarantee.

The guarantees to SAA amount to R14.4 billion against which SAA has thus far utilised R8.345 billion.

“We had to put SAA on a business rescue but with the Long Term Turnaround Strategy (LTTS) on the table together with the 90 Day action plan we had to be convinced that we would now be able to see an improvement in SAA’s financial situation,” Minister Nene said.

He explained that some of the drastic steps that had to be taken included the route closures, adding that was what other airlines were doing to save costs.

“It’s not just about closing the routes but also finding ways of still reaching that destination in a much more cost effective way including code sharing and that is part of the strategy.”

The move comes as part of the airline’s 90 Day Action Plan which was launched in December.

Bezuidenhout described the strategy as a living document.

“We had to continuously amend, adjust not radically change,” he said.

Treasury is also working with the national carrier in revising and refining the existing LTTS which will have the primary mandate of returning the airline to financial sustainability.

Minister Nene said that the focus will be on the 90 Day action plan which is based on the LTTS but with an emphasis on executing quick wins including route closures.

He emphasised that it will take time for the benefits to show on SAA’s bottom line adding that the guarantee was issued on the basis that the 90 Day Action Plan is robust and provides firm deliverables.

“The work for SAA will not be over and there will still be other tough measures that they will have to take in order to get the airline back on track,” said the Minister.

The airline had to be self-sustaining as no recapitalisation will be forthcoming from the shareholder, Minister Nene said. The National Treasury recently took over SAA after the airline was transferred from the Public Enterprises Department.

The financial results on Friday showed that operating loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization narrowed to R374 million for the year from R425 million reported 12 months earlier.

Cost containment during the 2013/14 financial year yielded savings of R453 million. The SAA group achieved growth in revenues by 12% (from R27.1 billion to R30.3 billion).

Source: All Africa


 

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