2018 highs and lows, from an East African perspective

Old Dec 22, 18, 9:00 am
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2018 highs and lows, from an East African perspective

The good:

1.KQ launches the regular Nairobi/New York flights using their B787-Dreamliner terminating at JFK’s terminal 4 and the return flight from JFK to NBO, This affords East Africans and many others a cheaper option considering the business class costs approx.2300USD ex-EBB via NBO compared to KLMs approx.1600USD economy ex-EBB via AMS.

2.Uganda signs MOU with Airbus and Canadian Bombardier Aerospace respectively, the respective objectives are to acquire 2x Airbus A330neo; A330-800neo and 4x CRJ 900 NG, Uganda Airlines expected to launch in April 2019. The A330-800neo made its maiden flight during November 2018.The airline run adverts in the media for various positions which are under recruitment. The A-330neo are expected to be delivered around late 2019 to early 2021 while the CRJ next month.

3.Ethiopian re-launches the Addis Ababa/Moscow service to be operated using their B787-Dreamliner.

4.Air Tanzania relaunched with the introduction of the B787-Dreamliner on the Dar-es-Salaam/Mumbai service and also the introduction of Bombardier Q-400NG for the short-haul sectors.

5.Singapore launches the longest flight linking it to New York using the A-350 ULR. However it appears on some days they still use the A380 as can regularly be seen at one of the terminals at JFK.The sight of the 4 engine South African Airways A340 is also visible at one of the terminals confirming they regularly operate this aircraft from South Africa to the US.

The bad:

1.Nigeria suspended its plan to revive its flag carrier according to the country’s aviation minister.The country announced during September that it planned to launch a rebranded Nigeria Air with initially two Airbus A330-900neo

2.Export Development Canada who had committed to finance acquisition of 4 aircraft from Bombardier Aerospace for the Uganda Airlines fleet pulled out. The EDC, which had committed to extend $108 million to Uganda for the purchase of the aircraft, pulled out of the deal on 12 September 2018.It is however understood that other offers are under evaluation and the deal to acquire and deliver the aircraft in January 2019 is on schedule.

3. Vule airways, an airline of private ownership in Uganda that was expected to take to the skies failed to takeoff even after securing the air service license from aviation authorities of Uganda.It is not known what has come of the various positions it advertised. The airline planned to operate the Bombardier Q400NG, B737NG and B777-200.

4.An eagle air aircraft crash landed in Arua; 5 passengers survived the accident after the Eagle Air crash landed on the runaway in Arua District.According to reports, the aircraft had a technical problem on landing and this forced it to veer off the runaway (runway excursion).

5.A Ugandan, Joseph Nkaheza from Mbarara crashed his locally manufactured chopper and sustained serious injuries,fortunately he received treatment.In a similar accident last year he again crashed his chopper and sustained injuries.

6.A helicopter with registration 5X KEG makes an emergency landing in Kabale, on board are two senior government officials.The helicopter is said to have flown for about 300 meters off the ground and suddenly lost balance; it is said to have suddenly lose height and quickly descended back on the ground in the process, it destroyed electricity wires.

7.Lion Air flight JT 610, a Boeing 737-Max crashes in the Java sea killing 189 people, investigations are ongoing but preliminary accident report indicates the aircraft suffered multiple altitude and speed indicator malfunctions in the days prior to the accident and the problems remained unresolved up to the time of the accident.The aircraft was about 3 months old.

8.A Boeing 737-200, operating on Cubana de Aviación flight 972 from Havana to Holguín, Cuba, crashed shortly after takeoff. The aircraft came down in vegetation near a railway outside the airport, broke up and burst into flames. 112 out of 113 people received fatal injuries.The aircraft’s age was about 38 years.

9.Fly Jamaica flight 256 suffered a runway excursion after returning to land at Georgetown-Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Guyana.There was one fatality, a child.The aircraft was 19 years.

10.Saratov Airlines flight 703, an Antonov An-148, was destroyed after impacting terrain near Stepanovskoye, Russia. All 65 passengers and 6 crew members were killed.

So far 15 commercial airline accidents are reported by aviation safety network in 2018 with at least 481 fatalities.However, there are 3493 occurrences in the ASN safety database so far and includes military, private and other aspects of aviation.


Russia deploys a pair of Tupolev 160 strategic bombers to Venezuela.The TU-160 are capable of carrying nuclear weapons if deployed on combat missions.The pair of bombers were flown on a more than 12000 km flight.Along the route the bombers were met and escorted by euro typhoon fighters from the RAF and F-16s from the Norwegian Air force. The two Tu-160s were supported on the deployment by an accompanying Antonov An-124 Ruslan heavy lift cargo aircraft for support equipment and spares and a retro-looking Ilyushin Il-62 passenger aircraft carrying support, diplomatic and media personnel to accompany the deployment.The response from the United States has been swift basically condemning the Russian move.


A South West Airlines B737 suffers uncontained engine failure with debris penetrating the fuselage and killing one passenger on board; South West Airlines is a US carrier. Almost 100 million U.S.-operated airline flights, carrying several billion people, had taken off and landed safely in this country over a nine-year span since the last time a passenger died in an accident. One ofThe aircraft, which Southwest acquired in 2000, last underwent maintenance April 15, Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said. There had been no issues with the airplane or its engines, he said. The engine that failed was last overhauled in November 2012, Southwest said. the pieces of the debris shattered a window near where the passenger, a woman was seated.


Capt Irene Koki Mutungi is the first Female African Pilot to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft.The 42 year old Kenyan was the first female on the African continent to become certified as a Captain of the Boeing 787″Dreamliner” aircraft. She flies for Kenya Airways.In 2004, she became the first African woman to qualify to captain a commercial aircraft, when she qualified to command the Boeing 737.

She has since qualified to command the Boeing 767. She then took the conversion course which allowed her to transition to commanding a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.Kenya Airways then promoted her to Captain of the B787, making her the first African female Boeing 787 Captain in the world. Her employer made that announcement on 15 April 2014. The Captain is also a mother to a son. KQ also hired her as their first female pilot.
stimpy is offline  
Old Dec 22, 18, 11:01 am
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The bad:
Another crash in DRCongo two days ago - 6 killed.
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Old Dec 23, 18, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
.A Ugandan, Joseph Nkaheza from Mbarara crashed his locally manufactured chopper and sustained serious injuries,fortunately he received treatment.In a similar accident last year he again crashed his chopper and sustained injuries.
Mr. Nkaheza should perhaps consider a change of career.

johan rebel is offline  
Old Dec 23, 18, 11:28 pm
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A good, but could have been even better: In December, Ethiopian launches a four-times-a-week to MAN, but via BRU. Still, it opens up a lot of new possibilities between the north of England and Africa with some attractive launch fares. No fifth freedom rights between MAN and BRU, by the way.
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