A large fire caused “serious disruption” to operations and temporarily closed Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Wednesday. Authorities partially reopened the airport to cargo and domestic flights from the cargo terminal by mid-day Kenya time; international flights remained suspended.
On a continent where an underdeveloped transportation infrastructure has long hindered economic growth, a virtual constellation of airports in Central East Africa might well warrant some reason for optimism. A 600-mile-long “Equator Cluster” of airports around Lake Victoria, in Entebbe, Uganda; Nairobi, Kenya; Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; and Kigali, Rwanda, all support the growth of aviation traffic in the East African region.
During the first quarter of this year, Air Charter Service saw overall growth of 12 percent, with 20 percent year-over-year growth in its executive jet division. The London-based charter brokerage was founded in 1990 by chairman Chris Leach and now includes 17 offices on five continents. Annual revenue is more than $420 million.
GHS Aviation, an international consulting, auditing and training company, signed a deal August 2 with Nairobi-based Kenya Airways to open an African office. The McLean, Va.-based auditor provides systems-based airline safety and security solutions, as well as IATA Operational Safety Audit services.
Nairobi, Kenya-based air charter operator Phoenix Aviation achieved Wyvern Wingman status after successfully completing an on-site audit. It is also one of the first fixed-wing air charter companies in Africa to be awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification under the scope of supply for provision of domestic, regional and international charter flights, aircraft maintenance and worldwide medical air ambulance charter for both UK and U.S. accreditation.
Africa has been training pilots and other aviation professionals for decades, but never in large enough numbers to meet stringent international certification requirements for its own burgeoning aviation industry.
Kenya Airways has finalized the contract for the acquisition of 10 Embraer E190s, the airline announced last month. The agreement completes contract negotiations following the signing of a letter of intent during June’s Paris Air Show. The deal also includes purchase rights for 16 of any type from the E-Jet series.
A chartered Fairchild Metro on a safari flight crashed on Mt. Kenya on July 19, killing both pilots and all 12 passengers. The South African-registered twin turboprop had left from Nairobi/Wilson Airport at about 3:48 p.m., en route to Buffalo Springs National Reserve, and crashed at the mountain’s 16,000-foot level in cloudy conditions just before sunset. A flight plan had allowed for an aerial sightseeing tour of Mt.
Among the big jets filling the ramp at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the small green and yellow ATR twin turboprops of Tanzanian regional carrier Precision Air Services feel quite at home. Seven times a day they land and take off to carry passengers to all the principal destinations in neighboring Tanzania, serving both business and leisure markets and proving a perfect match for equity partner Kenya Airways.
Swissport Executive Aviation has opened a business aircraft handling operation at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The Kenyan operation is the Swiss group’s third business aviation facility in Africa, with bases already having been established in South Africa and Tanzania with its local partner DAHCO.