17 August 2018

Kruger National Park: Masorini Heritage Site temporarily closed!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has informed the public that the Masorini Heritage Site in Kruger National Park is temporarily closed until further notice due to an infrastructure upgrade. The late Iron Age site is located on a prominent hillside just 12 km from the Phalaborwa Gate on the tar road to Letaba Rest Camp (39km from Letaba on the Phalaborwa road). Masorini used to be inhabited by the Sotho speaking BaPhalaborwa during 1800s, who developed an advanced and sophisticated industry of mining, smelting iron ore and trading in these iron products. The site has been reconstructed as truthfully as possible. It includes reconstructed huts and furnace, a site museum as well as a picnic area at the foot of the hill. Guided tours are available.

Kenya Airways & Delta Air Lines have entered into a codeshare partnership!

Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, and American airline Delta Air Lines, both members of the SkyTeam alliance, have entered into a codeshare partnership on flights to and from Kenya Airways' hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi. Under the codeshare partnership, Delta Air Lines places its code (DL) on Kenya Airways' flights from Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Accra to Nairobi, enhancing connectivity and providing customers with a one-stop seamless travel experience from the USA. In addition, Delta Air Lines also places its code (DL) on Kenya Airways' services to more than 10 key cities across Africa, including: Addis Ababa, Lilongwe, Maputo, Johannesburg and Djibouti City. The new agreement became effective on 11 August 2018. 

16 August 2018

TAZARA: New passenger fares in Zambia!

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has announced that it will adjust passenger fares for the TAZARA Railway in Zambia. The adjustment will erase the disparity between fares paid for in Tanzanian shillings (TSh) and fares paid for in Zambian Kwacha caused by continued depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha relative to the Tanzanian shilling (TSh). The new fares, as indicated in the schedules for both Express and Ordinary passenger trains in Zambia, will become effective from 17 September 2018.
The TAZARA Railway, operated by the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), is a railroad in East Africa linking the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with the town of New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia's Central Province.

South Africa: SA Express to resume operations!

South African state-owned regional airline SA Express just announced that it will resume operations on 23 August 2018. The airline was grounded by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), the national aviation authority of South Africa, in May 2018. In June 2018 SACAA reinstated SA Express' Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) approval as well as Certificates of Airworthiness (CoA) for two of the carrier's aircrafts. Subsequently in July 2018, the airline announced that it was readying itself for take-off. In the meantime most of SA Express' eleven aircrafts received their CoA back; the remaining fleet is expected to be cleared for take-off soon.

TAAG Angola to increase flights between Luanda <> Johannesburg!

The state-owned national airline of Angola, TAAG Angola Airlines, is set to increase flights between Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport (LAD) in Luanda and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg during the Northern winter season 2018/2019 by introducing a new evening service. Effective 28 October 2018, the airline is going to operate 13 weekly flights instead of the current seven weekly flights on board a Boeing 737-700 between the two destinations.

15 August 2018

Ethiopian Airlines to launch seasonal service to Lisbon (Portugal)!

The flag carrier of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines, will launch a seasonal service between Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa and Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) in Lisbon via Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) in Madrid on 28 October 2018. The airline will operate four weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays on board a Boeing 737 Dreamliner on the new route. The service will initially run until 29 March 2019. Ethopian Airlines has ended its service between Addis Ababa and Barcelona via Madrid today (15 August 2018).

14 August 2018

Rwandair to increase flights to Europe in December 2018/January 2019!

Rwanda's flag carrier, Rwandair, is set to increase its service between Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali and Gatwick Airport (LGW) in London via Brussels Airport (BRU) in Brussels during the 2018/19 European winter peak season. According to aviation specialist Routes Online, the airline will operate an additional flight on board an Airbus A320 on Fridays from 14 December 2018 to 17 January 2019.

Gauteng: The Gautrain strike has ended!

Gauteng's commuter rail system Gautrain, which connects Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekhuruleni and O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB), has announced that the strike* has ended. The full services will resume on 15 August 2018. In the meantime, the reduced service that is currently operational will be further enhanced for today (14 August 2018). Marlboro station will be opened and trains will operate between Hatfield station and Park station during peak (every 15min) and off-peak (every 40min). The airport service will operate during peak and off peak (every 20 min) and trains will travel between Sandton station and O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB), stopping at Marlboro station and Rhodesfield station. All bus routes will be operated during peak and off-peak.

*Gautrain employees affiliated to the United National Transport Union (UNTU) went on a wage strike on 30 July 2018.

13 August 2018

Air Seychelles increases capacity to Johannesburg during peak seasons 2018/19!

The national airline of the Seychelles, Air Seychelles, will increase the frequency of its services between Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) on the island of Mahé near the capital city of Victoria and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg during the Christmas/New Year season 2018/19 and the Easter holidays 2019 to accommodate the growing demand. The additional services will be operated on board an Airbus A320 on Mondays and Fridays during the peak holiday periods between December 2018 and April 2019.

Ethiopia: Ethiopian Airlines to suspend flights between Addis Ababa <> Barcelona!

The flag carrier of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines, is set to suspend its service between Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa and El Prat Airport (BCN) in Barcelona via Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) in Madrid from 15 August 2018. The airline launched the service to Barcelona only on 01 July 2018. According to Ethiopian Airlines, the decision to terminate flights to the Spanish city was made due to operational difficulties. The airline will continue to operate four weekly flights between Addis Ababa and Madrid

Malawi: Malawian Airlines increased flights to various destinations in July 2018!

The flag carrier of Malawi, Malawian Airlines, increased frequencies on various routes in July 2018. The airline now offers seven instead of four weekly flights between Chileka International Airport (BLZ) in Blantyre and Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam, four instead of three weekly flights between Blantyre and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi as well as three instead of two weekly flights from Kamuzu International Airport (LLW) in Lilongwe via Robert G. Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka. The return flight from Lusaka via Harare to Lilongwe remains a three-weekly service.

08 August 2018

North West Province: Marico is South Africa's 10th UNESCO Biosphere Reserve!

The Marico Biosphere Reserve, located in South Africa's North West Province, has been added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by the members of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) Council. The official announcement for the inclusion of the area was made at the 30th International Coordinating Council sessions of Man and Biosphere Programme in Indonesia (23 - 28 July 2018). South Africa's 10th UNESCO Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 447 268.48 ha and comprises a unique freshwater ecosystem which includes the Molemane, Molopo and Marico river systems. It is home to 73 species of mammal such as African elephants, black rhinoceros and lions. The main economic activities are subsistence agriculture, livestock, game ranching and tourism.

Botswana: Gaborone Game Reserve closed until further notice!

Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks has closed the popular Gaborone Game Reserve in Gaborone to the public until further notice. This came about as a result of on-going maintenance of the sewerage lines by the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC), a parastatal organisation wholly owned by the Government of Botswana.

The Gaborone Game Reserve is located on the western side of Gaborone about 1km east of the Broadhurst Mall. It covers an area of only 5km², but is third busiest game reserve in Botswana. Gaborone Game Reserve is home to wildebeest, elands, gemsboks, kudus, ostriches and warthogs as well as to a particularly plentiful birdlife. All roads in the reserve are accessible by two-wheel drives (2WD).

07 August 2018

Mozambique: 24 lions to be released in Zambezi Delta!

The largest conservation transplant of lions across international borders in history is currently taking place in  South Africa and Mozambique. The transfer of 24 lions from the Tembe Elephant Park and the Makalili Game Reserve in  South Africa to a 2.5-million-acre habitat ("Coutada 11") in the Zambezi Delta in central Mozambique commenced on 05 August 2018. Since their arrival in Mozambique, the lions are under quarantine in special bomas where they will form social groups ("prides") to increase their chances of succesfully reintegrating into their new environment.

The transfer of the 24 lions from 
South Africa to Mozambique, which has the the full support of Mozambique's National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), is undertaken by the Cabela Family Foundation ("Twenty Four Lions"), in partnership with Ivan Carter Wildlife Conservation Alliance, Marromeu Safaris and Zambeze Delta Safaris.

Fastjet includes checked bags & snacks/refreshments in airfare!

Pan-African airline Fastjet now includes one piece of checked luggage as well as a snack and/or refreshment in all tickets sold. Previously, the airline charged all luggage and on-board snacks separately. The new, inclusive fare product is available on all new routes as well as existing network points since 06 August 2018.
Fastjet recently launched daily flights between Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, added an additional frequency between Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Harare on Wednesdays and introduced double daily flights between Maputo and Beira in Mozambique. The airline also intends to launch additional routes in both
Tanzania and Mozambique and has detailed plans to introduce scheduled services in South Africa later this year.

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in July 2018!

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has published the on-time performance results of domestic airlines’ flying out of OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in July 2018.
On-Time Performance is measured by comparing the actual off-block time (when aircraft pushes back) against the airline schedule time for a departing flight. The measurement is done in accordance with the IATA (International Airlines Transport Association) universal standard benchmark with considers a 15 minute deviation from the scheduled time as an on-time departure.

OR Tambo International Airport (JNB), Johannesburg - 15 Min on Time Performance July 2018 (airport target 87%)

  1. FlySafair - 95.68% (June 96.40%) 
  2. Mango - 83.01% (June 90.35%)
  3. South African Airways - 83.00% (June 87.46%)
  4. British Airways Domestic - 82.25% (June 80.78%)
  5. Airlink - 79.26% (June 83.51%)
  6. Kulula.com - 77.70% (June 81.63%)
  7. CemAir - 74.75% (June 72.18%)
  8. SA Express* - 100.00% (June --.--) 
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (June --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT), Cape Town - 15 Min on Time Performance July  2018 (airport target 90%)
  1. FlySafair - 93.91% (June 93.98%)
  2. South African Airways - 89.10% (June 92.67%)   
  3. Mango - 83.39% (June 89.32%)
  4. British Airways Domestic - 82.71% (June 78.18%)
  5. Airlink - 82.24% (June 85.00%)
  6. Kulula.com - 70.00% (June 71.33%)  
  7. CemAir - 69.62% (June 66.67%) 
  8. SA Express* - --.-- (June --.--)   
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (June --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance July  2018 (airport target 91%)
  1. Airlink - 96.96% (June 94.84%)
  2. FlySafair - 96.31% (June 95.43%)
  3. Mango - 88.25% (June 92.57%)
  4. South African Airways - 84.00% (June 90.70%)
  5. British Airways Domestic - 83.38% (June 83.18%)
  6. Kulula.com - 71.99% (June 79.55%)
  7. SA Express* - --.-- (June --.--)