The final aerospace and defence podcast for the Middle East and Africa for this year closes on a positive note.
Kenya’s Aberdair Aviation which has been delivering ACMI charter operations for almost two decades is expanding its business with a new base in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The airline’s CEO Adrian Wilcox talks to Alan Peaford about his fleet plans and the strategy of multi-AOCs from Kenya, Ghana and now Kinshasa with Tanzania and Uganda in the pipeline.
Steve Nichols takes a look at JSSI, the company that brought power-by-the-hour to the business aviation world and talks to Pascale Barhouch the new head of business development based in Dubai
Demand for engine maintenance saw MTU opening a new office in Dubai just ahead of the March lockdown.
MRO editor, Chuck Grieve asks Sami Ben-Kraiem, vice-president marketing and sales, for MTU in Middle East & Southeast Asia whether they regretted the timing of the investment – and discovers that there is strong demand for narrowbody services in the region and MTU expects double digit growth for CFM56 and V2500 shop visits.
The news round-up for the region includes plans for a fleet of unmanned freighters to serve Saudi Arabia with hopes for manufacturing to move to the region.
Tourism provides an enormous boost for a number of countries in Africa and the Middle East. In Africa, safaris have been the lifeblood for the GDPs of countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
The coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that. So what happens to an airline that almost exclusively has a business model that focuses on serving tourists. The CEO of Kenya’s Safarilink, Alex Avedi explains the impact the virus had on the boutique airline to African Aerospace correspondent Edward Njeru. He also outlines the strategy going forward and plans for new aircraft to fuel the growth when tourists return.
Another airline looking to the future is the UAE’s flagcarrier Etihad Airways. Guest experience and delivery vice president, Linda Celestino explains how passengers may have different expectations on their return to travel – and how the cabins could change.
We also hear from Boeing’s president for the Middle East & Turkey, Bernie Dunn, on how Al Ain aerostructure manufacturer Strata has grown to become a Tier One supplier to the US airframer.
As Dassault rolls out its first new business jet of a generation, which legitimately can claim to be a game changer, we hear how the 6X took its place in Falcon family
But while business aviation is looking at new horizons, the airline business has been in survival mode – or as Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways group says it is about doing the right thing.
Qatar kept flying throughout global lockdowns and in this piece he explains just how that was done.
We also get to talk to French company Moment who have a now portable wireless IFE system and have been selected by Air Senegal to introduce this to its fleet.
This plus all the news for the aerospace industry across the Middle East and Africa
With encouraging news around the world regarding approvals of different Covid-19 vaccines, attention swings to distribution of the vital cargo.
The UAE has already developed airside warehousing to act to as a hub for the distribution. But what about Africa?
We talk to Sanjeev Ghadia, the CEO of Africa’s largest cargo carrier, Astral Aviation and the chair of AFRAA’s cargo committee and vice chair of industry body TIACA, about the situation across the continent.
Astral has been one of the few airlines in the world to have seen positive growth during the pandemic and Ghadia also explains why he believes Africa’s airlines need to pay attention to the cargo markets as a pathway to growth and recovery and beyond.
In the programme we also talk to Rolls-Royce head of aftermarket technology, Dr Ian Mitchell about a new approach with technology to keep next-gen engines performing. The innovation could have an impact on the MRO industry and Chuck Grieve finds out why.
This plus all the region’s aerospace news from the Times Aerospace newsdesk.
As IATA holds its AGM there are clear signs of change. CEO Alexandre de Juniac is stepping down and will be succeeded by the loquacious former IAG chief Willie Walsh who takes no time to take off the diplomatic gloves and point figures at misguided governments.
In this week’s podcast we hear from both of them as they lay out future direction IATA will take.
While airlines have been seen to be bearing the brunt of the travel collapse, CANSO reports that air navigation service providers have lost more than $9 billion so far since the start of the pandemic.
We talk to Ryyan Tarabzoni , the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s air navigation provider SANS about solutions.
Five BAE-146 jets are being brought into the fleet of Uganda’s Zone Four International as the Entebbe flight services operator swings toward approval for commercial freight flights around central and east Africa and beyond. We meet Kaires “K” Odom, the founder and CEO of the airline and hear about his plans for the future.
When it comes to the future, planning is a nightmare right now. Especially if you are in the MRO business.
Rapidly changing circumstances such as we’re seeing at the moment play havoc with the kind of scheduling that airlines and MROs are used to, forcing them to adopt ‘duck and weave’ tactics that could well become another of these ‘new normals’ that we hear about every day. Our MRO editor, Chuck Grieve talks to Aerogility CEO Gary Vickers about the situation.
This plus all the news from aerospace, aviation and defence across the Middle East and Africa.
As the true green shoots of recovery begin to show we look at how some old links will prosper as travel restarts in earnest. For Middle Eastern markets the Indian sub-continent will be vital.
Special guest for this week’s programme is Sanjiv Kapoor, who is now senior advisor at global consulting firm Alton Aviation. Sanjiv has been a key figure in India’s airline industry having been chief strategy and commercial officer of Vistara – the joint venture airline between TATA and Singapore Airlines, and was previously chief operating officer for successful low cost carrier SpiceJet.
Kapoor tells Alan Peaford that in some ways, India been one of the “proxy home markets” for the Gulf ‘Big Three’ carriers and Indian carriers have not been able to compete very well. But in this in-depth interview he explains why India’s low cost carriers are positioned to compete very well against the Middle East’s LCCs, especially with more carriers joining the competitive market in the Gulf.
Also in this programme, MRO editor Chuck Grieve steps out from the comfort of the workshop into the front office, where he looks at how one company, Web Manuals, is working on removing paper from the aviation world and catching up with other industries on digitisation.
Web Manuals CEO Martin Lidgard, explains how the company is also involved in an exciting CSR programme in Uganda to develop young people – especially girls – to achieve education levels that will benefit the industry and the continent in the future.
Also, all the week’s top news headlines from the Times Aerospace newsdesk
This week’s programme comes from the African airline industry’s AFRAA annual general assembly. Although on a virtual platform this year, airline CEOs and representatives from governments, associations and the whole aviation supply chain logged in.
Our air transport editor Victoria Moores and airports editor Chloe Greenbank were there too and they give their overview on the future for the industry.
In the programme we hear from Sanjeev Ghadia the CEO of Astral Aviation, Yvonne Makolo, CEO of Rwandair and Angola’s Minister of Transport Ricardo de Abreu, as they individually call for action not word.
De Abreu says Angola is embracing principles of greater connectivity even though it hasn’t progressed with SAATM, while Makolo argues collaboration is more inclusive than just airlins and needs governments and airports to join in. Ghadia – one of the few airlines to have grown during the pandemic argues that this past eight months has shown the need for airlines to take cargo seriously and make sure the sector is recognised at board level.
But if airlines are to recover their passenger business, then passenger confidence is key. Niels Steenstrup, senior vice president of inflight business for Inmarsat revealed the results of a global passenger survey by the technology company to Steve Nichols and outlines why attitudes to recovery will be different depending on where you live.
There are also news highlights from across Africa and the Middle East
This week’s Insight programme, hosted by Marcelle Nethersole, looks at the world of two of the major players in the Middle East and Africa regions.
Saudi Arabia has ambitious plans to develop its defence industry and has given GAMI – the Kingdom’s General Authority for Military Industries – a mandate to to localize 50% of Saudi Arabia’s military spending over the next decade.
A key part of the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy GAMI will act as the regulator, enabler and licensor for the defence industry and will work with international defence companies and specifically the OEMs to see this change through.
The Governor of GAMI, His Excellency, Ahmad Al Ohali, talks to defence editor Alan Warnes about the three strategic focus pillars: industry regulation; acquisition; and technology and also explains why the organisation is fully behind the World Defense Show which will take place in Riyadh in 2022.
Meanwhile, in Africa, Nigeria is preparing to enter a new era in its air defence. The Chinese-Pakistan fighter, the JF-17 Thunder has been painted and ready to be delivered to Abuja imminently. But defence editor Jon Lake looks at whether this is the start of something bigger. With new models in the pipeline and greater demands on the Nigerian air force to fight the Boko Haram insurgencies, the Nigerian Air Force could be widening its sights.
This week’s Insight programme is brought to you with the support of Alsalam Aerospace Industries, the diversified maintenance service provider based in Riyadh.
In this week’s look into the world of aerospace and defence across the Middle East and Africa, Peter Mohring, managing director of transport at Serco Middle East, explains why it has never been timelier for the air transport sector to embrace outsourcing to help with post pandemic recovery.
Serco provides services across the Gulf from the UAE to Iraq including air traffic management services in Dubai, Sharjah and Baghdad.
Mohring says as one of the first industries affected, overnight the pandemic sent the aviation industry into crisis mode, with overall air traffic levels down by about 80 percent globally. This obviously came with a huge economic price tag for the industry and all its adjacent segments, such as tourism, hospitality and supply chains that depend on and support the sector. Unsurprisingly cost cutting measures have seen the halting of recruitment and training, reducing workforces, and the cancelling of contracts.
“But despite this, what we have seen is the resilience and adaptability of the sector. It has forced us as well to reimagine outsourcing, and it has stressed the need for service providers to adapt to deliver even greater value than ever.”
Meanwhile Space Editor, Steve Nichols, finds out about the latest plans for another UAE satellite and Chuck Grieve learns about remarkably hi-tec tools that are now necessary for non-destructive testing in the MRO arena.
This plus all the news from the industry across the region
Safety is always a priority for airlines and while technology has made giant strides to aid flights – sometimes just shouting can make a difference.
That’s what Airports Editor Chloe Greenback discovered when she looked at how bird-strikes and other wildlife incursions at airfields impact aviation safety.
These represent as much as 3% of aircraft safety incidents – and cost the industry more than $1.2 billion annually - with the majority of the challenges being from bird strikes.
IN this week’s programme Chloe talks to Cerian Henshaw, Director of Operations at Aviare a wildlife hazard management company working with airports around the world.
Africa in particular has a wide variery of wildlife challenges and Cerian is talking from Banjal in The Gambia and shares some of the strategies employed to keep runways safe.
Meanwhile MRO editor Chuck Grieve hears from the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance – IAMA – which was launched last year to promote uniform standards and visibility in the worldwide retrofit market.
It’s focused on modifications carried out under Supplemental Type Certificates, or STCs, which is of particular interest now as airlines face significant pressure on their balance sheets.
This, plus all the news from around the Middle Eastern and African aerospace industries.