Airline Finance News - Africa / Middle East.

Position:Company overview

New York, Geneva (AirGuideBusiness - Airline Finance News Africa / Middle East) Jan 22, 2012

Etihad Airways Etihad expansion pays off as passenger numbers rise 17%. Etihad Airways recorded a 17% increase in passenger numbers last year rising to 8.3 million with UK routes showing major growth. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier carried 479,000 passengers on its Heathrow services in 2011 [ETH] up by 16% on the previous year, while its Manchester flights recorded a 29% year-on-year increase to 222,500 passengers. Heathrow-Abu Dhabi is EtihadOs second busiest route after Bangkok while Manchester is the eighth most used service. Dublin which saw a 15% increase in 2011 to 215,000 passengers is the 10th busiest route. Overall, Etihad carried an extra 1.2 million passengers in 2011 to 82 worldwide destinations. CEO James Hogan said: OThis result, achieved while much of the world was still very much in the economic doldrums and oil prices remained high, is testament to our emergence as a formidable force in the international aviation arena. OIt also reflects our commitment to sensible, strategic expansion which is why we launched eight new routes last year.O The airline introduced flights from Abu Dhabi to Bangalore, Maldives, Seychelles, Chengdu, Dusseldorf, Tripoli, Shanghai and Nairobi in 2011. Jan 16, 2012

Fly 540 Lonrho and Stelios take over Fly 540. It was learned over the weekend that a new ownership has emerged at Fly 540 aviation, when Lonrho, with their new partners Sir Stelios, compelled the other existing shareholders to sell [ETH] in the face of whatever evidence they were confronted with [ETH] taking full control of East AfricaOs first LCC. Previous Co-CEO Don Smith predictably had to leave Fly 540, and it is understood that no tears were shed by anyone over this, while Neill Steffen, the other Co-CEO and previously more engaged in other Fly 540 operations in other parts of Africa, will return full time to Nairobi to take charge of the airline. Only a week ago was news broken here of these developments being imminent, bringing forth the wrath of those exposed a shade too early for their own clandestine taste, but with this latest confirmation now at hand, it is once again clear that the story broken then was entirely correct and that the anger of those now departed has departed with it. It was confirmed that Don Smith will be moving over to East African Safari Air Express, a company ostensibly taken over by Fly 540, in retrospect, not the case, as it was taken over by one individual. EASAX is now awaiting a Kenya Civil Aviation Authority licensing hearing to learn about the fate of their application for an air service license, something which will probably meet with objections from other airlines but that will be another story to be told right here when the time comes. Another piece of information which emerged from the weekend information flow was that what was thought to have been Fly 540Os own maintenance facility at Wilson Airport was apparently also owned by the now former CEO Don Smith, which if correct, would be a clear sign of longer term intent, to be ready when the day would inevitably come that the other shareholders, those with the money that is, could no longer...

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