Air Zimbabwe suspended operations on 02-Jul-2012 following the grounding of its single Boeing 737 for maintenance checks, according to a Radio VOP report. Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls services were resumed in May-2012 after their suspension in Feb-2012 due to debts and industrial action.
Air Zimbabwe suspends operations
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South African Airways needs to move forward with new strategic plan, starting with Buenos Aires cut
South African Airways (SAA) faces a pressing need to start moving forward with its new strategic plan, which includes pursuing expansion within Africa and cutting unprofitable long-haul destinations such as Buenos Aires. The new business plan, which was initially completed in Apr-2013, represents a critical step in finally fixing the long floundering carrier. But SAA has not yet implemented any major components of the plan although most of the pieces have secured the required layers of approval.
Under the new strategic plan, SAA will increase operations within Africa while cutting unprofitable long-haul routes and potentially hand more domestic routes to low-cost subsidiary Mango. SAA could also start operating alongside new partner Etihad on the Johannesburg-Abu Dhabi route, using the capacity freed up from axing highly unprofitable long-haul services, as it increases its reliance on partnerships to provide a stronger network beyond Africa.
The continued delays in implementing the long-term turnaround plan are costly as SAA continues to bleed. It needs to move quickly to build on its position in the intra-Africa market, with more flights from South Africa and a possible new base in West Africa, as competition within Africa is starting to intensify. SAA also needs to finally move forward in acquiring new widebody aircraft, which were identified in the plan as essential for a sustainable long-haul operation.
Kenya Airways new budget subsidiary Jambojet to focus on stimulating demand in domestic market
Kenya Airways low-cost carrier subsidiary Jambojet plans to launch operations on 1-Apr-2014 with 737-300 services on Kenya’s three largest domestic routes. Jambojet becomes only the fourth LCC brand in the intra-Africa market and the first by most measures for Kenya.
Jambojet is primarily a defensive move for Kenya Airways, which recognises that if it did not make an early move in the LCC sector a competitor would. But it also sees a budget brand as the best option for stimulating demand and growing Kenya’s domestic market.
Jambojet plans to only operate domestically in its first phase. International services could come later but Kenya Airways seems in no hurry to pursue ambitious growth for its new subsidiary.