Belgium will recall its ambassador to Senegal after the country withdrew the rights of Brussels Airlines to operate services via Dakar to other African destinations (Reuters, 28-Jan-2011). Brussels Airlines has been unable to operate on from Dakar to Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone since Senegal Airlines' launched operations earlier in Jan-2011.
Belgium recalls Senegal ambassador
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Air CEMAC moves closer to launch in partnership with Air France
Air CEMAC, a proposed start-up joint venture between six central African nations and Air France is inching its way to fruition. But tense negotiations between the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) member states of Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Republic of the Congo, and their prospective strategic partner Air France are at a delicate stage as the latest deadline to launch the carrier by the end of 2013 looms.
A key sticking point appears to be Air France insisting on taking a strategic 33% blocking stake in the joint venture while also demanding that Air CEMAC be granted a monopoly on future CEMAC regional routes, a proposition that could be severely damaging to the region’s existing carriers.
Air CEMAC aims to provide regional services linking the CEMAC states as well as the island nation of São Tomé & Príncipe to the rest of Africa. The plan has been 10 years in the making and Air France is almost certainly the final chance for the union to turn their wish for a common carrier into a reality as the original start-up capital is reportedly almost exhausted. Three potential strategic partners, Brussels Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and most latterly South African Airlines have all previously looked and walked away.
Uganda plans to relaunch Uganda Airlines and invest USD400 million in airport developments
Uganda’s Government will soon consider a plan to relaunch Uganda Airlines as the national carrier to take on the dominance of foreign airlines and take advantage of a growing economy, boosted by a budding oil industry and tourism.
In addition the Government has unveiled plans to invest USD400 million on airport expansion and developments, the bulk of which will be spent on ageing and capacity constrained Entebbe International Airport (EIA), but will also improve several domestic airports to foster the establishment of a domestic network.
A new flag carrier will have to contend with Air Uganda which has growth aspirations of its own while the redevelopment of EIA will better position Uganda to compete with much larger regional hubs in Kenya and Tanzania.