As promised early this morning, here’s my recap of this month’s Airline Business, a great magazines for airline nerds like me (and you!) who can’t find any information anywhere about new carriers launching in Central Africa. It’s not free online, so I apologize for the lack of links.
There’s a lovely photo of Isao Kaneko on the cover. I don’t know who he is either.
–An article discusses the new breed of carriers launching in Africa, including Libya’s Afriqiyah, Mali Trans African, and Air Senegal International. Before you vow to never fly any of these airlines (as if you have a wide choice of carriers when trying to get from Bamako to Dakar), the point of the article is that legitimate carriers (ie, South African Airways) are funding their more obscure bretheren. However, the recently launched Rwanda Air Express (I’m not making that up) is not backed by a more major carrier. Good luck!
–Sri Lankan Airlines (43% owned by Emirates) will launch their first domestic flights in quite some time using Cessna floatplanes (again, not making that up) to land on inland waterways. Having just come back from Sri Lanka, I can safely say that while a trip on a Sri Lankan floatplane may seem a little nutty, it is vastly better than making the same trip in 8 hours by car.
–A bit of zaniness in Argentina, where the US government has changed the country’s aviation safety assessment to Category 2 (ie, you can still fly your planes to the US if you already had service to the US, but no new carriers will get access…or something like that). Argentine carrier Southern Winds, which was planning to launch service to Miami, was no longer able to. So, to get around that issue, they leased their planes to Air Atlanta Icelandic (everyone’s favorite Icelandic charter carrier), which then leased them back to Southern Winds so they could fly to Miami. Nice.
–Long section on new entertainment and seat options in business class. In short, foreign carriers are investing a zillion dollars to offer lie-flat beds in business class and entertainment systems with hundreds of options. US carriers will be serving orange juice out of a can while you enjoy a movie originally aired on Lifetime.