Wednesday, April 26, 2006

About flying cuffins

: "Dans ce tapage, il y a ce qui n�a pas été dit à haute et intelligible voix. Il s�agit de la volonté des compagnies européennes d�envahir l�Afrique. Rappelons-nous que le vide laissé dans le ciel africain par les compagnies disparues a été comblé par des grandes compagnies étrangères. Ces dernières ont ramassé l�important marché de passagers et du fret au détriment des «jeunes pousses» africaines.

Attention ! Le pharmacien est rompu dans l�art d�enrober la quinine de chocolat pour la faire avaler à un enfant."
For those of you that do not speak French, I will translate those last 2 lines: "Be very careful! Pharmacists are experts in sugar-coating quinine pills to make kids swallow them". This was said in relation to the fact that 50 Congolese airlines - and several African ones, were recently banned from the European skies. The journalist from Le potentiel has a good point: Why is it that most of the banned airlines do not - and have no plans to anytime soon - fly the European skies? In fact most of them do not even own the necessary airplanes to operate outside their countries' borders, let alone inter-continentally. The journalist's answer is simple: competition. With the decline and/or demise of some of the big African airlines, such as Air Zaire, Air Afrique, Ghana Airways, Cameroon Airlines, etc, much of the inter-continental market, between Africa and the rest of the world, has been overtaken by European companies such as Air France, SN Brussels Airlines, SWISS and British Airways. The fast rise in the number of smaller airlines in Africa IS a potential threat to that newfound monopoly. It therefore not an unreasonnable hypothesis that it is a big factor in why the new ban affects not only companies that already serve the international lines, but all the other that could potentially also, in some more or less distant future, serve the line too.

Not that there is not a big problem with airlines back in Africa: there is. In fact there was a conference on the matter recently in Bamako, and another one next door, in Ouagadougou. But there seems to be something rotten in the whole matter...

I am wondering...


Sj said...

No, I had much the same feeling as you did about this issue. I'm sure there are concerns and safety issues. But when they announced (all of a sudden) that over 50 airlines were banned.. All I could think of was wondering who was in charge of ever reinstating these airlines? Or is this a way to keep them down, get them even cheaper and then buy them out if they ever do get "safe" enough for the Europeans etc.

Renegade Eye said...

Very interesting post.

Often in Africa, it's days between flights.

Anonymous said...

Personally, all bans based on 'safety standards' are probably due more politically and economically related than safety related.

You think politicians even care about your safety?

Those that were unbanned probably pay suefficient 'inspection fee' and 'upgrading fee', and 'obey' to new 'safety regulations'.

Airbus might have lost lots of sale do these bans, since these airlines can't fly newly bought Airbus planes from Europe (they were banned remember?).

Unless of course the airlines suddely become 'safe' for flying new Airbus planes.

Anonymous said...

Recently I began attempting to learn a new language online, just to have something else to put on my CV, and I was amazed how many different types of language software there are available. In the end I decided to purchase some gear that would help me learn French and it has been amazing, I can’t believe how quickly I am picking it all up! Going to give Russian a go next!

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