Podcast

PODCAST 39: Optimism as Africa and Middle East sees positive growth for 2021

Posted on 23 December 2020

The final aerospace and defence podcast for the Middle East and Africa for this year closes on a positive note.

Kenya’s Aberdair Aviation which has been delivering ACMI charter operations for almost two decades is expanding its business with a new base in the Democratic Republic of Congo.   The airline’s CEO Adrian Wilcox talks to Alan Peaford about his fleet plans and the strategy of multi-AOCs from Kenya, Ghana and now Kinshasa with Tanzania and Uganda in the pipeline.   Steve Nichols takes a look at JSSI, the company that brought power-by-the-hour to the business aviation world and talks to Pascale Barhouch the new head of business development based in Dubai.   Demand for engine maintenance saw MTU opening a new office in Dubai just ahead of the March lockdown.   MRO editor, Chuck Grieve asks Sami

PODCAST 38: How one African airline is preparing for return of tourism

Posted on 17 December 2020

Tourism provides an enormous boost for a number of countries in Africa and the Middle East. In Africa, safaris have been the lifeblood for the GDPs of countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

The coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that. So what happens to an airline that almost exclusively has a business model that focuses on serving tourists. The CEO of Kenya’s Safarilink, Alex Avedi explains the impact the virus had on the boutique airline to African Aerospace correspondent Edward Njeru. He also outlines the strategy going forward and plans for new aircraft to fuel the growth when tourists return. Another airline looking to the future is the UAE’s flagcarrier Etihad Airways. Guest experience and delivery vice president, Linda Celestino explains how passengers may have different expectations on their

PODCAST 37: How Qatar rode the storm and Dassault’s new Falcon

Posted on 10 December 2020

As Dassault rolls out its first new business jet of a generation, which legitimately can claim to be a game changer, we hear how the 6X took its place in Falcon family.

But while business aviation is looking at new horizons, the airline business has been in survival mode – or as Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways group says, it is about doing the right thing. Qatar kept flying throughout global lockdowns and in this piece, Al Baker explains just how that was done. We also get to talk to French company Moment who have a new portable wireless IFE system and have been selected by Air Senegal to introduce this to its fleet. This, plus all the news for the aerospace industry across the Middle East and Africa.

PODCAST 36: Africa's challenges to distribute Covid vaccine

Posted on 3 December 2020

With encouraging news around the world regarding approvals of different Covid-19 vaccines, attention swings to distribution of the vital cargo.

  The UAE has already developed airside warehousing to act to as a hub for the distribution. But what about Africa? We talk to Sanjeev Gadhia, the CEO of Africa’s largest cargo carrier, Astral Aviation and the chair of AFRAA’s cargo committee and vice chair of industry body TIACA, about the situation across the continent. Astral has been one of the few airlines in the world to have seen positive growth during the pandemic and Gadhia also explains why he believes Africa’s airlines need to pay attention to the cargo markets as a pathway to growth and recovery and beyond. In the programme we also talk to Rolls-Royce head of aftermarket technology, Dr Ian Mitchell about a new

PODCAST 35: Change abounds at IATA and new cargo boost while ATM has a new approach

Posted on 26 November 2020

As IATA holds its AGM there are clear signs of change. CEO Alexandre de Juniac is stepping down and will be succeeded by the loquacious former IAG chief Willie Walsh who takes no time to take off the diplomatic gloves and point figures at misguided governments.

In this week’s podcast we hear from both of them as they lay out future direction IATA will take. While airlines have been seen to be bearing the brunt of the travel collapse, CANSO reports that air navigation service providers have lost more than $9 billion so far since the start of the pandemic. We talk to Ryyan Tarabzoni , the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s air navigation provider SANS about solutions. Five BAE-146 jets are being brought into the fleet of Uganda’s Zone Four International as the Entebbe flight services operator swings toward approval

PODCAST 34 : Why India is vital to Middle East aviation recovery

Posted on 19 November 2020

As the true green shoots of recovery begin to show we look at how some old links will prosper as travel restarts in earnest. For Middle Eastern markets the Indian sub-continent will be vital.

Special guest for this week’s programme is Sanjiv Kapoor, who is now senior advisor at global consulting firm Alton Aviation. Sanjiv has been a key figure in India’s airline industry having been chief strategy and commercial officer of Vistara – the joint venture airline between TATA and Singapore Airlines, and was previously chief operating officer for successful low-cost carrier SpiceJet. Kapoor tells Alan Peaford that in some ways, India been one of the “proxy home markets” for the Gulf ‘Big Three’ carriers and Indian carriers have not been able to compete very well. But in this in-depth interview he

PODCAST 33: Keys to revive aviation

Posted on 12 November 2020

Collaboration and passenger confidence are key! This week's programme comes from the African airline industry's AFRAA annual general assembly. Although on a virtual platform this year, airline CEOs and representatives from governments, associations and the whole aviation supply chain logged in.

  Our air transport editor Victoria Moores and airports editor Chloe Greenbank were there too and they give their overview on the future for the industry.   In the programme we hear from Sanjeev Ghadia the CEO of Astral Aviation, Yvonne Makolo, CEO of RwandAir and Angola’s Minister of Transport Ricardo de Abreu, as they individually call for action not word.   De Abreu says Angola is embracing principles of greater connectivity even though it hasn’t progressed with SAATM, while Makolo

Special INSIGHT Report: Understanding Saudi vision for defence industry

Posted on 11 November 2020

This week's Insight programme, hosted by Marcelle Nethersole, looks at the world of two of the major players in Africa and the Middle East regions.

  Saudi Arabia has ambitious plans to develop its defence industry and has given GAMI - the Kingdom’s General Authority for Military Industries - a mandate to localize 50% of Saudi Arabia’s military spending over the next decade. A key part of the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy GAMI will act as the regulator, enabler and licensor for the defence industry and will work with international defence companies and specifically the OEMs to see this change through. The Governor of GAMI, His Excellency, Ahmad Al Ohali, talks to defence editor Alan Warnes about the three strategic focus pillars: industry regulation; acquisition; and technology and, also explains why the organisation is

PODCAST 32: Why outsourcing can aid air transport recovery

Posted on 5 November 2020

In this week's look into the world of aerospace and defence across the Middle East and Africa, Peter Mohring, managing director of transport at Serco Middle East, explains why it has never been timelier for the air transport sector to embrace outsourcing to help with post pandemic recovery.

Serco provides services across the Gulf from the UAE to Iraq including air traffic management services in Dubai, Sharjah and Baghdad. Mohring says as one of the first industries affected, overnight the pandemic sent the aviation industry into crisis mode, with overall air traffic levels down by about 80 percent globally. This obviously came with a huge economic price tag for the industry and all its adjacent segments, such as tourism, hospitality and supply chains that depend on and support the sector. Unsurprisingly cost

PODCAST 31: Flying on the wild side - and how to stay safe

Posted on 29 October 2020

Safety is always a priority for airlines and while technology has made giant strides to aid flights - sometimes just shouting can make a difference.

  That’s what Airports Editor Chloe Greenback discovered when she looked at how bird-strikes and other wildlife incursions at airfields impact aviation safety. These represent as much as 3% of aircraft safety incidents – and cost the industry more than $1.2 billion annually - with the majority of the challenges being from bird strikes. IN this week’s programme Chloe talks to Cerian Henshaw, Director of Operations at Aviaire Ltd, a wildlife hazard management company working with airports around the world. Africa in particular has a wide variery of wildlife challenges and Cerian is talking from Banjal in The Gambia and shares some of the strategies

PODCAST 30: THE SHOWS MUST GO ON?

Posted on 22 October 2020

Will aerospace and defence shows continue or will virtual conferences take their place? That has been a big debate around an industry spending a lot of time at home.

  This week we hear from Douglas Emslie, the chief executive of Tarsus, the owner of F&E in the UAE and the organiser of the Dubai Air Airshow. He talks through the challenges facing events in the world but outlines his hopes for revival in the Middle East region. Mark Brown, managing director of TIMES Aerospace also offers an optimistic view of African revival and the forthcoming Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition to be held in Kigali, Rwanda 21-22 April 2021. There is also a chance to hear the ‘inside story’ from defence editor Jon Lake, who gives his ‘from our correspondent’ insight about the current quandary facing the USA over

PODCAST 29: Right-sizing airline fleets for post Covid connectivity

Posted on 15 October 2020

Airlines need to be planning now for the revival in connectivity. The newly appointed vice president for Embraer's commercial jet business in Africa, Middle East and Europe, Cesar Pereira joins Alan Peaford to talk about the changing demands on air travel and how right-sizing the fleet will lead to greater flexibility and profitability for the airlines.

  As former head of Embaer Commercial’s consulting division, and until recently vice president for Asia, Pereira has in-depth knowledge of the airline industry and shares his thoughts about the future. We also talk about changing to the regulations for voice and data recorders – the black boxes – and from January newly registered aircraft will be expected to have up to 25 hours recording time on voice recorders – and us much as

Special INSIGHT Report: The Black Box - changing data recording with L3Harris

Posted on 13 October 2020

In recent years the 'black box': Flight data recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) has come under scrutiny in a number of high-profile aircraft crashes - or disappearances.

Questions have been asked - has technology kept up with changing profile of airline routes and range profiles? Is there now so much data being picked up by sensors and downloaded to the airlines or their maintenance partners? Is there analysis paralysis? And shouldn’t we be sharing data more? Technology company L3Harris – the combined business of L3 Technologies and the Harris Corporation - have been in the aviation technology market for more than six decades.   The company’s civil arm ranges from pilot training through to leading avionics solution.   Among these are those flight recorders.   Alan Peaford

PODCAST 28: Space supersonic and super service

Posted on 8 October 2020

It is international space week and the Middle East and Africa region has been doing its bit.

Space Editor Steve Nichols looks at how a university in Ras Al Khaimah is doing its bit for the environment by sending its own satellite into space. Things are speeding up in the airways as well with this week’s launch of the first flight test article – the XB-1 – for Boom Supersonic’s Overture jet. CEO Blake Scholl outlines why the successor to Concorde could appeal to the passenger and the pockets of the Gulf carriers. A key component of the supersonic aircraft – with tickets that match business class fares – is that it brings people together. That has been a challenge during the Covid pandemic. But Chuck Grieve, our MRO editor, talks to Etihad Engineering about how the Abu Dhabi based company has been able to

PODCAST 27: Focus on Defence in virtual and real worlds

Posted on 1 October 2020

Defence takes centre stage at this week's news and feature programme for the Middle East and Africa's aerospace, aviation and defence podcast.

  TIMES Aerospace’s defence editor Alan Warnes sniffs out the only airshow taking place in the world and heads to the eastern reaches of the Czech Republic in search of stories from Africa and the Middle East. And all works out well. A coffee with Micael Johansson, CEO of Swedish manufacturer Saab reveals more about the company’s relationship with the UAE as the second Global Eye aircraft is delivered to the emirates this week.   Local Czech OEM AERO Vodochody were celebrating the European certification of the L39ng – the next generation of the Albatross. Jakub Hoda explained to Alan how the Nigerian Air Force was upgrading its existing Albatross aircraft and could be in the

PODCAST 26: Business bounce back and hydrogen in the air

Posted on 24 September 2020

With the region's biggest business aviation event - the MEBAA Show - postponed until February 2021, this week's TIMES Aerospace podcast hears just how strongly the sector is bouncing back with optimism.

Our special guest is Rob DiCastri, the president and CEO of Royal Jet, the Abu Dhabi-based luxury carrier with the world’s biggest Boeing Business Jet fleet. The carrier has established a strong position in Africa as well as the Middle East and had widely published plans for establishing bases in Eswatini and Saudi Arabia and DiCastri explains how Covid has impacted plans but shows how it has also created opportunity.   Enquiries from new potential customers are on the up. But can they be converted into a new customer base?   Also, looking not just for a customer base but also technology partners, is

PODCAST 25: The inside story for safer cabins

Posted on 17 September 2020

This week's TIMES Aerospace podcast for the African and Middle East aerospace, defence and aviation market takes a look at changes in the cabin that should affect passenger confidence and safety.

Roger Patron from the UK’s completions company RAS – an interiors business known for its work on head of state cabins, most recently with two West African countries – has turned its attention to commercial aircraft cabins and developed a shield which sits between seats and protects fellow passengers from droplets that could escape masks. Already one Gulf carrier has sets being trialled on an aircraft.   RAS’s Roger Patron explains the background to the protectors and how they work. In last week’s programme we heard that Flydubai – the UAE hybrid carrier – has introduced RFID (radio

PODCAST 24: Preparing people for a safe bounce back

Posted on 11 September 2020

This week, training takes the centre stage in our weekly news magazine podcast for the Middle East and Africa.

A leading light in the Women in Aviation movement in the Middle East, Kinda Sarrage, joins us in her ‘day job’ role as vice president sales, for the commercial aviation arm of L3 Harris in Middle East, Africa and South Asia.   Kinda talks about the latest initiative to increase pilot numbers for Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom shows great prospects for recovery.   Meanwhile in Africa, safety remains a key talking point and training need. Tom Kok, director of the AviAssist Foundation introduces next month’s virtual safety conference over four days and talks about the challenges and success of safety culture across the continent – and explains how listeners could win a watch as they learn about safety.

PODCAST 23: Stay safe on board ... or else!

Posted on 4 September 2020

This week's TIMES Aerospace podcast hears about the firm warnings being provided in regards to passenger behaviour.

The former CEO of Kenya Airways, Sebastian Mikosz, joins his IATA colleagues for the overview of the industry recovery – or lack of it – as passengers ignore safety rules and put public confidence in doubt.   Mikosz explains the law – and how crews should respond to such behaviour.   As IATA’s CEO Alexandre de Juniac outlines a new three-point plan for global recovery, Chief economist Brian Pearce and Mikosz explain how the Middle East and African connectivity is faring. Getting aircraft back into the air is certainly no easy matter as Chuck Grieve discovers when he listens to Martin Bell from Gama Aviation’s Flyer Tech.   This, plus all the news from across the region.

Top Feature Story
in Defence / Features

Drones over the desert

Posted 2 March 2021

Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) are becoming a key enabler for African military and security forces in combatting terrorism and armed militancy. The expansion in UAV fleets across the continent has not escaped the Sahel, where

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