lsgg
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:48 pm

Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:20 am

Hi there !


I'm sure many of us remember Air Afrique

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Photo © Alexis Boidron - Aeronantes Spotters
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A successful North African Airline which ended operation in 2001.

However I'm not sure if the company has completely disappear : Is there any chance to see it once again in the air ?
I've heard some years ago that in fact Air Afrique still existed but waited for an issue to fly again...

In one world : What is the statute of Air Afrique ?
Swissair forever !
 
SeeTheWorld
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:46 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:32 am

Air Afrique, while successful in its earlier years, was not even close to being successful in the end. I spent two weeks in Abidjan working with consultants trying desparately to save an airline - it was far too little too late.

Eleven French-speaking countries putting in their two cents about where to fly - guess what? Everyone nation wanted nonstops to Paris. Consider 4,000 employees for ten aircraft and the inability to trim the workforce. Near the end they had to pay cash for everything because of unpaid bills. For example, the pilots had to carry cash to buy fuel out outstations and other African countries wouldn't let them overfly because of late payments. Insurance and leases on aircraft were overdue. I was there for twelve days, and each day brought a new crises. That was February 2001 and somehow the carrier lasted almost another year if I'm not mistaken.

Having said that, the people of Cote d'Ivoire and Air Afrique were terrific and so friendly, and it was terribly sad to watch the airline come apart. And it's even sadder to monitor the unrest that seems to be getting worse and worse across the entire country.
 
md90fan
Posts: 2798
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:15 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:59 am

Quoting Lsgg (Thread starter):
A successful North African Airline which ended operation in 2001.

You mean West African  wink  IIRC AF had something to do with them, right?
http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15218
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:18 am

Quoting Lsgg (Thread starter):
A successful North African Airline which ended operation in 2001.

Succesful??? How 'bout horrendously mismanaged?  Silly
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
Tango-Bravo
Posts: 2887
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:22 am

Quoting SeeTheWorld (Reply 1):
Consider 4,000 employees for ten aircraft and the inability to trim the workforce.

The math says that's a ratio of 400 employees per aircraft; even the most inefficient U.S. legacy airlines are/recently were at around 125:1 while Southwest is at something around 75:1.
 
cornish
Posts: 7651
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:05 pm

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:30 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):
Succesful??? How 'bout horrendously mismanaged?

  

and lets not forget the number of business travellers who found out when they turned up at the airport that a member of a government minister's family had decided to fly at short notice on free or reduced tickets and the business flyer got booted off to make way for them.

No surprise that they preferred to fly AF,KL, SN, SR, etc etc.

Save perhaps Air Zimbabwe it was probably the airline that suffered most from corruption and freeloading by government ministers and their cronies.

[Edited 2006-02-03 17:31:46]
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
lsgg
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:48 pm

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:30 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):
successful??? How 'bout horrendously mismanaged?

Ok ok successful is a bit too strong, however their services used to be very good and appreciate, very similar to Air France by the way  Smile

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 2):
You mean West African IIRC AF had something to do with them, right?

Right, AF own a good part of that airline if I don't mistake.
Precisely : French Speaking Countries Africa Big grin

Quoting SeeTheWorld (Reply 1):
it was terribly sad to watch the airline come apart.

Thanks for sharing your experience !
But is Air Afrique still living ? (not flying though)
Swissair forever !
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15218
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:48 am

Quoting Lsgg (Reply 6):
their services used to be very good and appreciate, very similar to Air France by the way

That I'd believe Silly

Quoting Lsgg (Reply 6):
Ok ok successful is a bit too strong

Royal Air Maroc is trying to recreate Air Afrique more or less, without the corruption and cash hemorrhage and what not.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
soups
Posts: 3220
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:41 pm

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:14 am

RK was a noghtmare they didn't have any hub and flew from paris to Bangui, Abidjan, Dakar, Lome, Colonou, Ouagadoudou just to name a few with them on several occasions (ACC-ABJ-DKR-JFK-ABJ-ACC COO-DLA... DLA-LFW) Their service was good
way overstaffed
Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
 
SeeTheWorld
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:46 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:22 am

It was nuts in Abidjan for those 12 days.

One day we had one of the 767s repossessed in Paris.

Another day we had a hajj flight have to divert to N'Djamena, Chad because the Sudan wouldn't allow the flight in its airspace due to over $1 million in upaid overflight charges. The plane didn't have enough fuel to fly around Chad, and once it landed the pilots didn't have any cash to buy the extra fuel needed to return. I can't remember how we solved that one.

And another day, we had the pilots and many employees protesting outside the Air Afrique headquarters in downtown Abidjan because they heard we were furloughing upwards of half the workforce for three months to preserve cash. The laws in Cote D'Ivoire didn't allow anyone to loose their job without about 90% pay and benefits for up to three years, if I remember correctly. But there was a provision that allowed the airline to furlough employees for up to three months. We were doing that because we needed the cash because we couldn't make payroll (how ironic). It was a nightmare trying to decide who would retain their jobs. I honestly have no idea if the leaders were ever able to actually carry out the furlough.

I also saw the yearly salary of the president of the airline who had just stepped down. It was obscene, under the circumstances - I don't think it would be appropriate to say the figure.

We also heard a story about a particular flight months earlier to one of the surrounding West African countries. When the crew got to their hotel, there was no electricity, and it was a very hot night. The Captain, apparently, was so annoyed he went back to the airport (without the rest of the crew) and flew the plane back to Abidjan by himself. I think he was promoted to Chief pilot. This was heresay, but it was a story that everyone in the company seemed to know. Needless to say, I don't think he got up early the next morning and flew the plane back to pick up the passengers and crew.

It was a wild two weeks. Initially, our trip had been delayed a week at the outset because of an attempted coup.

And two days before I left, I had to go pick up my return ticket at the Sabena ticket office about a mile from headquarters. My French-only speaking driver (and I didn't speak a word of French), was forced to pull over on our drive back to headquarters by a "military guard" standing in the street with a pistol. Unfortunately, the guard only spoke French, and he was apparently telling my driver to make me pay him a bribe, but my driver was telling him that I didn't speak French and that he didn't speak English, so he couldn't tell me to give him money. The guard wanted ID, so I showed him my Air Afrique temporary ID card through the open window, but I wouldn't let it out of my hands, and I had no intentions of getting out of the car.

Finally, after things seemed to get tense, the guard took all of my driver's "papers" and we high-tailed it back to the headquarters. My driver was then pulled over by the police right after he dropped me off and "fined" for not having his "papers." Needless to say, I paid him the amount he was fined (about $10 USD), and expensed it on my expense report under "misc." - I titled it - "bribe paid to man on the street with a gun."

Ah - Good Times!!!
 
ETStar
Posts: 1850
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:25 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:59 am

Quoting Lsgg (Thread starter):
A successful North African Airline which ended operation in 2001.



Quoting Lsgg (Reply 6):
Right, AF own a good part of that airline if I don't mistake.
Precisely : French Speaking Countries Africa Big grin

Yup. And could it be said that it is ironic that AF is the one that benefited the most out of losing an airline it partly owned!

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 7):

Royal Air Maroc is trying to recreate Air Afrique more or less, without the corruption and cash hemorrhage and what not.

I doubt that any airline would want to recreate anything close to Air Afrique. RK was every owner-country's government airline, and imagine all leaders of each country wanting the airline to do things out of their cities. Imagine 1 weekly nonstop from Paris to each of those countries, not making sense whatsoever. RAM is creating separate airlines across the continent, with Air Sénégal and the other one being worked on in Gabon(?).
 
cedars747
Posts: 2584
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:04 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:37 pm

I never knew that Air afrique flew the B767.I lived in Abidjan for two years and flew RK AB300 and DC10.
Alex!!!

[Edited 2006-02-04 11:42:04]
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
SeeTheWorld
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:46 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:51 pm

Sorry, you're right Cedars747 - It was the A300 that was repossessed. They didn't fly the 767.
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:29 am

Quoting Lsgg (Thread starter):
A successful North African Airline which ended operation in 2001.

Successful? What???

They went out of business because they ran out of money.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
FlyDeltaJets
Posts: 1631
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:24 pm

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:43 pm

I flew RK from JFK DKR ACC and the service was good but in later years they need to do something about cleaning the inside of thier plane. At Terminal 1 in JFK nobody wanted to go aboard Air Afrique
The only valid opinions are those based in facts
 
flyjetstar
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:37 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:52 pm

I flew RK a number of times and will always remember the massive in flight meals I got. There was certainly no shortage of food and I never had to worry about going hungry. On one flight I remember turning down the offer of an extra meal I was so full!
 
EnviroTO
Posts: 723
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2004 12:11 pm

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:59 pm

Air Afrique is gone for good I think. Air Senegal, part owned by Royal Air Maroc, has taken over and based on most reports has better on time performance and good service. Hopefully the new Dakar Airport will start construction soon because the Dakar Yoff airport seems to be the big weakness of Air Senegal.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15218
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:33 pm

Quoting ETStar (Reply 10):
I doubt that any airline would want to recreate anything close to Air Afrique

Before RAM later set on Gabon, it wanted to create an "Air CEMAC" that would roughly span the domain of Air Afrique.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
md90fan
Posts: 2798
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:15 am

RE: Air Afrique Today?

Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:44 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 7):
Royal Air Maroc is trying to recreate Air Afrique more or less, without the corruption and cash hemorrhage and what not.

They seem to be trying to make a couple of airlines in different countries. Air CEMAC, the airline in Gabon, and didn't the gov't in Mauritania want RAM to stake a share in their airline(Air Maurtanie)?, Air Senegal. What other airlines do they have a share in or own?
http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/