Topic Author
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African Airlines

Thu Jul 06, 2000 6:57 pm

My question is about the african airlines: how safe they are, does anybody have any experience? What I know is that Ethopian airlines are considered to be quite good. Is that correct?
Thanks for your comments.
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RE: African Airlines

Thu Jul 06, 2000 7:17 pm

If you understand German, there is a good article in the todays (July 6) NZZ (Neue Zuercher Zeitung of Switzerland) about Ethiopien airlines:
They rate them very good, probaly the best African airline.

RE: African Airlines

Thu Jul 06, 2000 7:37 pm

Here's a really bad translation of the above article by AltaVista:

Needle strips in the African sky

the mirakuloese balance of payments on current account of Ethiopian airlines the Ethiopian airlines are anexception appearance under the African airlines. Although ingovernment property, has itself Ethiopian by different changes ofpower through a business elbow liberty retained and is remainedprofitable. Additionally the enterprise leads one the most importantUnterhaltsbasen on the continent.O. I. If the two terms airline and Africa in the same record meet,circumstances are rarely erbaulich - it is, the name Ethiopian pushesin addition. Who always came on its African journeys with Ethiopianairlines into contact, most likely comparatively good experiencesmade. And who the political circumstances includes, under which theenterprise has to function, succumbs to the temptation, its praise inovershot to dress. An airline in government property, whichcontinuously makes for 20 years gain, and which, how said, in Africa!When Ethiopian airlines were created 1946, the homeland base Ethiopiaranked among the few independent states on the continent. Godfatherwere trans the World airlines (TWA), which remained to start of theseventies at the page of the enterprise. Then the owner, theaethiopische state, into the political page make-up times, came whichhad already entered some of his neighbours in such a way. EmperorHaile Selassie, the " king of the kings ", was removed 1974 on therear seat of a Volkswagen beetle from the palace and killed later.The new ruler, Colonel Mengistu, used up himself communism. Toreplace the fleet of Ethiopian by Ilyushin the management, whopurchased the newest makes of Boeing, opposed its unjustified demand. Then tigrinische Guerillas marched into Addis Abeba and seized 1991the Zepter. They meant to have to delegate their own man to the pointof the enterprise. But always the new ruling powers have letztlic
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RE: African Airlines

Thu Jul 06, 2000 7:53 pm

You are right, it is a very bad translation and it is not the whole article. Unfortunatly I don't have time to translate it.
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2000 7:42 pm

RE: African Airlines

Thu Jul 06, 2000 7:56 pm

Thanks ZRH and Tailscraper.
My poor German and that translation give me some idea about Ethopian airlines.
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RE: African Airlines

Fri Jul 07, 2000 7:36 pm

South African Airway, Namibia Airlines, Royal Air Maroc,
Tunis Air have very good safety rate and inflight service
can easily compete with classic US and European
airlines....!!!! Unfortunately these names are not the top
of the iceberg, most of the other companies are not
safe...I've heard that LAC (Lignes Aériennes Congolaises) have been refused to land at Brussels
Airport due to failure to prove good aircraft maintenance

Anyway..there are other good companies, never tried
them unlike the others (above) but some of my friends
said they're can be pretty good: Air Afrique, Air Gabon
(with their sole B747-200) and Kenya Airways.

Just one thing..don't fall you all in that "ethno-centric"
point of view that all airlines in Africa are "flying coffins", some are...like ValueJet was in USA...but not
all of them !! Better to learn about Africa before posting
bad posts about some companies...just to mention
someone who posted one time ago that Ethiopian was
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RE: African Airlines

Fri Jul 07, 2000 9:44 pm

I would say Africa covers the entire spectrum, from Ethiopian, SAA, RAM, Egyptair, Air Madagascar, Air Namibia, Air Gabon, Kenya Airways, Air Tanzania et al all providing punctual, virtually accident free service with great food and friendly, mostly efficient staff.

At the other end of the spectrum are the cargo operators, which are mind-bendingly scary. How about these: planes taking off with wheels missing, a Tu154 taking off on TWO ENGINES on a revenue flight, flights being dispatched with cargo handlers in the right seat (707 single crew operation! ...plus a flight engineer), taking off with main cargo doors not latched ("we'll blow it shut on pressurisation")... A friend of mine was a loadmaster with DAS Air on the 707 and they took off with the Lower 41 avionics bay full of water from a burst pipe, and SOP was to load the aircraft until it was full (in other words, usually about 6t overweight - the plane can weigh itself on the gear), and then do these horrible 70 second long take off rolls with the captain heaving the yoke backand forth to try and 'bounce' the nosegear off the tarmac, to try and get some air under the wings. They used to lift off well into the reds every time. One flight was conducted with the left main gear down (it wouldn't come up), another with a faulty reverse thruster that wouldn't fully disengage. Some of the pilots would drink, others smoking big 'jazz cigarettes'. Many were supreme professionals, doing a great job (they don't have many accidents, after all) but another problem on the flight deck was inter-racial disputes / tribal stuff - CRM wasn't exactly order of the day when the pilot and co-pilot wouldn't speak to each other.

So there you go - I'd fly any of the airlines in the first list over Tower or ValuJet but the single-aircraft operations in the African cargo business are TERRIBLE.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: African Airlines

Sat Jul 08, 2000 5:50 pm

I have heard reports on TV that flights over the continent of Africa are prone to poor ATC coverage, and that pilots are basically on their own on the overland flights. They also said that on long north-south flights, they swing out over the Atlantic ocean to avoid flying overland (SAA, for example, does this). I don't remember the exact TV program, but it was one of those investigative reports on a network news program. So in addition to the scary practices of the cargo operators mentioned above, they also have to worry whether they'll run into each other.