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Africa World Airlines

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Africa World Airlines

Old 5th Oct 2011, 15:00
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Africa World Airlines

Hi guys,

I came across a job advert for driving the ERJ-145 for AWA. Does anyone have any experience of this company? Is it for real? Would it be a good idea?

Think it's based in Accra, Ghana.

Any information would be helpful

Thanks
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 23:50
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Do more research.
These things pop up regularly and are usually a scam.

Be suspicious and above all NEVER pay money up front for any fees, tests, travel to interviews etc.

If they are kosher someone here will know about it if you can give more clues.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 07:22
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Ok, point noted! Thanks for tip.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 13:44
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AFRICA WORLD IS FOR REAL

Africa World Airlines is a new start-up here in Accra.Check it out at flyafricaworld.com.A simple search on the web on this new airline would have provided enough information.It is simply not a SCAM.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 23:49
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Africa World Airlines is legitimate. We are quite pleased to respond here (or via any other channels that our team frequents) to any questions that you might have about the airline and our plans.

By way of background, our company was incorporated in November 2010 and received an Air Carrier License from Ghana Civil Aviation Authority in March 2011. ICAO code "AFW" and IATA code "AW" have been assigned. The AOC process commenced in March 2011 but various delays both within and outside our control (not unexpected in this part of the world) have meant that we are unlikely to commence operations until early-2012 in a best case scenario. We will begin operations with two leased ERJ-145s on domestic routes in Ghana and then expand to regional routes within a few months.

Our shareholders are a mix of Ghanaian and Chinese investors. The main promoter of the airline is Togbe Afede XIV, who is the Founder and CEO of the investment banking firm SAS Finance Group, as well as the paramount Chief of the Asogli State and a member of the President's Economic Advisory Council.

We are aware of the level of fraud involved in so-called airline recruitment in West Africa (we have already shut down two fraudulent accounts on LinkedIn and Facebook claiming to be recruiting on our behalf). There are no external agents presently engaged to recruit for us (although this may change in due course). All jobs are posted at Africa World Airlines - Recruitment . As noted there, any correspondence from us will be exclusively from email addresses in the @flyafricaworld.com domain.

Lots of new carriers coming to Ghana in the next few months (Starbow, fly540 and ourselves to name but three) so exciting times and crowded skies ahead. Thanks for starting this thread and as mentioned before, we're happy to answer any legitimate questions anyone may have here.
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Old 12th Oct 2011, 09:01
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Hi flyafricaworld,

Thanks for adding in your response. I have indeed searched for news about this airline and things all look prosperous.

Have you met all your pilot recruitment needs for when the airline actually starts up next year? I'm curious to know as it doean't look like you'll need many crew initially.

Do you actually have these aircraft yet?

How does the training deartment work? Do you have TRE's or will training be done elsewhere?

Same question for the maintainence of these aircraft - do you have your own facilities?
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Old 12th Oct 2011, 15:53
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Thumbs up

Aaaaah finally the old guys from Ghana Airways are giving way for new airline startup in Accra....about time eh..

There are a few of their country men keeping the Nigerian flag carriers in the air here in Lagos and a damn good job they have been doing I say...but maybe they are planning on flying their own flag soon, nothing like having a home cooked meal after a long day at work..Well considering the pay package is worth the move back Lol ....

Please keep us informed ooohh...
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Old 12th Oct 2011, 16:39
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Thanks for the comments/questions Prospin and BALEWA. I'd like to take a crack at answering them here.

Have we met our pilot needs for startup? Not an easy or straightforward answer. We have enough pilots in theory and a file filled with hundreds of CVs from around the world, but not necessarily the right profile of pilots with experience on type. We're still very keen to hear from Ghanaian pilots (with any level of experience or lack thereof) and from expats with ERJ-145 ratings (especially trainers). We do have a tentative agreement with an existing ERJ-145 operator to provide us with a few line trainers on secondment for the initial few months and we are also dealing with an agency who claims to be able to supply them on short term contracts. However, more direct recruits will reduce our dependence on costly third party solutions.

Do we have the aircraft already? No, but we have the paperwork in place for deliveries in Q1 next year, concurrent with our anticipated AOC issuance.

Training plan - Our Chief Pilot is a TRE/TRI already but we will be relying on a TRTO for the initial courses. We would like to have as much training capability as possible in-house, but that is subject to our ability to recruit/develop appropriate trainers with the appropriate skill sets. Existing ERJ-145 TREs are welcome to drop us a note anytime!

Maintenance (line and heavy) will be conducted in partnership with a third-party AMO until our own engineering department has sufficient experience on type to support it ourselves. We are always keen to hear from licensed engineers (anyone with Embraer avionics experience especially!) who are interested in relocating to Ghana.

BALEWA - always happy to hear from Ghanaians working abroad. Chances are that one of our team has spoken with some of them already though - there are not that many Ghanaian pilots out there! That said, I wouldn't dream of asking someone to quit a stable job to take a chance on an African startup (unless they were planning on quitting anyway), so in most cases the chats have been more of informational introductions than anything else. Please drop me a note here if anyone is planning on coming through Accra and would like to visit us for a chat and discussion of future possibilities. As for pay, well we have to be competitive with others in the West African market if we want to attract candidates, but at the same time we cannot afford to pay the "Nigeria premiums" that draw many pilots there. Never had anyone cringe at the ballpark numbers we've discussed yet (not too many wide smiles either though!), so we're probably pegged in the right range.
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Old 12th Oct 2011, 18:26
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Sounds Good flyafricaworld and best wishes from Lagos.

And might just take you up on that invitation in Accra ...you never know

Regards
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Old 13th Oct 2011, 08:57
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@ flyafricaworld,

Thanks for answering my questions so comprehensively. It appears everything looks like it is well planned out and will hopefully turn into a success for you.

The only unfortunate part is the amount of cv's which you already have on file to fill the upcoming jobs!!
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Old 13th Oct 2011, 11:12
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ERJ Manpower Support.

Fly Africa World - best of luck, nice Aircraft for regional operations, look forward to seeing you expand - with regards to manpower support, what I would recommend to you is to look at the company's website with whom you have an agreement to work with, see how many ERJ positions they have up there, if they have a couple, how can they tell you that you "are our top customer", there's only so many ways to split manpower.
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Old 16th Oct 2011, 16:24
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Hi golf14 - Thanks for the tips and advice. The manpower company we are working with is well reputed in the industry and we have done our share of due diligence on them, including visiting their offices and speaking with other clients of theirs. I will be sure to keep your kind offer of assistance in mind when the appropriate time comes though.
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 15:18
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Been a While...

So Fly Africa, how are things? You were hoping to begin operations in 1Q 2012, is that going well? New delays?
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 16:01
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No IATA code allocated.
No obvious website updates since August last year.

Another African dream.
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Old 21st Jan 2012, 10:58
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So Fly Africa, how are things? You were hoping to begin operations in 1Q 2012, is that going well? New delays?
Thanks for the inquiry. Things are progressing largely per schedule but with the usual share of expected minor delays.

Our engineering team has completed their ERJ-145 classroom course already and are proceeding for the OJT component of their course in a few weeks.

Our first batch of Ghanaian pilots (3 Captains, 3 FOs) are commencing their ERJ-145 type-rating this upcoming Monday.

Cabin Crew start their training on February 13th.

Various other things also coming together and mid-end March remains the target for start of flight operations as of today.
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Old 21st Jan 2012, 11:12
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Originally Posted by Capetonian
No IATA code allocated.
No obvious website updates since August last year.
Another African dream.
Capetonian, I'd like to correct you on the above.

We have been allocated IATA code "AW". You can verify this on the IATA website if you desire :

Codes - Airline and Airport Codes Search

I will however plead guilty on not having updated the website front page for a few months. We have made some changes to the recruitment page inside, but the "web team" (yes, it sounds fancier when I call the two of us who handle it a "team") has been more focused on integrating the online booking and payment functionality recently. I shall make an update this weekend however to keep you happy.

I do understand the skepticism regarding African startups. That is one reason why we are not going to make a big public fuss about ourselves until we are off the ground. Talk is cheap. We intend to let our actions speak for themselves in due course.

Thanks again to all who have messaged and emailed with support, advice and comments over the last few months. In a few months, we hope that our "African dream" will have become an "African reality".
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 12:08
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Thank you for the update.

I am glad you understand the degree of scepticism, but I would like to join those who have wished you success. West Africa needs a properly run airline, run by people from the aviation industry rather than tribal chiefs and politicans who want large fingers in the small pie. I hope you can achieve this.

I note that the AW code has been allocated by IATA on a provisional basis, as it currently belongs to Rutas Aereas de Venezuela, and is shown as such in the GDS systems.

Have you planned routes, aircraft procurement, and distribution channels?
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 21:01
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I note that the AW code has been allocated by IATA on a provisional basis, as it currently belongs to Rutas Aereas de Venezuela, and is shown as such in the GDS systems.
Once again, not quite accurate. AW is presently issued as a controlled duplicate to ourselves and Alwafeer Air of Saudi Arabia. Alwafeer is an exclusively charter operation with no distribution or operational overlap.

IATA no longer does provisional allocations. You have to meet the criteria for full allocation before they will issue you a code. The code is rescinded after 18 months of non-operation or if surrendered by the operator. My assumption is that the Venezuelan carrier referenced is no longer in operation and their code has been withdrawn, but the GDS systems have not yet updated with this info.

Have you planned routes, aircraft procurement, and distribution channels?
Yes we have, in great detail. Distribution especially is an area that we are investing heavily, in sharp contrast to most African airlines. If you don't mind, I'll quote from our press information package to avoid saying too little or too much.

Africa World Airlines intends to offer a value-oriented product utilising Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet aircraft domestically. Subsequent plans include an expansion into West African markets using larger aircraft types. The focus will be on offering a baseline “no frills” product at lowest possible cost and generating ancillary revenues from value added services. The airline will use technology to create locally customised "direct to consumer" channels for marketing and sales, including a reliance on indigenous networks such as mobile phone based systems for booking and payment. The route network will be structured to create a hub-and-spoke model centred upon Accra, allowing seamless one-change connections between multiple city pairs on a single ticket for the first time in Ghana. The company has selected Navitaire’s “New Skies” system for reservations and related activities, and the Navitaire “Geneva” suite for Flight Operations support.

I would like to join those who have wished you success. West Africa needs a properly run airline, run by people from the aviation industry rather than tribal chiefs and politicans who want large fingers in the small pie. I hope you can achieve this.
Thanks for the wishes. Our management team have all had experience of being frustrated in airlines run by people "who want large fingers in small pies", so we are working hard to try to develop a different culture here. It is difficult to change the perception of employees, regulators and customers overnight though! Time will tell if we are successful.
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Old 21st Feb 2012, 18:48
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Hi flyafricaworld,

I'm a young aviation enthusiast in Accra. There are a few Ghanaian pilots with CPL MEIR out there who would like to join your airline. The question is, you already have 6 pilots currently in type training, and are launching with only two planes (ERJ145) so is there any room for more pilots at the moment? and how many hours a month on average will a pilot expect to fly.

Also in terms of operating cost, relative the other start-ups (fly540, starbow, antrak, ctk etc.) isnt the ERJ more expensive to operate over shorter routes? I thought they perform better over longer regional routes because they burn less fuel at altitude than the ATR-72... cant say the same for the 4-engine BAE though.

Just curious? could anyone here enlighten me on the decision to use the ERJ145 and would you use larger jets like the 175 or 190 in the future.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 22nd Feb 2012, 16:43
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I'm a young aviation enthusiast in Accra. There are a few Ghanaian pilots with CPL MEIR out there who would like to join your airline. The question is, you already have 6 pilots currently in type training, and are launching with only two planes (ERJ145) so is there any room for more pilots at the moment? and how many hours a month on average will a pilot expect to fly.
Yes, we would like to bring on board a second batch of 6 pilots in May after operations start. We are very keen on hearing from young Ghanaian CPL holders so please be in touch.

How many hours a month? Realistically, I can't expect more than 50-55 hrs at most during the initial stages while aircraft utility is still low. Domestic operations are still restricted to daylight hours, so there is only a limited number of sectors to go around. As aircraft utility improves, so will the number of hours available. In recognition of this though, we offer comprehensive monthly salary rather than hourly pay.

Also in terms of operating cost, relative the other start-ups (fly540, starbow, antrak, ctk etc.) isnt the ERJ more expensive to operate over shorter routes? I thought they perform better over longer regional routes because they burn less fuel at altitude than the ATR-72... cant say the same for the 4-engine BAE though.
Excellent question and I'm glad to see it asked here.

Without going into specific details on the numbers (gotta keep some things proprietary!), the ERJ-145 has a unit cost over 50 seats pretty much equivalent to the BAe146 over 90 seats. That also means the trip DOC for the BAe is about 80% higher. The higher capacity of that aircraft though means that they would have to fill almost 60 seats to break even (hypothetically), whereas we would need only 35 seats to break even at the same price point on the same route. Similarly, the ATR72 has a trip cost over 70 seats pretty much equivalent to the ERJ-145 over 50 seats, giving the ATR72 a unit cost advantage of approx. 30-40%. This is not a trivial number and handicaps us somewhat when competing against that aircraft. The Saab340 and ATR42 are within 10-15% of the ERJ-145 on unit costs so these are less of an issue. Cost wise, the advantage is definitely with fly540 and their ATR72.

The benefits the ERJ-145 brings us though is its ability to serve routes that are too far for the ATR and too thin for the BAe. Our choice of name is probably the first clue that Africa World Airlines does not intend to restrict ourself to domestic operations. We have to think further ahead and the ERJ-145 checked the right boxes with regards to availability of airframes and technical expertise, ownership costs, range, payloads, short field performance and all the other issues that have to be considered when making a key decision like this. We believe that the ERJ-145 can serve as an optimal aircraft to open up thin regional markets that have hitherto seen infrequent service as best. The regional yields in West Africa are such that even with a significant yield dilution, there are a number of new markets that the combination of range and capacity makes feasible.

Our stakeholders also made a strong case for jets versus props, both from the perspective of passenger perception (as an example, Starbow's 23-year old BAe146 is viewed more favourably than fly540's brand new ATR72 in market surveys of prospective passengers) as well as with respect to speed. The few minutes of block time savings on each short sector become critical when a reasonable proportion of operations are into airfields with restricted operating hours. It makes the difference between being able to squeeze 3 or 4 rotations out of an aircraft during the operating day, and correspondingly helps to reduce the ownership cost component of the DOCs.

would you use larger jets like the 175 or 190 in the future.
Probably not. I've spent many hours with Embraer sales and marketing teams while they try to make the case to us for the E-Jet family. Unfortunately, the unit cost benefit of the 175/190 is not really significant over its larger Airbus/Boeing counterparts with the mission profile we would use it for and the range benefit of the 175/190 over the 145 is not really beneficial to us with an Accra base. The extra range pretty much allows us to serve a larger swathe of desert, jungle or water depending in which direction you start off. There are no key markets from Accra that the 175/190 opens up that the 145 cannot serve, or that a larger aircraft type would not lend a cost advantage on. When it comes to a second aircraft type for higher capacity and further afield routes, we are instead looking at the 737 and A320 families (at least initially). The C-Series would be our perfect aircraft with regards to the balance of capacity, costs and range, but we're still a few years at least away from that being a reality. In the meanwhile, we like to dream!
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