CO2 could become the new jet fuel

A team at Oxford University in the United Kingdom has come up with an experimental process that might be able to turn carbon dioxide—a greenhouse gas emitted by all gas-burning engines—into jet fuel. If successful, the process, which uses an iron-based chemical reaction, could result in “net zero” emissions from airplanes.

The experiment, reported on Sunday in the journal Nature Communications, was conducted in a laboratory and still needs to be replicated at a larger scale. But the chemical engineers who designed and performed the process are hopeful that it could be a climate game-changer.

“Climate change is accelerating, and we have huge carbon dioxide emissions,” says Tiancun Xiao, a senior research fellow at Oxford’s Department of Chemistry and an author on the paper. “The infrastructure of hydrocarbon fuels is already there. This process could help relieve climate change and use the current carbon infrastructure for sustainable development.”

When fossil fuels like oil or natural gas burn, their hydrocarbons are turned into carbon dioxide, and water and energy are released. This experiment reverses the process to turn carbon dioxide back into a fuel using something called the organic combustion method (OCM). By adding heat (350 degrees Celsius, which is 662 degrees Fahrenheit) to citric acid, hydrogen, and a catalyst made of iron, manganese, and potassium to the carbon dioxide, the team was able to produce liquid fuel that would work in a jet engine. The experiment was done in a stainless-steel reactor and only produced a few grams of the substance.

In the lab, the carbon dioxide came from a canister. But the idea for adapting the concept for the real world would be to capture large amounts of the greenhouse gas from either a factory or directly from the air in order to remove it from the environment. Carbon dioxide is the most common of the planet-warming greenhouse gases, and it is produced by factories, cars, and wood burning, including forest fires and slash-and-burn agriculture. Keeping it out of the atmosphere might help reduce global warming, although the world’s carbon emissions have been rising for the past few decades and are on a path to warm the planet by 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

IMF Staff says Seychelles’ Economic outlook for 2019 remains positive

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Mr. Amadou Sy in Seychelles says delays in the implementation of Air Seychelles’ restructuring plan could undermine government’s efforts to sustain strong fiscal primary surpluses and jeopardize medium-term public debt reduction goals.

President Danny Faure

The team visited Victoria from March 6‒19 to conduct discussions on the 2019 Article IV consultation and the third review under the Policy Coordination Instrument Arrangement with Seychelles.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Sy issued the following statement:

“Macroeconomic performance continued to be strong in 2018. Economic growth reached 4.1 percent, reflecting increased tourism earnings and stronger output in the fishing industry. Helped by prudent monetary policy and a stable exchange rate, inflation was contained throughout 2018. The external current account deficit narrowed to 17.1 percent of GDP, while net international reserves exceeded the program target by US$31 million. Supported by lower than budgeted capital outlays and strong tax revenue growth, the 2018 primary fiscal surplus reached 3.2 percent of GDP, comfortably exceeding the program target. The end-2018 inflation target (annual average) was met by a comfortable margin, due to prudent monetary policy and declining international fuel prices in late 2018.

“Economic outlook for 2019 remains positive. The declining trend in international fuel prices up to early 2019 could have a positive impact on the external balance in 2019, while some of the fiscal measures in the 2019 budget could put pressure on inflation and on the balance of payments. International reserves are expected to remain at an adequate level, anchored by prudent macroeconomic policies. Downside risks to the outlook stem largely from the external sector.

“The mission discussed permanent fiscal measures in 2020 that would help secure the medium-term debt reduction target. It also stressed that delays in the implementation of Air Seychelles’ restructuring plan could undermine government’s efforts to sustain strong fiscal primary surpluses and jeopardize medium-term public debt reduction goals. The team concurred with the authorities about the need to address structural weaknesses and promote inclusive growth, including through further diversification in the context of the Blue Economy initiatives, improving the business climate, Fintech, and strengthening the state-owned enterprise sector. The Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) should continue to maintain a flexible exchange rate while limiting foreign exchange interventions to the extent needed to avoid excess volatility and preserve reserve coverage at an adequate level. At the same time, the CBS is called upon to remain vigilant to inflationary pressure stemming from rising domestic demand including from fiscal measures in the 2019 budget.

“Subject to the approval of IMF Management, the IMF Executive Board is expected to discuss the completion of the review and the Article IV consultation in June 2019. The mission appreciates the high quality of the discussions and thanks the authorities for their hospitality, as well as the open and constructive dialogue.”

The team met with His Excellency President Danny Faure, Minister of Finance, Trade, Investment, and Economic Planning Loustau-Lalanne, and Governor of the CBS Caroline Abel, as well as other government officials, members of the National Assembly, and representatives of the private sector and civil society.

Moroccan Airports Authority Partners with National Aviation Services to bring Innovation to Airports in Marrakech

First of its kind solution across Africa; E-gates offer quicker lounge access to passengers

The Moroccan Airports Authority (ONDA) partnered with National Aviation Services (NAS) (, the fastest growing aviation services provider in the emerging markets to launch the first electronic gates (E-gates) at the Pearl Lounge in the Marrakech Menara Airport departures area. This is the first of its kind solution across Africa.

With this new state-of-the-art, self-service check in, guests visiting the Pearl Lounge can access the lounge faster without checking in at the reception desk or waiting in a queue.  The passengers simply scans their printed or online boarding pass at the gate and enter the lounge.

The E-gate effectively captures all the boarding pass data, checks eligibility, enters the transaction into a database for billing and reporting, and opens the gate for eligible passengers – all in less than 2 seconds.  The E-gate also supports lounge membership cards and vouchers. 

The same technology will soon be adopted at other Pearl Lounges in Morocco as well as across other lounges in the NAS network.

NAS has been exclusively managing the refurbishment and operations of 16 lounges across nine airports in Morocco, following a ten-year concession awarded by the Moroccan Airports Authority (ONDA).

Hassan El-Houry, Group CEO of NAS said “As the exclusive lounge operator for the Moroccan Airports Authority (ONDA) in Morocco, NAS is responsible for bringing world class facilities and services to the local airports. Since kicking off operations in the country, we have invested in infrastructure, resources and training; provided operational expertise, state of the art technology solutions and industry benchmarked services, to launch and manage refurbished lounges across the country. The newly introduced E-gates will help enhance our offerings in the country and amplify our efforts to ensure that Moroccan airports supersede recognized international airports around the world.”

NAS is currently present in 17 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa; providing ground handling services to seven out of the world’s top ten airlines and managing 31 airport lounges. With an expanded portfolio of aviation services and certified by IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO), NAS also has demonstrated expertise in supporting local hub carriers in the Middle East and Africa. 

African Development Bank, stakeholders chart new course for aviation

The African Development Bank assembled top representatives from African airlines, aviation industry organizations, civil aviation and regulatory authorities, airplane manufacturers, financiers and development partners to discuss the future of aviation in Africa.

csm_aviation_42a201c62fThe Bank initiated the consultation to obtain the views of stakeholders as it prepares its action plan on aviation on the heels of the launch by the African Union of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative in January.

Alongside the main conference, two events took place, which were led by African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid and Symerre Grey Johnson, Head of Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The meetings captured the conference outcomes in a coordinated roadmap for SAATM implementation in Africa.

“We are keen to support practical efforts by countries, regional organizations and companies from the aviation sector to increase connectivity and reduce and open up the African skies,” Pierre Guislain, the Bank’s Vice-President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, said in his opening remarks.

The central aspect of SAATM is to allow member airlines to fly to airports in other member countries to achieve ‘open skies’ in Africa, thereby boosting traffic and trade and achieving double-digit growth in the industry by 2023 in line with the SAATM initiative.

Much of the discussion at the conference revolved around the practical measures needed to achieve these goals and remove persistent challenges facing the industry, including high fares, fees and charges, poor infrastructure and expensive access to finance. Air fares in Africa are two or three times those in other parts of the world for comparable distances.

Numerous suggestions on policy and solutions emerged at the two-day event including a strong recommendation for a regional approach to accelerate aviation safety and security plans, and the extension of capacity building training to all aviation technical and executive staff.

Delegates called for a greater focus on fleet size, prioritizing narrow body and regional aircrafts in aviation financing. They also called for increased government commitment, and an alignment of national frameworks to international conventions. The meeting urged governments to adopt a more collaborative decision-making approach, with consultations at regional levels, for construction of both airport and air navigation services infrastructure.

Delegates frequently referred to a 2014 InterVISTAS study, commissioned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which modeled the impact of an open skies agreement among 12 African countries. Passenger traffic in those countries was projected to increase by more than 80% to 11 million passenger movements from 6.1 million. The economic effect of open skies was even more impressive. The study estimated that GDP would grow by US $1.3 billion with the creation of 155,000 jobs.

The Director of the African Development Bank’s Infrastructure and Urban Development Department, Amadou Oumarou, said, “We are going to prepare an action plan, not just for the Bank but for all stakeholders. When that has been done, we shall devise the Bank’s aviation strategy framework.”

The African Development Bank has invested close to US $1 billion over the past decade in the construction and expansion of airport terminals, as well as aviation safety and aircraft financing.

Sierra Leone: President Koroma commissions Mamamah airport project

By State House Communication Unit

Few days to the March 7 general elections, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Thursday 1st March 2018 commissioned the construction of the Mamamah International Airport at Mamboima off Songo Village, Koya Chiefdom in Port Loko district.

Delivering his keynote address, President Koroma expressed delight that in a few days to elections and his retirement, he is commissioning his dream project that will transform and take the country to the next level adding, that the construction of the Mamamah project is one of the projects put aside to transform the country.

He also disclosed that the next administration will commission the construction of the long anticipated Lungi Bridge which will transform Lungi and it’s environs into an economic zone.

He pointed out that in transforming a nation and creating the foundation to attaining a middle income country by 2035, bold decisions have to be taken. “We have to take big and bold decisions that are visionary,” citing Kwame Nkrumah’s decision to construct the Akosombo Dam that has yielded dividends for the people of Ghana.

He stated that when he came into governance in 2007, three projects which included the expansion of the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, the Mamamah airport and the construction of the Lungi Bridge that will transform Lungi were specifically put together to usher the country into an era of great economic development pointing out, that the Mamamah Airport will bring employment, development of tourism, connect with the international world among others.

This development, the president said, should go along with the construction of an administrative block, new state house, parliament, ministerial section, judiciary and an environment that will transform Koya into the New Freetown.

“This will help to decongest Freetown and encourage the next administration that all of these development projects should be completed within five years under the next government. “We should not hesitate and be distracted, it is possible,” he emphasized.

President Koroma noted that Lungi Airport will not be closed as a result of the Mamamah Airport.

Chairman of the ceremony who also doubles as the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr Leonard Balogun Koroma said the airport will propel economic growth and foster the continued transformation of the country. He said the airport which will be completed within four years will be an ultra modern and a state of the art airport that will significantly promote and develop tourism, job creation, provides an impetus for the massive expansion of Freetown and the creation of a new Koya City. He stated that the construction of the airport was as a result of the special bilateral relationship between China and Sierra Leone.

Giving an overview of the Mamamah Airport, Director of Mamamah International Airport project Mr Morlai Buya Kamara said they are building an airport development zone of approximately 21,000 acres of land with a facility of a category four E Airfield, wing span of 60 metres, presidential terminal, terminal building, office space and any other facilities found in any international airport in the world. He said the project will cost Three Hundred and Eighteen Million United States Dollars through a concessionary loan agreement with the Exim Bank of China.

Chairman Civil Aviation Authority Captain Victor Spaine said the move is a fresh start in the aviation industry as it will form the nucleus for a mega city and will address challenges in the aviation industry.

Making a brief statement, the Chinese ambassador Mr Wu Peng said the airport will create economic growth, jobs, open up a new city and an economic zone in the area. He said the project was as a result of a special arrangement between the Chinese government and the government of Sierra Leone and thanked President Xi Jinping and the people of China for their support to the project. He noted that the Mamamah Airport will bring unimaginable benefits that will contribute to the development and great transformation of the country.

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Kenya Airways and Air Mauritius Extend their Codeshare Agreement

Kenya Airways and Air Mauritius have signed an MOU to extend their collaboration in a bid to offer their customers more possibilities for connections at their hubs in Nairobi and Mauritius.


The two airlines already have a longstanding code-share agreement under which Kenya Airways place its code on the three weekly flights operated by Air Mauritius on the Mauritius – Nairobi route.

Air Mauritius uses Nairobi as a hub from where it offers connections to a number of destinations in Eastern and Central Africa through KQ network. Kenya Airways also uses Mauritius as a platform to connect on the Air Mauritius network.

Commenting on the partnership, Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Sebastian Mikosz said: “Kenya Airways is working towards strengthening its network and consolidating Nairobi’s position as a leading hub in East Africa. The networks of both our airlines are complementary and we are confident that this agreement will allow us find the synergies for us to grow our respective networks.”

“This agreement is in line with the country’s Vision 2030 and our network strategy to tap into the emerging opportunities in Africa. Kenya Airways is a strong player on the continent and has a solid network that can give us better access to East Africa, Central Africa and very soon to the USA. We value our partnership with Kenya Airways and are looking forward to take it to another level.” stated Somas Appavou, Air Mauritius CEO.

The agreement was signed by the CEOs from both airlines and witnessed by Mike Seetaramadoo, EVP Commercial & Resource Optimization at Air Mauritius and Vincent Coste, Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer.

Kenya Airways partner with Cellulant and Pesalink to offer Innovative online Payment Solutions

Kenya Airways has partnered with Pesalink, a switch which has over thirty banks, in a move that will provide a variety of mobile and bank payment options to its customers paying for bookings online.


Mr Michael Mbuthia, CIO Integrated Payment Services Ltd (IPSL), Vincent Coste, Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer and Mr Bryan Kariuki, Group Head of New Product Execution, Cellulant during the signing of partnership agreement to offer Innovative online Payment Solutions .

The first of its kind payment solution for corporates will be powered by Cellulant, a multinational payments company in Africa providing one-stop shop payment solutions that enable businesses and consumers to make and accept digital payments.

Commenting on the partnership, Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer Vincent Coste noted that the airline is keen to continually offer innovative solutions at a speed to match the constantly evolving marketplace by embracing technology to enhance customer experience and increase efficiency in how it does business.

“We continue to partner with the different Fintech companies across the world which will help Kenya Airways improve the online payment experience and increase confidence to its customers while paying for their tickets at Kenya Airways website and mobile app”, Said Vincent Coste.

Kenya Airways is the first Merchant to offer Pesalink at the checkout page, a move that will see KQ customers enjoy low transactional fee when making ticket payments using Pesalink on Kenya Airways website and mobile app for amounts up to Ksh 999,999.

Group Head of New Product Execution at Cellulant, Mr Bryan Kariuki said; “We are proud to power payments for Kenya Airways. Through our Mula payment platform, customers in Kenya can now book their tickets online using over 30 mobile money wallets and banks. This is a first in the region. We are now rolling out this capability across 33 countries in Africa, to include over 140 mobile money wallets and banks.”

Integrated Payment Services Ltd (IPSL) CIO Mr Michael Mbuthia said, “This is our first integration of its kind and we are glad to partner with Kenya Airways. Customers flying the Pride of Africa will now be able to make ticket payments using Pesalink for amounts up to Ksh 999,999”.