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January 2016

Giving back to the community, the Airtel Rwanda way.

Airtel Rwanda has been giving back to the communities it operates in all over Rwanda. Looking back at 2015, Airtel managed to partake in different fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Being a socially responsible company is a mandate that is highly followed by all Airtel staff all over the world. It is a pillar that has proved to position Airtel as one of the most loved brands in the world.

Airtel Rwanda staff members preparing to take part in the cleaning of roads and drainages.

Airtel Rwanda undertakes in various CSR projects that include; sports, education, technology, health and environment conservation.

In 2015, Airtel Rwanda was able to impact the lives of the communities it operates in through certain activities. In the field of sports, Airtel continued with the development of grassroots football through the Airtel Rising Stars football competition which was in its third season. Through the monthly Umuganda activities, Airtel donated reading materials and planted trees in different parts of Rwanda.

Airtel staff giving out gifts at the Christmas Party 2

Airtel continues to support girls in technology through offering internships to bright young girls who are interested in technology.

During last year’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, Airtel staff took part in the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk and later the company donated smartphones to the Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa Inc. that were to be used  to help raise breast cancer awareness by reaching out to people in villages. Additionally, Airtel Rwanda was among the companies that partnered with the African Union to garner resources in support of Ebola affected countries in West Africa.

Airtel Rwanda Head of CSR & Corporate Communications, Denise Umunyana hands over handsets to help in Breast  Cancer Awareness

In last year’s festive season, Airtel Rwanda staff held a Christmas party for the children at Home don Bosco in Nyanza where they gave out Christmas gifts such as scholastic material and clothing to the children. Speaking to Micheline Umulisa, Airtel Rwanda’s CSR Coordinator, she said that Airtel will continue to support the people of Rwanda as they grow further.

“For the development of Airtel in Rwanda, we have to ensure the wellbeing of the communities we operate in.” she added.

Emirates Group Releases 5th Annual Environmental Report.

The Emirates Group, comprising Emirates airline and dnata, has released its fifth annual environmental report for 2014-15.

Audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the report presents environmental performance data across a range of activities including airline operations, dnata’s cargo and ground handling businesses and a wide range of commercial activities on the ground – from engineering to catering.


HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “Emirates and dnata continue to invest in business growth in tandem with customer demand and global opportunities.  As the scale of our operations expands, we are ever more conscious of our responsibility towards the environment and communities we serve.  We are aware that our efforts to reduce resource use will not only reduce our environmental impact, but will also help build our business resilience.

“When it comes to our environmental stewardship, the Emirates Group has core areas of focus where we believe we can make the biggest impact, but we also know that every little effort counts especially when amplified at global scale. Our annual environmental report is a report card, and also a commitment to continuously improve our environmental performance.”

Airline operations constitute the main environmental impact of the Emirates Group. In 2014-15, Emirates continued to add new aircraft to its fleet, retire older aircraft, and prioritise fuel-saving operational techniques.

Emirates’ flight operations specialists worked with agencies in countries as far afield as the USA, Austria, France, Malta, the Seychelles, Ethiopia, Kenya and Pakistan – as well as Dubai’s neighbouring emirate of Sharjah – to introduce or validate new performance-based navigation procedures, to help reduce fuel consumption and enhance operational safety.

The third flight will be served by the A330-200 in a combination of a three class and two-class configuration

Emirates added 24 new aircraft and retired 10 older aircraft in 2014-15, maintaining an average fleet age of 75 months, or about half the industry average of 140 months.

Key highlights this year include a continued reduction in aircraft noise emissions, a modest improvement in overall fleet fuel efficiency despite external operational challenges, and improvements in ground vehicle fuel efficiency.

All of Emirates’ aircraft* meet or exceed Chapter 4 limits – the most stringent ICAO noise Standards, and new A380 and Boeing 777 deliveries during the year helped to further improve the fleet’s margin below the Chapter 4 limits.

Emirates’ overall fuel efficiency in 2014-15 improved 1% to 0.3057 litres per tonne kilometre, 14% more efficient than the IATA fleet average fuel efficiency (IATA WATS 59th Edition).  This was despite the impact of airspace closures caused by security concerns in many parts of the world, which led Emirates to fly longer routings to avoid these areas. The 80-day runway closure at Emirates’ hub in Dubai International Airport also meant that flights had to carry more contingency fuel than usual, thereby impacting fuel efficiency.

On the ground, dnata in Dubai took delivery of 30 new electric tractors to replace diesel-powered vehicles for use at Dubai International Airport. The tractors, manufactured by TUG Technologies Corporation and Charlatte America, produce no air-polluting emissions.

A change in the UAE government’s regulations also helped to bring down the amount of pollutants produced by ground vehicles. The Group’s ground transport fleet in the UAE began using low-sulphur diesel following the government’s announcement of mandatory new fuel specifications in 2014. The fuel contains 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur, a considerable reduction from the previous specification of 500 ppm, and will greatly reduce levels of particulate emissions.

The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign is back.

The popular Coca-Cola brand campaign “Share a Coke” is back with an exciting twist. This time round the campaign seeks to reach more consumers by having even more names and a unique inclusion of emoticons and phrases to enable them to “share a feeling” with their near and dear ones.

The campaign will give Coca-Cola consumers the opportunity to swap the iconic Coca-Cola logo with personal names of their friends, relatives, family and expressions to communicate and connect with their loved ones.

Fille poses with his personalized branded Coca-Cola cans bearing her nam...

In the lead up to the launch of the campaign, Coca-Cola once again teased key teen influencers mainly in the media and entertainment industry along other influential national and corporate leaders with branded cans of Coke bearing their names and emoticons as a precursor to what would be a frenzied return of an already successful brand campaign.

Coca-Cola Country Brand Manager Uganda, Rodney Nzioka reiterated that “Coca-Cola is all inclusive therefore we would like everyone to get an opportunity to share a feeling with the special people in their lives all over the country. This time it will be particularly exciting as it will give consumers an opportunity to be more expressive.”

Fashion icon Abryanz poses with his personalized branded Coca-Cola cans ...

Through the second chapter of the campaign, Coca-Cola will continue spreading the message of optimism and happiness that the brand stands for in homes, at social events, in schools, villages, bars and restaurants.

The Coca-Cola products with the customized names are now available in all retail outlets and in shops, hotels and restaurants all over the country. Ordering for customized cans can be done via the hotline numbers; 0780791581 and 0706389727.

The campaign will also leverage on the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as other interactive advertising platforms to enhance consumer experience.

Coca-Cola as the World’s Number 1 non-alcoholic beverage and the runaway market leader in Uganda is well known for breakthrough marketing campaigns and marketing innovations. In the recent past it has launched highly successful campaigns such as Billion Reasons to Believe, Coke Side of Life, Brrrr, and Coca-Cola Rated Next amongst others that have been very well received by Ugandan consumers.

Emirates Expands Switzerland Operation, Adds Second Daily Service to Geneva.

Emirates announced the expansion of its operation in Switzerland with the addition of a second daily service to Geneva effective 1st June 2016. The second daily flight will double capacity on the route and represents an overall increase of 26% for Emirates in Switzerland.
The new flight will be operated by a state-of-the-art Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration, with eight Private Suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class, and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class.

“With natural landmarks like Lake Geneva, the Alps and Jura mountains, Geneva is an attractive destination. It also hosts the highest number of international organizations, like Europe’s United Nations and the Red Cross, making it a global hub for diplomacy and banking. Demand is strong year-round, with high traffic from Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong and the Indian Ocean, with travellers visiting the city for business and pleasure,” commented Thierry Aucoc, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe and Russia.
“Aside from more convenience for the growing number of Swiss travellers visiting Dubai, the additional frequency from Geneva will allow us to meet high demand and offer better connectivity for those travelling to countries like Africa, Indian Ocean islands, Bali and Thailand via our ultra-modern hub,” added Aucoc.
Emirates flight EK83 will depart Dubai International Airport at 14:55hrs and arrive in Geneva at 19:50hrs. The outbound flight EK84 will depart Geneva at 21:45hrs and arrive in Dubai at 06:10hrs the following day.
With an additional cargo capacity of almost 20 tonnes per day in each direction, Emirates SkyCargo will offer better access for Swiss companies to economies around the world. Exports from Geneva include pharmaceutical products, automobile spare parts, chemicals and semi-conductors. The presence of international organizations like the Red Cross also generates high humanitarian cargo traffic on the route.
Customers on Emirates’ flights enjoy the famed hospitality of its multi-national Cabin Crew, including Swiss, as well as gourmet cuisine and Emirates’ award-winning ice entertainment system. With more than 2000 channels of on-demand entertainment, from movies, television programmes, games, audio books, and music from around the world, ice has been named the world’s best inflight entertainment system by Skytrax for 11 consecutive years.
As with all Emirates flights, passengers will benefit from a generous baggage allowance of 30kg in Economy Class, 40kg in Business Class and 50 kg in First Class. Passengers travelling in premium cabins will also enjoy lounge access as well as Chauffeur-drive service.

Airtel Uganda gives Masaka’s Mary Kabiito a new lease on life.

Airtel Uganda through its ‘Together We Can’ initiative, has today fulfilled the promise to provide support to Mary Kabiito who takes care of children with special needs in Kakunyu village, Masaka district.

Airtel Uganda MD handing over the car to Mary Kabiito alongside her husband and son.

Mary Kabiito, a mother of seven children – four of them having physical and mental disabilities- was featured on Airtel’s ‘Together We Can’ TV series and was applauded for quitting her job to take care of children with special needs. She has been taking care of these children since 2005 and is currently taking care of close to 40 children at her home and another 190 pupils in a school that she opened up in her community.

L-R Mary Kabiito, Airtel Uganda MD Tom Gutjahr, Mary's son and her husband Mr. Kabiito handing over a gift to the Airtel MD

“Taking care of these children has been a challenge because we face difficulties such as lack of mobility equipment for the disabled children, lack of electricity, food shortages, insecurity, pneumonia outbreaks due to inadequate beddings, epilepsy and many other problems,” explains Mary.


Airtel Uganda, through its ‘Together We Can’ initiative along with its staff members offered to assist Mary and have been able to refurbish Mary Kabiito’s home as well as donate a range of things including beddings (mattresses, blankets and bed sheets), wheel chairs, clutches for the disabled children, a solar system to help with the problem of electricity and a car (UAY 737G) to solve the very urgent transportation problem.

Speaking at the handover of the equipment, Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. Tom Gutjahr said, “Through our Together We Can initiative, we have been able to change some of the lives of the people in the communities we operate in. We believe that the wellbeing of these children starts with us. I would like to recognize and applaud the works and efforts of Mary Kabiito in trying to help the children.”

Airtel staff members pos for a photo with members of Mary Kabiito's team and family and the disstrict education offices and police representative.

“There are many Ugandans doing so much to positively change the lives of other people mainly our young generation and Airtel Uganda is out to find them and grant them one wish that will change their lives and enable them to continue helping others,” he added.

This is not the first time Airtel Uganda is reaching out to an individual who is working hard to better the community. Last year, Airtel Uganda, under the ‘Together We Can’ initiative visited an elderly lady named Jjajja Flora and handed her a newly built and furnished house located in Kiira town in Kampala district.

Together We Can is a 52-part TV show that explores a range of issues currently facing many Ugandans, including poverty, health, education and selfless service. Each story that is being showcased on the series ends with the ultimate celebration of these Ugandan heroes when Airtel awards them with prizes that enable them to fulfill their dreams of helping others.

Emirates increases service to Los Angeles with Launch of Second Daily Flight.

Emirates announced that it plans to launch a second daily service from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday 1st July 2016.

The second Los Angeles flight will be operated with an Emirates’ Airbus A380-800ULR aircraft in a 3-class configuration with 14 private suites in First class, 76 seats in Business class and 401 seats in Economy class.


The new service, flight EK217, will depart Dubai at 3:00 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 8:00 p.m. The return flight, EK218, will depart Los Angeles at 10:30 p.m. and arrive in Dubai approximately 16 hours later at 1:30 a.m. The new service will supplement the current EK215 Airbus A380-800 flight departing Dubai at 8:55 a.m. and landing in Los Angeles at 1:55 p.m. The existing return flight, EK216, departs LAX 4:45 p.m. and arrives in Dubai 7:35 p.m. the following day. The complementary flight times of Emirates’ new 2nd daily service will serve the growing customer demand for travel between Dubai and the western United States, as well as for those passengers connecting to Emirates’ vast global network of onwards destinations.

“Our existing service provides USD $677 million in annual economic benefit to L.A. and the surrounding area, contributes over USD $270 million in annual spending by visitors, and helps to support nearly 6000 U.S jobs,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West. “So our additional service to LAX not only doubles our capacity to meet demand for our award winning service, but also increases our positive economic impact to the Los Angeles area.”

Los Angeles, California is the 2nd largest city in the United States. Commonly referred to as the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a global city with a diverse economy in entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research. While most often associated with its world renowned entertainment industry, L.A. is one of the largest manufacturing centres in the western U.S. and supports a thriving aerospace sector as well. In fact, LA County has 56,239 people employed in the aerospace and defense industry, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

A major export from Los Angeles is fruits and vegetables and these account for the largest portion of Emirates’ cargo exports out of Los Angeles, transported both in the belly hold of the airline’s wide body A380 aircraft as well as through two Emirates Boeing 777-200F freighters each week. The vast majority of these exports are transported to Dubai and Kuwait. Emirates also facilitates transport of garments, automobiles, machinery, and agricultural cargo to the Middle East, as well as medical equipment to Mumbai.

“Our new flight will create more choices and shorter connection times for many passengers travelling via Dubai and onwards to Los Angeles and surrounding areas,” continued Frach. “Passengers wishing to travel beyond Los Angeles to nearby destinations in the U.S. can take advantage of our partnerships with Virgin America and Alaska Airlines. For example, through Alaska Airlines, passengers can connect from LAX to cities such as Medford, Mammoth Lakes, Monterey, Portland, and Santa Rosa.”

Airtel Rwanda changing lives through CSR.

Airtel Rwanda has been partaking in different CSR activities across the country. From Airtel Rising Stars to Reading Umuganda and donating Smartphones to fight breast cancer.

The festive season, in a spirit of giving, Airtel Rwanda staff chose to celebrate this year’s Christmas with the children at Home don Bosco, Nyanza.

Airtel Rwanda Head of CSR & Corporate Communications, Denise Umunyana handing over gifts at the Christmas party

Located in Ruyenzi village, Cyotamakara Cell in Nyanza Sector, Home don Bosco is an orphanage where children who have lost their parents have previously found a welcoming home. Founded in 1989 by Simons Pierre (Belgian), the home currently houses 70 children who are facilitated and educated by the Home.

Simons Pierre (middle) founder of the Home don Bosco Orphanage giving out gifts at the Airtel Christmas party

Speaking to the Director, Father Jean Claude Buhanga, he said; “At Home don Bosco, children are not only housed but also fed, educated, provided with scholastic materials and clothing. The children are later assisted on finding jobs when they’re done with school.”

Airtel Rwanda staff and the children of Home don Bosco

“We have also been able to find new homes for these children and they’re happy. We are so grateful that Airtel Rwanda chose to celebrate this year’s Christmas with us. The children really needed it and you can see that they’re happy.” He added.

Performers at the Airtel Christmas Party at the Home don Bosco in Nyanza 2

Simons Pierre the founder of Home don Bosco has a story to tell. For he started helping children when he had just come to Rwanda. Simons who is fluent in Kinyarwanda expressed his gratitude for Airtel’s support and thoughtful gesture. He says that most of the help that the Home gets, comes from friends, family and well-wishers.

At the Christmas party, Airtel Rwanda Head of CSR & Corporate Communications, Denise Umunyana said; “Airtel Rwanda staff are glad to have been able to bring joy to the children at Home don Bosco. In accordance with our corporate social responsibility pillars, we are happy to have brought joy to these children during this festive season. This is a season of giving and we had to share with the little ones.”

The Airtel Rwanda staff gave gifts to the children and joined them in the day’s activities that included; singing, dancing and storytelling among others.

Emirates SkyCargo contracted to uplift outsized equipment for River Nile bridge construction.

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, has again demonstrated its capability to handle all types of cargo, this time a very important load of heavy machinery and steel parts for a new bridge currently being constructed across the Nile River in Uganda.

The machinery and steel parts for the bridge being loaded onto an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777 Freighter at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport

Emirates SkyCargo was recently awarded the charter by a Japanese construction company to carry the heavy equipment from Tokyo’s Narita Airport to Entebbe on 26 December, via the cargo carrier’s hub in Dubai. The cargo, weighing about 84 tonnes, consisted of machinery, including a winch, down-the-hole hammer, and steel parts for the bridge.

The cable-stayed bridge, currently one of the biggest bridge developments in central and east Africa, is a project by the Government of Uganda with support from the Government of Japan, and is located at Jinja near the source of the Nile. Once completed the bridge is expected to improve transport flows on the Northern Corridor route which links Uganda and neighbors Burundi, Rwanda and eastern DRC to Kenya.

“This was a very high profile charter for what clearly is a very important project in Uganda. We were delighted to be entrusted by the construction company to move this load, and prove that Emirates SkyCargo has the capability and capacity to move large and outsized cargo, requiring careful planning. Our field teams in Japan and Uganda along with our Dubai based Freighter and Charters and hub operations teams worked very hard to ensure the success of this charter,” said Ravishankar Mirle, Emirates Vice President, Cargo Commercial, Far East and Australasia.

“Emirates SkyCargo has carried many outsized items of cargo over the years, from helicopters, to ship rudders, aircraft engines and even a yacht’s mast, among others, so we have a lot of experience in managing this type of cargo,” he added.

To carry the cargo, Emirates SkyCargo used one of its Boeing 777 Freighter aircraft, which is capable of carrying over 100 tonnes of cargo per flight. The aircraft is one of the most modern and technologically advanced freighters available, with its wide main deck enabling access for outsized cargo and larger consignments.

Emirates SkyCargo operates a fleet of 15 freighters, including two Boeing 747-400Fs and 13 Boeing 777Fs, that operate from their base at Emirates SkyCentral, located in the logistics district of Dubai South, from where they service over 50 scheduled freighter destinations around the world.

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