New Air Routes Busting Out All Over Africa

By Dana Sanchez Published: October 20, 2016, 10:19 pm
New Air Routes Busting Out All Over AfricaTurkish Airlines 777 with mural of Istanbul on the fuselage. Photo: Chris McGinnis/travelskills.com

Emirates, the world’s largest airline by international passengers, could reduce the frequency of flights to Africa or cut them altogether because of African fuel shortages and currency declines, Reuters reported in The National.

The airline, which has 27 African destinations and had planned to link to almost every African market, is suspending flights between Dubai and Nigeria’s capital Abuja, and reducing flights to Lagos.

Other international airlines, however, say they’re coming to the continent and intra-Africa routes have been announced by local carriers.

Here’s a rundown of some recent airline announcements in and around Africa:

Durban and Cape Town International flights

Several international airlines showed an interest in flying to Durban and Cape Town, South Africa, at the recent World Route Development Forum in China, Tourism Update reported. Local governments have been credited with incentivising carriers to fly to South Africa.

Travelers will be able to fly Cape Town-U.S. direct by 2018, said Paul van den Brink, project manager of Cape Town Air Access. Three U.S. carriers are interested in a route to the city.

Durban has also seen interest from international carriers with passenger growth increasing by 16 percent from July 2015 to July 2016.

Durban-London and Durban-Mumbai are the most likely routes, said Hamish Erskine, CEO of Dube TradePort, a special economic zone 30 kilometers north of Durban that is home to the King Shaka International Airport.

Dube TradePort has had discussions with Air India and South African Airways about a Mumbai route, Erskine said in a Tourism Update interview.

Turkey to  Zanzibar, Seychelles, Guinea

Turkish Airlines wants to be No. 1 in the world, and Africa will help it get there, said airline Chairman Ilker Ayci this week at a press conference in Istanbul. “Istanbul will rise and Africa will rise. We will rise together.”

Turkish Airlines already flies to 41 destinations in Africa, with three more coming soon. Turkey-Zanzibar is expected to be added at the end of October, Seychelles will be added Dec. 12, and Guinea will be added in 2017, Independent Online reported.

“We will continue to grow in Africa,” Ayci said.

Brazil to South Africa

LATAM Airlines, the only Latin American carrier to operate flights between Brazil and Africa, landed its first flight to South Africa  on Sept. 26 at Johannesburg’s O. R. Tambo International Airport, Travel Daily News reported.

“This flight marks the first new international service outside of Latin America since the launch of the LATAM brand in April, which will connect two regions that have much to offer to tourists and business travelers,” said Claudia Sender, president of LATAM Airlines Brazil.

LATAM expects to fly more than 50,000 passengers per year on the São Paulo-Johannesburg-São Paulo route. Connections will be available to destinations throughout South America including Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires and other Brazilian cities.

Swaziland to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Dubai, Mumbai

African start-up Swazi Airways plans to begin operations in November with initial routes to Durban, Cape Town and Harare from Manzini King Mswati III International airport, Flight Global reported.

The airline will be based at King Mswati III and will operate its first routes with regional, 50-seater aircraft, said Sabelo Dlamini, the airport’s marketing and corporate affairs director, at the World Routes conference in Chengdu.

The airline plans to start flights to Dubai and Mumbai with larger jets at a later date.

Airlines operating at the airport include Airlink, which flies to Johannesburg, and cargo carrier Aghaleouko, which operates flights between Kenya, Swaziland and Namibia, Dlamini said.

 

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