Advantage Africa – an update on latest travel developments across the Continent

Is the African market finally ready to fulfil its full potential? Will a new more open approach to air connectivity finally open the door to better intra-African connectivity? These are massive questions for a market that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts will see the strongest growth over the next 20 years and will be home to some of the fastest growing individual country markets in terms of passenger demand.

Our regular round-up delivers some of the key aviation and travel news stories from across Africa.

  • Ethiopian Airlines to resume Mogadishu service in Nov-2018, returning after 41 years
  • IATA: Africa ‘still a very challenging place to do business’
  • Ghana’s new national carrier ‘open to all airlines and aircraft leasing companies’: Minister
  • ACI World DG: Africa must ‘realistically assess’ challenges to growth in aviation
  • EgyptAir Express operates first test flight to Cairo West Sphinx Airport
  • Congo Airways set to lease four aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines
  • Tchadia Airlines commences operations with chartered Ethiopian Airlines aircraft
  • Itaka to operate from Poland to Taba from Nov-2018
  • ROUTE UPDATE: latest route launches and announcements
  • DATA SNAPSHOT: Africa – North America weekly system capacity (data: w/c 15-Oct-2018)

Ethiopian Airlines to resume Mogadishu service in Nov-2018, returning after 41 years
Ethiopian Airlines has announced plans to commence three times weekly Addis Ababa-Mogadishu service with Bombardier Dash 8 equipment on 02-Nov-2018. Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said: “Our flights will quickly grow to multiple daily flights given the huge volume of traffic between the two sisterly countries and the significant traffic between Somalia and the rest of the world”. He noted the service will enable the Somali diaspora in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa to travel to Somalia via Addis Ababa. The airline suspended Mogadishu service 41 years ago.


IATA: Africa ‘still a very challenging place to do business’
IATA SVP member and external relations Paul Steele has said Africa “is still a very challenging place to do business”. He added: “Adequate infrastructure, a competitive cost base, and facilitated travel are all still lacking in key countries”. Mr Steele stated: “As the economy across much of the continent improves, governments in Africa must alter their historical view of aviation as a specialised or elite sector and begin to see it as a truly strategic asset”.


Ghana’s new national carrier ‘open to all airlines and aircraft leasing companies’: Minister
Ghana’s Minister of Aviation Joseph Kofi Adda said the government’s plan to establish a new national carrier “will be open to all airlines and aircraft leasing companies interested in partnering government”. Africa World Airlines, Air Mauritius, Ethiopian Airlines and Turkish Airlines have reportedly expressed interest in the project.


ACI World DG: Africa must ‘realistically assess’ challenges to growth in aviation
ACI World director general Angela Gittens stated collective action and collaboration are vital to ensuring a continued enhancement of global safety and security measures in Africa. Ms Gittens also noted globally it is a “very dynamic time”, where airports have “become businesses in their own right and have to excel in a full range of activities”. She added: “Yet, we are ever mindful that safety and security are our top priorities”. Ms Gittens emphasised aviation has the potential to “grow significantly” in Africa in the years to come, however added: “We have to realistically assess our challenges together, and we have to go forward hand-in-hand because there is so much we can achieve”.


EgyptAir Express operates first test flight to Cairo West Sphinx Airport
Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has confirmed EgyptAir Express operated the first test flight to Cairo West Sphinx International Airport. The airport is designed to relieve congestion at Cairo International Airport, accommodate continued growth in passenger numbers and support the expansion of inbound tourism.


Congo Airways set to lease four aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines
Congo Airways has reportedly signed lease agreements with Ethiopian Airlines covering two Bombardier Q400 and two Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which will be used to increase capacity to meet demand over the 2018 presidential election period. The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s presidential election is scheduled for 23-Dec-2018.


Tchadia Airlines commences operations with chartered Ethiopian Airlines aircraft
Tchadia Airlines commenced operations on 01-Oct-2018 with one Bombardier Q400 aircraft chartered from Ethiopian Airlines. The airline operated to Abéché, Faya-Largeau, Moundou and Sarh. The carrier is expected to receive a second Q400 later in Oct-2018, which will be used to commence regional services to destinations including Bangui, Douala, Kano, Khartoum and Niamey.


Itaka to operate from Poland to Taba from Nov-2018
Orascom Development Holding has confirmed its Taba Heights resort destination in Egypt signed an agreement with Polish tour operator Itaka to operate twice weekly to Taba International Airport from 07-Nov-2018 to 01-May-2019. The service is expected to attract tourists from Poland and Lithuania. Itaka also plans to add two services from the Czech Republic to Taba in 2019.


Route Updates

  • EgyptAir reportedly plans to commence three times weekly Cairo-Douala and Cairo-Kigali services in late Jan-2019 or Feb-2019.
  • Ethiopian Airlines plans to increase Addis Ababa-Seychelles frequency from six to seven times weekly, effective 11-Dec-2018,
  • Cobalt Air has reportedly submitted an application to Egypt’s Civil Aviation Authority for the launch of four times weekly Cyprus-Egypt service from Nov-2018.
  • Fastjet plans to commence four times weekly Maputo-Quelimane service on 29-Oct-2018, operated by Solenta Aviation Mozambique.
  • SWISS commenced weekly Geneva-Hurghada service with A220-300 aircraft on 13-Oct-2018, according to the CAPA Route Changes Database. easyJet also operates the route, according to OAG.
  • National Airways commenced four times weekly Addis Ababa-Mogadishu service on 13-Oct-2018.

  • DATA SNAPSHOT: Africa – North America weekly system capacity (data: w/c 15-Oct-2018)Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG