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.

  • Suspension of Nigeria Air project is only temporary, says Minister
  • Comair and Infinea launch aviation technology company Nacelle
  • Russia finalises dates of airport security checks at Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh
  • Ugandan Government seeking USD79m for pre delivery payments to Airbus: report
  • Groupe ADP awarded construction contracts for New Cotonou Airport
  • TUI Group set to expand services to Mombasa
  • Cape Verde Government hopes to conclude privatisation of TACV before the year end
  • ROUTE UPDATE: latest route launches and announcements
  • DATA SNAPSHOT: Africa – Asia Pacific weekly system capacity

Suspension of Nigeria Air project is only temporary, says Minister
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika said the suspension of the Nigeria Air project is an interim measure, but confirmed the proposed airline will miss its previously planned launch date of 04-Dec-2018. Mr Sirika said the new national carrier will be relaunched as soon as possible.


Comair and Infinea launch aviation technology company Nacelle
South Africa’s Comair and software and payments services company Infinea launched their aviation technology company Nacelle in Johannesburg this week. Nacelle will provide services including payment solutions, loyalty programmes, consulting services, e-commerce, operations management, IT operations and support, IT project deployment, process design and software development to the aviation and related sectors. Comair CEO Erik Venter described Nacelle as an “opportunity to build the next generation of airline systems on modern systems that give you speed and flexibility to build pretty much anything you can imagine”.


Russia finalises dates of airport security checks at Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh
Russia’s Minister of Transport Yevgeny Dietrich reported the dates to conduct checks of airport security measures at Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh are being finalised. Mr Dietrich said: “We are awaiting confirmation of the dates from colleagues. And, accordingly, we are ready to form a group that will go and conduct the necessary checks”. Egypt and Russia have discussed full scale restoration of tourism and air services.


Ugandan Government seeking USD79m for pre delivery payments to Airbus: report
Uganda’s Government is reportedly in negotiations with the African Export-Import Bank, DFCU Bank, East African Development Bank and Investec to raise at least UGX300 billion (USD79.4 million) through a syndicated co-financing arrangement, reports East African media. The funds a required to make advance payments to Airbus for two aircraft. As previously reported by CAPA, Uganda Airlines signed a MoU for two A330-800 aircraft in Jul-2018.


Groupe ADP awarded construction contracts for New Cotonou Airport
ADP Ingenierie, a subsidiary of Groupe ADP has been awarded two contracts for the construction of the 35,000sqm passenger terminal at the New Cotonou Airport. Group ADP also won an assistance contract for operations at the existing Cotonou Airport. To satisfy the country’s economic development, the Republic of Benin also decided to build a new international Airport located in Glo-Djigbé, 40 km from Cotonou. The construction site of the new airport has been entrusted to two Chinese companies: CACC and Yunnan Construction and Investment.


TUI Group set to expand services to Mombasa
TUI Group plans to commence weekly Brussels-Mombasa service on 26-Oct-2018 and Amsterdam-Mombasa service on 07-Nov-2018, according to Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala. He said “a fourth flight is on the cards” for TUI Poland’s Mombasa service and TUI Group also plans to commence direct London-Mombasa service by Nov-2019.


Cape Verde Government hopes to conclude privatisation of TACV before the year end
Cape Verde’s Government has announced the sale of a 51% stake in Cabo Verde Airlines (TACV) is in the final phase and the government aims to conclude the privatisation process in 2018. The government previously selected Loftleidir Icelandic as TACV’s strategic partner.


Route Updates

  • Air France plans to increase Paris CDG-Johannesburg frequency from seven to 10 times weekly with Boeing 787-9 aircraft from 01-Apr-2019, as confirmed by the CAPA Route Changes Database.
  • Turkish Airlines plans to launch three times weekly Istanbul Ataturk-Abidjan service from 02-Apr-2019, operating with Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The carrier’s overall service to Abidjan will increase to daily.
  • Mano River Union and Guinea’s Ministry of Transport reportedly concluded a MoU earlier this month to establish a new airline, Air Mano, to serve the Mano River Union member states of Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Sichuan Airlines launched a twice weekly Chengdu-Cairo service with A330 aircraft on 23-Oct-2018, the first nonstop service between China’s Central South region and Egypt.
  • Air Namibia plans to increase Windhoek-Victoria Falls frequency from five to six times weekly, effective 01-Nov-2018. The airline also serves Harare, according to OAG.
  • CemAir plans to resume twice weekly Bloemfontein-Port Elizabeth service on 06-Nov-2018. Frequency will increase to daily from 07-Dec-2018 to 12-Jan-2019 and reduce to three times weekly from 13-Jan-2019.

  • DATA SNAPSHOT: Africa – Asia Pacific weekly system capacitySource: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG