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.

  • South Africa relaxes visa requirements for travellers from Kenya; e-visa system set for 2019
  • Air Madagascar and Air Austral evaluating A220 and E-Jets E2
  • IATA: USD1.6bn added to industry costs in MENA since 2016
  • NCAA sets end of 2018 deadline for Nigerian airlines to adopt automated payment system
  • Air Botswana receives first ATR 72-600
  • ASKY to commence Conakry services with Guinea Airlines in Dec-2018
  • African Development Bank Group to offer EUR75m for Rabat Sale airport development
  • ROUTE UPDATE: latest route launches and announcements
  • DATA SNAPSHOT: This week’s biggest African international routes (w/c 05-Nov-2018)

South Africa relaxes visa requirements for travellers from Kenya; e-visa system set for 2019
Kenya’s Ministry of Interior and South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs have reached an agreement to grant 10 year multiple entry visas to Kenyan business travellers visiting South Africa, effective 01-Dec-2018. Other frequent travellers from Kenya to South Africa will be eligible for a three year multiple entry visa. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom has said South Africa may adopt an e-visa system in 2019. The government intends to launch an e-visa pilot programme in the near future.


Air Madagascar and Air Austral evaluating A220 and E-Jets E2
Air Madagascar MD Rolland Besoa Razafimaharo has revealed Air Madagascar and Air Austral are conducting studies on acquiring A220 or Embraer E-Jets E2 aircraft. The airlines aim to make a decision by late 2018 or early 2019 to order aircraft for delivery in 2020 or 2021. He has also said that the airline plans to replace its A340 aircraft with second hand A330s by the end of 2019, noting that the more fuel efficient A330s will save about USD8 million per annum in operating costs.


IATA: USD1.6bn added to industry costs in MENA since 2016
IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac has said up to USD1.6 billion has been added to industry costs in the MENA region since 2016, mainly driven by increased passenger facility costs in the Gulf as well as in Jordan and Algeria. Airlines in this region are expected to earn about USD5.89 per passenger in 2018, below the global average of USD7.76. Mr de Juniac said: “The message that we are sending to governments is that the value of aviation to a country is not in the taxes it collects. It is in the growth that it enables across the economy. Airlines are like the proverbial goose that lays golden eggs. And if governments choke the goose with taxes and charges, the golden eggs will stop”.


NCAA sets end of 2018 deadline for Nigerian airlines to adopt automated payment system
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has set a deadline of the end of 2018 for all Nigerian airlines to migrate to the aviation revenue automation project (ARAP), an automated system for the remittance of the 5% sales charge on passenger tickets and cargo. He said: “We have discussed with the airlines that after the end of this year they must migrate to ARAP so that these debts will stop. We don’t want any airline to owe us again,” director general Muhtar Usman told local media.


Air Botswana receives first ATR 72-600
Air Botswana has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600 turboprop. The aircraft is configured with 70 seats in two classes. The aircraft is the first of two ATR 72-600s under a contract signed in Jul-2018. The second is expected to be delivered by the end of 2019. The airline also operates three ATR 42-500s and one ATR 72-500.


ASKY to commence Conakry services with Guinea Airlines in Dec-2018
ASKY Airlines has scheduled the launch of Conakry services with Bombardier Q400 equipment in Dec-2018, with select services to be operated in partnership with Guinea Airlines. It will offer three times weekly flights to Lagos and Nouakchott and twice weekly links to Bissau-Praia and Ouagadougou in its own right and eight flights a week to Dakar, four via Banjul, and three times weekly services to Bamako and Monrovia via Freetown under both the ASKY and Guinea Airlines brands.


African Development Bank Group to offer EUR75m for Rabat Sale airport development
The African Development Bank Group plans to offer EUR75 million in financial support for the expansion and modernisation of Rabat Sale International Airport. The board of directors approved the loan on 05-Nov-2018, in order to address the increase in traffic to Rabat, and to meet growing logistics needs of economic players in Morocco. The project is expected to “quadruple” the airport’s passenger freight capacity, while directly generating up to 1700 jobs.


Route Updates

  • Ethiopian Airlines has removed schedules for Addis Ababa-Asmara-London Heathrow, Addis Ababa-Asmara-Oslo Gardermoen-Stockholm Arlanda and Addis Ababa-Asmara-Rome Fiumicino-Milan Malpensa services, previously due to commence in Dec-2018, reports AirlineRoute.
  • Jambojet plans to commence Mogadishu service on 15-Nov-2018 and also commence Bujumbura service, according to Kenya Airways Group MD and CEO Sebastian Mikosz.
  • Eritrean Airlines plans to commence weekly Asmara-Assab-Addis Ababa service with Boeing 737 equipment on 16-Nov-2018, according to the CAPA Route Changes Database.
  • TUI UK plans to launch an Exeter-Hurghada service in summer 2019.
  • Royal Air Maroc plans to launch new three times weekly links from Casablanca to Abuja (using a Boeing 737-700), Amman (with a 737-700) and Vienna (using an Embraer E190) from 31-Mar-2019.

  • DATA SNAPSHOT: This week’s biggest African international routes (w/c 05-Nov-2018)Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG