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.

This new round-up will deliver some of the key aviation and travel news stories from across Africa.

  • Chad signs up with Ethiopian Airlines to launch new national airline by Oct-2018
  • Benin and Democratic Republic of Congo sign air transport agreement
  • Uganda may float shares of new airline in future as Minister raises possibility of airline alliances
  • fastjet set to deploy extra three ATR 72s in Tanzania market in Aug-2018
  • Rwanda to exceed one million passenger milestone in 2018
  • National Airways Ethiopia acquires five ERJ 145s
  • ROUTE UPDATE: latest route launches and announcements
  • DATA SNAPSHOT: Intra-Africa system movements (as at w/c 13-Aug-2018)

Chad signs up with Ethiopian Airlines to launch new national airline by Oct-2018
Chad’s Minister of Civil Aviation and National Meteorology Mahamat Tahir Rozi announced an agreement has been signed with Ethiopia to develop a new airline in Chad, under the brand Chadia or Chadian Airlines. The start up’s ownership will be split between the countries, with Chad to take a 51% stake and Ethiopian Airlines Group a share of 49%. Mr Rozi stated domestic operations are scheduled to launch on 01-Oct-2018 and “then we will link the capitals of Central Africa, then the Middle East and the rest of the world”. Mr Rozi added: ” We have in the past created several companies including Air Chad and Toumaï Air, but the management has been catastrophic, but I hope that Chadia we have just created will be an eternal company”.


Benin and Democratic Republic of Congo sign air transport agreement
Benin ANAC has announced an air transportation agreement between Benin and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was signed on 27-Jul-2018 during the 62nd meeting of the committee of ministers of the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA). Services between the countries are already provided by Trans Air Congo but the signature will reinforce the legal framework needed for the operation of services between the countries.


Uganda may float shares of new airline in future as Minister raises possibility of airline alliances
Uganda’s Minister of Transport Monica Azuba Ntege announced Uganda Airlines may “float shares” in the future, although the “first step is to get the airline up and moving”. In a Bloomberg article she is reported as saying that while the airline 100% owned by the government, the “plan is to work with other airlines”. She added that passengers have been charged “exorbitant prices for tickets” due to a lack of competition. Ms Ntege concluded: “We’re moving progressively, but we’re getting there. We had a national airline and it went down. We don’t want to make the same mistakes”.


fastjet set to deploy extra three ATR 72s in Tanzania market in Aug-2018
fastjet is poised to expand its operations in Tanzania using three ATR 72 turboprops. The airline’s public relations and marketing executive Lucy Mbogoro has reportedly told local media the airline plans to deploy three ATR 72 aircraft in Tanzania by the end of Aug-2018 to address demand. She noted: “There is strong market demand for passengers’ flights due to increased number of traffic that pushed the airline to capitalise on the opportunity by increasing the number of planes and routes”. The airline also plans to launch new routes over 2018, including to destinations in Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa.


Rwanda to exceed one million passenger milestone in 2018
Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure Permanent Secretary Christian Rwakunda has projected passenger traffic in Rwanda will increase from 926,571 to more than 1.1 million passengers in 2018. Mr Rwakunda explained: “Air transport sector registered a substantial growth in terms of passenger numbers, routes expansion and airport expansion and construction”.


National Airways Ethiopia acquires five ERJ 145s
National Airways Ethiopia has reportedly acquired five Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft, according to local media reports. Four of the 50 seat aircraft have already arrived in Addis Ababa and the fifth is expected in Aug-2018. The airline intends to use the aircraft to commence regular scheduled domestic and regional services, expanding on its existing charter operations. Destinations are expected to include Bahir Dar, Gondar, Mekelle, Bosaso, Hargeisa and Mogadishu.


Route Updates

  • Air Mauritius launched weekly Mauritius-Wuhan service on 11-Aug-2018, marking Wuhan Tianhe International Airport’s fifth new international service in 2018.
  • RwandAir reportedly plans to increase Kigali-Brussels-London Gatwick frequency from three to four times weekly effective 14-Dec-2018 to 17-Jan-2019, a route flown using Airbus A330 equipment.
  • Air Seychelles plans to increase Seychelles-Johannesburg frequency from six to eight times weekly, effective 10-Dec-2018 to 12-Jan-2019, to accommodate “growing demand over the busy end of year period”. The airline will also increase frequency from six times weekly to daily, effective 22-Mar-2019 to 26-Apr-2019.
  • easyJet plans to launch twice weekly Bordeaux-Essaouira service, effective 31-Oct-2018. According to OAG, it will be the sole carrier on the route.
  • Ethiopian Airlines reportedly plans to commence four times weekly Addis Ababa-Lisbon-Madrid service, effective 28-Oct-2018 using 270-seat Boeing 787 equipment.
  • Air Italy will reduce Milan Malpensa-Lagos-Accra-Milan Malpensa frequencies from 28-Oct-2018 from four times weekly to twice weekly. The airline will continue to operate with Boeing 737-800 equipment, replacing initial plans to deploy 737 MAX 8 aircraft, according to AirlineRoute.
  • Silverstone Air plans to commence daily Nairobi Wilson-Mombasa service, effective 31-Aug-2018 usingFokker 50 equipment.
  • Ryanair plans to launch weekly Paris Vatry-Fes service, effective 03-Nov-2018. According to OAG, Ryanair will be the sole carrier on the route, while Royal Air Maroc and Transavia operate Paris Orly-Fes services.

  • DATA SNAPSHOT: Intra-Africa system movements (as at w/c 13-Aug-2018)Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG