In the spirit of all that is Pan- Africanism, the African Union recently announced that they’d be launching a new electronic African Union passport. At the same time, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) spread news that all African airlines from January 2017 can fly to any airport on the continent. As vigorous and forward-stepping as this sounds – African Airlines still face many challenges; despite this, African airlines transport over 100 million passengers each year; attracts foreign investment and tourism and as it stands is the most efficient mode of transport of goods between markets. Alisha Fisher, for What’s On Africa took a roundtrip around the world of African Airlines to highlight some of the best. (In no particular order)
Royal Air Maroc – As the country’s national carrier and largest airline in Morocco, RAM is fully owned by the government. The airline operates domestically and internationally reaching destinations in Africa, Asia, Europe, North & South America. They were the only African airline to continue connecting Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia despite the recent Ebola outbreak.
Air Seychelles –Air Seychelles have won the award for Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline twice in a row – including awards for Cabin crew and Business Class. With its creole signature hospitality, the airline connects customers to places such as Abu Dhabi, Dar Es Salaam, Johannesburg, Mauritius, Mumbai and Paris, offering over 200 domestic scheduled flights weekly.
Air Botswana – Known as one of the safest airlines within Africa, based in Gaborone, the airline operates both domestic and regional flight routes. Despite huge financial losses due to overstaffing and increasing operational costs , the airline has a reputation for giving great service to customers.
Kulula – As a low cost South African airline Kulula operates mainly domestic routes and is based Gauteng, South Africa. When it started in 2001, it became the first no frills carrier within South Africa. Known for its distinctive brightly coloured planes the airline was recently placed 8th on the list of best airlines in Africa at the Skytrax World Airline awards 2016.
Kenyan Airways – Founded in 1977, the airline is the largest in the country with headquarters and hub at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. With a fleet size of 33, Kenya Airways offers services to over 50 destinations and counting. 5. Mango Airlines – Mango Airlines based at OR Tambo International Airport is a part subsidiary of South African Airways (SAA). Initiated in 2006, The airline won the international Budgie Award in 2011 for for their low-cost flights.Recently, both SAA and Mango Airlines became the first airlines in Africa to start using sustainable aviation biofuel.
Air Mauritius – During 2011 the airline won the ‘Indian Ocean Leading Airline Prize’ and has since become the fourth safest and largest carrier in Sub-Saharan Africa. Navigating just off the southeast coast of Africa, the airlines operates to 26 destinations and has yet to suffer any accidents within its flight history.
Egypt Air – Based at Cairo International Airport – it is the largest airline in Africa owned by the Egyptian government, but with legislation that provides for non-interference in its day to day affairs. The airline travels to over 75 destinations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.South African Airlines – Is known to be the safest airline within the continent and continues to rise as one of the largest airlines on the continent.
Ethiopian Airlines – Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s leading carrier and is an emblem of the country’s growing economy. Chartering flights across the continent with their admirable infrastructure EA keeps risingIt is expected to generate over $10bn in revenue annually. In 2010, the airline was named Africa’s most profitable airline by Air Transport World and back in 2015, EA dispatched their first-ever flight operated by an all-female crew. Using this as a tool to promote women’s empowerment, the airline continues to encourage more women to pursue aviation careers.