Low-fare airlines open up Africa to the world

It’s hardly a secret that the key to the success of any tourism destination around the world is airline accessibility. Africa seems to have woken up to this concept, and the continent has seen numerous airlines aggressively expanding to capture a share of the profitable tourism market.

Ethiopian Airlines has recently begun extending its market reach and is offering flights to Asia and South America, with regular flights to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo beginning in July. The Ethiopian flag carrier is aggressively acquiring new planes and opening new routes, such as one to Shanghai beginning at the end of March. Recently, the airline also bought a 49% stake in Malawi Airlines, and it is in the process of opening a third hub in Blantyre, a city in that Southeastern African country.

Kenya Airways isn’t lagging behind. The airline’s CEO, Titus Naikuni, is predicting an exciting couple of years for African air travel with new Boeing Dreamliners to be delivered in April this year, the opening of a new terminal at Jomo Kenyatta Airport and Kenya’s first direct flights to the U.S. Naikuni explains: “As part of our expansion plans, project Mawingu, Kenya Airways plans to fly to Washington D.C. [beginning in] 2016-17.”

However, the development that has opened up the African continent even more to tourism from around the world is the appearance of numerous low-cost carriers in several African countries. Kenya Airways’ much-awaited low-cost carrier Jambo Jet is set to begin flights from April this year. Jambo Jet is expected to begin local flights from Nairobi to Kisumu, Eldoret and Mombasa before venturing to other regional destinations.

Read the full article by Dorine Reinstein here.