African airlines prepare for traffic surge

Over the next two decades, Africa’s jet fleet is projected to more than double to 1,550 aircraft, when Africa’s population is forecast to hit 2.17 billion.

In so doing, it will surpass the fleets of America, India and China combined, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The growth will come on the back of significant growth in airline passenger numbers.

IATA shows major airline markets in Africa had already outperformed their 2019 levels in terms of origin-destination (O-D) air passenger traffic by Q2 of 2023, thanks largely to domestic market recovery and outperformance.

Nigeria recorded the highest growth in passenger numbers, adding 52 per cent more compared to the pre-pandemic levels.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Morocco came in second, third and fourth place, with 33 per cent, 31 per cent and 13 per cent growth respectively.

While Algeria and Tunisia also recorded growth, they experienced lower performances at 3 per cent and 5 per cent more traffic compared to 2019 figures.

The only exception was South Africa, which recorded 3 per cent fewer passenger numbers (below its pre-pandemic levels), attributed to economic challenges in the country.

Some 44 per cent growth between 2022 and 2023 has also helped a recovery in international traffic to and from Africa, now just 11.8 per cent off pre-pandemic levels, with a full recovery expected by year-end.

Data from IATA projects the number of commercial aircraft deliveries is approaching 30 in 2023. This is a far lower than the 50 deliveries in 2019- its peak year – but off the lows of around 20 deliveries over the last two years.

“African airlines are increasing their number of new aircraft units, which might be a sign of an anticipated full recovery by the end of this year” said IATA in its quarterly Air Transport Chartbook.

Three African carriers have either announced delivery or have plans for long-term expansion also covering 2023.

Ethiopian Airlines is looking to increase its fleet size from 140 aircraft to 271 by 2032, with a mix of narrow-body and wide-body planes. It has its eyes firmly fixed on Boeing’s bigger aircraft.

RwandAir expanded its fleet in March with its third long-haul aircraft from Airbus, while South African Airways said in May it had received the green light from the government to expand its fleet by six.

Carriers said all these projected new fleets will allow them to expand their seating capacities for regional and domestic routes and increase flights to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Over the last two months, African airlines have been recording steady growth in capacity – which rose by 27.4 per cent in July- making Africa the only region to experience capacity growth outrun traffic demand, according to IATA.

According to Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook 2023, Africa’s air traffic growth is forecast to rise some 7.4 per cent, which is above the global average of 6.1 per cent.

Domestic passenger traffic is seen as quadrupling in 20 years on rapid population growth and urbanisation within the continent.

Source:   The-star.

Kenya Airways donates Boeing 737-700 plane to Mangu High School to support aviation studies

Kenya Airways has donated one of its Boeing 737-700 aeroplanes to Mangu High School.

The donation is aimed at supporting aviation studies in the school that will later feed the airline with personnel in the aviation sector.

The school, which will be celebrating 100 years next year, is among the first institutions to start teaching aviation studies in the country and has several of its former students working at the airline in various departments.

It also becomes the first to receive a complete aeroplane from the airline through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) after donating an engine to the Technical University of Kenya in 2016 for the same purpose.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said the donation is an act of nobility and an affirmation of KQ’s support for the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

He lauded the airline’s CSR initiatives that bequeath students with tactical, technical and technological know-how that will give them an edge over their peers.

‘‘I wish to thank Kenya Airways for this commendable act of CSR that will inspire hope in the students of Mangu High School, assist in the modelling of their skills and transform abstract theories into practicable concepts,’’ said Murkomen

He added, ‘‘This initiative also underscores the importance of Public-Private Partnerships(PPP) in advancing our government’s education and aviation reforms and ensuring that  our young people have access to the requisite tools and opportunities necessary for the creation of successful careers.’’

The CS spoke today during the handover at hangar 1 at the airline’s head office in Embakasi.

He said the aviation sector in Africa has expansive opportunities and vacancies that remain unfilled.

According to a recent report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Africa needs 55,000 skilled aviation professionals in the next two decades, including 15,000 pilots, 17,000 technicians and 23,000 cabin crew.

‘‘The question therefore remains; how can we as a country, benefit from these opportunities? What do we need to do to establish dominance in the continent’s aviation sector and export talent and skills to the continental and global markets?’’ he posed. 

He said one of the ways of doing this is by encouraging the creation of incubators for innovation and talent development.

Beyond its flight and cargo operations, KQ has an active aviation hub, known as Fahari Innovation Hub that acts as a springboard for new ideas and data-driven innovations.

It also has an approved aviation school known as the Pride Centre that offers a range of courses to prepare candidates for a successful career in the aviation sector.

Kenya Airways chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka said the aeroplane boasts of impressive specifications including a wingspan of 35.79 metres and a length of 33.63 meters, making it substantial and iconic aircraft.

‘‘It also has a seating capacity of 16 seats in the business class and 100 in economy and has served countless passengers throughout is remarkable career. Manufactured in 2003, it has aged for two decades, accumulating an impressive over 56, 861 flight hours and 20,966 flight cycles,’’ said Kilavuka.

He added: ‘‘It was retired from active service in December 2021 and now it embarks on a new journey as an educational tour for the Mangu High School students.’’

KCB Bank has donated Sh5 million to support its movement from the hangar to the school and equip the school with aircraft learning equipment such as flight simulators and aircraft maintenance tools, while Crown Paints will donate paint for the repainting the plane that will now be registered as 5W MHC from 5W KQH.

Kilavuka, who reiterated that the airline will also offer technical support to the school, said they have started discussions with universities particularly TUK and Kenyatta University (KU) on matters aviation.

‘‘This is to make sure that we are impacting influence in their curriculum to be relevant to us and meet current industry demands,’’ he said.

 Mangu High School principal John Kuria thanked the airline for the donation, saying it will further fire up the dreams of these students to achieve their dream careers

‘‘It will also go a long way in ramping up the numbers of students in aviation technology,’’ he said.

Mangu High School Alumni Association chairman Ronald Meru, who paraded four pilots who are alumni said aviation programme is the school’s pride.

 ‘‘The partnership will facilitate the aviation studies at the school and ensure the aviation technology is well taught in accordance with the standards that the students require,’’ he said.

General Michael Gichangi, Kenya Airways board chairman and also an alumnus of Mangu said the school has been instrumental in the aviation industry of the country since independence and the donation is a major milestone will strengthen the impetus it has given to the industry.

Source: Standard media.

Condor Airlines Expands Horizons with Direct Flights to Mombasa

In a significant stride towards enhancing global connectivity, Condor Airlines, a well-established German leisure and vacation airline, has recently launched direct flights from Frankfurt to Mombasa. This move comes after nearly two decades of successful operations in Kenya, primarily serving Mombasa, and marks a pivotal moment for Condor’s foray and return to Mombasa, Kenya’s coastal city.

Condor Airlines has long been a prominent name in the aviation industry, synonymous with quality service, efficiency, and a commitment to providing travelers with unforgettable experiences. Their decision to expand operations to Mombasa underscores the growing importance of Kenya as a key destination in East Africa.

At a recent meeting hosted by the airline at the Boma Hotel in Nairobi, travel agents had the privilege of engaging with Condor’s product offering and management team. The gathering provided a unique opportunity for industry stakeholders to gain insights into Condor’s expansion plans and the airline’s mission to further connect East Africa with Germany.

Condor’s activities in Kenya will be managed through a General Sales Agent Agreement, AVIANETAVIAREPS Travel Management Ltd. The airline activities will be headed by Ms. Lilian Musyoka, who brings a wealth of experience to her role. While speaking during the launch, Ms Musyoka expressed Condor’s dedication to facilitating seamless travel between the two regions. She highlighted how Condor’s new direct route to Mombasa aligns perfectly with the airline’s commitment to providing travelers with efficient and convenient connections.

“As Condor Airlines extends its reach, travelers can look forward to a new era of connectivity and exploration. This expansion not only opens doors for German tourists to experience Kenya’s rich cultural and natural wonders but also beckons Kenyan travelers to explore the vibrant landscapes and cultures of Germany,” she said.


Dubai launches religious tourism initiative

The Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai (IACAD) launched the Religious Tourism Project in Dubai with a set of plans, programmes, and initiatives in the field of Islamic tourism. This was announced during a press conference held at the department’s headquarters on Thursday.

The project aims to enhance Dubai’s tourism and achieve the department’s vision of being the best in the world, Islamically and charitably making the city the most visited in the world by 2025. “The project contributes to strengthening the emirate’s position as an attraction point for international religious tourism for residents, visitors, and tourists, both Muslims and non-Muslims,” said Ahmed Khalfan Al Mansouri from IACAD.

Al Mansouri pointed out that the project will achieve a three per cent to four per cent increase in the number of tourists to the emirate. The project will feature the most prominent religious attractions in Dubai.

Floating Mosque: It will be the first floating mosque in the world which will consist of three floors. One half of the structure with its sitting areas and a coffee shop will be above the water; while the other is submerged below. The underwater deck will be for the prayer area with ablution and toilet facilities and can accommodate 50-75 worshippers. The mosque will be constructed with a total cost of approximately Dh55 million.

The Quranic exhibition: This will feature the journey of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Quran, where he printed thousands of copies of the holy Quran from 2000 to 2005 and distributed around the world.

Dubai Iftar: This is organised during the holy month of Ramadan and is a unique initiative that brings together people of different faiths, to breakfast together.

Hala Ramadan: It is an initiative where people of different faiths gather in the new neighbourhoods in Dubai under the Hala Ramadan initiative. This will include groups of social, sports, and educational programmes.

Visit to the Quranic Park and adding a section on prophetic medicine: The Quranic Park is the first-ever Quran-inspired Park in the world which covers an area of 600,000 square metres. This huge park is divided into many sections which serve different purposes and interests. The park has plants and herbs that are mentioned in the Quran.

Ramadan and Eid Market: Ramadan markets will be introduced adjacent to a few popular mosques in Dubai with the aim of welcoming Muslim and non-Muslim tourists during the Ramadan and Eid holidays. This will help them learn about Islamic customs and traditions and teach them the religion of Islam.

Source: Khaleej times.

Global Tourism Rapidly Recovers from Pandemic Slump

International tourism has continued to recover from the worst crisis in its history as arrival numbers reached 84% of pre-pandemic levels between January and July 2023, according to the latest data from UNWTO. The Middle East, Europe and Africa lead the global sector’s rebound.

Tourism on Track for Full Recovery

Tourism demand continues to show remarkable resilience and sustained recovery, even in the face of economic and geopolitical challenges. The new issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer tracks the sector’s recovery over the course of 2023 up to the end of July. The UNWTO Barometer shows:

  • By the end of July, international tourist arrivals reached 84% of pre-pandemic levels.
  • 700 million tourists travelled internationally between January and July 2023, 43% more than in the same months of 2022.
  • July was the busiest month with 145 million international travellers recorded, about 20% of the seven-month total.

UNWTO data once again shows how tourism is recovering strongly in every part of the world. But as our sector recovers, it also needs to adapt

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “UNWTO data once again shows how tourism is recovering strongly in every part of the world. But as our sector recovers, it also needs to adapt. The extreme weather events we have witnessed over recent months as well as the critical challenges of managing increasing tourism flows underline the need to build a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient sector and ensure recovery goes hand-in-hand with rethinking of our sector.”

Results by Region

All world regions enjoyed strong rates of tourism recovery over the first seven months of 2023, driven by demand for international travel from several large source markets:

  • The Middle East reported the best results in January-July 2023, with arrivals 20% above pre-pandemic levels. The region continues to be the only to exceed 2019 levels so far.
  • Europe, the world’s largest destination region, reached 91% of pre-pandemic levels, supported by robust intra-regional demand and travel from the United States.
  • Africa recovered 92% of pre-crisis visitors this seven-month period and the Americas 87% according to available data.
  • In Asia and the Pacific, recovery accelerated to 61% of pre-pandemic arrival levels after the opening of many destinations and source markets at the end of 2022 and earlier this year.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer contains results by region, sub-region and country, including best-performing destinations in terms of international arrivals and receipts over the first seven months of the year.

Looking ahead

These results show international tourism remains well on track to reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023. Prospects for September-December 2023 point to continued recovery, according to the latest UNWTO Confidence Index, though at a more moderate pace following the peak travel season of June-August. These results will be driven by the still pent-up demand and increased air connectivity particularly in Asia and the Pacific where recovery is still subdued.

  • The reopening of China and other Asian markets and destinations is expected to continue boosting travel both within the region and to other parts of the world.
  • The challenging economic environment continues to be a critical factor in the effective recovery of international tourism in 2023, according to UNWTO’s Panel of Experts.

Persisting inflation and rising oil prices have translated into higher transport and accommodations costs. This could weigh on spending patterns over the remainder of the year, with tourists increasingly seeking value for money, travelling closer to home and making shorter trips.

Source: Mirage news

Uganda Tourism Board Advocates Direct Flights to Boost Tourism

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is in talks with the Immigration Department about allowing international tourists to fly directly to tourism destinations.

According to the Uganda Tourism Board, which is tasked with marketing the country beyond its borders, the move will save tourists time and money while also making transit easier. Currently, all international arrivals must first land at Entebbe International Airport to be cleared to enter the country before continuing on to their destinations.

Lilly Ajarova, the chief executive Officer of the Uganda Tourism Board, said the new arrangement, if given the green light, will allow tourists to reach their destinations faster and more conveniently.

Ajarova continued by saying that she has heard complaints, particularly from local tour guides, who claim that the delays have cost them a lot of time and money.

“The trend in international travel has changed; now, people want to travel light to explore as much as they can in as little time.  Our air connectivity faces many difficulties. Air connectivity is crucial if we are to make significant progress in growing the number of visitors to this nation and the revenue from tourism, according to Ajarova.

She claimed that even though Uganda has the largest population of mountain gorillas and the costs are lower, the country has not been able to generate much income from them due to the distances and poor roads needed to get to the tourist destinations.

“We are losing a lot of revenue from our Gorilla tracking. For all these years we have been earning from Gorilla tracking, we have never reached 100 percent occupancy, where we sell all our Gorilla permits. Our rates are half the rates of our competitors, and the major reason is that we don’t have direct flights to Bwindi or Kisoro. Everyone has to go through Entebbe before they can take local chartered flights,” she said.

According to data from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA), in 2019, the airport safely facilitated 32,798 aircraft movements. The number reduced to 14,421 in 2020 because of COVID-19 lockdown, increasing to 21,584 in 2021 and 28,985 aircraft movements in 2022.

Ajarova said that while the figures are steadily recovering, the immigration department must move out of its comfort zone to extend visitor clearance to other aerodromes so that tourists can directly fly to such destinations and get cleared there.

Herbert Byaruhanga, the chairperson of the Uganda Tourism Association, said they have been crying out to the government to open up facilities so that tourists can land anywhere in the country and get cleared at their points of entry, but not only at Entebbe Airport.

“Why do we have to struggle to get clearance? Make the whole of East Africa local and allow people to fly visitors from Kenya, Tanzania, or any other country in the region directly so that more numbers can come in,” he said.

Source: News central

KATA holds its Kisumu Industry Meeting

On Wednesday, 13th September 2023 the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) held a pivotal Industry Meeting in the picturesque city of Kisumu. This gathering, proudly sponsored by Sabre, a global leader in travel technology, brought together travel agents, industry stakeholders, and KATA leadership for a day filled with insights, dialogue, and a vision for the future.

One of the pivotal aspects of this gathering was the opportunity for Kisumu agents to directly interact with KATA’s leadership team. This engagement allowed them to gain deeper insights into the Association’s role, objectives, and the myriad benefits that come with KATA membership.

The meeting delved into a comprehensive discussion of industry-related issues, challenges, and opportunities specifically relevant to travel agents. Through open and constructive dialogue, participants had the chance to voice their concerns and seek solutions, fostering a collaborative spirit among all attendees.

Strengthening Airlines-Agents Collaboration:

Another critical aspect of the meeting was the focus on enhancing collaboration between airlines and travel agents. In a rapidly evolving industry, it’s imperative for these two key players to work hand in hand. The meeting facilitated an open exchange of ideas and concerns, with the goal of establishing mutually beneficial partnerships.

KATA: The Voice of the Industry:

A highlight of the event was a presentation outlining KATA’s vital role as the voice of the travel industry in Kenya. This emphasized the association’s commitment to advocating for the interests of its members and the industry as a whole.

Exploring Sabre’s Offerings:

Sabre, the event’s sponsor, also had a dedicated session to showcase its cutting-edge product offerings. This presentation highlighted the importance of embracing technology to streamline operations and improve customer experiences.

In summary, the KATA Industry Meeting in Kisumu was a resounding success. It served as a platform for knowledge exchange, problem-solving, and strengthening relationships within the travel industry. The event exemplified KATA’s dedication to its members, providing them with valuable insights and resources to thrive in an ever-evolving sector.

As we move forward, KATA remains steadfast in its commitment to shaping the future of the travel industry in Kenya, and this event in Kisumu was a significant step in that direction.

Source: KATA Media Desk

Global passenger traffic now 95% of pre-pandemic level

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the post-COVID recovery momentum has continued in July for air travel passenger markets.

Total traffic in July 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 26.2% compared to July 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 95.6% of pre-COVID levels.

July 2023 Air Travel

The statistics for July 2023 show that recovery of traffic continues with strong momentum. When measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), total traffic saw a sound increase of 26.2% compared to the same month in the previous year, July 2022.

Globally, the traffic has now reached 95.6% of the pre-COVID levels, signaling a significant return to normalcy.

Domestic Travel on the Rise

July witnessed a remarkable rise in domestic traffic, soaring by 21.5% when compared to July 2022. Even more encouraging is the fact that it exceeded July 2019 results by 8.3%, indicating that domestic travel has not only recovered but has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

Notably, July RPKs reached their highest-ever recorded figures, primarily driven by a surge in demand within the Chinese domestic market.

International Travel Resurgence

International traffic recorded an impressive growth of 29.6% compared to the same month in the previous year. This positive trend was observed across all markets, with international RPKs reaching 88.7% of the levels seen in July 2019.

The passenger load factor (PLF) for the industry reached an all-time high of 85.7% for international travel.

Strong Outlook and Confidence

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, expressed optimism about the ongoing recovery. He noted, “Planes were full during July as people continue to travel in ever greater numbers.”

“Importantly, forward ticket sales indicate that traveler confidence remains high. And there is every reason to be optimistic about the continuing recovery.”

Regional Highlights

Asia-Pacific Airlines: Leading the Recovery

Asia-Pacific airlines continued to lead the global recovery, with a staggering 105.8% increase in traffic in July 2023 compared to the same month in 2022.

Capacity also saw substantial growth, rising by 96.2%, while the load factor increased by 3.9 percentage points to reach 84.5%.

European Carriers: Steady Growth

European carriers witnessed a steady growth in July traffic, recording a 13.8% rise compared to July 2022. Capacity increased by 13.6%, and the load factor edged up by 0.1 percentage points to reach 87.0%.

Middle Eastern Airlines: Positive Trajectory

Middle Eastern airlines posted a significant traffic increase of 22.6% in July 2023 compared to the same month in the previous year. Capacity rose by 22.1%, and the load factor climbed by 0.3 percentage points to 82.6%.

North American Carriers: Consistent High Demand

North American carriers experienced a 17.7% rise in traffic in July 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

Capacity increased by 17.2%, and the load factor improved by 0.3 percentage points to reach an impressive 90.3%, the highest among all regions for the second consecutive month.

Latin American Airlines: Strong Recovery

Latin American airlines showed robust recovery, with traffic rising by 25.3% compared to July 2022. July capacity climbed by 21.2%, and the load factor rose by 2.9 percentage points to reach 89.1%.

African Airlines: Mixed Performance

African airlines experienced a traffic increase of 25.6% in July 2023 compared to the same month a year ago, making it the second-highest percentage gain among all regions.

However, the load factor fell by 1.0 percentage point to 73.9%, the lowest among all regions. For a second consecutive month, Africa was the only region where capacity growth outpaced traffic demand.

Challenges in Infrastructure and Government Decisions

While the aviation industry and air travel is witnessing a robust recovery, some critical challenges remain. Willie Walsh pointed out, “The Northern Hemisphere summer is living up to expectations for very strong traffic demand.”

“While the industry was largely prepared to accommodate a return to pre-pandemic levels of operations, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our infrastructure providers.”

Performance issues with key air navigation services providers, including insufficient staffing and failures like NATS in the UK, have raised concerns that need prompt correction.

Additionally, some governments, such as Mexico and the Netherlands, have made decisions to impose capacity cuts at their major hubs, potentially leading to job losses and damage to local and national economies.

Source: Aviation source news.

UAE lifts visa ban on Nigerians, resumes flight operations

Nigerians are praising the lifting of a visa ban by the United Arab Emirates following a meeting in Abu Dhabi this week between President Bola Tinubu and United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Nigerian authorities also secured an investment deal worth billions of dollars, according to the presidency.

Nigerian presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale said Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates have established a framework for investments worth billions of dollars across multiple sectors, including defense and agriculture.

Speaking to Lagos-based Channels Television, Ngelale said the pact also resulted in the immediate lifting of a visa ban imposed by the UAE in October 2022.

“What we’ve done today is to not only normalize relations but then to add new dimensions to that relationship or partnership that are mutually beneficial to both nations,” he said. “And I think as we move forward, the details of those investments will become clear.”

The UAE imposed the visa ban on Nigeria in connection with a number of diplomatic disputes.

Dubai’s Emirates airline also suspended flight operations to Nigeria over Abuja’s inability to send the UAE an estimated $85 million in revenue that Dubai said had been blocked in the African nation. The monies could not be repatriated due to dollar shortages.

Additionally, the UAE’s Etihad Airways stopped flights to Nigeria.

But Ngelale said Emirates and Etihad airlines are expected to resume operations immediately without any payment by the Nigerian government.

The spokesperson also said Tinubu successfully negotiated a new foreign exchange liquidity program with the UAE.

Nigerian experts such as economist Emeka Orji welcomed the president’s move as a step that could reverse negative economic trends.

“It should be a no-brainer for them to reverse it,” Orji said. “The major chunk of their tourism, whether it is education or for holidays, Nigeria would show up on the list of its major tourism income-earning countries.”

In a recent statement, the UAE’s official Emirates News Agency noted that its leader and Tinubu explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration in areas that served the sustainable economic growth of both countries.

The statement, however, did not go into detail about the lifting of the visa ban on Nigerians and the resumption of flights.

Orji says there will be a positive impact.

“International relations between the two countries will likely lead to an increase in economic activity,” he said. “There may be some interest in investing in some sectors in Nigeria. That would be an obvious gain for Nigeria.”

For now, experts said they hope the new pact is fully implemented for both countries to benefit.

Source: VOA

Brussels Airlines Expands Operations in East Africa with Additional A330 and Nairobi Flights  

The Belgian Lufthansa subsidiary is expanding in its focus market of Africa. In a significant development for both Brussels Airlines and East Africa, the Belgian carrier is set to receive an additional Airbus A330, marking a return to its pre-pandemic fleet size. This expansion comes hand in hand with the reopening of a vital route to Nairobi and increased flight frequency to Kigali, signifying a growing commitment to East African connectivity.

The Return to Nairobi

Nairobi, Kenya, holds a special place in Brussels Airlines’ history. Having been part of their network from 2002 to 2015, the city is set to once again grace their route map. Commencing in June 2024, direct flights will connect Brussels to Nairobi, promising increased accessibility for travelers. Ticket sales for this eagerly anticipated route are already slated to begin shortly.

With the addition of the tenth long-haul aircraft, Brussels Airlines aims to strengthen its presence in Africa significantly. During the summer season, the flight to Nairobi will operate six times a week – except Tuesdays, offering ample opportunities for travel. Even during the winter season, when many routes see reduced frequency, Nairobi will remain well-connected with four weekly flights.

In order to be able to cope with growth, the airline will add a tenth Airbus A330 in the summer of 2024. This means that their long-haul fleet will be as large as before the pandemic. At that time, it had reduced its aircraft fleet by a quarter.

Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Brussels Airlines, acknowledges the pivotal role of this expansion, stating, “With Nairobi, daily flights to Kigali, and additional flights to West Africa, we have a stronger presence in Africa than ever before.” She emphasizes that this tenth long-haul aircraft exemplifies Lufthansa Group’s confidence in the airline and strengthens its position as the hub to Africa within the group.

The addition of the Airbus A330-300 from parent company Lufthansa signifies a seamless integration of resources within the group and heralds an exciting new phase for Brussels Airlines.

Expanding Capacity and Connectivity

This latest development underscores Lufthansa Group’s commitment to Kenya and its strategic intention to boost market growth. With the new flights to Nairobi, the Group will offer an impressive 18 weekly flights to Kenya, with 13 weekly flights to Nairobi (7 by Lufthansa and 6 by Brussels Airlines) and 5 weekly flights to Mombasa via DISCOVER Airlines.

During the European winter season starting in October 2024, the Lufthansa Group will operate 15 weekly flights to Kenya, further cementing its status as a major player in East African air travel.

In conjunction with these developments, Kigali is also set to benefit from increased connectivity, with flight frequencies increasing from 5 weekly to daily year-round flights starting in June 2024. This expansion reflects the growing importance of East Africa in global aviation and the commitment of Brussels Airlines and the Lufthansa Group to play a significant role in this vibrant region’s growth.

Source: Airspace-Africa