Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and read your Africa Travel News for this month…
Have you heard that the Nigerian Travel Practitioners Identification Card is expected to launch on 26 June? Did you know Kenya Airways is increasing flight frequencies to Europe? And that British Airways has launched direct flights to Durban in South Africa?
From new routes to travel industry news and visa changes, we’ve rounded up the most exciting Africa Travel News for May 2018…
Nigerian Travel Practitioners Identification Card to be rolled out on 26 June
The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) will roll out the much-awaited Nigerian Travel Practitioners Identification Card (NTPIC) on 26 June 2018.
NANTA CEO Bankole Bernard said that the identity card scheme will capture the biometric data of genuine members of the travel industry. These data can then be easily verified by passengers who want to make sure they are dealing with a reputable travel agent.
Bankole explained there are currently over 6,000 Nigerians working in the travel industry, but only about 2,000 of them are registered with NANTA. He said: “People move into the industry and don’t have a clear understanding of what the industry is all about. They perpetrate fraud or they misuse airline inventories. When they exit the industry, the serious and hard-working bona fide travel agencies suffer.”
Watch out: the GDPR is here….
The European Union has officially introduced its new data protection regulation, GPDR, on 25 May.
Although the GDPR is a European regulation, it’s important for African travel businesses to know that while the GDPR is being promulgated in the EU, its reach goes well beyond the region.
Read Amadeus’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GDPR here
Kenya Airways is increasing flight frequencies across Africa and Europe
Kenya Airways has announced an additional 26 weekly flight frequencies between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and destinations across Africa and Europe for the 2018 European summer season.
In the months of July and August, the airline will have two additional night flights to Amsterdam, per week and two other extra day-flights to Paris, France.
To cater for increasing demand, the airline will further introduce four weekly flights to Mauritius effective 7 June 2018 and three non-stop weekly flights to Cape Town effective 6 June, this is in addition to the existing seven weekly flights connecting via Victoria Falls and Livingstone.
There will be three additional night flights to Accra, Ghana and Freetown, Sierra Leone effective August this year. Other destinations that will have additional frequencies include Kinshasa, Brazzaville, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Maputo and Entebbe.
Ethiopian Airways focussed on connecting Africa with the US
Ethiopian Airlines is to operate direct flights between Accra, Ghana and Texas, USA, following the granting of Fifth Freedom Rights to the Addis-Ababa-based airline.
While the exact starting date of flights is yet to be disclosed, local media reports that the new service, when it commences, will further improve direct connectivity between Ghana and the USA, offering passengers more travelling options.
Ethiopian Airlines and Air Côte d’Ivoire, the national flag carrier of Côte d’Ivoire, have also entered into a codeshare agreement effective May 2018. Under the new codeshare partnership, passengers originating from West African countries, especially from Lagos, Bamako, Cotonou, Accra and Lomé will board Air Côte d’Ivoire flights and enjoy a fast and seamless connection to Newark on-board Ethiopian direct service to Newark via Abidjan.
Lastly, the airline is also to increase its scheduled air services to Mombasa, Kenya, following an agreement reached between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.
Visa-free entry to Ethiopia
With immediate effect, Ethiopia will issue online visas to all travellers visiting the country.
Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, Fitsum Arega, released the news on 1 June, in Tweet saying: “Ethiopia will start issuing visas online for tourists and other visitors across the world effective today (June 1). A relaxed visa regime will enhance both Ethiopia’s openness and will allow the country to harness the significant stopover transit traffic of Ethiopian Airlines.”
Ethiopia, Rwanda and Mozambique replace SA and Nigeria as fastest growing economies in Africa
South Africa and Nigeria will no longer dominate the African continent by 2030, according to a new report, “Shifting Market Frontiers: Africa Rising”, published by Euromonitor International.
The research shows that although these two powerhouses together currently account for nearly 50% of the continent’s GDP, by 2030 South Africa and Nigeria will represent just 37% of Africa’s total GDP.
Instead, all eyes will be on Ethiopia, Rwanda and Mozambique as the three fastest growing economies.
China Southern increases Nairobi flights
China Southern Airlines has increased its Nairobi-Guangzhou flights to three times a week to tap increased business and tourism travel between the two countries.
The airline will operate Monday, Tuesday and Friday flights using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft that has a 218-passenger capacity.
The aircraft has four, 24 and 190 first, business and economy class seats respectively. China Southern Airlines previously only flew into Nairobi on Mondays and Fridays.
British Airways launches DUR flights, increases JNB frequencies
British Airways will begin flying three times weekly direct from London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to Durban, starting on 29 October.
The service will be the only non-stop link between Europe and Durban and will be operated by the airline’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The aircraft will arrive at King Shaka International in the morning and land back at Heathrow in the evening.
Starting at the end of October, British Airways will also add four more weekly flights to its double-daily London-Johannesburg schedule.