September has been an exciting month in travel in Africa! Did you know that Ethiopian Airlines will introduce a new US service? And that Jambojet is starting flights to Rwanda? Have you heard that Marriott International expects to add 40 new properties across Africa by 2023?
Grab a cup of tea, take a piece of cake, sit back and read the most exciting developments in the African travel industry this month from new routes to hotel developments.
Ethiopian Airlines connection with Houston set for December 15, 2019
Ethiopian Airlines has finalised plans to launch flights to Houston starting December 15, 2019. The airline will offer direct, nonstop Houston-West Africa air services operations three times per week. The new Houston flights will be operated via the Ethiopian West African Hub in Lomé, Togo.
Ethiopian Airlines cited the “travel of the huge African community in the Houston area, and oil and other companies doing business in the continent,” for bringing the flights to Houston. Houston is home to the largest Nigerian community in the United States. Houston is also home to numerous multinational corporations, including some of the world’s largest energy companies that support extensive global operations in West Africa.
Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said “The U.S. is among our most important markets owing to the presence of a large African community and growing investment, trade and tourism relations with Africa. Our new route structure with additional frequencies to multiple gateways and the opening of new route to Houston are aimed at responding to the market demand and availing the best possible connectivity between the USA and over 60 African destinations. The new flights will provide the only direct and most efficient connections between Houston and West Africa.”
Qatar to launch direct flights to Luanda, Angola from March 2020
Qatar Airways has announced the launch of its new service to Luanda, Angola, starting March 2020.
The service, which operates up to five-times weekly to the capital and largest city of Angola will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are excited to be announcing our new service to Luanda – the latest destination in our rapidly expanding African network connecting Luanda to key markets in the Far East, South East Asia and Europe. The new route to the coastal city of Luanda not only further solidifies the links between the State of Qatar and Angola, but will enable us to provide a seamless journey to and from this fascinating country and one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Qatar Airways is committed to growing our presence in Africa and adding to the 24 destinations in 17 countries we already offer”.
Corporate Traveller launches ‘CT Lifestyle’, a leisure service for busy corporates
Corporate Traveller, a division of the Flight Centre Travel Group, has launched CT Lifestyle, a dedicated leisure service for busy South African business travellers.
CT Lifestyle provides exclusive access to the Flight Centre Travel Group’s strategic partnerships and global buying power for their clients’ leisure and bleisure travel. Leisure travel perks for corporates include access to the world’s most comprehensive choice of airfares as well as a range of tailor-made holidays through the Flight Centre Travel Group.
“At Corporate Traveller, we have seen that bleisure travel – the activity of combining business travel with leisure time – does not only benefit the business traveller; it also brings distinct advantages for companies. By allowing staff to extend their business trip with a few days of leisure, companies can enhance recruitment opportunities and increase retention rates of top talent. That is why we decided to launch a dedicated leisure service to offer our clients a one-stop-shop for all their travel requirements,” says Oz Desai, General Manager, Corporate Traveller.
Jambojet to start flights to Rwanda
The Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority has granted Kenya-based Jambojet the rights to fly to the capital Kigali.
In a statement to the airline said: “We are pleased to have received this approval. Kigali is one of the routes we have been pursuing in our expansion plan. Once we have everything in place, we will begin operations.”
Jambojet CEO Allan Kilavuka said the airline is expanding its fleet as it plans to fly to more destinations in Africa. The low-cost airline currently flies from Kenya’s capital Nairobi to Entebbe in Uganda, and to five Kenyan destinations – Eldoret, Kisumu, Malindi, Mombasa and Ukunda.
Marriott International expects to add 40 new properties across Africa by 2023
From the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Addis, Marriott International reinforced its commitment to Africa by announcing it expects to add 40 properties and over 8,000 rooms across the continent by the end of 2023. The company also announced signed agreements to open its first property in Cape Verde and further expand its presence in Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria. Marriott’s development pipeline through 2023 is estimated to drive investment of over $2 billion from property owners and is expected to generate over 12,000 new jobs in Africa.
Marriott International’s current portfolio in Africa encompasses close to 140 properties with more than 24,000 rooms across 14 brands and 20 countries and territories.