Have you heard that Africa is the second-fastest growing tourism region in the world? Did you know that OR Tambo International has introduced new rules for bags of irregular shapes? And that Turkish Airlines is planning Port Harcourt flights?
Sit back, grab a cup of tea and read the most exciting African Travel News for the past month, from tourism news to new flights and airport regulations.
African tourism sector growing exponentially
Travel & Tourism in Africa is booming, growing 5.6% in 2018 compared to the global average of 3.9% and the broader African economy rate of 3.2%. This places Africa as the second-fastest growing tourism region behind only Asia-Pacific.
World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) research shows that in 2018:
- Travel & Tourism contributed $194.2 billion to the region’s economy, representing 8.5% of the continent’s GDP
- The sector contributed 24.3 million African jobs, or 6.7% of total employment.
- 71% of tourism spending across Africa was leisure-driven and 29% business
- Domestic spending accounted for 56% of the tourism economy versus 44% for international
- International tourism spending comprised 9.6% of the region’s total exports, worth $58.5bn
Ethiopia stands out not only as Africa’s fastest growing travel economy but indeed the world’s, growing by 48.6% last year to be worth $7.4bn. Notably, international Travel & Tourism spending made up a massive 61.0% of exports in the country. This stunning growth can be attributed, in part, to Ethiopia’s improved connectivity as a regional transport hub and to recent visa relaxation policies.
WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara commented, “We commend the tourism leaders in Africa who are helping to boost connectivity, promote travel facilitation and ensure traveller safety – all of these measures make for supreme growth; the kind of growth that we are now witnessing across the continent and that provides millions of good jobs.”
Lufthansa and Amadeus agree to renew 30-year technology partnership
The Lufthansa Group and Amadeus have announced an agreement to renew their longstanding technology partnership.
Through the deal, Amadeus’ Altéa Passenger Service System (PSS) will continue to provide Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines with their IT systems for reservation, inventory and departure control. In addition, the Lufthansa Group and Amadeus are also expanding their partnership to add further areas of collaboration. Areas in which Amadeus technology is supporting the Lufthansa Group range from operations and merchandising & shopping to disruptions management.
New rules at OR Tambo for bags of irregular shape
Effective 25 March, new rules for checking in bags of irregular shape and size apply at OR Tambo International Airport.
The new rules are aimed at preventing blockages and breakdowns in the baggage handling system caused by bags that do not have any flat surfaces or that have long straps or grips as per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines.
Bags that are round or do not have a flat surface of any kind are the largest source of jams in the baggage handling system. These jams can shut down sections of the baggage handling system, delay baggage delivery to aircraft and inconvenience passengers and airlines.
The new baggage rules are:
- Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed at check-in counters;
- This means that the bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted on the check-in system;
- Round or irregular-shaped bags will not be allowed at check-in counters; and
- Bags with longs straps will not be allowed at check-in counters.
Passengers trying to check in bags that do not conform to these rules will be offered the option of having their baggage wrapped with one flat side at airport approved baggage wrapping stations.
Emirates celebrates 15 years of Connecting Ghana to the world
Emirates has celebrated a milestone in its operation to Ghana, marking 15 years of service to Accra.
The first Emirates flight flew into Kotoka International Airport in January 2004, and the airline has since carried close to 1.6 million passengers between Accra and Dubai and its network.
The airline started operations in Ghana with three flights a week, increasing to six flights a week in March 2005. Currently, the airline operates daily Abidjan – Accra – Dubai flights to over 150 destinations via its Dubai hub. This is set to increase to 11 weekly flights from 2nd June, 2019 following the announcement of four additional weekly flights to Accra.
Turkish Airlines plans to Port Harcourt flights in June
Turkish Airlines has confirmed that it plans to launch flights to Port Harcourt in Nigerian on 24 June.
Flights will depart Istanbul at 18h45 and arrive in Port Harcourt at 23h40 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The return flights will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It will depart Port Harcourt 00h35 and arrive in Istanbul at 09h15.
Kenya Airways, Alitalia signs codeshare deal
Kenya Airways and Alitalia have signed a codeshare agreement connecting the networks of the two companies.
The new codeshare flights are available for sale through the airlines’ reservation systems and in travel agencies from 14 March 2019, for travels from 12 June 2019 when Kenya Airways will inaugurate its four-weekly service between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Fiumicino, Rome.
Alitalia will apply its ‘AZ’ code on many services operated by Kenya Airways beyond Nairobi to Mombasa and Kisumu in Kenya, as well as to a further 19 African destinations.
Kenya Airways will expand its offer to Italy and Europe by placing its ‘KQ’ flight code on Alitalia’s services from Rome to 16 Italian domestic destinations and to 9 international destinations.