Have you heard the latest travel news for Africa? Did you know that the South African President has promised a radical overhaul of the visa system? Have you heard that Turkish Airlines is planning to expand operations in Nigeria? And that Uganda Airlines is returning to the skies after 18 years?
Sit back, grab a cup of tea, and read up on the most important travel news for Africa of the past month…
South African President Ramaphosa promises radical visa overhaul
“We must reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit our countries face,” said President Ramaphosa during his closing address at Travel Indaba 2019. “This requires us to streamline our tourist visa regime.”
He added South Africa is committed to working towards the African Union’s goal of visa-free travel and a single African air transport market.
“We are in the process of radically overhauling our visa dispensation for the rest of the world and introducing a world-class e-visa system,” the President concluded.
Turkish Airlines expands operations in Nigeria
Turkish Airlines plans to expand its operations in Nigeria by increasing its flight frequencies between the country and Istanbul, Turkey, according to a news report in Punch.
The General Manager, Turkish Airlines Lagos, Mr Yunus Ozbek, told journalists that as part of the growth plans, the airline would begin four times weekly flight from Port Harcourt to Istanbul in June.
He stated that just like the airline had done in Lagos and Abuja, it planned to connect Port Harcourt to the rest of the world through Istanbul.
Emirates announces an interline agreement with Africa World Airlines
Emirates and Africa World Airlines (AWA) have announced a one-way interline agreement whereby Emirates customers can connect onto selected routes of Africa World Airlines’ network, opening up new African destinations for Emirates customers from May 2019.
Emirates passengers can choose from seven weekly flights from Dubai to Accra until 2nd of June, 2019, when Emirates will increase services on the route to 11 weekly flights. The agreement with AWA will further extend Emirates’ connectivity from Accra with up to ten flights daily to Kumasi, four flights daily each to Tamale and Takoradi and six weekly flights to Monrovia and Freetown.
Several new airline routes to US from Africa
Several airlines have announced they are increasing frequencies and launching flights between Africa and the US. Here is a round-up of what to expect:
United Airlines has applied with the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin new service between New York/Newark Liberty International Airport and Cape Town International Airport. United plans to operate nonstop three-times weekly flights to Cape Town starting in December 2019.
Kenya Airways has activated its codeshare with Delta Airline that opens seamless travel in the US and Canada. The arrangement will enable both the business and leisure travellers to enjoy greater connectivity and efficiency in 11 US cities and 4 Canadian cities.
South African Airways (SAA) has increased its frequencies on nonstop flights between Washington, D.C.-Dulles International Airport and Accra’s Kotoka International Airport to five days weekly.
Uganda Airlines to return to the skies after 18 years
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni recently received two Bombardier CRJ900 jets from Canada at Entebbe International Airport. The arrival of the new planes, with the words Ugandan Airlines on the sides of the aircraft, marks the official comeback for the East African country’s national carrier, that was grounded in 2001.
Authorities hope that revival of the national carrier will help the economy and boost tourism. Commercial flights are expected to start in July, and two more bombardier planes are to be added to the fleet later this year.
SAA launches direct service to Guangzhou
In the latest travel news for Africa: South African Airways (SAA) will launch direct flights between Johannesburg and Guangzhou, China, on 18 September 2019.
SAA will be the only carrier operating a direct service between Johannesburg and Guangzhou, with flight times of approximately 13 hours and 40 minutes, providing the shortest travel time on a nonstop basis between the two points.
SAA is also negotiating a codeshare agreement with Hong Kong Airlines, anticipated to be in place this financial year, for further travel options for customers travelling beyond Hong Kong.